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Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing News
President Michael D Higgins:
While it may take a day or two for the full significance of the Gold Medals won in this week's World Youth Sailing Championship in The Netherlands by Eve McMahon and Rocco Wright to sink in among the population at large,…
Eve McMahon (left) celebrates her World Sailing Youth Gold in The Hague
Both of Ireland's single-handed sailors have won Gold medals at the Allianz Youth Sailing World Championships in The Hague this afternoon (The Netherlands, Thursday 14th July 2022) Eve McMahon, the 2021 Irish Sailor of the Year, and Rocco Wright, both from…
Two race wins plus a third place for Eve McMahon on Wednesday leaves the Howth Yacht Club sailor with a commanding 14-point lead of the ILCA6 dinghy class
Howth Yacht Club ILCA 6/Laser Radial sailors look set for podium finishes in both boys and girls finishes at the Allianz World Youth Sailing Championships in The Hague on Thursday. Dubliner Eve McMahon sailed out of her skin to notch…
Séafra Guilfoyle with Jonny Durcan of the Royal Cork Yacht Club
Ireland's Olympic skiff campaigners finished off the 49er European Championship on Sunday (10th July 2022) making the best of their silver fleet series in Aarhus, Denmark. Tokyo Olympians Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) closed…
49er duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove competing in Aarhus
Both Irish crews competing at the 49er European Championships in Denmark were unable to qualify for the Gold fleet (top third) final series on Thursday (7th July 2022). After a strong start to their Paris 2024 campaign, and their first…
Euro Youth Gold for Eve McMahon - The 17-year-old Dubliner celebrates her win in Thessaloniki. She adds the Greek result to her 2021 Youth World Championship win on Lake Garda, Italy last August.
Paris 2024 Campaigner Eve McMahon from Howth Yacht Club has won the ILCA6/Laser Radial European Youth championship in impressive fashion at Thessaloniki, Greece, this afternoon (Wednesday 6th July 2022) The 17-year-old Dubliner adds the Greek result to her 2021 Youth…
Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan of Royal Cork on day two of the 49er Euros in Aarhus, Denmark
With three remaining qualification races planned both of Ireland's 49er crews will need to move up a gear to secure a top 25 place for the gold fleet in Denmark on Thursday. Tokyo 2020 reps Robert Dickson (Howth YC) with Sean…
Seafra Guilfoyle (right) and Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork YC) on their way to a 49er European championship race win in Aarhus, Denmark
With gusts above 30 knots and spinning rain squalls, the 2022 49er and FX European Championships kicked off in Aarhus with all the top teams taking lessons from some new crews; including Ireland. In an exciting start, both the Irish…
Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club has taken the overall lead at the Laser 6 Youth European Championships going into the final day of competition
Laser dinghy sailor Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club now leads at the Youth ILCA 6/Laser European Championships going into the last day of racing in Thessaloniki, Greece. Ten races have been sailed with significant changes in the top of the…
Howth's Eve McMahon is a Paris 2024 hopeful for Ireland in the ILCA 6 dinghy class
Months of study for June's Leaving Certificate examination have not blunted Howth's Eve McMahon's ambition on the International ILCA/Laser race track.  The Paris 2024 hopeful is back on the circuit and lying second overall at the ILCA6/Radial Youth European Championships…
Howth and Skerries Olympic 49er duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove negotiate the Committee boat end of a Kiel Week startline. The pair finished ninth overall at the big German regatta
A seventh in the Kiel Week medal race leaving Dubliners Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove in ninth overall represents another creditable result on the road to Paris 2024 for the Tokyo 2020 49er reps and another confidence boost before this…
Patrick Coveney
Patrick Coveney, who retired in March as the chairman of the Irish Olympic Sailing Group, is to be ratified as an Independent Director of the Olympic Federation of Ireland at its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday evening.  Coveney, who was co-opted to…
Irish Sailor of the Year Eve McMahon (above) and club mate Aoife Hopkins will receive $15,000 dollars in Olympic Solidarity funding
Two Howth Yacht Club Olympic campaigners will share in The Olympic Federation of Ireland Paris Scholarships fund, as preparations are already underway for the Summer Olympic Games in Paris 2024. Dublin's ILCA 6/Laser Radial campaigners Aoife Hopkins and Irish Sailor…
Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove (IRL 99) are in the 49er race for a medal at the Allianz Regatta, a stage in the World Cup Sailing Series
While the 49er World Champions may have grabbed an early gold at the Allianz Regatta in the Netherlands yesterday, Ireland's Tokyo 2020 reps Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove are very much in the fight for a silver medal in the…
Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove are in a three-way tie for second place at the Allianz Regatta in Holland
Irish Tokyo 2020 skiff duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove are in a three-way tie for second place in the 49er class of Holland's Allianz Regatta after eight races sailed at the Hempel World Cup Series at the Allianz Regatta.…
Sam Whaley, 25, from Swanage, Dorset
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…

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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