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Finn Lynch Moves Up to 11th in ILCA 7 Dinghy on Day Two of Trofeo Princesa Sofía Trophy in Mallorca

2nd April 2024
Ireland's Finn Lynch moved up nine places in the ILCA 7 class to 11th as the thermal sea-breeze conditions for which Mallorca’s Bay of Palma is world renowned returned to allow a full programme of competition to be completed on Tuesday, getting the giant 53 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca by Iberostar Olympic classes regatta back on course after Monday’s schedule was curtailed by strong winds and big waves
Ireland's Finn Lynch moved up nine places in the ILCA 7 class to 11th as the thermal sea-breeze conditions for which Mallorca’s Bay of Palma is world renowned returned to allow a full programme of competition to be completed on Tuesday, getting the giant 53 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca by Iberostar Olympic classes regatta back on course after Monday’s schedule was curtailed by strong winds and big waves Credit: Sailing Energy

Great Britain’s Olympic hopeful Micky Beckett took advantage of a dramatic change of conditions at the 53 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca on the second day of the World Cup Series event.

Ireland's Finn Lynch also made good on a lighter Tuesday in the Bay of Palma and moved up nine places to 11th in the ILCA 7 class.

Day 2 produced such different conditions on the Bay of Palma, the sailors could have been forgiven for thinking they were racing at a different venue.

After winds gusting close to 30 knots and monster waves kicking up to three metres. the Bay of Palma dawned to light winds and flat water. Somehow the best Olympic sailors managed to make sense of all manner of wind and wave conditions, such as Beckett in the ILCA 7 men’s dinghy.

Looking to win overall for a third consecutive time, Beckett seized the lead after wins in both his heats today. This puts the Briton four points ahead of Germany's 2020 world champion Philipp Buhl.

“It is such a big change to go from the massive waves of yesterday to the light and tight stuff of today,” said Beckett.

“I was pleased to be able to do so today, leading round both windward marks. I didn’t actually extend much but I did enough to stay ahead both times.”

Beckett led Cyprus’ 2012 London silver-medallist Pavlos Kontides across the line in the first race and Ireland’s Lynch in the second.

Howth's Ewan McMahon lies 40th.

ILCA 6

Things have not gone so well so far for last year’s ILCA 6 women’s dinghy winner Marit Bouwmeester, the Netherlands sailor who already holds a full set of gold, silver and bronze medals from 2016, 2012 and 2021 respectively. The Dutch star was third in the first race yesterday after breaking a vang which she replaced only for the new one to go again forcing her to abandon the second race. Second and 10th today Bouwmeester is up to eighth whilst Belgium’s Emma Plasschaert tops the fleet.

“I liked the conditions yesterday, strong winds and big waves,” said Bouwmeester.

Ireland's Paris qualified Eve McMahon lies 23rd at the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Trophy in Mallorca Photo: Sailing EnergyIreland's Paris qualified Eve McMahon lies 23rd at the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Trophy in Mallorca Photo: Sailing Energy

“I think sailing is about consistency and doing it well in every condition so it's nice to get different conditions. Today, the first race I didn't get it quite right, and the second race was a good one.” By which she meant a second place in her qualifying group. Bouwmeester admitted that, compared with bringing up a young toddler not yet two years old, the white heat of Olympic competition can actually feel like a holiday.

Another new parent, Poland’s vice world champion Pavel Tarnowski conclusively dominated the iQFOiL men’s windsurfing fleet winning all four races whilst in the women’s fleet Norway’s Mina Mobekk leads after three.

Ireland's Paris qualified Eve McMahon lies 23rd

Formula Kite

Just over a week ago in Mar Menor, Spain, Max Maeder dominated the Formula Kite European Championship to add the title to the world title he took in The Hague last summer. Today the unstoppable 17-year-old from Singapore delivered two first places and a second. Last year’s overall Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta winner is seven points up on Austria’s Valentin Bontus who was fourth at last year’s worlds and seventh at the Marseille test event. Bontus admits that Maeder is in a class of his own.

“I think most of us have accepted that we are in a race for second because Max has a different gear,” said Bontus. “The riders who don’t want to say it is because of pride, but at the moment Max is just unbeatable. It’s clear to see.”

That reputation of invincibility used to be part of Daniela Moroz’s story until the end of 2022. Since then the six-time women’s Formula Kite world champion has struggled to maintain that world-beating form, but the American is going well this week. Moroz won three of her four races today, to extend her lead over Australia’s Breiana Whitehead.

470 mixed dinghy

Other Olympic events have already contested their 2024 world championships, like the 470 mixed dinghy, ILCAs and the 49er skiffs. Not so the Nacra 17 mixed multihull fleet which has not raced since the Europeans in early November. They must wait until early May for their Worlds in La Grande Motte. So after a period of winter training there is some curiosity to see who has made the biggest advances.

Germany’s 2020 Olympic bronze medallists Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stulhemmer have had to recruit a new coach in that intervening period and now have Australian double Olympian Andrew Palfrey in their corner in Palma. Counting two second places and a third, the Kiel duo lead European champions John Gimson and Anna Burnet (GBR), last year’s Sofía winners.

“Consistent starting and going the right way were key and we did that quite well,” said Kohlhoff. “It is tough to know what to expect here because we have not seen most of the fleet since the Europeans. It’s always exciting to come back together after a big winter training block. We were in Lanzarote and did a lot of racing in light and windy conditions, so it’s nice to be back racing in a big fleet like this here. And working with our new coach is inspirational who brings new ideas, new ways and a lot of experience.”

Nacra 17

While their compatriots in the 470s, ILCA 6 and 7s and 49ers have all now booked their selection for France’s home Olympic Games, Nacra 17 pair Tim Mourniac and Lou Berthomieu believe they are ahead of their rivals - although France’s process is believed to be subjective and ongoing. They know this will be a key, observed regatta whereas the Worlds on their home waters will not. They lie fourth after today with four-time world champion Billy Besson, who represented France in the class in Rio 2016, now sailing with Noa Ancian, lying in eighth.

“We were looking to not start with too many points on the board from the first day and we achieved that,” smiled Mourniac, past youth world champion.

“Our selection process has been going on since we were here last year and Hyères [Semaine Olympique Francaise] we know will be important. Nothing is mathematical so we don’t really know where we are, all we know is every regatta is super important. We keep pushing all the time trying to stay in the top five, top ten all the time. But we think the best French crew will be selected before the Worlds.”

49er 

In the 49er skiffs, being able to risk on the busy start line and get to the left was the key ingredient. Not easy to execute in such a tough fleet, but somehow it worked for Aussies Jack Ferguson and Max Paul who landed three wins and an eighth in the Yellow fleet to take the overall lead in the men’s skiff. Paul was second last year at this regatta crewing for Laser Olympic champion from Rio 2016, Tom Burton.

Ireland's Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan lie 25th.Ireland's Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan lie 25th after day two of Trofeo Princesa Sofía Trophy in Mallorca Photo: Sailing Energy

Having recently lost the trials for Paris 2024 to Jim Colley and Shaun Connor, Paul got back into the 49er with his previous helmsman Ferguson, who was delighted to be racing again, never mind dominating the day. “It was a left-hand track for us all day and the key focus was to get off the start line quick and get left. We executed that more times than we didn’t ,and so it is a good outcome right now. This is my first time back in the 49er since the Worlds last year and I used to sail with Max, so we are pretty happy with the first day. I am just here because I missed 49er sailing.”

49er FX fleet

The 49er FX fleet launched later in the afternoon as did the 470s. The women’s skiffs only managed two races before the thermal wind got too light. Norway’s Helen Naess and Marie Ronnigen won both heats to take the 49erFX lead. In the 470s, Germany’s husband-and-wife duo Malte and Anastasiya Winkel are still top, ahead of Britain’s Vita Heathcote and Chris Grube, recently selected for the Games.

Qualifying races continue for all 10 events on Wednesday morning, with first races scheduled to start at 1100 hours.

Race Results

You may need to scroll vertically and horizontally within the box to view the full results

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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.

©Afloat 2020

Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition

Where is the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition being held? Sailing at Paris 2024 will take place in Marseille on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea between 28 July and 8 August, and will feature Kiteboarding for the first time, following a successful Olympic debut in 2018 at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. The sailing event is over 700 km from the main Olympic Games venue in Paris.

What are the events? The Olympic Sailing Competition at Paris 2024 will feature ten Events:

  • Women’s: Windsurfing, Kite, Dinghy, Skiff
  • Men’s: Windsurfing, Kite, Dinghy, Skiff
  • Mixed: Dinghy, Multihull

How do you qualify for Paris 2024?  The first opportunity for athletes to qualify for Paris 2024 will be the Sailing World Championships, The Hague 2023, followed by the Men’s and Women’s Dinghy 2024 World Championships and then a qualifier on each of World Sailing’s six continents in each of the ten Events. The final opportunity is a last chance regatta to be held in 2024, just a few months before the Games begin.

50-50 split between male and female athletes: The Paris 2024 Games is set to be the first to achieve a 50-50 split between male and female athletes, building on the progress made at both Rio 2016 (47.5%) and Tokyo 2020 (48.8%). It will also be the first Olympic Games where two of the three Chief roles in the sailing event will be held by female officials,