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Displaying items by tag: Royal St George Yacht Club

Following the AGM at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour earlier this week, a new team of flag-officers led by Commodore Richard O’Connor is preparing for a busy season once Covid restrictions are eased.

Like many sporting bodies, the Dun Laoghaire club has faced a potentially severe impact due to the pandemic but there were also signs for optimism reported as well.

The club has managed to sustain its 1,500-strong membership base and the virtual AGM held via Zoom heard that a combination of loyalty by members and staff alike have left the club in a stable position and ready for the 2021 season.

In addition to the new Commodore, Mark Hennessy was elected Vice-Commodore, Kate Fogarty as Rear Commodore (Sailing) and Derek Ryan continues as Rear-Commodore (Social). Robbie Walker and Brian D’Arcy were also appointed to the club’s operational board.

The Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Tributes to Outgoing Commodore Peter Bowring

Paying tribute to outgoing Commodore Peter Bowring, Richard O'Connor said: "Peter Bowring has brought our club through, especially turbulent times to a point of resilience. Covid has seen people rediscover Dublin Bay's potential for leisure and interest in membership of our club is up, thanks to Peter's guidance and efforts to keep Sailing and watersports our priority."

Depending on final guidance from Government and Irish Sailing, the club has prepared plans to resume training, coaching and racing activities and anticipates Junior sailing courses for the Summer in accordance with guidelines.

The club will also relaunch its outdoor Bar & Catering services when permitted and looks forward to resuming its full range of social 'clubs within a club' later in the year when pandemic counter-measures are eventually eased.

Published in RStGYC

There was a turnout of 181 sailors for Royal St George Yacht Club's North Sails 'Winning Races' In Dublin Bay' last Wednesday. 

As Afloat reported previously, The top tips session by North Sails' Maurice O'Connell was co-hosted by the Dun Laoghaire club's rear commodore, Mark Hennessy.

It was a successful evening, full of inside information about competing and winning on the capital's waters.

The night was very educational with speed tips (see video below) and there was plenty of humour thrown in, not only from Prof and Mark Hennessey but also from the audience who were able to ask questions and comments via an online chat box.

We understand during these difficult times how important interaction with others is, we feel as a club this is a great way to have that safely. We at the RSGYC look forward to welcoming Prof in the future and thank him again.

The club looks forward to welcoming future speakers over the coming weeks to its online webinars.

Published in RStGYC

The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour presents a 'Winning Races In Dublin Bay'; a Top Tips From North Sails Ireland’s Maurice O'Connell on Wednesday, February 24th.

“Prof” from North Sails Ireland never misses a DBSC race with his customers unless he is out of the country. Over the years he has raced in hundreds of DBSC races in everything from the biggest IRC cruiser 0 yachts, to the smaller one-designs. He has put together his “10 Top Tips for Racing in Dublin Bay” which he will share with RSGYC members.

Join the “Prof” on Wednesday, February 24th at 19:30 on Zoom for an engaging talk based on racing, and most importantly, winning in Dublin Bay.

Click here to register for this event

Published in RStGYC

The Royal St. George Yacht Club Laser dinghy fleet hit the headlines at the weekend as the class also prepares to release a new video to promote solo sailing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

2020 was a record season for the Dublin Bay Laser Class, and by all accounts, they’re expecting an even bigger season in 2021.

While continuous sailing has been difficult for all fleets since the start of the pandemic, the single-handed Laser fleet has fared better than most, and as a result, its popularity has surged.

As Afloat reported previously, for the 2020 Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) summer series, the Laser had the highest number of entries compared with any other fleet, with over 90 boats registered. Entries were split across the Standard, Radial and 4.7 rigs with both adult and junior sailors taking part. 

Now the fleet, under class captain Brendan Hughes, is on the promotional trail with a new Royal St. George YC video for the class ready expected for release shortly.

80 Laser sailors are involved at the RStYGYC, according to Hughes, where all year round sailing is on offer. Club boats are also available to rent. 

The video also features interviews with youth sailors Alannah Coakley, Oisin Hughes and the junior class captain at the club, Robbie Walker.

Meanwhile, Irish Times video journalist Enda O'Dowd featured the class prominently at the weekend in a feature around sailing during Covid here but we're not entirely sure how memberships of sailing clubs have "almost doubled" over the last year as claimed but of the rise and rise of the Laser, there is no doubt.

Published in RStGYC

Former Optimist dinghy champion Peter Fagan is coaching the 'Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group' (DOGs) for May's Irish trials hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club and here Fagan outlines how he aims to prepare the sailors for the demands of competing at the Dublin Bay Trials

The Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group is a training collaboration between the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire providing a high-performance programme for sailors with the annual Optimist Trials being the core goal. The programme has five experienced coaches, Clare Gorman, Nicola Ferguson, Sarah Fogarty, Tom Higgins and myself. We currently have 27 sailors in the programme split into four groups ranging from 10-15 years old. Unfortunately, due to the increase in Covid-19 restrictions, the programme has been put on hold until further ease in restrictions.

Having been given the opportunity to be the head coach for the 'DOGs', I was eager to pass on the knowledge that I gained from competitive sailing both in the Optimist and Laser class to the next generation of sailors. Now that the Royal St George Yacht Club, my home club and where I previously won the Optimist Trials back in 2014, has been announced as the host for the 2021 Trials, I am definitely very excited! I have no doubt that the Royal St. George will put on a fantastic event for the sailors. Dun Laoghaire always offers a true test of a sailor's skills, with conditions ranging from shifty westerly winds with choppy waves or an easterly with consistent breeze and swell.

Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group in training Photo: Peter FaganDun Laoghaire Optimist Group in training before lockdown Photo: Peter Fagan

The Optimist Trials is the most unique event of the calendar due to two main factors.

Firstly, the event traditionally has 13 scheduled races over the course of 5 days with only two discards in the series. This setup rewards the sailor who sails consistently and has a 'never give up' attitude. This year, however, there is a change to the event's usual setup where the number of days racing has been reduced to three, running over the course of the May bank-holiday weekend.

Secondly, sailors aren't just competing for silverware but a chance to qualify for a team to represent Ireland on an international stage such as the Optimist World and European Championships. This gives the event that added bit of pressure and a sailor that can stay composed over the event will have a great advantage to the rest of the fleet.

The Dun Laoghaire Optimist programme aims to prepare the sailor for the demands of competing at Trials. The programme is broken into multiple training blocks ranging from boat handling skills to practising racing situations. We recently had a talk from Finn Lynch who shared his experience with the sailors of what constitutes a successful mindset during a competition. Most importantly, having fun is fundamental to the programme where we've had paddle races and Christmas celebrations.

Operating under Covid-19 restrictions was challenging and forced us to adapt the programme by switching a lot of learning to online. We began to use Google Classroom for posting recaps and videos from training sessions, Google Forms to survey the sailor's performance at each session and lastly, Zoom calls for debriefs online at the end of each days sailing.

The programme wouldn't have been able to run successfully without the help of the programme organisers, parent volunteers, coach Pieter Van Den Bossche and the guidance of Ronan Adams, sailing manager at the Royal St George Yacht Club. I am certainly looking forward to coaching over the season ahead where fingers crossed competition will be re-introduced after a year of its near absence.

Optimist trainingUnfortunately, due to the increase in Covid-19 restrictions, the DOGs programme has been put on hold until further ease in restrictions. Photo: Paddy Madigan

Published in RStGYC

At one stage last Autumn, it looked for a week or two as though Irish venues might be hosting no less than five World Championships for dinghy classes during the three week period between the July 24th and August 14th 2021. But since then, as the only certainty in this rolling pandemic has proven to be uncertainty itself, two events have been shunted on into 2022.

However, the biggest 2021 Worlds of all in Ireland - the Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds at the Royal St George YC and the National Yacht Club from 7th to August 14th – has this week confirmed that the Organising Committee chaired by Ian Simington is pressing on with planning in the assumption that the event is going to take place. Entries will open at the end of the first week of February.

Being a typical Laser mega-event, most entries will be invitation-only on a national qualification basis. But as these regattas are planned on the expectation of accommodating between 300 and 400 boats, there's a good chance that extra places will be available for keen young Irish sailors determined to take part if at all possible, and the word is that already there's no lack of names wishing to be considered. 

Laser 4.7s enjoying the kind of weather and racing that is planned for Dublin Bay in August……..Laser 4.7s enjoying the kind of weather and racing that is planned for Dublin Bay in August…

In an event of this stature and magnitude, the behind-the-scenes work is almost immeasurable, with the fact of it being in Ireland providing unique difficulties in the countdown period. While we go along with enthusiasm in support of the view that Ireland is a small island at the centre of the world, there's no doubt that in trying to see our way towards and through the post-pandemic revival of international sailing events here, our glorious island status poses extra problems.

For sure, major offshore racing events avoid many of these through the simple fact that the boats get here on their own, and if needs be can take part – provided they're certified and scrutineered - without any direct inter-personal shoreside contact whatever. However, with the more popular dinghy classes, not only is there the need for cross-channel ferry access and subsequent road-trailering to the venue, but there's the usual attractive element of it being a family venture, with two or even three family-campaigned boats being supported by a veritable tribe of related supporters, who see the big championship as the focus of a family holiday.

This is one of the reasons why two dinghy World Championships planned for Ireland in 2020 – for the GP14s and the Fireballs - were cancelled so promptly. The feeling among the class associations was that if it couldn't be a lovely big community party in addition to being a white-hot sailing competition, then it really wasn't worth thinking about 2020 at all, and the best thing was to start planning towards 2021 immediately.

Mirror Championship at Sligo, venue for the Worlds in August 2021 Mirror Championship at Sligo, venue for the Worlds in August 2021  

Thus there was a crazy if brief period back in the Autumn when the most extreme optimists were thinking that Ireland might be hosting no less than five World Championships in 2021. In terms of boat numbers, the biggest – long since set in the calendar - was almost inevitably going to be these Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds at the Royal St George YC and National YC in Dun Laoghaire, and equally long term was the Mirror Worlds at Sligo from August 2nd to 8th.

But then with the GP14 Worlds 2020 at Skerries dropped for 2020's shutdown yet with 2021 still held out as probable, and with the same approach for the Fireball Worlds 2020 at Howth, we'd the possible 2021 Worlds listings up to five, as in June 2020 the Toppers had booked in their big one for the Royal Cork Yacht Club from July 24th to 30th 2021.

The family holiday nature of these five major events was emphasised by their timing right in the middle of the main holiday season, for with the GPs and Fireballs talking in terms of late July and early August, we were going to get a hectic mosaic of World Championships starting with the Toppers in Cork and the GP14s at Skerries around July 24th, and concluding with the last Laser 4.7 races at RStGYC in Dublin Bay on August 14th.

If this off-the-wall "Five Worlds in Three Weeks" scenario had come to pass, one could imagine that personnel resources of qualified race officials might have been severely stretched. But it very quickly did indeed prove to be off-the-wall, as the GP 14 International Association continued to monitor the pandemic situation, and then in tandem with the Irish Association and Skerries Sailing Club, they moved their entire circus on another year to 2022. As for the Fireball Association, they have now decided to skip 2021 as they had to skip 2020, and their next worlds in 2022 will be in Australia at Geelong from 7th to February 18th, which is – when you think of it – simply a slight extension of 2021 by other means.

Toppers in action on Belfast Lough. If their 2021 programme goes according to plan, they'll be holding the Worlds at Crosshaven in late July, followed a few days later by the UK Open Nationals at Ballyholme.Toppers in action on Belfast Lough. If their 2021 programme goes according to plan, they'll be holding the Worlds at Crosshaven in late July, followed a few days later by the UK Open Nationals at Ballyholme.

Meanwhile, the Toppers are hoping to shape up with an all-Ireland caravanserai, as their Worlds at Crosshaven will be closely succeeded by the UK Nationals at Ballyholme. We can only guess at what the logistical permutations might be like in getting across what is now an EU border in a hopefully post-pandemic situation. But meanwhile, across in Dun Laoghaire, the big Laser event will be emerging rock-like from seas which - for many of us - are at the moment decidedly confused.

Certainly, there's quite head of steam building up, as the 2020 Laser 4.7 Worlds at Arco on Lake Garda, having initially been postponed, were ultimately cancelled, so as a form indicator we have to go back to Canada in 2019, and the huge Laser regatta at Kingston, Ontario.

That was when the main Irish impact was in the Laser Radials, with Eve McMahon taking the Bronze, but in the Laser 4.7s it was either the Mediterranean or Eastern Europe setting the pace, with Niccolo Nordera from Italy winning from Roko Stepanovic of Croatia, with Slovenia's Gasper Strahnovik getting third, while the Girls Fleet was won by Anja von Allmen from Switzerland, with Lara Himmes of Spain second and Sara Savelli of Italy third.

As we lost the 2020 Irish Laser Championship in August's short season through storm conditions, the most recent Laser 4.7 results we have in Ireland are from 2019, when Cillian Foster of Royal Cork won the class in the Irish Youth Pathway Nationals from Alana Coakley of Royal St George, with Emily Riordan (RStGYC) third, and two National YC helms - Hugh O'Connor and Conor Gorman - in fourth and fifth.

façade which the 1838-founded Royal St George YC presents to the town of Dun Laoghaire…Front of house….this is the façade which the 1838-founded Royal St George YC presents to the town of Dun Laoghaire

…..but the real action is "round the back", with RStGYC hosting a Laser event …..but the real action is "round the back", with RStGYC hosting a Laser event with their National Yacht Club neighbours (below)

National Yacht Club

For young sailors, 2019 is now aeons ago, so the anticipation levels for this August regatta are running at a stratospheric level. For a man at the eye of the storm, Ian Simington remains remarkably calm. But then, in addition to being a Laser sailor himself as well as campaigning a J/80, he has wide experience of event organisation including four years at the sharp end of Optimist organisation, which is not a place for the faint-hearted.

However, as it was with the 301-boat Laser Masters Worlds in Dun Laoghaire in September 2018, the huge administrative challenge ashore and afloat is being undertaken in full partnership with the National Yacht Club. In fact, with boat numbers this size, it becomes a true Dun Laoghaire Harbour communal effort in order to keep everything on track, with Ian Simington heading a central committee which in turn will be supported by several specialist sub-groups.

At the heart of it – Ian Simington brings extensive experience to his role as Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds 2021.At the heart of it – Ian Simington brings extensive experience to his role as Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds 2021.

And in addition to the calming effect of his wide experience, he knows that the strong Irish club tradition will provide a host of volunteers ready for any useful role which can help to keep this vitally important World Championship running smoothly to remind us that no matter what size of a sail you put on a Laser, it still looks like – and is - a great boat

The Laser Lineup – still a world-beating set of options after more than fifty years. The Laser Lineup – still a world-beating set of options after more than fifty years

Published in W M Nixon

The Royal St George Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour completed its winter lift-out of sailing cruisers on Saturday (October 24), some 4 months and 17 days since the boats were lifted in for the heavily delayed COVID season.

The traditional lift-out was completed in calm conditions even though early forecasts predicted otherwise. 

Last night the club posted a message on social media to thank all those involved. "A big thank you to all who helped out on the big day for the Club. Thank you to all boat owners and their crews and to all of the Lift team and the weather gods who shone on us today"

While the bulk of the RStGYC fleet is now hauled out and ashore on the club's hard standing some club boats are still afloat at the marina awaiting news of the postponed DBSC Turkey Shoot where the hope is that there may still be some pre-Christmas racing after Level 5 COVID restrictions are lifted.

In its note to members the RSTGYC also said, "We now turn to winter sailing under Level 5, at the very least we will ensure that as restrictions and guidelines permit we will get afloat. Winter sailors and their boats will be welcomed back on Friday."

The DMYC lift out of boats on the town's west pier was also completed on Saturday.

Having originally scheduled Saturday for its lift out, The East Pier based National Yacht Club lift now takes place today.

Published in RStGYC

The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire hosted the 2020 Irish 12 Foot Dinghy Championships on 13th September with two alternative rigs permissible, the International 12 Foot Dinghy rig with a single sail and the Dublin Bay Sailing Club rig which permits the same sail area to be distributed between the mainsail and jib. This alternative rig was devised in the 1960s to address the steep waves of Dublin Bay.

The weather forecast seemed to suggest 8 knots of wind from the southwest with gusts of up to 18 knots. The 12 Foot Dinghy Association and OOD communicated with the competitors on the evening before the event asking them to bring reefing equipment with them, so that the event could proceed even if the weather was unkindly. The day dawned with a blue sky and a 2-4 knot wind with occasional gusts of 12 knots.

Race one started with a northeasterly wind and just after the start, it shifted to the north-west. Gavan Johnson in 'Albany' was quick to adapt to the new wind and after a shortened course signal reduced the race to one lap of the course, he won the race from young Andrew Miller in 'Pixie.'

The fleet led by Ian Magowan in 'Sgadan'The fleet led by Ian Magowan in 'Sgadan'

By race two, the wind had shifted to the south-west, but once again shifted to the south-east as Ian Magowan in 'Sgadan' led from 'Albany.' It was quite a battle between these two but 'Albany' had the speed and tactics to lead over the finish line.

The third race started in a delightful 6 knots of breeze from the northeast but just before the dinghies reached the windward mark the wind disappeared and the race was abandoned.

All sailed or paddled ashore for a hearty brunch with a nice pint of Guinness with the hope of better wind in the afternoon. Since all the wet Pubs throughout the country are closed- it is delightful to enjoy a pint with your brunch.

David and Henry Shackleton in 'Scythian'David and Henry Shackleton in 'Scythian'

In the afternoon the wind was initially from the south-west. Halfway up the beat the wind died and came back from the northeast. With one of the turning marks close to the marina breakwater, 'Cora' lost her momentum and when it looked like she could drift onto the rocky breakwater, crew Ruairi Shanahan pulled out an oar to push them off. Due to this illegal propulsion, they retired from this race which was again won by 'Albany.'

In the final race, the wind was back in the northeast, and Vincent Delany took the helm of 'Cora,' but he couldn't touch 'Albany' for speed in the prevailing conditions.

Gail Varian and son-in-law Gavan Johnson won the historic Edmond Johnston Trophy and the Altair Trophy for the crew of the winning boat and Andrew Miller and Iseult Costello who shared the steering of 'Pixie' won the historic Cora Trophy.

Andrew Miller winner of the Irish International 12 Foot Dinghy Championship in 'Pixie'Andrew Miller winner of the Irish International 12 Foot Dinghy Championship in 'Pixie'

Download final results below as an Xcel file.

Next year the 12-foot dinghies move to Lough Ree Yacht Club for their Irish championship.

Published in RStGYC

As the International 12-foot class prepares to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its revived championships next week in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the historic dinghy class is also welcoming a new arrival.

A new clinker-built 12 has recently been completed by Rui Ferreira of Ballydehob in West Cork.

This class was designed in 1913 by George Cockshott as the British Racing Association 'A' Class. The class was adopted by the International Yacht Racing Union on 1st. January 1920 and thus it became the International 12 Foot Class. The class was the only dinghy class to compete at the 1920 Antwerp (Belgium) Olympic Games, at Oostende.

The new build 12 on the slipway in West CorkThe new build 12 on the slipway in West Cork

As Afloat previously reported, the class grew in popularity in Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s with fleets of professionally and amateur-built boats in Baltimore, Clontarf, Crosshaven, Howth, Malahide, Sutton, and Seapoint (Monkstown, Co. Dublin).

Today there are many 12 Foot Dinghies in Ireland, some having been in the same families for many years. Some are unused and located in barns while others are used as yacht tenders. We have a member interested in restoring an International 12 Foot Dinghy, so if you have one which needs restoration, do let us know.

In 2010 Gail Varian organized a revived Irish Championship at the Royal St George Yacht Club.

The 10th anniversary of this revived championship for the historic 12 Foot Dinghy prizes will be held in Royal St George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire on Sunday 13th September, in which the modified Dublin Bay 12 Foot Dinghies with a mainsail and jib will sail against the International 12 foot Dinghies with just a mainsail on equal terms.

A small piece of yachting history: At the 1920 Olympic Games at Oostende, the organisers didn't know the difference between a 12 Foot Dinghy and a 12 Meter Yacht, so they put both classes on the same course. After one race, the dinghy competitors went on strike and refused to race on the 25mile long racecourse. This caused such chaos among the organizing committee, that it was several months later before the second Olympic race for dinghies which was held in a different country, in The Netherlands.

The organisers would like to hear from any Irish owners of 12 Footers.

For more information contact the author below

Published in Historic Boats

Heading into day two of the SB20 ‘Western’ Championships hosted by the Royal St George YC, and after confounding conditions out in the bay, three Dun Laoghaire waterfront Clubs will battle it out, with just two points separating first and third overall.

As Afloat reported previously, the 13-boat event is the first of the year on the SB20 circuit.

TED sailed by RStGYC's (Michael O’Connor, Davy Taylor and Philip O’Connor) lie in first place overnight on five points. SoBlue NYC & RSGYC (Chris Helme, Justin Burke and Alan Coffey) are on six points and late entry, Bád RIYC (Stephan Hyde, Jimmy and Jerry Dowling) on seven.

RO Barry O’Neill and his team have three races scheduled today for the Techworks Marine Sponsored event with on the water umpires joining the fleet.

Published in SB20
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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.

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