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Two superb performances by lightweight doubles got Ireland off to an excellent start on day two of the European Rowing Championships in Varese today. 

 The men’s crew of Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy would go on to have a great win in their semi-final, but Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen deserve the plaudits for taking second in their semi-final.

 This crew is aimed at the Olympic Qualification regatta next month in Lucerne and looked to be an outside bet initially. Their performances at this regatta changed that.

 In today’s semi, they showed great maturity. Italy took over early and were never headed, while Russia and Ireland tracked them in second and third. But the final quarter Ireland pushed through into a firm second place.

 Cremen and Casey take their place in the A Final on Sunday. The other semi-final, won by Britain from the Netherlands, looked stronger, but Ireland even have an outside chance of a medal. 

 McCarthy and O’Donovan were favourites for gold right from the start. Doubts, if there were some, related to the ability of the 2019 World Champions to turn it on again after effectively missing the 2020 season, such as it was.

 They had a real test in Italy, who led early and might have expected another battle in the closing stages. It never happened. Coming up to halfway, McCarthy and O’Donovan zoomed past the men in blue. They opened up the lead to clearwater and won. 

 Germany, who won the other semi-final, will contend on Sunday. However, their winning time was slower than the Irish today.    

 The Ireland double of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne were well off the pace in their semi-final and finished sixth. France, Britain and Switzerland got off to good starts and duly took the A Final places. Ireland had a poor start. They tried to move into contention in the middle stages but could not get a hold on the contest.  

 Daire Lynch qualified for the C Final (places 13 to 18) of the men’s single sculls, taking second in his semi-final. 

European Rowing Championships, Varese, Italy – Day Two (Irish interest)

Men

Double Sculls – A/B Semi-Final (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 France 6:10.26, 2 Britain 6:11.17, 3 Switzerland 6:12.79; 6 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:21.38. 

Lightweight Double Sculls – A/B Semi-Final (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (F McCarthy, P O’Donovan) 6:22.74, 2 Italy 6:25.53, 3 Czech Republic 6:27.14. 

Single Sculls – C/D Semi-Final Two (First Three to C Final; rest to D Final): 2 Ireland (D Lynch) 7:02.22. 

Women 

Lightweight Double Sculls – A/B Semi-Final (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Italy 7:11.44, 2 Ireland (A Casey, M Cremen) 7:14.44, 3 Russia 7:15.46. 

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland took fourth in the lightweight women’s double at the World Under-23 Championships in Florida. Aoife Casey and Cliodhna Nolan raced from sixth to fourth in the second half of this A Final, which was won well by Switzerland from the Netherlands and Germany.  

World Rowing Under-23 Championships, Sarasota Bradenton, Florida (Irish interest)

Women

Four – A Final: 1 Britain 6:34.22, 2 Ireland (C Feerick, E Lambe, T Hanlon, E Hegarty) 6:35.68, 3 United States 6:39.89.

Lightweight Double Sculls – A Final: 1 Switzerland 7:03.83, 2 Netherlands 7:09.45, 3 Germany 7:09.56; 4 Ireland (A Casey, C Nolan) 7:15.40.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure, the O’Donovan brothers and Ireland lightweight coach Dominic Casey have all been chosen as finalists for the World Rowing Awards 2018. Puspure won gold in the women’s single sculls and Paul and Gary O’Donovan won the lightweight double, coached by Casey, at the World Rowing Championships.

 Just two crews, along with Puspure, are in the running for Women’s Crew of the Year, while there are four crews in the finals of Men’s Crew of the Year and for Coach of the Year. Casey has reached the final three years in-a-row.

 The awards will be presented on November 23rd in Berlin.

Finalists for the 2018 World Rowing Awards 

Women’s Crew of the Year

  • Caileigh Filmer, Hillary Janssens, CanadaWomen’s pair
  • Sanita Puspure, IrelandWomen’s single sculls
  • Agnieszka Kobus-Zawojska, Marta Wieliczko, Maria Springwald, Katarzyna Zillmann, PolandWomen’s quadruple sculls

Men’s Crew of the Year

  • Joshua Hicks, Spencer Turrin, Jack Hargreaves, Alexander Hill, AustraliaMen’s four
  • Jason Osborne, GermanyLightweight men’s single sculls
  • Johannes Weissenfeld, Felix Wimberger, Maximilian Planer, Torben Johannesen, Jakob Schneider, Malte Jakschik, Richard Schmidt, Hannes Ocik, Martin Sauer (coxswain), GermanyMen’s eight
  • Paul O’Donovan, Gary O’Donovan, IrelandLightweight men’s double sculls

Para-rowing Crew of the Year

  • Perle Bouge, FrancePara PR2 women’s single sculls
  • Ellen Buttrick, Grace Clough, Oliver Stanhope, Daniel Brown, Erin Wysocki-Jones (coxswain), Great BritainPara PR3 mixed coxed four
  • Annika van der Meer, Corne de Koning, Netherlands, Para PR2 mixed double sculls

Coach of the Year

  • Uwe Bender, GermanyMen’s eight
  • Dominic Casey, Ireland, Men’s pair, lightweight men’s and women’s double sculls, lightweight men’s quadruple sculls
  • Jan Klerks, Netherlands, Para-rowing team
  • Laurel Korholz, United States, Women’s four, women’s single sculls

2018 Sustainability Award

  • “Pushing for a Clean Sweep”, National Schools Regatta, Great Britain
  • “Partnership with Waikato Water Authority”, Rowing NZ, New Zealand
  • “Love Where you Row”, Alan Robinson/Schuylkill Navy, United States
Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The awards season is proving a fruitful one for rowers. Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll were honoured at the Canon Hayes Centre awards and fellow Skibbereen man Paul O’Donovan has been nominated for the RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year award. All three won gold medals at the 2017 World Championships.

 Ireland coach Dominic Casey was also nominated for the World Rowing Coach of the Year at the World Rowing Awards. Casey and Morten Espersen, the former Ireland high peformance director, were also nominated for Distinguished Service to International Rowing.

 On the night, the France coach Alexis Besancon was chosen as Coach of the Year. John Boultbee of Australia won the Distinguished Service to International Rowing.

 The Male Crew of the Year were the German eight, Female Crew of the Year was single sculler Jeannine Gmelin and World Para Crew of the Year went to Birgit Skarstein of Norway.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Afloat Rowers of the Month for August are Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey. The Ireland double finished seventh at the World Rowing Junior Championships. The Lee/Skibbereen duo reached the semi-finals in Trakai, Lithuania, but while they could not make the top six they were impressive winners of the B Final, where France tested them. Amongst the countries which did not reach the last 12 were Australia, New Zealand, the United States and China. Twenty-eight countries competed in this discipline.  

 Cremen and Casey had taken a silver medal at the European Junior Championships in Germany in May. It was another highlight of an exceptional season. Ireland underage crews have been part of the general rise: so far they have taken two medals at the World Under-23 Championships and five at the Coupe de la Jeunesse, a European junior tournament.

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times, and David O'Brien, editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2017 champions list grow.

Published in Rower of Month

#Rowing: Ireland’s double of Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey won their B Final this morning at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania. The race developed very early into a battle between France and Ireland, with Ireland less than a boat length ahead for much of the 2,000 metres. In the sprint finish, France could not overtake the Irish women.

 The result places Ireland seventh overall of the 28 crews which started.  

World Junior Championships, Day Five, Irish interest

Women

Junior Double Sculls – B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Ireland (A Casey, M Cremen) 7:38.31, 2 France 7:39.65, 3 Netherlands 7:42.20, 4 Ukraine 7:42.25, 5 Japan 7:42.85, 6 Greece 7:44.73.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland’s Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen will compete in the B Final of the women’s double at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania. In this morning’s semi-final, the Skibbereen/Lee crew took fourth, just under two seconds behind Chile, who took the third qualification spot. Britain were impressive winners, ahead of Italy. Ireland took over in fourth in the second half of the race, but while they finished fast, they could not force themselves in the trio which qualified for the A Final.  

World Junior Championships, Day Four (Irish interest)

Women

Junior Double – Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Britain 7:21.24, 2 Italy 7:25.05, 3 Chile 7:27.62; 4 Ireland (A Casey, M Cremen) 7:29.61, 5 France 7:30.71, 6 Netherlands 7:31.93.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland have qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s double sculls at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania. Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen finished third in their quarter-final. Canada, who led from the early stages, won well. Ireland had tracked them, holding second from before halfway until the final stages when the Netherlands got ahead of them.  

World Rowing Junior Championships, Trakai, Lithuania, Day Three (Irish interest)

Women

Double Sculls – Quarter-Final Three (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C/D Semi-Finals): 1 Canada 7:23.78, 2 Netherlands 7:29.52, 3 Ireland (A Casey, M Cremen) 7:30.27; 4 Austria 7:33.56, 5 New Zealand 7:36.51, 6 Estonia 7:52.65.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland’s Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen took third in their heat and qualified for the quarter-finals of the World Junior Championships in Trakai in Lithuania today. The Skibbereen/Lee double had tucked into third behind Britain, who won, and Germany by halfway. Ukraine and Belarus fought to take the fourth qualification spot, with Ukraine coming out on top.

World Junior Championships, Trakai, Lithuania, Day One (Irish interest)

Women

Junior Double Sculls – Heat Two (First Four to Quarter-Finals; rest to Repechage): 1 Britain  7:08.82, 2 Germany 7:12.30, 3 Ireland (A Casey, M Cremen) 7:16.58, 4 Ukraine 7:18.06.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Denise Walsh followed up her excellent silver medal at the European Championships in the Czech Republic with a win on the Olympic course at Dorney Lake in England today. Walsh partnered  Aoife Casey, who has just turned 18, to a win in the Championship Double at Metropolitan Regatta. The Skibbereen double rowed well in the top event for women’s doubles at this big event, covering the course in seven minutes 13.27 seconds.

Published in Rowing
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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,

At a Glance -  Paris Olympics Sailing Marseille

July 28th – August 8th Paris Olympics Sailing Marseille

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