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Displaying items by tag: Royal Cork Yacht Club

Tonight is a big night for the Royal Cork at Crosshaven, where the Rear Admiral for Keelboats is looking forward to firing the starting gun again this evening.

It's not for racing, but for keelboat training, as a prelude to getting back to the racing mode.

More boats are being launched daily in Cork Harbour as the pent-up demand for a return to competition is being released.

"We are glad to be getting back on the water. It will be exciting to blow the start gun for training on Thursday night and even better to sound the racing start in June," says Daragh Connolly, Keelboats Rear Admiral, at the RCYC as preparations are finalised for getting yachts into racing mode again.

Daragh Connolly, RCYC Keelboats Rear AdmiralDaragh Connolly, Keelboats Rear Admiral at Royal Cork Yacht Club

Racing itself won't resume until after June 7, so the training sessions will be used to get racers prepared and up to speed for events like the Sovereigns Cup and the resumption of evening cruiser racing next month.

"The situation is improving, but we are clearly not out of the woods yet," club Admiral Colin Morehead has told members, announcing that facilities are gradually re-opening.

As well as the plan for keelboats, other adult sailors, including National 18s and Lasers, are being told by their Class Captains about restarting racing.

Youth sailors are already back on the water and training in pods of 15.

Daragh Connolly is my guest on this week's Afloat Podcast (below), where he outlined the plans for a return to racing and how club members were welcoming it.

Published in Tom MacSweeney

Clubs are hoping to get young sailors back into activity with the easing of restrictions on training. However, as in all sports, there is some concern about the effects of the lengthy restrictions on youth's interest in sport.

Principal Coach at the Royal Cork in Crosshaven, Ben Fusco, says: "We are looking forward to the return to Junior Coaching on the May weekend. Preparations are well underway to get all of our junior and youth sailors back on the water and shaking off the cobwebs of an extended off-season. We have a robust training plan in place for each of the Classes."

With the easing of restrictions for junior training, Monkstown Bay SC in Cork Harbour says that it will be starting its Sunday morning coaching sessions for Optimists. It has also opened applications for this year's sailing courses. 

Applications will close at the end of May, the club says.

Published in Cork Harbour

The Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour is buying a J24 keelboat to widen its fleet of club boats.

Funding for this is coming from the sale of two of its existing fleet of four 1720 sportsboats.

"To consolidate the club fleet and bring a broader offering, two of the four club 1720s have been sold back into the fleet," according to the club. "The remaining two boats are currently being revamped and made ready for the season ahead.

"With the proceeds, a deal is complete on a J24 and, once Covid restrictions allow, the boat will be brought to the club, allowing for a broader offering of boats for members both young and old."

Published in J24
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Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour has expressed disappointment that there has not been more clarity on when sailing can see a full return to the water following yesterday's Government announcement on the easing of lockdown restrictions.

RCYC Admiral Colin Morehead told Afloat “I was disappointed that we did not receive clarity on when we can see a full return to our sport".

Morehead said sailing, powerboating and windsurfing are recognised as inherently low-risk activities with regard to infection or transmission of Covid-19 as they are carried out in an open and unsheltered environment.

As Afloat reported earlier, there was a little of concrete in the easing of restrictions to allow regatta organisers to make decisions for summer events.

The Government has announced the phased easing of some Covid-19 restrictions during the month of April.

RCYC Admiral Colin MoreheadRCYC Admiral Colin Morehead

Royal Cork Yacht Club was forced to cancel a range of events in 2020 as part of its tricentenary celebrations, including its internationally famous Cork Week Regatta in Crosshaven.

"We continue to plan for a full schedule of events across the summer albeit yesterday’s lack of clarity is creating significant challenges from a planning perspective", Morehead said.

"I am delighted to see the return of sail training for our Junior Sailors in pods from April 26th and will, of course, continue to promote the support of, and compliance with, whatever Covid19 restrictions are outlined by the Government, Health Authorities and Irish Sailing to ensure we return to full on the water activities for all our members, young and old as quickly as possible.”

The Government says it plans to continue this cautious approach, gradually easing restrictions, while a substantial level of the population is vaccinated during April, May and June, after which, it should be safe to reopen society more widely.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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The start of the sailing season with two events in March in Cork Harbour has been set back.

Two scheduled events have had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, both by the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

The first of these is the popular and very well-supported PY 1000 All-In Dinghy Race, which takes its name from the value of the cash prize.

Also cancelled is the keelboat March League for cruisers.

Published in Royal Cork YC

More than 120 crews from over 15 nations are expected in Cork Harbour at the Royal Cork Yacht Club when the 2022 5O5 World Championship is hosted in Crosshaven from 1st -13th August 2022.

This will be the fourth time the club will have hosted the 505 World Championships, having welcomed visiting crews previously in 1959, 1964 and 1982. 

Founded in 1720, the Royal Cork Yacht Club is the oldest yacht club in the world and the 505 World Championships will form part of the club’s continued Tricentenary celebrations.

The 505 has been established and racing around the world for over 60 years. However, combined with that rich history and past success the Class continues to surprise and remains one of the most successful two-person sailing choice in the world.

The 2022 505 World Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club logo

Once one of the most popular dinghy classes in Ireland, there was a gathering of 505 sailors at the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay in 2019 where the fiftieth anniversary of the staging of the European Championships was remembered.

The class is still raced at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour both on a one design and PY basis.

Home of the 505 Worlds - the picturesque village of Crosshaven in Cork is home to the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world Photo: Bob Bateman

Royal Cork says next year's event is likely to draw the world’s top sailors and past Olympians such as Howie Hamlin (Multiple World Champion in 18ft skiffs, 14 ft skiffs, 5o5s), Mike Martin and Adam Lowry (US Yachtsmen Of The Year 2020), Boris Herrmann (5th 2020/2021 Vendee Globe) and Ian Pinnell (multiple dinghy World Champion). 

Local 505 dinghy racing in Cork Harbour(Above and below) Local 505 dinghy racing in Cork Harbour Photos: Bob Bateman

Local 505 dinghy racing in Cork Harbour

Other notable events in Royal Cork's celebrations include the hosting of the Topper World Championships in July 2021 and the biennial, world-renowned, Cork Week which will take place in July 2022. Colin Morehead, Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, commented, “we are proud that such a prestigious regatta will return to Cork. Our priority is to make this an unforgettable regatta for the sailors and fans, leaving a lasting legacy on dinghy sailing in the club and country.”

The 60-year-old design of the 505 has proven to be timeless, with continued innovation and use of the most modern materials ensuring the 505 class remains one of the best dinghy racing fleets in the world. Image courtesy of 505 International Class/Christophe Favreau

Alex Barry, Event Chairman and 505 sailorAlex Barry, Event Chairman and 505 sailor

Alex Barry, Event Chairman and 505 sailor, commented, “it’s a privilege for us to be bringing the world’s best sailors to Cork. The event is already generating interest throughout the Irish sailing scene and the local fleet is beginning to build. With many members having sailed in the previous editions of the event in Cork, it’s a great opportunity for sailors young and old to come to Cork and be involved. The 1982 event was the springboard for our own Mark Mansfield who went on to represent Ireland four times in the Olympics, this event will inspire sailors of all abilities throughout the country.”

Published in Royal Cork YC

The oldest yacht club in the world has noted an increase of interest amongst members in motorboating.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven held a webinar in response to the interest of members in using motorboats to access areas of Cork Harbour which would not be accessible to keelboats. Seventy members took part and the webinar recording has since been viewed on YouTube by 350 people.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven held a popular webinar on powerboatingThe Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven held a popular webinar on powerboating in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

It was organised by Alex Barry, the club's Chairman of the Membership and Events sub-committee: "We pulled together a list of different spots in Cork Harbour which could be accessed by powerboats. There was good interest. With the impact of Covid and holidays being limited, I think people have an interest in exploring places a bit closer to home and there are areas of the harbour, unique spots that they may not have been to before. I was surprised by some that were identified."

The unmistakable silhouette of Belvelly Bridge. In order to circumnavigate the Great Island of Cobh, you need to pass under this railway bridge. Even small craft find carrying a pole useful as it has got very shallow at the eastern side. Photo: Bob BatemanThe unmistakable silhouette of Belvelly Bridge. In order to circumnavigate the Great Island of Cobh, you need to pass under the bridge. Even small craft find carrying a pole useful as it has got very shallow at the eastern side. Photo: Bob Bateman

The webinar audience was mixed, with members who have cruising yachts, motorboats, powerboats, all interested in more usage of their boats with a family and social emphasis.

Enjoying Cork Harbour in an Aquador motorboatEnjoying Cork Harbour in an Aquador motorboat Photo: Bob Bateman

"The session was aimed more towards the 20-foot and under powerboats which could access these smaller nooks and crannies that they may not have previously considered, but it generated wider interest."

RIBs are a popular motorboat type in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob BatemanRIBs are a popular motorboat type in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

Members who used powers boats of this size in support of dinghy events and coaching their children into sailing were interested, with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, in finding extra usage for family activity.

Royal Cork Admiral Colin Morehead's (helming) Boston Whaler runabout that he uses to travel across Cork Harbour from Whitepoint (near Cobh) to the club at Crosshaven Photo: Bob BatemanRoyal Cork Admiral Colin Morehead's (helming) Boston Whaler runabout that he uses to travel across Cork Harbour from Whitepoint (near Cobh) to the club at Crosshaven Photo: Bob Bateman

"It's all about getting on the water, for leisure and relaxation," said Alex."It is definitely not a replacement for sailing or yachts, but adding to the enjoyment of the water. It is something to encourage. For example being able to get around Great island, where there are bridges to negotiate is a particular example.

Jeanneau Leader motorboat cruises past Cobh in Cork HarbourA Jeanneau Leader motorboat cruises past Cobh in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

"We have discussed in committee how we can provide more activities for members in these times. There is a segment of the membership with a common interest in motorboats and powerboats and that is something a club can pull together to provide a service for them. It's an addition to sailing, not a replacement. As we go through the phases of Covid restrictions being lifted, this is a good opportunity to do a bit more exploring and enjoy what we have in Cork Harbour."

Former RCYC Admiral Anthony O'Leary on Race Officer duty in his Nelson motorboatFormer RCYC Admiral Anthony O'Leary on Race Officer duty in his Nelson motorboat Photo: Bob Bateman

Sparetime, the Beneteau trawler yacht of former Royal Cork Admiral Peter CrowleySparetime, the Beneteau trawler yacht of former Royal Cork Admiral Peter Crowley Photo: Bob Bateman

On this week's Podcast, I asked Alex Barry how the RCYC had begun this initiative.

Listen to the Podcast here.

Published in Tom MacSweeney

Colin Morehead, Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, which celebrated its 300th birthday last year, has been named as Cork Person of the Month for January 2021.

At the Cork Harbour club's 300th AGM, Colin Morehead was elected the 42nd Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, many of the Club’s planned 300 birthday celebrations had to be cancelled last year. Morehead has been part of the Royal Cork all of his life, following in the footsteps of generations of his family before him. Upon receiving the title of Admiral, Colin outlined his wish to develop a five-year plan for the club, along with the development of a new sustainability plan for the club which underpins all of the club’s activities. As Admiral, Colin’s passion and dedication to the club has become ever more prominent, as he has worked to successfully maintain and grow the institution that is the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Additionally, Morehead has ambitions to secure an additional European or World Championship event to be run at the club by 2023.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) is based in Crosshaven, Cork, and is the world's oldest yacht club, founded in 1720. The Royal Cork Yacht Club is one of the World’s leading Yacht Clubs and is in the forefront of all branches of sailing activity. The members of the RCYC are the organisers of the biennial Cork Week, widely regarded as Europe’s premier sailing event. The club has hosted many National, European & World Championships, putting Cork on the map for its sailing prowess. Its members compete at the highest level in all branches of sailing, and the club has a number of World, Olympic, Continental and national sailors among its membership.

Speaking on his success Admiral Colin Morehead said, “To be named as Cork Person of the Month is an honour. Having been involved with the Royal Cork Yacht Club all my life it is truly rewarding to receive this accolade. But nothing that I have done at the club could have been achieved without the support and dedication of the staff and the club's incredible committee’s and volunteers. Volunteers give of their time and services freely and they are held with the utmost regard at all times by all club members.”

Awards organiser Manus O’Callaghan said, “The Royal Cork Yacht Club has always been a place of enormous importance for Cork sailing enthusiasts. With the committed and passionate Colin Morehead as Admiral, the club will no doubt go from strength to strength, over the next 300 years. RCYC, as the oldest yacht club in the world in one of the great harbours of the world, is something all Cork can be proud of. "

Colin Morehead, who was nominated for this award by Barry and Carmel Woods and others, name will now go forward for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year, with the other Persons of the Month chosen in 2021.

Published in Royal Cork YC

Less than a week after Irish Sailing said it was 'proceeding as planned' with its Youth Sailing Nationals event in April at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the national governing body announced yesterday it was shelving its Easter date for Cork Harbour and postponing the event due to ongoing COVID restrictions.

Such are the times we live in that the 2021 sailing fixture list is now subject to change. Racing for 29ers, 420s, Toppers, Laser 4.7, and Laser Radial will now be held at Royal Cork from 28-31 October.

Irish Sailing coach Sean Evans said “We could see during the month that the numbers weren’t coming down quickly enough and that Level 5 restrictions would be likely to continue. That’s why we had already planned in an alternative October date. Now that the longer restrictions are confirmed, we’re putting this new plan in place".

Irish Optimist Trials

Meanwhile, the Irish Optimist Trials, that normally formed part of the Youth Nationals regatta, will race separately in May at the Royal St. George Yacht Club as Afloat reported here. While COVID lockdown has restricted plans for pre-trials training, coach Peter Fagan has been updating on the Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group 'DOGs' programme here.

The Irish youth sailing nationals move follows a similar move in the UK where the RYA has moved its Easter Youth Nationals at Plymouth to August.

Published in Youth Sailing

It is time to look at renewing club memberships. With lockdown continuing and no certainty about when the country will "re-open", renewals are easy to forget. But clubs need them and many saw a reduction and slowness in paying those 'dues' last year. Understandable, with so much pressure and uncertainty around, but our clubs are the heart of our sport and need support and financial assurance.

They also need volunteers, and the importance of volunteerism has been highlighted by the Admiral of the world's oldest yacht club, the Royal Cork at Crosshaven.

Colin Morehead, an active member of that club for over 45 years, has reflected on the past year when the RCYC had to cancel what was intended to be a high profile, international celebration of its 300-year history.

"What a year," he says in a message to members before the club's annual general meeting next month. "Certainly not the one that was planned. However, throughout our three hundred year history, we have encountered and overcome many challenges."

He says that this has been achieved "with the collective co-operation of an incredible membership."

Gifts for members from the Royal Cork Yacht ClubGifts for members from the Royal Cork Yacht Club

"Volunteerism is at the heart of our club, and I call on each and every member to support the club in demonstrating the welcome comradery and delivery of world-class events for which we are so well-known."

rcyc calendarRoyal Cork Yacht Club's 2021 calendar with no fixtures

The Admiral has announced the club's intention "to hold some of the postponed Cork300 events "when safe to do so."

And, the message is accompanied by an unusual gift to members, about which you can hear more in my Podcast.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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Page 1 of 47

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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