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Displaying items by tag: Radial

Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy marked her return to competition after a three-month break with a second overall after the first day of competition in the ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) at the Lanzarote Winter Series in the Canary Islands yesterday.

The National Yacht Club ace is on seven points after three races sailed, four points behind Denmark's Anne Marie Rindom who took three straight wins in the perfect sailing conditions that prevailed off the Arrecife coast.

As Afloat reported yesterday, a 39-boat fleet drawn from 25 countries is contesting the 14-race regatta that runs until Thursday as part of its winter training schedule.

The only Irish sailor so far qualified for Tokyo 2021 scored 3, 2, 2 in her boat named 'Ricky Bobby'.

Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon counted a 'Did Not Compete (DNC) in race two and is placed 30th. 

Finn Lynch lying sixth

In the men's ILCA 7 (Laser) class, Murphy's club mate Finn Lynch lies sixth overall in a 30-boat men's Laser (ILCA 7) fleet from 14 countries.

The fleet includes Robert Scheidt but the Brazilian legend, who is the holder of two gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze from five Olympic Games, is not having things his own way with France's Jean Baptiste Bernaz leading by four points and Lynch beating Scheidt in race two. 

Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon lies 11th and Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George Yacht Club is in 30th.

Results here.

Published in National YC

Light breeze dominated the first Final series day at the 2020 Laser Radial Senior European Championships and Open European Trophy in Gdansk, Poland today that sees Annalise Murphy maintain her 18th position overall in the 107-boat fleet.

Howth Yacht Club teenager Eve McMahon, however, has moved up four places to be within four places of the Rio Silver Medalist in 22nd overall. Aoife Hopkins, also of Howth, lies 30th.

Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins Photo: Thom TouwHowth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins Photo: Thom Touw

Murphy says she is enjoying the regatta and its efficient organisation when she is interviewed briefly in the day 3 video highlights below, scrub to 0.13, 1.01 and 1.49 on the timeline to hear the Irish star. 

Reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4-1-1-2-2-7) shows determined to repeat the title, although scoring her worst race today on the single race contested, leading the Radial Women’s championship with 11 points.

Polish sailor Agata Barwinska POL (22-1-3-4-2-8-2) is also determined to fight for that Gold medal, scoring a great result today on very difficult conditions and following the leader just 9 points behind.

Third place is now for consistent 2018 World champion Emma Plasschaert BEL (7-5-4-5-11-4-6) with 31.

2020 World champion and overnight second Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3-2-7-23-3-20) is fourth now with 37, escorted by her teammates Maxime Jonker NED –41 pt– and Mirthe Akkerman NED –44 pt– on 5th and 6th.

Greek sailor Vasileia Karachaliou GRE has enter the top 10 now after winning the race today and holds the seventh position with 45.

The second day of finals racing continues tomorrow and the championships conclude on Tuesday.

Results here

Published in Annalise Murphy

Its gold fleet (or top 50% of the 107-boat fleet) for all three of Ireland’s female Radials sailors at the 2020 Laser Senior European Championships and Open European Trophy in Gdansk, Poland.

There’s little doubt Annalise Murphy, a former winner of this event in 2013, would have hoped for better than her current 18th overall as the fleet progresses to the final rounds of the championships tomorrow. A dip in performance in her last two races to give her a scoresheet of 9,5,11,9,50 and 22 means she is a full 49 points off the overall lead.

Murphy is already nominated for Tokyo next July 2021 but such is the calendar in these COVID-times, this Euro event represents the first big fleet sailing since the World Championships last January in Melbourne so it's an important one to register a top finish.

Talented teen - Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club is in gold fleet in GdanskTalented teen - Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club is in gold fleet in Gdansk Photo: Thom Touw

Joining Ireland’s Rio silver medalist in the gold fleet tomorrow is Howth teenager Eve McMahon and Aoife Hopkins in 26th and 34th place respectively.

Light wind conditions prevailed for the first time today and the reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4-1-1-2-2) conquered an interesting gap today for wrapping the Qualifying series, leading the Women’s championship now 10 points ahead of 2020 World champion Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3-2-7-23-3).

Polish sailor Agata Barwinska POL (22-1-3-4-2-8) is still on third and only 1 point behind Marit, based on great consistency showed in her last 5 races.

“It was tricky and especially the second race was very interesting with huge pressure differences. I had a good strategy and was able to exclude it so it turned out pretty well for me” declared Rindom after the races.

Talking about consistency, 2018 World champion Emma Plasschaert BEL (7-5-4-5-11-4) now places now fourth with 25 points. Maxime Jonker NED is fifth with 27.

The final series will start tomorrow, where the Radial Women’s fleet will be split in Gold and Silver.

The first warning signal for the Radial will be at 11:45

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Annalise Murphy has dropped five places to 15th overall in the 107-boat fleet of  Women's Laser Radial European Championships after the second day of racing on Gdansk Bay in Poland. 

Howth's Eve McMahon is in 24th and clubmate Aoife Hopkins is 30th. 

Tomorrow is another day of qualifying races before the fleets split for Sunday's final series.

Today was another day of great sailing conditions. A shifty NW breeze varying from 8-15 knots brought much longer waves than yesterday, although conditions were still choppy due to the 'unsteady' wind.

Reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4-1-1) scored perfectly today, leading the Radial Women’s championship with 3 points.

Second place for the reigning 2020 World champion Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3-2-7) with 7. One point behind her is now Polish Agata Barwinska POL (22-1-3-4) on third place with 8 points.

Murphy from the National Yacht Club will be aware of the gap widening with the leaders which she will need to close on Saturday to have a realistic chance of catching her Tokyo 2021 rivals. 

Third of overnight leaders Line Flem Host NOR (2-3-7-17) dropped to 7th overall (6th European) with 12 points.

Fourth and fifth places for Maxime Jonker NED and Maud Jayet SUI with 10.

Mirthe Akkerman NED and Emma Plasschaert BEL – both with 14 points–, Wiktoria Golebiowska POL –15 pt– and Ecem Guzel TUR –17 pt– complete the European top 10 list. 

Results here

Published in National YC

The first day of competition at the Laser Senior European Championship in Gdansk, Poland sees the National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy finishing  in ninth place overall.

Fresh from victory at Italian Olympic Week, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist is a former winner of this event, sweeping to victory in a near gale on her home waters of Dublin Bay in 2013. 

Howth's Eve McMahon in 15th and Aoife Hopkins in 25th place in the 107-boat Women's Laser Radial fleet.

While the first races were held in ten knots of breeze off the land, the second races saw the wind increase to 15 knots from the same direction.

There's been a tight start to the Women’s championship, with three sailors sharing the top positions with 5 points: Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4), Line Flem Host NOR (2-3) and Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3).

Mirthe Akkerman NED (6-1) is also close with 7 points and ranked fourth overall. Fifth European place and sixth overall for Emma Plasschaert BEL (7-5).

Denmark's Anne Marie Rindom said "It was one of those days where you have to look after the pressure and sail the shifts but still managed to not take to big risks. I finished 1 and 4 and I’m very happy about how it went. I’m coming back after a long time with an injury and just enjoying racing again "

Silvia Zennaro ITA, Murphy Ecem Guzel TUR and Pia Kuhlmann GER complete the European provisional top 10.

Sarah Douglas CAN is the only non-European sailor among the first competitors, holding the fifth place on rank.

Racing continues tomorrow.

Results here

Published in National YC

A cut-short Olympic trial in the women's Laser Radial class has handed trials leader and Rio silver medalist Annalise Murphy selection for the Tokyo Olympics as Afloat reports here. News of this week's decision, however, has left two of the trialists, Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller, 'upset' and 'devasted' and questioning why the decision was ratified by the Irish Sailing board with the postponed Olympic Games still over a year away.

A third trialist, Irish Sailing Academy sailor Eve McMahon, says the circumstances of COVID-19 could not be foreseen and the trial, in so far as it went, was a 'tremendous experience' for her.

The remaining two Olympic trials events have been cancelled due to coronavirus and – as the four trialists were informed this week – selection has been based solely on the worlds from February, an event in which the National Yacht Club's Murphy finished 12th, well clear of her Irish rivals.

Keller of Lough Derg Yacht Club whose performance at the 2019 Australian World Championships qualified Ireland's only boat for the Tokyo Olympics so far, said she is "very surprised and upset that the remainder of the trials will not happen for the 2021 Olympics".

21-year-old Hopkins of Howth Yacht Club gave a similar reaction, "I really can’t understand the decision not to continue with the trials. I am utterly and completely devastated".

Both Hopkins and Keller were quick to take to social media to express their disappointment.

Both sailors say they were aiming to catch up in the next two trials after Murphy took the lead in the first of the three planned trials in a breezy world championships in Melbourne in February.

"Over the past few years, I’ve sacrificed a lot to fulfil my dream of becoming an Olympian. I am devastated to not even have the chance to try catch up to Annalise or Aoife over two more regattas, Keller says.

A third trialist, McMahon of Howth Yacht Club, current Gold Medal holder in the Laser Radial U17s World League after success in Canada joined the trial series at Christmas and told Afloat of the 'amazing opportunity to sail and train with the Olympic Radial Development Team'.

Read the full comments below

Team manager James O'Callaghan says "Annalise’s performance in the 2020 Worlds made her a clear favourite to win the scheduled trials. By nominating her now the Irish Sailing Board have ensured that team preparations can move focus to the Olympics rather than preparing for domestic trials”. He went on to say: “for sure this is tough on Aoife but she is still very young and can benefit massively from team training planned in Tokyo".

Murphy who returned to the Radial after failing to qualify for Tokyo in the 49erFX dinghy made an immediate impact on the Radial fleet, coming close to winning the Melbourne Worlds before finishing 12th after taking two penalties in final races.

Radial Reaction

Laser Radial sailor Aisling Keller Aisling Keller - surprised and upset that the remainder of the trials will not happen for the 2021 Olympics

Aisling Keller: “On Monday I got a courtesy phone call to be informed that The Olympic spot had been given to Annalise. I am very surprised and upset that the remainder of the trials will not happen for the 2021 Olympics. Over the past few years, I’ve sacrificed a lot to fulfil my dream of becoming an Olympian. I am devastated to not even have the chance to try catch up to Annalise or Aoife over two more regattas. I was planning on doing these regattas independently i.e not with Irish sailing, as I had resigned from Irish sailing in April due to my own lack of progress and my unhappiness with how I had been treated. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my supporters for everything over the past few years, especially everyone down in Lough Derg Yacht Club and my home town of Nenagh".

Laser Radial Sailor Aoife HopkinsAoife Hopkins - taking some time out for reflection and to reassess

Aoife Hopkins: “On Monday I was told that Irish Sailing did not intend to reschedule the remaining two trials events. I really can’t understand the decision not to continue with the trials. I am utterly and completely devastated. I am going to take some time out for reflection and to reassess. A huge amount of hard work, dedication, blood, sweat and tears went into this journey and I will use the next while to decide what direction my life will take. No matter what path I end up on, I will always be a sportswoman and an avid sailor, whether that be big boat or small! I would like to thank my family, friends and all my supporters both from within sport and the wider community, especially from my home town of Howth".

Eve McMahon - Eve McMahon - an honour and a privilege to be training alongside Annalise Murphy

Eve McMahon: “I had an amazing opportunity to sail and train with the Olympic Radial Development Team. Training alongside the Olympic medallist Annalise Murphy was both an honour and a privilege for me and gave me tremendous inspiration and experience which helped me enormously during the run up to the 1st Olympic trial - Senior World Championships in Melbourne last February. The trial selection process was interrupted by the Covid 19 world pandemic, which nobody could have foreseen. Annalise was a whisker away from winning that World Championship. I fully support her selection and wish her the very best of luck in her Tokyo campaign and have great confidence that she has what it takes to bring back the gold medal for Irish sailing.”

Published in Tokyo 2020

A new sailing video of youth Laser Radial star Eve McMahon gives a clear understanding of why the Howth Yacht Club ace was awarded the 2019 Irish Youth Sailor of the Year Award in February.

The video below prepared for HYC members also gives an interview with the rising star who is one of four sailors seeking the Irish Radial nomination for the Tokyo Olympic Regatta, a trial that sees her up against Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy.

McMahon had an outstanding 2019 season becoming Irish youth national Radial Champion at Royal Cork in May 2019 before going on to take the Under-17 World title in Kingston, Ontario in August, also impressively finishing 3rd in the overall competition.

She was certainly the in-form competitor at the World Championships in Melbourne in February this year, where she won the Gold Medal again in the U17 event. 

Advancing to senior competition at 15 years-of-age is one thing but Eve has taken this a step further with her involvement in the Olympic trials, a campaign that should prove invaluable for her long-term career prospects on the international sailing circuit, not least for her ambition to advance to Olympic competition level. Eve made the most of her Transition Year by linking up and training with the Irish Olympic squad, battling back from injury and showing a determination and grit that will undoubtedly stand to her in the future.

In a first for Irish Sailing, the 2021 trialists now feature McMahon siblings in two classes with Eve’s older brother Ewan competing in the men’s Laser class and with Olympic qualification in his sights.

Eve took some time out before the COVID-19 'lockdown' to post a video on youtube to tell HYC members of her year and her plans ahead in a specially recorded interview with her other brother Jamie. The interview is below.

Published in Youth Sailing

Ballyholme Yacht Club was to have been the venue in early July for the huge Laser Radial European Championships but the Iatest news from the EurILCA team is that due to the COVID-19 situation and expected restrictions on travel during July and possibly August (and to help allay fears of people having to travel abroad during those months), EurILCA and Ballyholme Yacht Club have come to the very difficult decision to cancel the event this summer. This will hopefully allow EurILCA enough time to try and reschedule it elsewhere possibly in October or November at a different “warmer” venue.

Although there is virtually year-round dinghy racing at Ballyholme, the weather is too unpredictable in the Autumn for a week-long championship and the days are too short to fit in the necessary number of races.
Ballyholme has said thank you to all who applied to race there this summer; “Hopefully you will get the chance to come here in the future for a different event, or just come here on holiday – we are always happy to welcome other sailors to our club”.

In a message from EurILCA they said: “Dear sailors, due to the situation with the COVID-19, it is with great regret that Ballyholme Yacht Club and EurILCA have decided to cancel the event”.

Ballyholme Yacht Club and its volunteers have been preparing for months for this event and EurILCA has thanked them for the effort, time and energy they put in the preparation. BYC are bidding for the same event in 2023 and the EurILCA is working to find a new location to hold this 2020 event later in the season - maybe October or November 2020.

In a message, this morning event chairman Mark Mackey said “Thank you to all our supporters and volunteers who have worked on this over the past 18 months to set up what should have been a fantastic event. And to those who had already volunteered to help during the weeks of the event -there are too many to single out by name – events like these can use well over 100 volunteers – but thank you".

Qualification events that lead to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are being greatly affected this week by the world Coronavirus crisis. The second of three Irish Olympic Laser Radial trials due to be sailed as part of the 2020 Trofeo Princesa Sofia on March 30 to April 4 in Mallorca has been cancelled.

As late as yesterday, the Spanish organiser was pressing ahead with the event, issuing a breathless press release advising "already several hundreds of sailors are training in the waters of Mallorca to prepare for this regatta".

24 hours later, however, it's the second major Olympic classes regatta to be cancelled this week after the Genoa World Cup was pulled on Wednesday.

“We deeply regret this situation but we must follow the restrictions requested by the Authorities to face this world health issue,” said the event statement.

As Afloat previously reported, held on the Spanish island of Mallorca, this event in the Mediterranean Sea is the traditional start of the European season for Olympic classes. 

The cancellation of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar also triggered the postponement of the 2020 470 Class World Championship that were to be held March 16-21 in Palma, Mallorca.

Published in Laser

Annalise Murphy (NYC) recovered from a U flag disqualification in Race 7 of the ILCA Laser Radial World Championship in Melbourne to score second-place finishes in Races eight and nine to lie eighth overall.

In doing so she widened the Olympic selection gap on her nearest rival Aoife Hopkins (HYC) who now lies 45th overall. Other Irish contenders, Aisling Keller (LDYC) and Eve McMahon (HYC) are in eighth and 23rd places respectively in the silver fleet.

More moderate winds were still shifty and many leading contenders had a high score today. Defending champion Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN), now third overall commented that “It was a tough day, the shifts were hard to predict, one mistake and you get punished.”

With one more drop race to come, Murphy can still progress up the leaderboard but is unlikely to catch her fellow Rio medallist, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) who has a 24 point lead.

Three races are scheduled for tomorrow, with moderate to fresh southwesterly winds forecast.

Full results are here

Published in National YC
Page 1 of 10

Irish Olympic Sailing Team

Ireland has a proud representation in sailing at the Olympics dating back to 1948. Today there is a modern governing structure surrounding the selection of sailors the Olympic Regatta

Irish Olympic Sailing FAQs

Ireland’s representation in sailing at the Olympics dates back to 1948, when a team consisting of Jimmy Mooney (Firefly), Alf Delany and Hugh Allen (Swallow) competed in that year’s Summer Games in London (sailing off Torquay). Except for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Ireland has sent at least one sailor to every Summer Games since then.

  • 1948 – London (Torquay) — Firefly: Jimmy Mooney; Swallow: Alf Delany, Hugh Allen
  • 1952 – Helsinki — Finn: Alf Delany * 1956 – Melbourne — Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1960 – Rome — Flying Dutchman: Johnny Hooper, Peter Gray; Dragon: Jimmy Mooney, David Ryder, Robin Benson; Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1964 – Tokyo — Dragon: Eddie Kelliher, Harry Maguire, Rob Dalton; Finn: Johnny Hooper 
  • 1972 – Munich (Kiel) — Tempest: David Wilkins, Sean Whitaker; Dragon: Robin Hennessy, Harry Byrne, Owen Delany; Finn: Kevin McLaverty; Flying Dutchman: Harold Cudmore, Richard O’Shea
  • 1976 – Montreal (Kingston) — 470: Robert Dix, Peter Dix; Flying Dutchman: Barry O’Neill, Jamie Wilkinson; Tempest: David Wilkins, Derek Jago
  • 1980 – Moscow (Tallinn) — Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson (Silver medalists) * 1984 – Los Angeles — Finn: Bill O’Hara
  • 1988 – Seoul (Pusan) — Finn: Bill O’Hara; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; 470 (Women): Cathy MacAleavy, Aisling Byrne
  • 1992 – Barcelona — Europe: Denise Lyttle; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; Star: Mark Mansfield, Tom McWilliam
  • 1996 – Atlanta (Savannah) — Laser: Mark Lyttle; Europe: Aisling Bowman (Byrne); Finn: John Driscoll; Star: Mark Mansfield, David Burrows; 470 (Women): Denise Lyttle, Louise Cole; Soling: Marshall King, Dan O’Grady, Garrett Connolly
  • 2000 – Sydney — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, David O'Brien
  • 2004 – Athens — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, Killian Collins; 49er: Tom Fitzpatrick, Fraser Brown; 470: Gerald Owens, Ross Killian; Laser: Rory Fitzpatrick
  • 2008 – Beijing (Qingdao) — Star: Peter O’Leary, Stephen Milne; Finn: Tim Goodbody; Laser Radial: Ciara Peelo; 470: Gerald Owens, Phil Lawton
  • 2012 – London (Weymouth) — Star: Peter O’Leary, David Burrows; 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy; Laser: James Espey; 470: Gerald Owens, Scott Flanigan
  • 2016 – Rio — Laser Radial (Women): Annalise Murphy (Silver medalist); 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; 49erFX: Andrea Brewster, Saskia Tidey; Laser: Finn Lynch; Paralympic Sonar: John Twomey, Ian Costello & Austin O’Carroll

Ireland has won two Olympics medals in sailing events, both silver: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman at Moscow 1980, and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial at Rio 2016.

The current team, as of December 2020, consists of Laser sailors Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon, 49er pairs Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, and Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson, as well as Laser Radial sailors Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins.

Irish Sailing is the National Governing Body for sailing in Ireland.

Irish Sailing’s Performance division is responsible for selecting and nurturing Olympic contenders as part of its Performance Pathway.

The Performance Pathway is Irish Sailing’s Olympic talent pipeline. The Performance Pathway counts over 70 sailors from 11 years up in its programme.The Performance Pathway is made up of Junior, Youth, Academy, Development and Olympic squads. It provides young, talented and ambitious Irish sailors with opportunities to move up through the ranks from an early age. With up to 100 young athletes training with the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway, every aspect of their performance is planned and closely monitored while strong relationships are simultaneously built with the sailors and their families

Rory Fitzpatrick is the head coach of Irish Sailing Performance. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and was an Athens 2004 Olympian in the Laser class.

The Performance Director of Irish Sailing is James O’Callaghan. Since 2006 James has been responsible for the development and delivery of athlete-focused, coach-led, performance-measured programmes across the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway. A Business & Economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he is a Level 3 Qualified Coach and Level 2 Coach Tutor. He has coached at five Olympic Games and numerous European and World Championship events across multiple Olympic classes. He is also a member of the Irish Sailing Foundation board.

Annalise Murphy is by far and away the biggest Irish sailing star. Her fourth in London 2012 when she came so agonisingly close to a bronze medal followed by her superb silver medal performance four years later at Rio won the hearts of Ireland. Murphy is aiming to go one better in Tokyo 2021. 

Under head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the coaching staff consists of Laser Radial Academy coach Sean Evans, Olympic Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar and 49er team coach Matt McGovern.

The Irish Government provides funding to Irish Sailing. These funds are exclusively for the benefit of the Performance Pathway. However, this falls short of the amount required to fund the Performance Pathway in order to allow Ireland compete at the highest level. As a result the Performance Pathway programme currently receives around €850,000 per annum from Sport Ireland and €150,000 from sponsorship. A further €2 million per annum is needed to have a major impact at the highest level. The Irish Sailing Foundation was established to bridge the financial gap through securing philanthropic donations, corporate giving and sponsorship.

The vision of the Irish Sailing Foundation is to generate the required financial resources for Ireland to scale-up and execute its world-class sailing programme. Irish Sailing works tirelessly to promote sailing in Ireland and abroad and has been successful in securing funding of 1 million euro from Sport Ireland. However, to compete on a par with other nations, a further €2 million is required annually to realise the ambitions of our talented sailors. For this reason, the Irish Sailing Foundation was formed to seek philanthropic donations. Led by a Board of Directors and Head of Development Kathryn Grace, the foundation lads a campaign to bridge the financial gap to provide the Performance Pathway with the funds necessary to increase coaching hours, upgrade equipment and provide world class sport science support to a greater number of high-potential Irish sailors.

The Senior and Academy teams of the Performance Pathway are supported with the provision of a coach, vehicle, coach boat and boats. Even with this level of subsidy there is still a large financial burden on individual families due to travel costs, entry fees and accommodation. There are often compromises made on the amount of days a coach can be hired for and on many occasions it is necessary to opt out of major competitions outside Europe due to cost. Money raised by the Irish Sailing Foundation will go towards increased quality coaching time, world-class equipment, and subsiding entry fees and travel-related costs. It also goes towards broadening the base of talented sailors that can consider campaigning by removing financial hurdles, and the Performance HQ in Dublin to increase efficiency and reduce logistical issues.

The ethos of the Performance Pathway is progression. At each stage international performance benchmarks are utilised to ensure the sailors are meeting expectations set. The size of a sailor will generally dictate which boat they sail. The classes selected on the pathway have been identified as the best feeder classes for progression. Currently the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway consists of the following groups: * Pathway (U15) Optimist and Topper * Youth Academy (U19) Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 420 * Development Academy (U23) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX * Team IRL (direct-funded athletes) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX

The Irish Sailing performance director produces a detailed annual budget for the programme which is presented to Sport Ireland, Irish Sailing and the Foundation for detailed discussion and analysis of the programme, where each item of expenditure is reviewed and approved. Each year, the performance director drafts a Performance Plan and Budget designed to meet the objectives of Irish Performance Sailing based on an annual review of the Pathway Programmes from Junior to Olympic level. The plan is then presented to the Olympic Steering Group (OSG) where it is independently assessed and the budget is agreed. The OSG closely monitors the delivery of the plan ensuring it meets the agreed strategy, is within budget and in line with operational plans. The performance director communicates on an ongoing basis with the OSG throughout the year, reporting formally on a quarterly basis.

Due to the specialised nature of Performance Sport, Irish Sailing established an expert sub-committee which is referred to as the Olympic Steering Group (OSG). The OSG is chaired by Patrick Coveney and its objective is centred around winning Olympic medals so it oversees the delivery of the Irish Sailing’s Performance plan.

At Junior level (U15) sailors learn not only to be a sailor but also an athlete. They develop the discipline required to keep a training log while undertaking fitness programmes, attending coaching sessions and travelling to competitions. During the winter Regional Squads take place and then in spring the National Squads are selected for Summer Competitions. As sailors move into Youth level (U19) there is an exhaustive selection matrix used when considering a sailor for entry into the Performance Academy. Completion of club training programmes, attendance at the performance seminars, physical suitability and also progress at Junior and Youth competitions are assessed and reviewed. Once invited in to the Performance Academy, sailors are given a six-month trial before a final decision is made on their selection. Sailors in the Academy are very closely monitored and engage in a very well planned out sailing, training and competition programme. There are also defined international benchmarks which these sailors are required to meet by a certain age. Biannual reviews are conducted transparently with the sailors so they know exactly where they are performing well and they are made aware of where they may need to improve before the next review.

©Afloat 2020

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