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Displaying items by tag: Team Racing

#teamracing – After it was last hosted in Ireland in 2011 but then ditched here the following year, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has published guidelines for candidates bidding to host the 2015 ISAF Team Racing World Championship.

Although the team racing worlds was scubbed by ISAF at its November 2012 meeting in Dublin, the world body for sailing now says all bids must be received by the ISAF Secretariat by email  in just a week's time (by 12.00 (UTC) on Friday 14 March 2014).

Great Britain were the first team to lift the ISAF Team Racing Worlds in West Kirby, Great Britain in 1995. Ireland came in second with Australia completing the podium.

From 2003 to 2009 USA dominated the event winning four in a row before the British team broke the trend at the most recent edition held in Schull, Ireland from 27 August - 4 September 2011.

In 2005 an Under 21 competition was introduced in Gandia, Spain and was won by Great Britain who also picked up gold in 2011 in the Under 19 category.

So far there are no indications if Ireland will bid again for the event.

Bid Guidelines: www.sailing.org/37329.php

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#teamracing – The Irish University Sailing Association is seeking Jury members for a team racing event on 23 & 24 November next weekend at Mullaghmore Sailing Club. Accommodation and food provided.

Please contact [email protected]

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#teamracing – The results of the 2013 Irish Team Racing Association Irish Team Racing Nationals could inspire a strange feeling of déjà vu. Yet again the final was sailed between visitors Wessex Exempt and local team the George Knights. Once again, Wessex Exempt, this year's Wilson Trophy winners, emerged as overall winners, with the George Knights as Irish Champions.

20 teams entered this year's competition, with 4 teams travelling from the UK. Following a first round, teams were split into Gold and Silver groups for the second round. As dusk fell on Saturday evening it was clear that Wessex Exempt and the George Knights were facing a challenge from the other R.St.G.Y.C. team Spindoctors, and from a new team Southern Discomfort.

One remarkable first round result was that the Knights (essentially the UCD 2009 team) were beaten by UCD 2013. Hopefully this year's team will still be sailing together in 2027.

After dinner in the impressive surroundings of the main club dining room competitors faced a different challenge as they struggled with the intricacies of one-off yacht construction in preparation for a closely fought gutter sailing event. The knock-out final was won by SB20 Master's World Champion Peter Lee representing the combined wisdom of the race officials and umpires!

Several teams failed to realise that the proposed 9.30 start on Sunday morning meant just that. With racing starting on time the second round was completed by mid-morning, just as the wind faded away altogether. The third round was reluctantly abandoned, and as the wind came in from the south the competition moved to the knock-out stage.

Both Wessex Exempt and the Knights won their semi-finals 2-0. The final was decided on the finish line of the deciding third race, as a Knights boat took a penalty for hitting the finish mark. In the petit-final Spindoctors beat Southern Discomfort 2-0 to take third place.

Medals were presented by the Commodore Liam O'Rourke and by Vincent Delaney, member of the R.St.G.Y.C. Team that won the Wilson Trophy in 1973. Vincent was umpiring this year.

The race team of Richard Bruton, Peter Bayly and Mark Henderson ran the event smoothly and, to the surprise of some, punctually. The team of 12 umpires, including visitors from the UK and Germany maintained rule observance both accurately and diplomatically. A special mention should be made of the contribution of John Sheehy to the success of this event. Not only did he manage the R.St.G.Y.C.'s organisation of the Championship, but he was also a member of the Knights team.

The 2014 edition of the Irish Team racing Championships will be sailed in Schull on 8th - 9th November next year.

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#teamracing – 2013 is set to be a vintage year for the Irish Team Racing Association Irish Team Racing National Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on 9th - 10th November 2013

20 teams have entered, with others on the waiting list. Four teams are travelling from the UK, including last year's overall winners Wessex Exempt, and West Kirby. Multiple Irish champions the George Knights will return to defend, yet again, their title. Regrettably, the George Gladiators will not be there to challenge them, as too many of the team were unable to return from economic exile. However, another George team, the Spindoctors, will be competing, together with a strong Munster contingent including Schull and Zephyr.

College teams are also competing in force, with teams from UCD, Trinity, Universities of Limerick and Cork, also Cork IT. Two teams from Manchester University, coached by West Kirby SC will provide interesting competition.

The ITRA Nationals are also an annual gathering for team racing umpires. With 6 umpires travelling from the UK, the event is a unique opportunity fro Irish umpires to compare techniques and interpretations with the aim of achieving consistent umpiring throughout the international umpiring community.

The National Championships is organised by the Royal St. George Yacht Club, the cradle of team racing in Ireland.

For further information please contact :

Gordon Davies

Hon. Sec. ITRA

[email protected]

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#London2K - Royal Cork Yacht Club's team finished a respectable fifth in the Royal Thames Invitational 2K Team Racing Regatta over the weekend.

Eight teams from around Europe took part in the event from 25-27 October that featured two-boat keelboat team racing using J80-type boats at the Queen Mary Sailing Club, near Heathrow Airport.

Fred Cudmore and Rob O’Leary led Ireland's first ever entry in the 2K tour, with team members Ross Deasy, Phil O’Leary, Sarah O’Leary, Jamie Donegan, Emma Geary and Eimear O’Leary.

And they distinguished themselves in a challenging field against the likes of current UK dinghy team racing champions Sam Littlejohn and Tom Hebbert of first place Spinnaker Auspicious.

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#teamracing – The Irish Team Racing Association National Team Racing Championships will be sailed out of the Royal St. George Yacht Club on 9th - 10th November.

As the Royal St George Yacht Club celebrates 175 years of existence it is appropriate that the Irish National Championships returns to a club that pioneered team racing. Indeed, according to the accepted version of the birth of the sport, the idea of team racing in identical one-design dinghies took form in the bar of the club, as sailors from West Kirby SC relaxed after a days sailing against sailors from the "George". Two Irish teams, including one from the Royal St George YC, then travelled to West Kirby to compete in the inaugural Wilson Trophy in 1949. Teams from the club then went on to win this prestigious trophy in 1956, 1972and 1974. Many of the 1970's generation of team racers are still active in the club, indeed we hope that at least one of them will be umpiring this year.

Last year's winning team, Wessex Exempt, will return to defend their title, whilst the local team George Knights hope to continue a long winning streak, broken only once in recent year by a team of upstarts - the Gladiators, also from the Royal St George YC. On the other hand the Youth Championship in recent years has been dominated by teams from Schull.

Entries are invited from teams of six sailors from Ireland or elsewhere.

The entry fee is €360, which includes dinner on Saturday night in the club. Teams wishing to enter should contact the Irish Team Racing Association. A pre-entry deposit should be sent to arrive on or before Monday 21st October.

This is the major event on the Irish team racing calendar, both for the sailors and for the umpires. As usual for this event local umpires will be joined by umpires from the UK, and, this year, from Germany.
Associating colleagues from the UK ensures consistency in the application of the rules and in umpire technique. This is essential for teams who hope to compete in the UK and elsewhere. As team racing develops in Europe (albeit in a slightly different form) the prospects for Iirsih team racing have never been better.

To enter, or for further details: [email protected]

 

Published in Team Racing

#teamracing – At the ISAF Conference last November the Team Racing sub-committee recommended that: no ISAF Team Racing World Championship be held in 2013; that team racing be an event at the Youth World Sailing Championships.

The general tone of the meeting was that 3v3 dinghy team racing was dominated by a few nations, and would not develop outside these countries. The future for the development of team racing was seen to be in the youth classes and small keelboats.

At the recent Wilson Trophy, the 64th edition of West Kirby S.C.'s prestigious event, a group of sailors and umpires, each having some responsibility for developing team racing in their home nation met to discuss the future of team racing. Nations represented were UK, USA, Ireland, Norway, and Australia. Before the meeting contact had also been made with New Zealand and Canada.

The consensus amongst those present was that:

3 boat dinghy team racing was a core activity in the team racing tradition;

there is no conflict of interest between different forms of team racing – 4v4 in Optimists, 3v3 for adolescents and young adults and 2v2 keel-boats for more mature sailors; team racing needs a pinnacle event in all forms of the discipline;

existing well established events could not provide this pinnacle event, largely because they are national championships with limits on international entry; understanding that ISAF may no longer wish to run a World Championships, sailors, umpires and their organisations may wish to organise their own international events;

Finally, it was agreed that the development of international team racing requires the emergence of an international grouping of team racers to promote the interests of the sport and to facilitate the organisation of international events. The working title of this organisation is the International Team Racing Association.

As a a first step a Facebook page has been set up. Friends of team racing can support this initiative by "liking" the page. All those volunteering to contribute actively in the development of international team racing should leave a message giving contact details

Alternatively contact me, I am acting as secretary for the moment:

Gordon Davies

Hon Sec Irish Team Racing Association

[email protected]

.

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#teamracing – Keelboat team racing is developing fast. With events throughout Europe, most conveniently situated near an airport offering direct flights to Dublin, an inaugural European Championships in the Netherlands, 2K TR offers an international challenge to team racers.

Howth 2K will be sailed next weekend, 1st-2nd June. The event will be sailed in the Sailfleet J80s. 2K is sailed without spinnakers. Teams of
eight sailors will compete. See NOR to download below.

Teams entered include a Howth YC team, teams from various Irish universities and a visiting team from Edinburgh. Any team wishing to
compete should contact the Irish Team Racing Association immediately, as there are one or two places still available.

Please contact: [email protected] 0861501220

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The 2013 British Open Team Racing Championship for the Wilson Trophy was won by Wessex Exempt on Sunday in a thrilling best of five final sailed on West Kirby's marine lake. The six sailors overcame stiff competition from 34 teams from as far afield as America, Ireland and across the UK, eventually meeting Grafham Gorillas in the tense final round of the three-day event.

The top Irish team of four competing after 19 rounds was Dun Laoghaire's Royal St. George Knights in 12th place. Next was Howth in 17th, Royal Cork in 18th and Schull Youth 19th.

Wessex Exempt (Ben Ainsworth, Rachel Williamson, Jonathon Pinner, Kerry Capps, Tom Heywood, Catherine Friend) put in a consistent performance throughout the 323-race Swiss League preliminary rounds to qualify for the quarter-finals in second place, having won 14 of their 19 races.

Home-team favourites and current World Team Racing Champions, West Kirby Hawks, qualified at the top of the Swiss League, subsequently beating Royal Thames Yacht Club 2-0 in the quarters. But a shock 2-1 defeat in the semi-finals saw the home team favourites knocked out of the event by Grafham Gorillas.

After a solid performance in this morning's races, Grafham Gorillas found their form when it mattered, storming their way into the final having already beaten RF Hoosiers - over-night leaders who had been hotly tipped for the Trophy final – in the quarter final.

American team, Rhode Island Pistols, also sailed a determined series, making it to the semi-final only to find their boat handling skills coming under pressure in a 2-0 defeat by eventual winners, Wessex Exempt, who had previously dispensed with Spinnaker Auspicious in their 2-1 quarter-final match.

So it was Grafham Gorillas who faced Wessex Exempt in the best-of-five final.

As the teams took to the boats sailing a brand new flight of equally matched Fireflies - thanks to support from sponsor DHL – the cheers and shouts of support came from the crowds of spectators gathered in the grandstand and lining the shore of the marine lake. Sunshine and good breeze had the recipe for champagne team racing conditions, and the spectators were not disappointed.

Race one saw a win to Grafham following a penalty on the finish line, but Wessex came back with a stronger start to finish in a 1,3 winning combination in race two. The third race was closely contested, with boats from both teams taking penalty turns on the second leg, but Wessex gained the advantage on the run and held it to the finish.

The fourth race saw Grafham start strong; taking an early 1,2 combination, they consolidated their win with some text book team racing manoeuvres.

And so it came down to the final fifth race decider to determine who would be the new Wilson Trophy Champions. With a Grafham boat over the line, Wessex quickly took control, rounding the first mark in a solid 1,2 position which they never relinquished.

After crossing the finish line, both teams returned to the start area for the traditional sail past of the grandstand in front of the cheering crowds, with runners up, Grafham Gorillas, stopping their boats to applaud the winners in a true show of sportsmanship.

Speaking at the prize-giving, Commodore of West Kirby Sailing Club, David Taylor, who was also an umpire at this weekend's event, congratulated the competitors and said: "That was certainly one of the most sporting finals at the Wilson Trophy in a long time; it was fantastic to watch.

He added: "A huge thanks goes to all our sponsors - DHL, Carlsberg, GJW Direct, MI Finance, Speed Medical and Musto – and to the organisers and the volunteers of West Kirby Sailing Club for making the event possible."

Accepting the prestigious Wilson Trophy, Wessex Exempt team-member, Jon Pinner, said: "This is my tenth year at the Wilson Trophy, an event with an incredible history. Thank you not just to everyone at the event this year, but for the last ten years, and all the years before that. This event is a real institution. We have been smiling all weekend; it's been fantastic and we are delighted to have won. The cheering from the crowds on the last beat was amazing, and thank you to our friends, Grafham Gorillas, for a really fantastic final."

Winners of the Under 21 Trophy was Bristol University, who finished a credible 11th place overall. The Wilson Plate awarded to the first team not to make the quarter-final cut, West Kirby Sailing Club.

Of the 34 teams from USA, Ireland and across the UK, perhaps the team facing the steepest learning curve of all was the British Sailing Team, fronted by 2012 Olympic silver medallists, Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell. Although disappointed not to make the quarter-final cut, the duo found themselves inspired by this, their first ever team racing event.

Speaking after racing today, Stuart Bithell said: "The event has been unbelievable; we have had an amazing three days here. We may not have had such a great time results-wise ourselves, but today it has been an absolute pleasure to watch the world's best team racers here in action, and to watch our friends in the final. If only we had been able to see them show us how it's done beforehand, we could have brought a notebook! But there has been a brilliant atmosphere, and it's easy to see why this event just keeps getting bigger and better. We hope to be back next year!"

Visiting the event earlier in the weekend was John Derbyshire, RYA Performance Manager, who works closely with the British Sailing Team. He said: "This has been great opportunity for the British Sailing Team members to gain some exposure to team racing, which uses many of the skills needed for medal racing at the Olympics. It adds a whole new dimension which we hope will help these guys on their way to Rio 2016. We hope to encourage more members of the British Sailing Team to attend this event in future."

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Less than 48 hours remain until the start of this year's British Open Team Racing Championship for the Wilson Trophy (3-5 May). At 12 noon on Friday, all eyes will turn to West Kirby's Marine Lake to see if home team and current Team Racing World Champions, West Kirby Hawks, can defend their 2012 Wilson win against 200 other top sailors, amongst them, 2012 Olympic 470 silver medallists, Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell.

With 34 top teams from across the UK, Ireland and the USA, the calibre of the competition is in no doubt. Some 300 races are scheduled for the weekend; with 8am start times, the club's volunteer organisers are hoping to complete around 24 hours of racing.

Having made the final play-off for the last four years running, and having won the Trophy on two of those occasions, hopes are high amongst the West Kirby Hawks. Team captain, Andy Cornah, says: "We are feeling confident going into this year's Wilson, having performed well at all the big events - and done more training than previous years. We have a slight team update with me changing crew after sailing with Hamish Walker for nine years; I am now sailing with Charlotte Lawrence, an experienced team and match racer."

But could this crew change prove to be the chink in the Hawks' armour that the other teams will be hoping for? Interestingly, Hamish has made the switch from the Hawks to helm for Spinnaker, a highly experienced team that recently won the UK Team Racing Nationals title for the second consecutive year, which was also sailed on West Kirby waters. Hamish's fellow helms are Tom Hebbert, past World Team Racing Championship runner-up, and Sam Littlejohn of fleet racing fame; they will certainly be amongst the teams vying to make Sunday's quarter-final cut.

Now in its 64th year, the Wilson Trophy is credited with being not only the largest event of its kind in the world, but also the toughest. Andy continues: "There are lots of good teams this year, including Spinnaker, another West Kirby team, Wessex Exempt, Southampton Male Voice Choir, Royal Thames Yacht Club, plus strong US and Irish teams, and of course, the British Sailing Team, which will be really interesting to see how they get on."

Fronting the British Sailing Team are 2012 Olympic 470 silver medallists, Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell, who have teamed up with multiple national champion and past Endeavour Trophy winner, Christian Birrell. All three helms are relatively new to the team racing scene, but are looking forward to cutting their teeth at the world's premier team racing event.

Luke says: "I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to enjoy the sport outside the relentlessness of Olympic sailing. These moments don't often get to come around often, and you never know where you can learn lessons to take to Olympic racing."

Strong competition also comes from across the pond, with teams from Rhode Island and New York Yacht Club making the pilgrimage.

Mike Huang, who was a member of the New York Yacht Club team that won the 50th anniversary Wilson, is once again representing NYYC, and also believes the competition to be open this year.

He says: "Who will be the toughest opposition? Some years it's obvious and others, like this year, it's a complex question. Each team has a competitive cycle and when there have been US teams that have kept the same team while racing together each year, they become dominant as there are few who can manage the time to do so. Then team members begin to have stronger work commitments and as practice wanes, so do results and the team that was 'green' two or three years ago, has now risen to become quite crisp.

"This cycle can been seen globally and looking through that lens, this year's Wilson line up shows experience mixed with youth on many of the teams and I believe the game will be more wide open. We certainly have a lot 'under the hood,' and the hope is always that we knock enough dust off in the early rounds to charge in the qualifying rounds. If we get in there, you're likely to be quite entertained by our performance going forward!"

When it comes to youth teams, leading the charge for the Under 21 trophy will undoubtedly be Schull Youth team. The Irish youngsters have an excellent track record, winning the U21 category at this event last year, as well as the British Schools Dinghy Racing Association Team Race Finals, and having claimed a silver medal in the U21 category at the last World Championships.

Other young teams hoping to excel will be Magdalen College School, and a number of top university teams, including the current British University Champions, Bristol University.

The Wilson Trophy is sailed in a Swiss League format, ensuring that racing remains tight for all teams throughout the qualifying rounds on Friday, Saturday and early Sunday. Crowds of spectators are expected to pack West Kirby's lake wall in their thousands, taking advantage of free grandstand seating and live commentary, not to mention the chance to see two of Britain's Olympic heroes in action sailing just metres from the lake wall.

The final rounds are scheduled to take place on Sunday from 2pm, when the action reaches its climax, with the top eight of 34 teams entering a play off for the all-important final match.

All that remains now for the volunteer organisers at West Kirby Sailing Club is to make the final preparations before the teams and umpires arrive for the first round draw on Thursday evening, ahead of what should be an exciting and fun weekend for spectators and competitors alike.

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Page 10 of 14

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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