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Displaying items by tag: Laser

Despite the gathering record-breaking heatwave over Europe as July progressed, Ireland’s Eve McMahon (17) won Gold at both the ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) European Youth Championship in Greece, and then Gold again at the 2022 World Sailing Youth World Championship in The Netherlands, where her Howth YC clubmate Rocco Wright (15) also collected Gold after a masterful final race.

But as world climate observers never tire of telling us, what is currently regarded as extreme heat in mid-Europe is simply thought of as fairly normal summer in places like southern Texas.

Yet a six-strong Irish ILCA team is now bound for the ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) Youth World Championships at Houston in Texas (starting Monday, July 25th) where the typical forecast for the city this afternoon (Thursday) predicts a temperature of 37C. However, it will feel like 41C owing to an underlying high level of humidity (86% at night) which does admittedly fall to 42% when the afternoon’s 15 kmh southerly breeze sets in.

Double Gold – Eve McMahon & Rocco Wright after total success in The HagueDouble Gold – Eve McMahon & Rocco Wright after total success in The Hague

But whether it’s a case of out of the frying pan into the fire or not remains to be seen. In the stellar Netherlands championship, their coach Vasilij Zbogar commented on how cool the two young stars stayed throughout. And though that was about their general state of mind, it’s a very useful foundation to have in place when you’re dealing with the added challenge of searing heat.

Also racing for Ireland is Sophie Kilmartin. Fiachra McDonnell, Luke Turvey and Oisin Hughes, with Liam Glynn as coach. 

Next week’s hot spot for world youth sailing. The Houston Yacht Club is – meteorologically speaking - the coolest place in townNext week’s hot spot for world youth sailing. The Houston Yacht Club is – meteorologically speaking - the coolest place in town

In Texas, the Irish team will face a wide field of 212 sailors from 35 countries. All sailors are under 18. The regatta is held over a week from Monday 25 July to Saturday 30th July. There are two races scheduled per day, each lasting approximately 50 minutes. Hosting the event is the Houston Yacht Club, based in Shoreacres, Texas, USA and the International Laser Class Association (ILCA).

Published in Youth Sailing

The ILCA/Laser Ulster Championships took place at Strangford Lough Yacht Club at the weekend. Over twenty individual clubs were represented from all four provinces, showing the continued strength of the class throughout the island of Ireland, with all age categories represented from youths through to great grandmasters.

Saturdays South/South Westerly proved tricky for the race committee as the wind shifted this way and that off the land in a breeze which averaged around ten knots and hit up to twenty-two knots in the brisk squalls. Nonetheless, RRO Angela Gilmore and ARO Scott Rogers persevered and served up three races for all three ILCA rigs.

In the ILCA 4’s, Krzysztof Ciborowski (RSGYC) was the leading overnight sailor on three points, with Hannah Dadley Young (BYC), Daniel O’Connor (RSGYC) and Daniel Palmer (BYC) in a three-way tie on four points each.

In the ILCA 6’s, Benjamin Reeser (NYC) led on two points, with Sean Craig (RSGYC) in second on three points and Lucas Nixon (BYC) in third place on five points.

In the ILCA 7’s, Conor O’Farrell (CLYC) led overnight on five points, while Gavan Murphy (RSGYC) and Dan Sheriff (BYC) were tied on seven points for second and third.

What started with a glorious Westerly in ten to fifteen knots on Sunday soon turned out to follow a similar weather pattern to the Saturday with very shifty conditions coming off the shore.

Nonetheless, the race committee persevered and managed to squeeze in a series, thanks in no small part to rib drivers and their crews, who were busy moving marks and start lines throughout the day.

In the ILCA 4’s, Hannah Dadley Young (BYC) came out blazing to take the overall win. In contrast, Daniel O’Connor (RSGYC) and Krzysztof Ciborowski (RSGYC) took home second and third, respectively, Ciborowski just pipping Daniel Palmer (BYC) on count back. At the same time, Lucy Ives (CSC) was the second-placed girl overall.

In the ILCA 6’s, Benjamin Reeser (NYC) continued his overnight form and took the win, while Lucas Nixon (BYC) came flying out of the blocks with two first-place results to take second overall from Sean Craig (RSGYC), who finished third overall.

Charlotte Eadie (BYC), sister Kaitlyn Eadie (BYC) and Shirley Gilmore (RSGYC) were first, second and third-placed ladies overall.

In the ILCA 7’s, Conor O’Farrell (CLYC) remained true to form and maintained his overnight lead to take the win overall from Colin Leonard (SLYC) on count back, with Gavan Murphy (RSGYC) in third overall.

Published in Laser
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The National Yacht Club's Mark Lyttle took second overall at the 2022 ILCA 7/Laser Masters World Championships in Mexico on Tuesday.

The 24-boat championships took place in Puerto Valletta on the Pacific Coast of Mexico in the same venue as the Senior Worlds where Lyttle's clubmate Finn Lynch came sixth at the ILCA7 World's last month.

The Dun Laoghaire sailor, who is based in the UK, took the Grand Master World title in 2018 on home waters, but all-around Masters legend Brett Beyer of Australia had just moved up to the Grand Master Category (55-64 upwards) and proved an unstoppable opponent.

With only one discard out of 12 races, consistency was key but not easy as you had to pick a side to hook into the strengthening breeze. The middle of the line starts and shifts up the middle never seemed to work. Downwind speed was also key, especially in marginal surfing conditions. 

Mark Lyttle surfing to silver in MexicoMark Lyttle surfing to silver in Mexico Photo: John Pounder

"We expected similar conditions with the sea breeze developing from noon each day but a slightly early start time for the masters meant the first race was invariably sailed in less than 10 knots but often building to 12 to 15 knots with beautiful surfing waves and 30 degrees temperature - champagne conditions", Lyttle told Afloat.

"I had put together a good series by the start of the last day with two races to be sailed in the lightest winds of the week with 10 and 14 points ahead of 3rd and 4th", he said.

Mark Lyttle clung on to second overall despite a strong challenge from Canada and Spain in the last of 12 races Photo: John Pounder/ILCAMark Lyttle clung on to second overall despite a strong challenge from Canada and Spain in the last of 12 races Photo: John Pounder/ILCA

Having rounded in third at the first mark and in good shape to secure second overall (leader Bayer was on course to win his 14th World masters title) I promptly dropped to 10th at the end in very tricky conditions. That meant a final race showdown with Andy Roy of Canada and Jose Van Der Ploeg of Spain. Each one of us was ahead at one stage but I managed a nice last beat with some tactical covering and hung on", Lyttle told Afloat.

Top three

  1. Brett Beyer AUS 15
  2. Mark Lyttle GBR/IRL 44
  3. Andrew Roy CAN 48

Full results are here

Published in Laser
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18 Ukrainian ILCA/Laser sailors were outside of Ukraine, training or racing when the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine started at the end of February.

The sailors are mostly from Odesa and Kyiv and have been unable to return to their homes.

These sailors continue to train and compete internationally thanks to generous donations from the sailing community. The Irish Laser class association, ILCA Ireland, were quick to respond to the call for help and raised €1,500 in donations to support Ukrainian ILCA sailors.

Irish Laser sailors collected €700 which ILCA topped up to €1,500.

To assist this group, EurILCA (the European governing body for ILCA/ Laser dinghy) launched a crowdfunding campaign and requested assistance from the 42 district members across Europe; one of them being ILCA Ireland.

Donations are being managed by EurILCA with all collections going solely to support the ILCA Ukrainian team to travel, train and race. More information and link to make further donations HERE

Sofiia Naumenko, the 23-year-old ILCA 6 sailor from Dnipro, has coordinated the efforts.

In an interview on 21st May, she said; "When the war started, I was in Spain. I had no idea where to stay and so I was put in contact with a former windsurfer from my country who has lived in Spain for ten years. Her name is Olga Maslivets. She hosted me in her apartment and then helped me find a place to sleep both at the Europa Cup, held in Port de Pollenca, and at the Princesa Sofia Trophy, in Palma de Mallorca."

Sofiia is now training at lake Garda in Italy and commented; "Here in Italy the Ukrainian team is much bigger and therefore we all live in different places. After this regatta, I will go to France, to the Hyères Olympic Week, where I believe the organizing committee will help me find a cheap accommodation. After all, I expect to have to stay in Europe for a while longer. "

The 18 sailors from the Ukrainian ILCA team are:

1. Sofiia Naumenko (ILCA 6)
2. Devid Izmailovsky (ILCA 6/7)
3. Oskar Madonich (ILCA 7)
4. Andrii Verdysh (ILCA 6/7)
5. Danylo Raichuk (ILCA 6)
6. Ivan Zhukalin (ILCA 7)
7. Valeriy Kudryashov (ILCA 7)
8. Stanislav Mulko (ILCA 7)
9. Semen Khashchyna (ILCA 6)
10. Nazar Artiukh (ILCA 6)
11. Roman Akopov (ILCA 6)
12. Andrii Lipchenko (ILCA 6)
13. Yelyzaveta Vynohradova (ILCA 6)
14. Anna Dehasiuk (ILCA 6)
15. Ivan Pylypchii (ILCA 4)
16. Ivan Antipin (ILCA 4)
17. Varvara Postrelko (ILCA 4)
18. Denys Saidukov (ILCA 7)

Published in Laser
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The National Yacht Club's Mark Lyttle stays second going into the final two races of the 2022 ILCA 7/Laser Grand Masters World Championships in Mexico.

Canadian Allan Clark won the first race of the day – as a typical ILCA 6 sailor, the lighter wind suited him. The fleet’s leader of the week, Australian Brett Beyer, won the second race and continues to hold first overall. Ireland’s Mark Lyttle still sits in second and Spain’s Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg in third.  

Two final races are scheduled for Tuesday.

For full results, see here

Published in Laser
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The National Yacht Club's Mark Lyttle is going well at the 2022 ILCA 7 Masters World Championships in Mexico this weekend.

After six races sailed and one discard to count, the 1996 Atlanta Olympian is two points off the lead in a 24-boat fleet. 

The venue is the same as where Lyttle's clubmate Finn Lynch sailed to his second top ten at the ILCA Worlds late last month.

If the Dun Laoghaire sailor, who is based in the UK, is to reclaim his Grand Master World title in 2018 on home waters, he will need to dislodge all-around Masters legend Brett Beyer of Australia.

Beyer has just graduated from the 45-55 category and has four race wins in his score tally at the halfway point. He previously won seven Laser Apprentice Masters World Championships between 2001 and 2010.

Saturday was a reserve day at Vallarta Yacht Club, with racing scheduled to resume on Sunday running until Tuesday.

Results are here

Published in Laser
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British sailor Sam Whaley described the 2022 ILCA 7/Laser World Championships as the hardest six days of his life – as he notched up a personal best 11th-place finish.

From 64th in 2020 to 15th in the 2021 event, Whaley was within touching distance of the top ten at this year’s regatta in Vallarta, Mexico.

All four of the British Sailing team athletes came inside the top 20 of the 126-boat fleet for the second year in a row.

Whaley, 25, from Swanage, Dorset, said: “It’s been a really tough week out here in Mexico, but I’m over the moon with the result.

“The heat combined with some illness made the event the hardest six days of my entire life. However, I’m really happy with how I’ve been sailing and it’s great to knock in another solid result in such a high-profile fleet.”

Whaley moved in to the top ten with two second-place finishes of the six-race qualifying series. He remained there through the six-race finals before eventually dropping a spot on the final day.

Whaley added: “It was great to also knock in another solid worlds performance with Dan [Whiteley], together with Micky [Beckett] and Elliot [Hanson] - we’ve got a really good squad going at the moment.”

The top Brit was Tokyo 2020 Olympian Elliot Hanson who was knocking on the door of a podium finish right until the final day of the competition.

Hanson, who had two race wins in qualifying, had put himself in contention for a medal, but a final day 9th and DNC eventually meant a seventh-place finish.

Dan Whiteley put in another strong performance, which included a race win, to back up his top ten finish in 2021. He sat just behind teammate Whaley in 12th.

Micky Beckett rued his mistakes throughout the week to come home in 18th, but finishing on the high of a race win, the Pembrokeshire sailor aims to take the positives forward.

Beckett, 27, said: “I just made far too many mistakes. It’s been a tough week where I kept trying to get it right, but ultimately never did. I'm looking forwards to a break and figuring out how best to learn from this.”

Full results can be found here

Published in Laser
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The well supported 2022 ILCA/Laser Master Championship 2022 at the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour saw a combined fleet of 56 boats - including UK visitors - for the weekend championship in the south of Dublin Bay.

Six races were sailed in light to medium winds in both the ILCA 6 (Radial) and ILCA 7 (Standard rig) rigs over trapezoid courses.

There was a combined fleet of 56 boats for the ILCA Masters Championships made up of 32 ILCA 6 rigs and 24 ILCA 7sThere was a combined fleet of 56 boats for the ILCA Masters Championships made up of 32 ILCA 6 rigs and 24 ILCA 7s Photo: Afloat

Prizes were awarded for age categories in each rig type; 30 years to 44 – Apprentice, 45 to 54 – Master, 55 to 64 – Grand Master and 65 to 74 – Great Grand Master.

Wicklow helmsman Michael Norman is the 2022 Great Grandmaster ILCA 6 championWicklow helmsman Michael Norman is the 2022 Great Grandmaster ILCA 6 champion

Wicklow helmsman Michael Norman is the 2022 Great Grandmaster champion in the 32-boat ILCA 6 class. The Grandmaster titleholder is Sean Craig of the Royal St. George Yacht Club and his Dun Laoghaire clubmate Brendan Hughes is the Master champion.

Brendan Hughes is the Master championBrendan Hughes is the ILCA 6 Master champion Photo: Afloat

The ILCA 6 Apprentice title was won by Malahide's Darren Griffin. 

In the ILCA 6 Female fleet, a closely fought battle for national champion saw Judy O'Beirne of the Royal St George Yacht Club win over her clubmate Shirley Gilmore. Alison Pigot of the National Yacht Club was third female. 

Royal Cork's Nick Walsh is the Grandmaster championRoyal Cork's Nick Walsh is the Grandmaster champion (above) Photo: Afloat

Royal Cork's Nick Walsh wins the pin end in a start at the ILCA Masters on Dublin BayRoyal Cork's Nick Walsh wins the pin end in a start at the ILCA Masters on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

In the ILCA 7, Charlie Taylor from Balyholme Yacht Club takes the Great Grandmaster title while Cork sailors took the rest of the silverware. Royal Cork's Nick Walsh is the Grandmaster champion. Dan O'Connell is the Master Champion and Apprentice champion is Kieran Dorgan of Cove Sailing Club

Results are here

Published in Laser

Ten points off a medal, Finn Lynch leaves the Laser/ILCA 7 World in Mexico disappointed not to be on the podium, but it nevertheless confirms the National Yacht Club ace as one of the World's top ten Laser sailors as the battle for a single place in Paris 2024 intensifies.

After his week-long domination at the front of the 126-boat championship, Jean Baptiste Bernaz of France emerged with Gold. However, his lead narrowed in the penultimate race after a disqualification for early starting.

Lynch went into the final day in fifth (he was as high as fourth overall last Wednesday) but overhauling either Croatia's Tonci Stipanovic or 2017 Laser World Champion Pavlos Kontides proved to be too big an ask. Two solid races on the final day were needed to reach the podium and sit with his silver medal from the last world championships in November 2021.

Lynch had a 21st place in the penultimate race, which he couldn't discard, having previously used his discard through gear failure (a downhaul rope breakage in the last qualified on Wednesday that he may well rue). 

He wasn't the only one to drop back as New Zealander Thomas Saunders who was second had to be satisfied with the leather medal after the final shake-up.

The first race of the day brought a little drama when the event leader Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) got a Black flag, and Pavlos Kontides (CYP) finished fifth, which lifted him to a second overall place, with just 12 points behind Jean-Baptiste. By finishing 14th place, Thomas Saunders (NZL) fell to the third position, only five points ahead of Tonci Stipanovic (CRO).

According to the Notice of Race, the last possible Warning signal at 1500 made it impossible to race committee to give to the Silver fleet a second race, so they finished the championship with 11 races sailed total.

However, the Gold fleet still managed to get their last race started in time and Michael Beckett (GBR) made his best race during the regatta by winning that race. Filip Jurisic (CRO) finished second, which moved him up to the 3rd overall position; Joel Rodriquez Perez (ESP) finished third.

Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) by finishing 7th in the last race secured his position he held almost the whole regatta and became the new ILCA 7 World Champion.

For the first time, the ILCA 7 Men's World Champion title goes to France!

As the top Irish contender, Lynch is attempting to rebuild after his disappointment of failing to qualify for Tokyo 2020. All credit to him that he is on the right tack at the first opportunity.

A catalogue of quality results achieved since last November shows the depth of the ambition of a new and improved Irish number one.

Since the Laser/ILCA 7 dinghy made its Olympic debut 25 years ago, Ireland has sought a top 30 result at the annual World Championships. Now it has two top tens and a silver medal thanks to Lynch's exploits.

Lynch's own best Worlds performance before Barcelona 2021 and Mexico this week was 31, scored in Melbourne in 2020, a position he also got in Aarhus, Denmark, in 2018. 31st is also a result achieved by his predecessor James Espey in Oman in 2013.

It's not popular to air it in some quarters, but despite 25 years of trying, and until 2021, Ireland had never finished in the top 30 of the World Championships never mind the top ten. You have to go right back to the 'eighties to find any higher Irish results.

In 1983 Lyttle finished 19th and Bill O'Hara 13th, a record, albeit achieved in pre-Olympic times, that stood until Lynch changed all that in blistering fashion.

A short break now follows for Lynch before he returns to competition in The Netherlands for the Allianz Regatta and preparation for the 2023 world championships, which will be the first qualification opportunity for Paris 2024.

Final top ten

1. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz, FRA, 51 points
2. Pavlos Kontides, CYP, 68
3. Filip Jurisic. CRO, 75
4. Thomas Saunders, NZL, 77
5. Tonci Stipanovic, CRO, 81
6. Finn Lynch, IRL, 85
7. Elliot Hanson, GBR, 88
8. Philipp Buhl, GER, 99
9. Jonatan Vadnai, HUN, 101
10. Stefano Peschiera , PER, 105

Full Results

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Just six points separate Finn Lynch and the successful defence of his 2021 Laser/ILCA World Championships silver medal going into the final two races of the 2022 championships in Vallarta, Mexico today. 

Despite a 24th scored in race three of gold fleet racing, the Irishman only dropped back one place to be fifth overall thanks to an eighth (his sixth top ten result of the series) scored yesterday evening.

When Lynch won silver in Barcelona at the last world championships in November 2021, it was Ireland's best-ever men's Laser result by a country mile, so the prospect of a repeat performance six months later is a tantalizing prospect for Irish sailing fans today.

While overall leader Jean-Baptiste Bernaz has a 20-point cushion, only six points separate second from fifth in what promises to be a sensational World championship climax in the men's single-handed Olympic dinghy class.

Third and fourth places are held by Olympic medalists who are tied on 51 points.

The National Yacht Club sailor, on 56 points, couldn't be in for a bigger fight. Croatia's Tonci Stipanovic in fourth is a former runner-up and double Olympic silver medalist and the 2017 Laser World Champion Pavlos Kontides (also an Olympic silver medalist from London 2012) from Cyrpus lies third.

Lynch must outsail both if he wants to dispossess New Zealand's Thomas Saunders of his 50 point silver medal position in today's final two races.

Full results here

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Page 4 of 68

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 2022 Events

  • Laser World Championships 21-28 May, Mexico
  • 49er European Championships, 4 – 10 July, Denmark
  • Olympic Test Event, 1- 14 Aug, Marseille, France
  • 49er World Championships ... 31 Aug – 6 Sep, Canada
  • Hague Youth World Championships, 7 Sept – 2 Oct, The Hague
  • Laser Radial World Championships, 10 – 17 Oct, Qingdao, China
  • Laser European Championships, 14 – 21 Nov, Hyeres, France

Featured Sailing School

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Featured Clubs

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Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

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Featured Associations

ICRA
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Featured Webcams

Featured Marinas

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Featured Chandleries

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https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

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Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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