Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Finn Lynch

Finn Lynch will not be racing at the Allianz Regatta at The Hague this week, despite his silver medal performance at the North Sea Regatta at the same venue, because the Rio Olympian is focussing on preparations for the Olympic test event in Marseilles from July 9 to 16.

After wrist injury setbacks after Hyeres in April but a 10th at the Europeans in March, the Irish number one finished an encouraging second overall counting seven top-five finishes from ten races at the largest regatta on the Dutch North Sea.

The windy 2023 edition was won by in-form Cypriot Pavlos Kontides, a 2102 Olympic silver medalist. Overall, Lynch beat noted international performer Tonci Stiponavic, the 2016 silver medalist, who finished fourth in the 53-boat fleet.

Howth Yacht Club brothers Ewan and Jamie McMahon are both competing in the men's single-handed ILCA7 fleet at Allianz Regatta at The Hague this week.

The results of the 2023 North Sea Regatta are here 

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Having been passed fit and 'cleared to sail' at French Olympic Sailing Week only a week ago, Ireland's top two hopes for Paris 2024 retired from the competition in Hyeres, nursing those pre-existing injuries.

On the cusp of the busiest pre-Olympic season for the Paris 2024, the Irish sailors' will be frustrated to find that their immediate priorities are now focused instead on recovery and rehab.

ILCA 7 single-hander Finn Lynch (National Yacht Club) secured a place in the Gold fleet despite carrying his ongoing wrist injury in some very windy weather. 

Lynch, a 2016 Rio Olympian, competed but could not complete the gold fleet series after suffering 'further inflammation'. 

As regular Afloat readers will recall, the world number three complained of the problem as far back as last year at Hyeres 2022.

Earlier this month in Palma, Lynch's coach Vasilij Zbogar said, "Recovery from the Europeans two weeks ago wasn't managed well enough, so we need to adapt for the next time." 

Eagle-eyed observers noted his bandaged arm at the Andoran prizegiving in March, but unfortunately for Lynch, the issue continues into May.

The 49er crew of Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club), opted to withdraw from the regatta's Silver fleet due to Dickson's 'virus'. Dickson also carries a wrist injury after a heavy air capsize in Hyeres.

Both teams had been seeking medal race finishes on the Cote d'Azur after mixed performances in Palma earlier this month.

Royal Cork Yacht Club's Seafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan placed 35th overall in Hyeres 49er silver fleet.

Howth brother and sister ILCA sailors Ewan and Eve McMahon were not competing. 

While the main focus is Olympic qualification at the World Championships in August, the Irish sailors will need to be fit for the ultra-busy season ahead, which includes the Paris 2024 Test Event on the Olympic regatta waters of Marseille from 7 July.

Irish Team manager James O'Callaghan said, "It is important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater; for sure, there are work-ons, but there are positives too".

After biding his time, ILCA 7 sailor Pavlos Kontides, the first Cypriot to ever win an Olympic medal (silver at London 2012) and the winner of a thrilling medal race in Hyères last year, made the perfect start to gold fleet racing at French Olympic Week, winning both races to swoop past the previously dominant British contingent to the top of the leaderboard. But only three points separate the top four.

Britain’s Michael Beckett, the winner in Palma, moved into second despite 11, 3 finishes in the 52-boat gold fleet (because of earlier consistency), and Eliott Hanson (6, 4), second in Hyères last year, slipped from leader to third. Australia’s Olympic champion, Matt Wearn, stayed on all their shoulders after finishing second in the last race after seventh in the first.

Ireland's Finn Lynch Moves up to 36th

The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch moved up in the Gold fleet to improve from 44th to 36th overall in the ILCA 7 class.

He scored 28th in the day's opening race but took eleventh place this afternoon.

Two more races are scheduled for Friday to conclude fleet racing, but Lynch cannot win a place in Saturday's medal race final.

Results are here

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The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch made the gold fleet in French Olympic Sailing Week on Wednesday, but a U-flag disqualification for a premature start means he is now unlikely to compete in Saturday's medal race final.

The ILCA 7 fleet completed their minimum five race races to make the qualification cut.

A black flag disqualification for early-starting in Wednesday's delayed opening race had seemed set to scupper Lynch's Gold fleet chances, but the World Number 3 has made the top third of his 155-boat fleet, even nursing his long-term wrist injury.

"He's made Gold fleet, and there are still four races, so everything is open, but the Black Flag makes it very difficult as there's only one discard," Lynch's coach Vasilij Zbogar said.

"We are going to treat this regatta as a training event and focus on the areas we need to improve on", he said. 

One of the areas identified was a lack of upwind speed in strong winds, but forecasts say it is unlikely these conditions will be replicated in the Bay of Hyeres again this week.

Lynch will know that improvements will need to come fast as the all-important Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifier in The Hague – with 40% of Olympic places up for grabs – is now four months away.

Strong day for British ILCA 7 sailors

It was another strong day for Britain in the ILCA 7, who was last out of the water at 20:00.

Eliott Hanson, second in Hyères last year, retained the overall lead despite 18, 8 finishes in yellow fleet. Daniel Whiteley was 2, 12 in red fleet, but Michael Beckett fared better in the light, winning his first race and finishing 4th in the second in blue fleet to move into third place. He has been the most consistent sailor this week so far and has not been out of the top five.

It was a tougher day for the Australians, but Olympic champion, Matt Wearn, was 10, 4 in the yellow fleet and is still very much in the hunt. Just two points separate the top five, and only 12 across the top 10.

Results are here

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Lack of upwind pace in strong Mistral conditions left Finn Lynch fighting to regain places in the first ILCA 7 races of French Olympic Sailing Week today.

The Paris 2024 campaigner, who is nursing a long-term wrist injury, confronted near gale force winds at Cap de L'Esteral, Hyeres. 

“I didn’t feel super-good to be honest; I was struggling a lot, the conditions were very, very hard, but hopefully, better performance by me in the next few days,” the Irish world number three said. “I need to prioritise starting as I found myself in bad lanes on the upwinds.”

Lynch, who seeks a medal race finish this week, was around 25th in his fleet after the first upwind leg, but he recovered in the downwind and still finished around 12th to stay within the qualifying limit for the gold fleet. 

Two further races will be sailed on Tuesday to complete the qualification round for the Gold fleet in the ILCA7, but similar conditions, if not harder, is forecast.

Ewan McMahon, Lynch's rival for the single Paris ILCA 7 berth, is not competing in Hyeres.

Britain’s Elliot Hanson, second here last year and Germany’s Philipp Buhl, fifth at the Tokyo Olympics, got 2-1 and 1-2 finishes, respectively to top the leaderboard, but Australia’s Olympic champion, Matt Wearn bagged two fourth places. 

Results are here

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With an Olympic medal as his stated ambition, the National Yacht Club's ILCA 7 sailor Finn Lynch will hope to return to earlier form when he competes at French Olympic Week in Hyerés next week (24-29th April 2023).

Lynch finished best of the Irish in 13th (and tenth European) at the ILCA 7 European Championships in Andora, Italy, last month, but a left-hand wrist injury will not go away despite ongoing treatment, and it affected him again in Palma a fortnight ago when he finished 25th overall at the  52nd Trofeo Princesa Sofia, Mallorca.

As regular Afloat readers will recall, the world number three complained of the problem as far back as last year at Hyeres 2022.

In Palma, Lynch's coach Vasilij Zbogar said, "Recovery from the Europeans two weeks ago wasn't managed well enough, so we need to adapt for the next time." 

Eagle-eyed observers will note his bandaged arm at the Andoran prizegiving.

At Hyeres 2022, Lynch finished 13th overall, missing the all-important medal race, something he will want to feature in this year given the proximity of the World Sailing Championships in three months' time, where the first Olympic places are up for grabs.

Lynch's rival for Paris 2024, Ewan McMahon of Howth, is not competing as the Hyeres regatta is not part of his 2023 plan.

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The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch improved steadily as Thursday's three-race day at the Princess Sofia Trophy progressed, including several impressive comebacks from the rear of the 60-boat ILCA 7 fleet in light winds.

The Rio Olympian's results were 22nd, 14th and an eleventh but ultimately lacked the top ten individual race results that he is known to produce as the world-ranked No. 3 sailor in this event.

Lynch finished the day in 20th overall, having displaced Paris 2024 rival Irish sailor Ewan McMahon (Howth Yacht Club), who slipped back a place to 26th overall after counting two mid-fleet results and discarding a 50th place.

A third Irish sailor, Jamie McMahon is placed 170th in the 184-boat fleet.

Michael Beckett Leads

Last year’s title winner Michael Beckett of Great Britain, stepped clear of the pack with a consistent day to lead by 16 points ahead of Cyprus’ 2012 Olympic silver medallist Pavlos Kontides.

Beckett who went 1,1,3 in the 8-10kts sea breeze said, “I'm happy with how I went given how fickle the wind was. Mark 1 was was so tight with the whole fleet arriving at pretty much the same time, it was a day of really fine margins. 3 races in gold fleet is a big day out for us, so I'm looking forwards to a big dinner this evening!”

Results are here

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Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon leads Irish hopes heading into the Gold fleet for the ILCA 7 class in 25th overall at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Mallorca.

McMahon's rival for Paris 2024, Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club posted seventh and eighth places, which pulled him up to 34th overall and, crucially, inside the Gold fleet cut as the Rio veteran had been as low as 124th after a day one UFD flag penalty.

Jamie McMahon (Howth YC) placed 140th overall and will compete in the Bronze Fleet finals.

The 2021 World Champion Germany’s Philipp Buhl came back from a black flag to record a 1,3 to lie second, whilst Australia’s Olympic champion Matt Wearn drops to 11th after a BFD also.

GBR’s Daniel Whitely has no counting score worse than second, and so leads the Men’s fleet, which has only managed five races over the first three days of racing.

Irish coach Vasilij Zbogar, maintains that as tomorrow is the start of the finals, "everything is still open".

Racing continues for the next three days, with sailors competing to win a top ten place for Saturday's single medal race final.

Results are here

Paris 2024 Irish Olympic sailors are among athletes across sixteen sports who were awarded a total amount of €115,000 to support their performance through an Olympic Federation of Ireland athlete's fund

ILCA 7 campaigner Finn Lynch, who just finished 13th overall at last week's European Championships in Italy, got €3,000, and the Irish doublehanded 49er crews, Dublin's Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove and Cork's Seafra Guilfoyle & Johnny Durcan were each awarded €3,000 per boat.

The proceeds of the fund were partially raised by the Make a Difference Golf Day in October 2022 and an additional €50,000 from the Olympic Federation of Ireland.

Athletes targeting both the Summer Olympics in Paris 2024 and the Winter Olympics in Milano Cortina 2026 will benefit from the fund, which will support applications detailing projects from training camps to specialist coaches.

Chair of the Olympic Federation of Ireland Athletes’ Commission, Shane O’Connor welcomed the increased amount saying,

“There are a huge number of athletes across a huge number of sports vying for Olympic qualification. The quality and depth of applications received were very impressive and highlighted that a little extra support to the athletes can really make a huge difference. We are happy as an Athletes' Commission to be able to support this fund, with the backing of the Olympic Federation of Ireland, and the Make a Difference golf fundraiser.”

Paris 2024 make a difference fund recipients - €93,000Paris 2024 make a difference fund recipients - €93,000

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Ireland's top hope for Paris 2024, Finn Lynch, worked back from disappointments on Thursday to finish tenth European and 13th overall in ILCA7 European Championships in Andora, Italy today. 

Although Lynch will rue mistakes made in gear failure and rules infringement, the most important thing for the Rio Olympian is that he knows he is on the pace for the all-important Olympic qualifiers coming up in the Hague this summer. 

“It was a very, very up and down week for me, a good start and a decent ending," Lynch said after racing ended.  "I was happy with how I was sailing, but definitely lots of room to improve.”

The series had started with plenty of promise, including straight top five places in the qualification round, setting the National Yacht Club sailor on a good trajectory into the final round.

Lynch's rival for Paris, Ewan McMahon, ended the event in 45th overall.

Final Results – ILCA 7

European Championships 

  1. Tonci Stipanovic CRO 41 pt
  2. Filip Jurisic CRO 42 pt
  3. Pavlos Kontides CYP 62 pt
  4. Nik Aaron Willim GER 67 pt
  5. William De Smet BEL 78 pt
  6. Philipp Buhl GER
  7. Duko Bos NED
  8. Jonatan Vadnai HUN
  9. Jean Baptiste Bernaz FRA
  10. Finn Lynch IRL

European Trophy

  1. Tonci Stipanovic CRO 41 pt
  2. Filip Jurisic CRO 42 pt
  3. Matthew Wearn AUS 48 pt
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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 - Irish Olympic Sailing Team 2023 Key Events

  • 07-Jul 14-Jul Marseilles, France ILCA 6, ILCA 7, 49ers World Olympic Test Event
  • 10-Aug 20-Aug The Hague, Netherlands ILCA 6, ILCA 7, 49ers World FIRST OLYMPIC QUALIFIER: 2023 World Sailing Championship and ILCA 7 World Championships 
  • 08-Nov 13-Nov Vilamoura, Portugal 49er European European Championships

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