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Displaying items by tag: Laser

Racing concluded on Sunday in the Royal Cork Yacht Club Laser and Topper Frostbite leagues with races 13,14 and 15 in bright but cold light winds under race officer Maurice Collins. Previous races in the series were overseen by Barry Rose and Rob Foster.

The league started this year with a six-race sprint event on Sunday the 7th which served as both a stand-alone event and the first 6 races in the Frostbite League.

Traditionally the prize-giving would be held at the junior laying up supper however as that has been postponed this year, Rear Admiral Dinghies Annamarie Fagan conducted the prize giving on the club lawn following racing.

Rear Admiral Dinghies Annamarie Fagan, ILCA 4 Winner Mauro G Regueral Noguerol, Laser class Captain Tim Mc CarthyRear Admiral Dinghies Annamarie Fagan, ILCA 4 Winner Mauro G Regueral Noguerol, Laser class Captain Tim Mc Carthy

Sailing in both ILCA 4 and Toppers went right down to the wire with final places changing in both on the last day.

Runner up Isabel Mc CarthyILCA 4 Runner up Isabel Mc Carthy

The overall winner in ILCA 4 was Mauro G Regueral Noguerol with Isabel Mc Carthy in second and Max Tolan third.

3rd Ilca 4 Max Tolan3rd ILCA 4 Max Tolan

Overall Topper gold fleet winner and recipient of the Bill Jones trophy presented by Brian Jones was Rowan MacSweeney with Liam Duggan second and Julie O Neill third. Andrew O'Neill won the silver fleet with Ellen Mc Donagh second and Sean Holmes third.

Royal Cork Topper Frostbite racingRoyal Cork Topper Frostbite racing

Class captains Maurice Collins (Toppers) and Tim Mc Carthy (Lasers) would like to thank all those that volunteered over the month and during the year in helping both fleets to go racing and most of all to the sailors for such a spirited series.

Published in Royal Cork YC

As Afloat reported earlier, Ireland has two entries at the 2021 ILCA 6/Laser Radial World Championship while the British Sailing Team is fielding three – Hannah Snellgrove, Daisy Collingridge and Matilda Nicholls - supported by British Sailing Team lead pathway coach James Gray (pictured above). The trio will be joined by young Brits Molly Sacker and Anya Haji-Michael. Notably absent from the line-up is three-time Olympian Ali Young, who has decided to retire from Olympic campaigning.

It’s been almost two years since the last ILCA 6 World Championship was held in Melbourne, Australia. Ok, there’s been the small matter of the Olympics, but for the majority of ILCA 6 athletes this will be the first global event for a while. In fact, Young was the only Brit in the field at the 2020 event. In 2019 Snellgrove placed seventh, and you’ve got to go back to 2018 to find Collingridge’s last world championship result, an 83rd at the Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. That was a long time ago, and all three Brits have proven themselves forces to be reckoned with since then. Collingridge, in particular, posted a seventh at the 2021 ILCA 6 European Championship with Snellgrove and Nicholls not far behind in 17th and 20th respectively.

Daisy Collingridge, 22, Waldringfield, Suffolk: “We’ve done a good training block the last two months leading up to this event, really focusing on the main progress points which came out of Europeans. It’s definitely a lot warmer out here than Weymouth (thankfully!) but I feel super prepared for racing next week. Again it’s another great opportunity to line up against the best in the world and I can’t wait to get onto the start line.”

Hannah Snellgrove, 31, Lymington, Hants: “2021 has been a long season for us and I’m looking forward to rounding it out with my first World Championships since 2019. There’s something quite special about sailing up to the start line of the Worlds and I’m looking forward to trying to capitalise on some of my good performances this year and also progress some areas of my racing that need improvements. Oman seems like a really interesting venue with quite light and patchy winds so I’m sure there will be lots of learning!”

Published in Laser
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Ireland took two top five overall results at the Laser (ILCA) World Championship results yesterday in the 'Master' categories at Barcelona, Spain.

Royal St. George's Sean Craig moved up to fourth overall in the 47-boat ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master fleet while George Kingston moved up to fifth in the 13-boat ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice division. 

While the Irish sailors narrowly missed the podium both were presented with coveted top five Laser 'Cube' awards at the Barcelona Sailing Centre.

George Kingston moved up to fifth in the 13-boat ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice division. George Kingston moved up to fifth in the 13-boat ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice division. 

The strong Irish international performance in the class follows Finn Lynch's runner up place at the Laser Worlds at the same venue earlier this month, when the Rio Olympian secured Ireland's best ever result in the Olympic dinghy.

Two races were completed for all the ILCA 7 divisions and the ILCA 6 Masters and Grand Masters, while the one remaining race was completed for the other ILCA 6 divisions.

Sailors went out again for a 9:00 first warning signal in about 6–10 knots, enough wind to complete the championship.

ILCA 7

In the Apprentice division, Belgium’s Wannes Van Laer secured gold, with only 14 points, over Polish Maciej Graboswki and Italian Lorenzo Cerretelli.

In the Masters division, American Ernesto Rodriguez was named champion, 27 points ahead of fellow countryman Peter Hurley, and France’s Bertrand Blanchet rounded out the podium with bronze.

In the Grand Masters division, American Robert Hallawell finished first overall, with a comfortable lead over Argentina’s Alejandro Cloosand and Spain’s Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg Garcia.

In the Great Grand Masters division, Spain’s Jose Luis Doreste claimed gold, German Wolfgang Gerz won silver, and Great Britain’s Tim Law finished with bronze. 

ILCA 6

In the Apprentice division, Jon Emmett was named champion after finishing with only 12 points overall. Spain’s Arturo Reina and David Gonzalez secured silver and bronze, respectively. 

In the Masters division, Sweden’s Stefan Eriksson finished first overall ahead of France’s Jean-Christophe Leydet and Spanish Monica Azon. 

In the Grand Masters division, Gilles Coadou championed the fleet by 39 points, Spain’s Miquel Noguer won silver, and Belgian Pieter Van Laer finished with bronze.

In the Great Grand Masters division, American Bill Symes also ran away with gold, finishing the event with only 13 points. Canada’s Paul Clifford sailed into second place overall and Great Britain’s John Reay rounded out the podium in third.

In the Legend’s division, Americans Peter Seidenberg and Jaques Kerrest secured gold and silver, and Henk Wittenberg of the Netherlands won bronze.

The awards ceremony was presided over by Sergi Cadenas, vice president of the Catalan Sailing Federation, and Andrus Poski, ILCA representative. The championship was held at the facilities of the Barcelona International Sailing Center (BISC) and organized by the Catalan Sailing Federation, the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona, and the Real Club Marítimo de Barcelona, with the collaboration of World Sailing, ILCA, the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation, the Government of Catalonia, the Barcelona City Council, and the Barcelona Provincial Council.

Seethe event website here for full results.

Published in Laser
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Ireland is on the cusp of further top international Laser (ILCA) World Championship results today, this time in the 'Master' categories at Barcelona with two races left to sail.

Royal St. George's Sean Craig is lying fifth overall - and just one point off fourth place - in the 47-boat ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master fleet while George Kingston is sixth in the 13-boat ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice division. Roger O'Gorman is lying 10th in the same fleet.

The strong Irish international performance in the class follows Finn Lynch's runner up place at the Laser Worlds at the same venue earlier this month, when the Rio Olympian secured Ireland's best ever result in the Olympic dinghy.

Two races were completed yesterday on the penultimate day of the ILCA Masters World Championships. With another 9:00 first warning signal and a light northwest wind, the races went off without a hitch and the sailors were back on shore by 12:00. After today’s racing, two champions were predetermined in the ILCA 6 fleet: Great Britain’s Jon Emmett in the Apprentice division and American Bill Symes in the Great Grand Master division.

With one day to go, the ILCA 7 fleet has sailed 10 of the 12 championship races, as have the ILCA 6 Masters and Grand Masters. The ILCA 6 Apprentices, Great Grand Masters, and the Legends divisions, however, have completed 11 of the 12.

Belgium’s Wannes Van Laer is still defending first place in the ILCA 7 Apprentice division, just three points ahead of Polish Maciej Grabowski; both Americans Ernesto Rodriguez and Robert Hallawell hold significant leads in the ILCA 7 Masters and Grand Masters divisions, respectively, heading into the final day; and Spain’s Josele Doreste is also sitting far ahead in first in the Great Grand Masters division.

In ILCA 6 fleet, Emmett and Symes have secured their leads in the Apprentice and Great Grand Master divisions. Sweden’s Stefan Eriksson reclaimed his lead over France’s Jean-Christophe Leydet in the Masters division, France’s Gilles Coadou has a 29-point lead in the Grand Master division, and American Peter Seidenberg has maintained his first-place position in the Legend division.

The first warning signal is scheduled for the final day at 09:00, and the race committee will try to complete all 12 races of the championship today.

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Ireland stays close to the top of the leaderboards in both the ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice and ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master 2021 World Championships at Barcelona with four races left to sail by Saturday.

Royal St. George's Sean Craig dropped one place to sixth overall in a 47-boat ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master fleet while George Kingston stays fourth overall after two third scored in races seven and eight, in the 13-boat  ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice division. Roger O'Gorman is lying 11th in the same fleet.

Two races were completed on Thursday at the ILCA Masters World Championships. Another early start paid off, with the first warning signal at 9:00 and sailors were back on shore and finished for the day by 12:00. For the second day in a row, there’s been sunshine and stable wind, which has been ideal for racing. It was blowing about 8–10 knots this morning with gusts up to 14 knots, but the wind began to die right as the second races were wrapped up.

With two more races in all divisions, the ILCA 7 fleet has a total of eight races locked in. In the ILCA 6 fleet, the Apprentices, Great Grand Masters, and Legends have nine races and the Masters and Grand Masters have eight.

Belgium’s Wannes Van Laer secured his lead ahead of Polish Maciej Grabowski in the ILCA 7 Apprentice division, with two first-place finishes today. Americans Ernesto Rodriguez and Robert Hallawell maintained their lead in the ILCA 7 Masters and Grand Masters divisions, respectively. Spain’s Josele Doreste also held tight to his lead today in the ILCA 7 Great Grand Masters division.

In the ILCA 6 fleet, Great Britain’s Jon Emmett remains unstoppable in the Apprentice division with all nine first-place finishes. French Jean-Christophe Leydet slid ahead to lead the Masters division with first- and second-place finishes today, while fellow countryman Gilles Coadou returned to first place in the Grand Masters division. American Bill Symes also has nine firsts under his belt and leads the Great Grand Masters, while fellow American Peter Seidenberg continues to hold first in the Legends, just one point ahead of their compatriot Jacques Kerrest.

Two races are scheduled for Day 6 with the first warning signal at 9:00. Friday’s weather conditions are forecasted to be similar to those of Thursday, and just two days remaining to determine world champions.

See event website here for full results.

Published in Laser
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Ireland is close to the top of the leaderboards in both the ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice and ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master 2021 World Championships thanks to the efforts of two Irish sailors competing in Barcelona

Royal St. George's Sean Craig is lying fifth overall in a 47-boat ILCA 6 (Radial) Grand Master fleet while George Kingston is fourth overall in the 13-boat  ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) Apprentice division. Roger O'Gorman is lying 11th in the same fleet.

Two races were completed yesterday. After three grey days with unstable and light wind, the fourth day finally brought sun and stable wind.

Once again, the sailors had an early start today with the first warning signal at 9:00. The ILCA 6 fleets enjoyed an average northwesterly wind of 12–16 knots while the ILCA 7 had an average of 10–12 knots, and both were able to complete their races without a hitch, to be back on shore by 11:30.

After adding two races to all the scoreboards, the ILCA 7 divisions have completed a total of six races. In the ILCA 6 fleets, the Apprentices, the Great Grand Masters, and the Legends have completed seven races and the Masters and Grand Masters finished six.

The leaders in ILCA 7 are Poland’s Maciej Grabowski, tied with Belgian Wannes Van Laer, in the Apprentice division; American Ernesto Rodriguez added two more firsts to hold his lead in the Masters division while fellow countryman Robert Hallawell also maintained his lead over the Grand Masters, and Spain’s Josele Doreste is still leading the Great Grand Masters.

In the ILCA 6 fleets, Great Britain’s Jon Emmett added two more firsts to his picket fence in the Apprentice fleet; Sweden’s Stefan Eriksson is first of the Masters; Spain’s Miguel Noguer rose to the top of the Grand Master division; American Bill Symes also has a straight picket fence in the Great Grand Masters division while fellow countryman Peter Seidenberg sits in first place over the Legends.

Steady conditions are forecasted for Day 5 in the morning, so the first warning signal will be at 9:00 again with two races scheduled.

See event website here for full results.

Published in Laser
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Finn Lynch's silver medal last week in the ILCA 7 World Championships is an inspiration for anyone embarking on a Laser campaign but could there be more silver - or even gold - in Barcelona waters for Irish sailors this month?

As the ILCA 7 (Laser Standard) and ILCA 6 (Radial) Apprentice Master 2021 World Championships began at the Barcelona Sailing Centre on Sunday, three Irish sailors are hoping for a repeat performance.

One race was completed in each fleet at the 2021 Laser Masters World Championships, except for the ILCA 6 Masters and Grand Masters due to unstable and lack of wind. The sailors went out on schedule for the first warning signal at 12:00, with sunshine and good wind. But as the wind began to die, the two ILCA 6 divisions could not complete their first race, and the ILCA 7 fleet started their second race only to then abandon it.

In the ILCA 7 fleets, Maciej Grabowski of Poland is leading the Apprentices, ahead of Belgium’s Wannes Van Laser and Italian Lorenzo Cerretelli.

Ireland's George Kingston is ninth and Roger O'Gorman 13th in the 14-boat fleet.

Peter Hurley of the United States finished first in the Masters division, with fellow countryman Ernesto Rodriguez in second, and Australia’s Chris Caldecoat in third.The Grand Masters are lead by another American, Robert Hallawell, with Swiss Ferruccio Arvedi in second and Ron Lenson of the Netherlands in third. Finally, in the Great Grand Masters division, Great Britain’s Michael Hicks took the lead, with Jose Luis Doreste of Spain behind in second, and Germany’s Wolfgang Herz in third.

In the ILCA 6 fleets, Great Britain’s Jon Emmett is leading the Apprentices, ahead of Arturo Reina of Spain and Italian Roberto Giacalone.

In the Great Grand Master division, Americans Bill Symes and Bruce Martinson sit in first and third, respectively, with Canada’s Paul Clifford in second. Last but not least, Henk Wittenberg of the Netherlands is leading the Legends, with French Pierre Roche in second, and American Jacques Kerrest in third.

Royal St George's Sean Craig is yet to start in the ILCA 6 Grand Master division.

Forecasted wind for the week is light, but everyone is planning on and hoping for enough wind to complete some successful races.

See event website here for full results.

Apprentice age division change

In other Laser news, beginning in 2022, the Apprentice age division for ILCA Masters World Championships will include sailors ages 30 to 44. ILCA says it is excited about this change, which for the first time gives sailors under the age of 35 the opportunity to join the ILCA Masters World Championships and to enjoy the unique atmosphere of that fleet. All other Masters age categories will remain unchanged.

Published in Laser
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While everyone in Irish sailing and beyond shares in the joy of seeing Finn Lynch emerge so spectacularly from a performance drought to take Silver at this week’s Laser Worlds in Barcelona, it is really only those who have fully experienced the extremes of competition at this level of solo sailing – from the grim depths of isolated frustration to the exhilarated heights of shared achievement – who can most deeply appreciate the quality of what he has done.

Make no mistake about it, this was a very special regatta for a large and extremely competitive fleet. Some reports may have suggested a preponderance of flukey conditions, but one seasoned observer – often noted for his acerbic comments – bluntly stated that it was “magnificent” with its energetic variety of conditions, and racing at the highest level.

Out of this, with one race still to sail and a great first place out of what should have been the penultimate contest, Finn emerged with a scoreline of 3,6,8,10, 16,7, 2,1. Clearly, having already been good, he was onto a real roll towards the end. And with one race still to sail, he actually had the lowest gross points total in the entire fleet, but as he was discarding a 16th to the 37th of nett leader Tom Saunders of New Zealand, it was Saunders’ title to lose.

Keeping his cool and stacking up on the carbs – Finn in championship preparationKeeping his cool and stacking up on the carbs – Finn in championship preparation

It was not to be - the planned last race could not be sailed because of calm, and the final points were T.Saunders NZL 1st (23 pts); F.Lynch IRL 2nd 37pts; and T. Stipanovic CRO 3rd (65 pts..) at the head of a notably international fleet of 135 boats in which the Laser Standard (or the ILCA 7 if you prefer) demonstrated yet again that with 50 years and more of successful competition now logged, she really does do the business very well, and then some.

And for Ireland, the special nature of this result simply cannot be over-estimated. While it may be that during the Olympics the Lasers now get their greatest level of general global attention, the fact is that it was the Olympics that clambered aboard the Laser bandwagon back in 1996, rather than the other way round. And that was long after the Laser Class’s World Championship had already become firmly established as one of the planet’s truly great regattas.

Thus there are many for whom the Laser Worlds continue to be of greater importance than the four-yearly Olympic pressure cooker experience. Yet until now, Ireland has barely been at the races in this great event – it’s thought that a 19th back in pre-1996 days might have been our best showing.

But now, suddenly and gloriously, we have the Worlds Silver Medal for an Olympic sailor whose experiences have been decidedly mixed since he was – at 20 – the youngest helmsman in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Bill O’Hara in one of his many international roles, as Principal Race Officer for the Volvo Ocean RaceBill O’Hara in one of his many international roles, as Principal Race Officer for the Volvo Ocean Race

That sage observer Bill O’Hara OBE OLY of Ballyholme, a man of unrivalled experience in every aspect and form of international sailing, has put it crisply into perspective for us:

BILL O’HARA’S OPINION

Finn Lynch's result is the best Irish result ever at an Olympic Class Event World Championship. Mark Mansfield & David O'Brien were third in the Star Class in 2000, and David Burrows was third in the Finn Class Worlds in 2004. They were the previous contenders, but I think they would all agree that Finn's result is incredibly impressive.

What's even more impressive was his strength of character to recover from missing out on qualifying for the Olympic Games in April. He took stock, worked hard with his coach Vasilij Zbogar and produced a seventh in the Europeans last month, and now a second in the Worlds.

Finn’s coach, Vasilij Zbogar of Slovenia, has won two Olympic Silver and one Olympic Bronze in sailingFinn’s coach, Vasilij Zbogar of Slovenia, has won two Olympic Silver and one Olympic Bronze in sailing

Missing the cut for the Tokyo Olympics had been a savage blow for Finn Lynch after a long period of steady training and competition since he went into the Olympics at the deep end in 2016, but it is something which is well understood by Mark Lyttle who – in 1996 – was Ireland’s Laser sailor at the class’s first appearance, at the Atlanta Olympics, when he recorded a race win.

In order to reach the level required, he was the first Irish Laser sailor to take up campaigning full time, supported by a discreetly assembled team of backers who were keen to see Irish Olympic sailing move onto a proper professional basis with the resources to concentrate full time on one class.

Thus Mark Lyttle was very much in a pioneering role a quarter of a century and more ago, but despite it being a challenging experience, it has not dented his love of Laser racing, his most recent major achievement being winning the Lasers Masters Worlds in Dublin Bay in 2018. Nevertheless he can remember the down times in the long countdown to Atlanta, and particularly a six month period when nothing was going right, and he had to step back and – successfully as it emerged – re-dial the whole business.

Mark Lyttle, Ireland’s first Olympic sailor in the Lasers in 1996, is seen here as winner of the Laser World Masters in Dublin Bay in 2018. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’BrienMark Lyttle, Ireland’s first Olympic sailor in the Lasers in 1996, is seen here as winner of the Laser World Masters in Dublin Bay in 2018. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

It was an experience which gives him a special insight into Finn Lynch’s extended period of disappointing results. In a class as numerous and globally popular as the Laser, inevitably it’s something many talented helms will share – the new World Champion Tom Saunders, for instance, has been banging at the door of a major podium place for ten years. But in Mark Lyttle’s case, those six months of frustration and disappointment in the 1990s have a greater relevance, as he knows only too well how such things play out within the Irish sailing context, so his thoughtful comments this week carry extra weight:

MARK LYTTLE’S THOUGHTS

It's a tremendous result and a great platform on which to go forward.

The real benefit of a super result like this is around the building of confidence. ILCA boats provide no technical advantage no matter how much money you spend, and boat speed starts to equalise when everyone is sailing full-time, so psychology becomes more and more important. It is about confidence that has been backed up by results, and has real foundation. Knowing you can do it because you have done it.

And it is not just about confidence, it is about dealing with stress and tension when the pressure is on, and also building resilience to deal with the ups and downs, not just in a regatta, but around the campaign as a whole. These experiences are the foundation of getting top results at the Olympics. And of course in the short term, it provides motivation for a hard winter of training.

ANNALISE MURPHY & CATHY MAC ALEAVEY’S THOUGHTS

However, while Bill O’Hara and Mark Lyttle know Finn Lynch primarily as a sailor, 2016 Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy and her mother Cathy Mac Aleavey – an Olympian in the 470 Class in 1988 – know him as sailor, friend and shipmate, something which was well demonstrated in the summer of 2020 as sailing began to emerge from the first pandemic lockdown, when Finn was invited to race with Annalise in the family’s Water Wag in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the friendship being strengthened by a handy win.

Finn Lynch and Annalise Murphy winning a Water Wag Race in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, July 2020. Photo: Con MurphyFinn Lynch and Annalise Murphy winning a Water Wag Race in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, July 2020. Photo: Con Murphy

That Water Wag race seen again in this week’s congratulatory Tweet from Annalise.That Water Wag race seen again in this week’s congratulatory Tweet from Annalise.

Both Cathy and Annalise are now very much in post-Olympic mode, with the latter immersed in an MBA at Trinity College Dublin, while Cathy – having excelled in classic boat-building under the tutelage of the late great Jimmy Furey of Lecarrow – has been somewhat taken up with dog breeding. Yet here again she has been blessed with success, and Mac Aleavey Kennels are showing splendid new sibling pups, one golden and the other black.

Olympic sailor and classic boat-builder Cathy Mac Aleavey’s latest venture. Photo: Cathy Mac AelaveyOlympic sailor and classic boat-builder Cathy Mac Aleavey’s latest venture. Photo: Cathy Mac Aelavey

Despite all this, they have been following Finn Lynch’s progress with sympathetic understanding, and some celebration in the Kennels this week produced the following statement:

Sailing is such a difficult sport, especially the Laser Standard Fleet where the depth of talent is so high.

To keep on trying after the disappointment of not making the Tokyo Olympics shows his strength of character.

We think Carmel Winkelmann must be thrilled wherever she is. She never lost her faith in Finn.

Roll on Paris 2024!

CARMEL WINKELMANN’S CONTRIBUTION

That reference to the late Carmel Winkelmann will have immediately rung a bell with many who monitor Irish sailing, and particularly Dublin Bay racing. Through her fifty years and more of junior training and general encouragement for promise shown in the National Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire harbour generally, Carmel had become a formidable talent scout, so much so that when the news broke of Finn’s Silver Medal on Wednesday, Afloat.ie immediately had one-liners with “That’s one for Carmel” as their brief but clear theme. Perhaps this can best be explained by our Sailing on Saturday for July 23rd 2016

The late Carmel Winkelmann and the young Finn Lynch at the National Yacht Club in July 2016. Photo: W M NixonThe late Carmel Winkelmann and the young Finn Lynch at the National Yacht Club in July 2016. Photo: W M Nixon

The story of how a boy from Benekerry in the lovely depths of County Carlow came to frontline international sailing by way of Blessington Sailing Club in the Wicklow Hills and the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire now has a profound added resonance. And while we can’t properly publish some of the private emails we’ve received from the trans-national coaching brotherhood about their genuine and unfeigned delight in Finn Lynch’s success, let’s just say that for an extremely special select international group, this is seen as very good news indeed. Nevertheless, they’re concerned that the powers-that-be truly realise that right now is the time that Finn Lynch will need a new level of psychological and organisational support. Time will tell.

Published in W M Nixon
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After playing havoc with the ILCA 7/Laser World Championships all week, Mother Nature decided to end the regatta early with Storm Blas preventing the final day’s racing, a decision that handed Ireland its best ever Laser World Championship result but also denied second overall Finn Lynch the possibility of going one better given the on-form Dun Laoghaire ace had the best discardable result and was least at risk from further races.

With two days lost to light winds early on in the regatta, only eight races were completed over the six-day event.

Any hopes of bettering positions were dashed by the huge seas preventing sailors from leaving the harbour at Barcelona Sailing Centre, the Brits taking on the 135-boat fleet had to settle for their day five scores.

Taking the title of top Brit was 23-year-old Welshman and the Irish Sea sailor Daniel Whiteley, who finished eighth in what was his first world championships since becoming a full-time athlete with the British Sailing Team.

Whiteley followed up on last month’s 13th place at the ILCA 7 European Championships with another personal best against the international fleet.

“It feels incredible,” said Whiteley, from Bangor. “I’ve missed racing at the front since I aged out of under-21 regattas, so to be back in the top ten feels amazing. This is the first world championship I’ve been to since 2018 and my first since going full time with the British Sailing Team. To come away with this result means everything.”

Fellow young gun Sam Whaley also bettered his 22nd at the Euros – also a personal best – to come home 15th, obliterating his 2020 result of 64th.

“It’s been a really tricky week here in Barcelona but I’m pretty chuffed to finish the event 15th overall, an improvement of almost fifty places from last year,” the 24-year-old from Swanage, Dorset, said.

“The team environment we have is brilliant and has really allowed us to level up this year. It’s pretty cool to share this success with my squadmates as well as coaches Penny and Matt, who have been awesome this week. I’m going to remember this one for a long time.”

Tokyo 2020 Team GB athlete Elliot Hanson led the regatta at the halfway stage when teammate and recently crowned European champion Micky Beckett picked up the mantle.

However, the pair’s medals hopes were ended when a collision between them on the start line of the final race of day five resulted in Beckett pulling out with a minor injury and Hanson retiring in accordance with the rules.

Beckett finished 13th while Hanson was 17th.

“It’s been good to be back racing after a prolonged break since Tokyo,” Hanson said. “It’s obviously a real shame to end the way it did having led most of the week. An unfortunate freak accident that ultimately took both myself and Micky out of the standings wasn’t in the script.

“I’m happy he’s ok though and look forward to training hard together this winter. Special mention to both Sam and Dan who have been working hard and sailed a fantastic week to both score personal bests.”

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After three gold fleet races at the Laser Worlds/ILCA 7 Championships in Barcelona, Ireland's Finn Lynch has moved up to second overall.

With one day of competition (Wednesday) to decide the overall honours, the National Yacht Club ace is 14 points off the lead in a fleet of 139 entries drawn from 44 countries.

At lunchtime today, the fleet was signalled with 'AP over H' on the water and 'AP' displayed ashore for the Silver fleet bringing Tuesday racing to a conclusion.

The on-form Rio Olympian signalled his intentions of making good on his campaign for Paris 2024 after missing out on Tokyo with a seventh at the European Championships just a month ago.

He has sailed a consistent series so far this week in the trickiest of conditions, chalking up a 7,2,1 in the first day of gold fleet racing today.

Provisional results position of the ILCA 7/Laser World ChampionshipsThe provisional results position of the ILCA 7/Laser World Championships with one day left to sail

Lynch was placed eighth overall after a long day on the water on Monday but leapfrogged some of the world's top sailors at the start of the 70-boat gold fleet racing with a magnificent race win for Ireland in the last race today. 

The New Zealand overall leader Thomas Saunders finished one place ahead of Lynch at the Bulgarian-hosted Euros in October and previously made the Laser Worlds top ten in 2017 and 2019.

Some places 28 points adrift of Lynch is the Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Tonci Stipanovic, an indication of the level of competition at the Barcelona Sailing Centre this week.

The prospect of Lynch posting a top result was discussed on Afloat in its World Championships preview here.

Meanwhile, there were mixed results for the other Irish boats in action on the penultimate day of racing in Barcelona.

Howth YC's Ewan McMahon moved up to 25th overall in the Gold fleet thanks to a 12th place in the second race of the day.

It was a similar story for Under 21 sailor Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George YC who had a 15th place on his first day of racing in the Gold fleet where he lies 47th overall.

Jamie McMahon (Howth YC), younger brother of Ewan had a seventh-place on Tuesday in the Silver fleet where he lies 14th overall.

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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?

The sailing event will be held in the remote coastal resort of Marseille, over 700 km from the main Olympic Games venue in Paris.

What are the Olympic sailing classes for Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Regatta?

A mixed two-person offshore keelboat will join kiteboarding, windsurfing, multihulls, singlehanded and doublehanded dinghies and skiffs.

Three of the 10 events to be contested in Tokyo in 2021 will be replaced for the following Olympics in a drive for gender equity in the sport.

The new medal events to be introduced are a mixed one-person dinghy, a team event where men and women compete in separate gender-specific boats, a mixed two-person dinghy and mixed kitesurfing - making a first appearance for kitesurfing at the Games after it was adopted and then dropped for Rio 2016.

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