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Displaying items by tag: Eve McMahon

From an entry list of 72 dinghies, a fleet of 45 answered the Race Officer’s call and presented themselves in the start area of the Christmas Cracker Race – sponsored by Viking Marine and hosted by the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club. This event had a very short gestation period, the idea only being floated on the penultimate Sunday of the pre-Christmas Frostbites. The idea was to have a charity race for the RNLI with entry fees capped at €5/boat and a request that competitors donate online to the RNLI.

In the week leading up to the event, the wind forecast varied enormously from the likelihood of no race due to high winds and gusts to a very light affair of fewer than three knots. Fortunately, neither of those scenarios arose and the fleet of 45 enjoyed winds that went up to a maximum of 15 knots, from the East. The air temperature was a balmy 10°.

Robin and Dacha Hilliard in their Flying Fifteen (3729)Robin and Dacha Hilliard in their Flying Fifteen (3729) in the PY race Photo: Ian Cutliffe

The course was set as a “Tour of the Harbour” with marks in locations to make shoreside viewing easier. Thus, a mark was laid inside the end of the Carlisle Pier, in front of the National Yacht Club, another mark was set inside the fairway entrance to the marina towards the ice-house and the remaining two marks were set close to the Boyd Memorial on the East Pier and upwind of the western breakwater where it joins the West Pier.

Brian and Charlie O’Neil rounding Mark C (Boyd Memorial)Brian and Charlie O’Neil rounding Mark C (Boyd Memorial) Photo: Ian Cutliffe

The fleet was set a beat for the opening leg, to the mark off the Boyd Memorial, and they proceeded in an anti-clockwise direction around the harbour thereafter.

The plan was to have the first boat racing for 75 minutes and the Fireball of Frank Miller & Hermine O’Keeffe (14713), bisected the finish line 1.5 minutes inside that target.

Two Fireballs led the fleet all the way round. Miller was the first to fly spinnaker after rounding the weather mark and he was followed closely by Neil Colin & Marjo Moneen (14775). These were initially challenged on the water by the RS400 of Dave Sweeney and Gavin Doyle but as the race progressed the gap to the Fireballs increased. A strong ILCA turnout was led by Eve McMahon in the ILCA 6 (Radial), Gary O’Hare in the ILCA 7 (full-rig) and Max Cantwell in the ILCA 4 (4.7). Eve has had a great 2021 with a win in Lake Garda in the ILCA 6 Youth Worlds and she followed that up with a top 5 place in the Youth Worlds earlier this month. At the finish, she was only a couple of boat-lengths behind regular ILCA 7 competitor Gary O’Hare.

While the various ILCA rigs represented the largest element of the fleet, there was a good turnout from the Aeros, (5 and 7), the Fireballs, and there were two each of the GP14s and RS400s. The Irish National Sailing School has eight sailors on the water in the form of School Principal Kenneth Rumball, sailing an Aero 7 and seven RS Feva XLs sailed by the senior instructors. A solitary Flying Fifteen sailed by Robin Hilliard and daughter Dacha also contested the event and the Long household had two boats out – father Pierre, and one son in the IDRA and two other sons in the Mirror. We also had a Pico, sailed two-up.

DMYC Viking Marine Christmas Cracker – Top Ten finishers

1. Eve McMahon, Howth Yacht Club, ILCA 6 (Radial)
2. Max Cantwell, Royal St George Yacht Club, ILCA 4 (4.7)
3. Noel Butler, National Yacht Club, Aero 7
4. Brendan Foley, Royal St George Yacht Club, Aero 7
5. Gary O’Hare, Royal St George Yacht Club, ILCA 7 (full-rig)
6. Kenneth Rumball, Irish National Sailing Club, Aero 7
7. David Williams, Royal St George Yacht Club, ILCA 6
8. Mark Gavin, Royal St George Yacht Club, Aero 7
9. Roy van Mannen, Royal St George Yacht Club, Aero 5
10. Conrad Vandlik, Royal St George Yacht Club, ILCA 7.

Prize-winners will be contacted directly about getting their prizes, vouchers from Viking Marine.

Under starter’s orders – 20 seconds to go.The Christmas Cracker fleet under starter’s orders – 20 seconds to go.

Published in DMYC

Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon has finished in fourth place overall in the Women’s ILCA6 (Laser Radial) at the Youth Sailing World Championships in Mussanah, Oman.

A 3rd, 6th and 8th place in the final three races secured Eve’s top place in the fleet of 46.

The result rounds off a successful year of competition for the Dublin teenager, winning the 2021 ILCA6 (Laser Radial) Youth World Championships in Italy; U19 Silver Medallist, EURILCA (European region of International Laser Class Association) U21 European Championships; and Silver Medallist, EURILCA Laser Radial Youth Championships.

In the Men’s ILCA6 (Laser Radial), Cork sailors Jonathan O’Shaughnessy finished in 34th place, with Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer Matthews finishing in 12th place in the 29er class.

Her coach Vasilij Zbogar said “Eve finished 4th in tricky conditions – very light winds, choppy – she was struggling, and then the last two days we made a solid plan which she executed well. She’s had a fantastic year and still has another year of youth sailing competition left".

Published in Youth Sailing

At a high scoring regatta in Oman, Howth's Eve McMahon has regained her top five placing overall going into the final day of competition at the Youth World Sailing competition on Friday.

On Wednesday, at the halfway point of the championships, the Howth ace dropped ten places from sixth to sixteenth in the ILCA 6 fleet but fought hard on the penultimate day to move back into fifth overall.

A 3.0 and 6.0 scored yesterday sees the Dubliner now just 11 points off the podium with the final races being sailed today.

In the Men’s ILCA 6 (Laser Radial), Royal Cork’s Jonathan O’Shaughnessy is in 32nd place overall in a fleet of 50 after eight races sailed.

Royal Cork 29er team Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer are currently in 13th place after 12 of their 13 races.

Five golds decided in Oman

The gold medals have been decided in five of the 11 events at the 2021 Youth Sailing World Championships presented by Hempel. The 420 girls along with both windsurfing and kitefoiling divisions have been wrapped up before Friday’s final races.

With the warm wind touching just over 10 knots, this was the best breeze of the regatta so far. The ever reliable Oman sun shone brightly on the sailors, and on Thursday’s gold medal winners in particular. 

Female Windsurfer Bic Techno 293+

Manon Pianazza (FRA) has won windsurfing gold with an unbroken 11 race wins. "I’m super happy, very pleased with my performance this week," said the French sailor who is looking to campaign the iQFOiL windsurfer for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024. Kristyna Chalupnikova (CZE) needs to sail a solid day on Friday to make sure she retains silver ahead of Zoe Fernandez de Bobadilla Ramos (ESP) and Lucy Kenyon (GBR). 

Male Windsurfer Bic Techno 293+

Federico Alan Pilloni (ITA) was mobbed by his Italian team mates as he landed at Mussanah Beach after sealing windsurfer victory with a day to spare. His fans raised him above their heads on his Bic Techno 293+ board and carried him across the sand chanting Italian football anthems. "What a welcome! I am so lucky to be part of this team," smiled Pilloni. "It’s been a great week and a lot of fun to be here."

Boris Shaw (GBR) scored a string of seconds to wrap the silver medal for Great Britain and Ozan Turker (TUR) will be hard to beat for the bronze. 

Male Kiteboarding FormulaKite

The usually calm and collected Max Maeder (SGP) went crazy as he crossed the finish line this afternoon. The Singaporean had bounced back from a difficult start to the competition, dominating the latter stages and winning the gold medal with a day to spare. "That wasn’t easy. The first day was a blunder I never want to repeat. I overestimated myself, I guess, and maybe I was complacent. To come back was hard, I had to give it everything but now it feels great. Today completely neutralises that first day. It feels phenomenal. This is a feeling that will never get old." In the 50 year history of the Youth Worlds, this is kitefoiling’s first time in the event, and it’s by far the fastest and most furious form of sailing ever seen at youth level. "You need high reaction speed, and a certain level of physical courage because you have no protection from a hull," said the 15 year old. "It's just you and the board. When you get, like, two metres close to someone, you're like body to body with them with the razor sharp foil right beneath you, doing 32 knots through the water." Riccardo Pianosi (ITA) congratulated Maeder but promised he would make his rival work harder for victory next time. The Italian picked up a U Flag disqualification for starting too soon in one race today, meaning Pianosi can’t afford any slip-ups on the final day as he bids to defend silver from Mikhail Novikov (RUS) in third place. 

Female Kiteboarding FormulaKite

Gal Zukerman (ISR) has won gold with a sensational 16 straight race wins. Following a 10th place in a 420 three years ago at the Youth Worlds, the Israeli switched to kiteboarding two years ago and kitefoiling just over a year ago. "I have loved every moment of this week," she smiled. "Kitefoiling is so much fun. I can’t remember when I started sailing, I’m too young to remember that moment. But I have always been sailing boats and now I am loving the kitefoiling." Julia Damasiewicz (POL) sits in silver but with two retirements currently being discarded from her scores, the Polish sailor can’t afford any slip-ups in case she gets passed by Héloïse Pégourié (FRA) who lurks in third. 

Female Two Person Dinghy 420

Neus Ballester Bover and Andrea Perello Mora (ESP) have won the gold medal with a race to spare. Vanessa Lahrkamp and Katherine McNamara (USA) won the last race of the session and now move into silver position ahead of Manon Pennaneac'h and Victoire Lerat (FRA). "It’s great to win in this strong fleet," said Perello. "The Americans are the World Champions in the class and there are so many strong teams, the French, the Italians." Ballester revealed the secret to their success: "We felt relaxed all week. We enjoyed ourselves and really liked the conditions in Oman. Super tricky and hard to read the wind, but I was head out of the boat all the time, looking around for the best wind." Neus is the daughter of José Luis Ballester who won a medal for Spain in the Tornado catamaran in Atlanta 1996. She couldn’t remember what colour though. "Gold," her crew reminded her, rolling her eyes. "Your father won gold!" Perello shouted, exasperated but laughing. Now Perello and the next generation of the Ballester family have won their own gold.

Male/Mixed Two Person Dinghy 420

Kaito Ikeda and Shun Shigematsu (JPN) sailed a good day to rise to fourth place overall in the Mixed 420 class. However, the medals look most likely to go to the current top three of Spain, Israel and Germany. With such a narrow points gap, it could go either way but it’s still Ian Clive Walker March with Finn Dicke (ESP) who are looking to match the gold medal winning performance of their female 420 team mates. Roi Levy and Ariel Gal (ISR) are just three points off the lead, and Florian Krauss and Jannis Summchen (GER) are two points off silver.

Female Skiff 29er

Emily Mueller and Florence Brellisford (GBR) snatched back the yellow jersey from Charlie Leigh and Sophie Fisher (USA), a race win giving the British a 5 point advantage going into the final day. Alja Petric and Katja Filipic (SLO) hold third overall ahead of Denmark. 

Male Skiff 29er

Hugo Revil & Karl Devaux (FRA) looked likely to wrap up the boys’ 29er fleet today but an 11th in the last of three races will mean they will have to fight for their gold on Friday. The French are within striking range of their closest rivals in Friday’s concluding race. Ian and Noah Nyenhuis (USA) had the best day and have risen up to silver medal position, displacing to third another sibling team from Spain, Mateo and Simon Codoñer Alemany (ESP). 

Female One Person Dinghy ILCA 6

After two individual race wins by Emerging Nations sailors on Wednesday, another EN competitor from Peru, Florencia Chiarella (PER) has turned on the afterburner on her Ziegelmeyer ILCA 6 dinghy. Scores of 4 and 3 have rocketed the Peruvian up to first overall, with a 15 point buffer on Anja von Allmen (SUI). However Chiarella can’t afford any major errors on the final day because she’s currently discarding a UFD disqualification worth a hefty 47 points. Zulal Alev Erkan (TUR) is in bronze medal position but still within a shot of gold if Peru and Switzerland slip up on banana skins. 

Male One Person Dinghy ILCA 6

José Gomes Saraiva Mendes (POR) extended his advantage over Sebastian Kempe (BER) after the Bermudian became one of many to fall foul of the dreaded black flag at the start. Kempe bounced back from black flag disappointment with a bullet in the next race and maintains silver position with a four point lead over Przemyslaw Machowski (POL). Two points off the podium and with a better discard than Bermuda and Poland is Luka Zabukovec (SLO).

Mixed Two Person Multihull Nacra 15

Kay Brunsvold and Cooper Delbridge (USA) have taken the yellow jersey off the French team, Thomas Proust and Eloïse Clabon (FRA). With a single point’s advantage to the Americans, watch out for a match race between USA and France. That said, the Nacra 15 fleet still has two races to run on Friday. Waiting in the wings are the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium who are still able to pounce on gold.

The final day of competition for the 335 sailors from 59 nations takes place on Friday 17 December, starting at 1200 hours local time.

Full results here

Published in Youth Sailing
Tagged under

Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon continues to be the top Irish performer after another big day on the water at the 2021 Youth Sailing World Championships om Oman.

With 11 events due to be decided by the end of this Friday, 17 December, the 433 sailors from 59 nations already find themselves close to the halfway stage of the competition.

McMahon, who won the youth radial world title in Italy in August, is lying sixth after four races sailed so far in the girl's radial (ILCA6) division from 46 starters.

Her Irish team-mate Jonathan O'Shaughnessy is not fairing as well in the 50-boat boys ILCA 6 division and lies 34th overall.

In the boy's 29er skiff, Ben O'Shaughnessy and James Dwyer have dropped to 13th overall after six races sailed in their 24-boat fleet.

Female Skiff 29er

Emily Mueller (GBR) was having that very conversation with her 29er crew Florence Brellisford. "By the time we’re dropping the kite at the leeward gate in our next race, we’ll be half way through our regatta," said Mueller. "It feels like we’ve only just started!" It was a very good day for the British 29er team, scoring 1,3,1 in 6 to 10 knot conditions that Mueller described as ‘snakes and ladders’. "We finally learned how to start," smiled Brellisford, trying to pinpoint what made the difference on day two. "A good start makes life a lot easier, rather than having to fight your way through from the back. But it never felt easy. It was super shifty out there, really hard to read the wind."

The British girls are enjoying the competition and using one of the many supplied equipment boats that they didn’t have to bring themselves. "The boats are really good," said Mueller. "They feel fast, everything is new. But you’re not allowed to change anything, all the rope and control lengths are set, you can only add bungee. It’s the same for everybody so it’s very fair racing."

Four points behind the British crew are Charlie Leigh and Sophie Fisher (USA), who scored two fourth places but then fell foul of the Black Flag Disqualification for starting too soon in the last race of the session.

Meanwhile, life at the Barceló Mussanah Resort is good, with the sailors enjoying the swimming pool and the balmy weather either in the morning or during the afternoon. When you get your break depends on when your racing is scheduled for the day.

Male Skiff 29er

As soon as the girls had completed three races they sailed their 29ers to the beach near the pool, at which point their male team mates took over the boats for their afternoon session. Revil & Devaux (FRA) haven’t won a race but then they haven’t finished outside of the top five either. No other team has kept all their scores inside the top 10, so the French are on a breakaway in the 29er fleet. First day leaders, the Codoñer Alemany brothers (ESP) are in second, although the race wins for the day went to Italy, Finland and Argentina.

Mixed Two Person Multihull Nacra 15

Kay Brunsvold and Cooper Delbridge (USA) had the best day in the Nacra 15 multihull. Delbridge attributed this to the decision to have more fun. "We were doing a lot of contemplation last night about our rig and the way we're positioning ourselves through the waves. And we decided we’re just going to enjoy the racing today and see how things go. Worked out pretty well!" Where most of the skippers in the Nacra fleet are boys, Brunsvold is one of the few girls steering. Asked why boys tend to make up the majority of helms in the fleet, Brunsvold joked: "Males can be a little bit more stubborn and like to choose where the boat goes. But that's the way I am too." Delbridge laughed and agreed that his helm is probably the most stubborn of the two of them. "But we don’t really have disagreements either. When things go wrong we tend to laugh about it!"

Although the Americans have closed the gap to the leaders it’s still Thomas Proust and Eloïse Clabon (FRA) who hold the overall lead just one point ahead of Olivier Jaquet and Femme Rixt Rijk (NED).

Female One Person Dinghy ILCA 6

Biggest mover of the day in the girls’ ILCA 6 singlehander was Sara Savelli (ITA). After a disastrous opening day when the Italian was penalised for a Rule 42 kinetics infringement, and scores of 39 and 14, the resilient sailor bounced back with a first and a second place today, lifting Italy to within a point of the lead. Ahead of Savelli, however, are three sailors tied on 16 points at the top of the leaderboard - Anja von Allmen (SUI), Florencia Chiarella (PER) and Marie Jacobsen Lepperöd (NOR). 

Male One Person Dinghy ILCA 6

Ukraine’s Oskar Madonich (UKR) continues to lead the boys’ ILCA 6 fleet with Przemyslaw Machowski (POL) rising to second place ahead of José Gomes Saraiva Mendes (POR) in third. 

Female Two Person Dinghy 420

Neus Ballester Bover and Andrea Perello Mora (ESP) have seen their lead reduced to just a point ahead of Manon Pennaneac'h and Victoire Lerat (FRA). Vanessa Lahrkamp and Katherine McNamara (USA) are only a point behind the French in third.

Male/Mixed Two Person Dinghy 420

Ian Clive Walker March sailing with Finn Dicke (ESP) continue to lead for Spain, but closely chased by Roi Levy and Ariel Gal (ISR) and Florian Krauss and Jannis Summchen (GER).

Female Windsurfer Bic Techno 293+

Manon Pianazza (FRA) is in a class of her own, winning all six races. Behind her a close battle for the next places, just three points between CZE, ITA, ESP and GBR. 

Male Windsurfer Bic Techno 293+

Almost as impressive as Pianazza in the girls’ fleet, Federico Alan Pilloni (ITA) has scored all firsts and is discarding a second. Boris Shaw (GBR) is the only sailor to beat Pilloni in a race and holds second overall.

Male Kiteboarding FormulaKite

Mikhail Novikov (RUS) won the first race of the day, then the next two to Max Maeder (SGP). Leader after day one, Riccardo Pianosi (ITA) fought back with a win in the last race of the day, putting the Italian in a tie with Singapore but retaining the leader’s yellow jersey. 

Female Kiteboarding FormulaKite

Gal Zukerman (ISR) continued her perfect scoreline with unbroken victories. Julia Damasiewicz (POL) is second and Héloïse Pégourié (FRA) third. 

Competition continues on Wednesday, December, starting at 1200 hours local time.

Published in Youth Sailing

Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon is in the top five of the Youth Sailing World Championships after day one delivered stunning weather for the start of the championships in Mussanah, Oman.

The Irish Radial youth world champion took an 11 and 4 in her opening races in the 46 boat ILCA 6 fleet to be just three points off the overall lead. 

Likewise, there's been another strong start for Ireland in the boy's 29er skiff class, where Royal Cork duo James Dwyer and Ben O'Shaugnessy are in sixth place on 11 points after three races sailed in the top ten (10.0, 7.0 and 4.0), the Cork Harbour pair are just seven points off the overall lead. 

Ireland's third boat at the event, Royal Cork's Jonathan O'Shaughnessy, is 31st from 50 in the boy's ILCA 6 fleet.

All results here.

The breeze started around midday at 5 knots, climbing to around 12 to 13 knots by late afternoon. All 11 events completed their schedule of races for the 433 sailors from 59 nations.

The interesting challenge for the doublehanded teams in the 420 and 29er fleets is that many crews share their supplied boats between the boys and girls teams from the same country.

As Can Erturk and Ali Beren Adamcil (TUR) stepped ashore from winning their opening session in the Male/Mixed division of the 420 class, the young Turks immediately started to re-tune the rig for their female team mates, Nehir Guzeltuna and Derin Acal (TUR).

“They are lighter than us,” said Erturk, “so we help them to set up the mast for flatter sails. We are one boat and four sailors, but we sail for Turkey as one team.”

Behind the Turks in the Male/Mixed 420 is Spain’s crew, Ian Clive Walker March sailing with Finn Dicke (ESP). Spain is also doing well in the girls’ 420 fleet, Neus Ballester Bover and Andrea Perello Mora (ESP) holding a three-point advantage over Camilla Michelini and Margherita Bonifacio (ITA).

In the 29er girls’ fleet, the USA leads, Sophie Fisher and Charlie Leigh (USA) winning two of the three races with Agata Scalmazzi and Giulia Vezzoli (ITA) taking the other win and holding second overall.

The reigning 29er World Champions from Spain, Mateo and Simon Codoner Alemany (ESP) were slow to get going with an 18-6-1 for fourth overall, opening the door for Denmark’s Jens-Christian Dehn-Toftehøj and Carl Emil Sloth (DEN) which leads with a one-point margin over the Nyenhuis brothers from the USA.

It’s even tighter at the top of the ILCA 6 Female fleet, with the front four split by just a point, Norway’s Marie Jacobsen Lepperöd (NOR) in the lead followed by Russia, Czech Republic, and Peru.

Ukraine’s Oskar Madonich (UKR) scored two seconds to take the lead in the ILCA 6 Male division, with two thirds putting José Gomes Saraiva Mendes (POR) in second.

Mirroring the Nacra 17 Mixed Multihull in the Olympic Games, the smaller youth catamaran, the Nacra 15, also sees boys and girls racing together on the same trampoline. Two traditional strongholds of multihull racing – France and the Netherlands – hold the top places, Thomas Proust and Eloïse Clabon (FRA) winning two heats and Olivier Jaquet and Femme Rixt Rijk (NED) taking the other.

In the boys’ kitefoiler division, Italy’s Riccardo Pianosi (ITA) was fast out of the blocks as he powered his 21-metre kite to first place in the opening two heats, followed by a second and third place in the next. This puts the Italian two points ahead of Max Maeder (SGP) who recovered from a DNF (Did Not Finish) in the opening heat, the 15-year-old from Singapore bouncing back with a fourth and two race wins.

In the boys’ windsurfers, Pianosi’s team mate proved utterly dominant racing the Techno 293+ class board. Federico Alan Piloni (ITA) opened with three first places, putting the Italian two points ahead of Great Britain’s Boris Shaw (GBR). The Italian’s team manager is one of Italy’s most highly decorated Olympians, the windsurfing legend Alessandra Sensini.

On the girls’ windsurfers, it was a runaway victory for France’s Manon Pianazza (FRA) with three race wins. However, only two points behind is Zoe Fernandez de Bobadilla Ramos (ESP). On the girls’ kitefoilers, Gal Zukerman (ISR) powered her way to a perfect four first places ahead of Julia Damasiewicz (POL) with a bunch of seconds.

A total of 433 sailors from 56 nations are competing in the 11 events on December 13-17.

Published in Youth Sailing
Tagged under

After a year’s absence due to COVID, Irish sailors finally have the opportunity to compete at the Youth Sailing World Championships in Oman on Monday. 

As Afloat previously reported, Ireland's team is Eve McMahon in the girl's Laser Radial class, along with Jonathan O’Shaughnessy in the boy's division and Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer Matthews in the 29er class.

Ireland has had some success in Oman already this winter with eighth place achieved by Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove at the 49er World Championships, and last week a 17th placing by Aoife Hopkins in the Laser Radial World Championships.

Mussanah’s average temperature in December is a balmy 24 degrees, with average winds of 10-17 knots, although extremely light winds have been a feature of the past world championships.

Racing for both Laser Radials and 29er classes begins on Monday 13 December and continues all week to Friday 17 December.

The Irish Laser Coach is Vasilij Zbogar, and 29er coach Thomas Chaix.

Published in Youth Sailing

So many 50th Anniversaries in international sailing are being celebrated these days that you could be forgiven for thinking that all these major events - such as next week’s opening of the event’s Golden Jubilee celebration, and the staging of the Youth Sailing Worlds 2021 in Oman - are marking the successful 50 years of an event which came into being in a vacuum. And certainly, the inauguration of the annual Youth Worlds in Sweden way back in 1971 was a major development that has resulted in a globally-recognised supreme peak – a Junior Sailing Olympiad.

Thus the team of four travelling to Oman – Eve McMahon (Howth YC) in the ILCA6, Jonathan O’Shaughnessy (Royal Cork YC) ILCA6, and Ben O’Shaughnessy & James Dwyer (RCYC) in the 29er - are well aware of the weight of expectation on their young shoulders, though all are at the peak of impressive year-long achievements.

But nevertheless, in looking back over the 50 years of the Youth Worlds, the most vividly remembered will be the 2012 event which was of course staged in Dublin Bay, with Finn Lynch leaping into the limelight with a Silver Medal in the Lasers. However, others with a broader view will also remember that the challenge of staging an event of this scale and scope, with Ireland still staggering out of the financial crash of 2008, involved heroic sacrifice and the giving over of their entire summer by folk of the calibre of Brian Craig, while the defining image may well be the remembered vision of on-water organizer Don O’Dowd of the Royal St George YC looking as though he is being fuelled entirely by adrenaline through each frantic day.

Running on adrenaline…..Don O’Dowd in the thick of the 2012 Youth Worlds in Dublin BayRunning on adrenaline…..Don O’Dowd in the thick of the 2012 Youth Worlds in Dublin Bay

The financial constraints of 2012 Ireland are not thought to be a problem in 2021 Oman, even if the Sultanate has cheerfully taken on the running of just about every one of 2021’s global sailing championships which had been COVID-shunted out of other countries, and despite the business of overseas teams getting there through the maze of international pandemic prevention providing an added challenge in getting to Oman, arguably the most maritime of all the Gulf States.

But nevertheless, Irish involvement has been a tradition since the event’s inception, and we’ve seen the metal to prove it, the last one in the 20th Century being Laura Dillon & Ciara Peelo’s Bronze in the Laser 2 in 1996 - a busy year for Laura, as she also won the All-Irelands.

As for the 21st Century, in 2014 in Tavira, Seafra Guilfoyle repeated Finn Lynch’s 2012 Silver win, and then in 2016 Doug Elmes of Kilkenny and Colin O’Sullivan of Malahide, sailing jointly under the HYC colours, won Bronze in the 420s in Malaysia.

But is it strictly true to say that it all started in 1971 in Sweden? That it should be Sweden is all of a piece, as the Scandinavian influence in international sailing was formidable at the time. So much so, in fact, that many thought the Optimist dinghy – which was starting to spread at lightning speed – was a Swedish invention, whereas the original narrative is rather more endearing.

Oman with its spectacular coastline is perhaps the most maritime of all the Gulf States – this is Shabab Oman II, the Omani Sail Training Tall Ship.Oman with its spectacular coastline is perhaps the most maritime of all the Gulf States – this is Shabab Oman II, the Omani Sail Training Tall Ship.

It seems a Swedish ship was taking on cargo in Florida around 1960 in the Port of Clearwater, where the local kids were sailing a little plywood box-boat, invented in 1947 and called the Optimist. The Swedish captain was impressed, and bought up two or three to take home as his own kids were keen on sailing. Thus the Optimist as an international phenomenon was launched, spreading out from Scandinavia.

So when the Swedes hosted the inaugural World Youth Sailing Championship in 1971, it was already a solidly-founded gold-plated event, and it blew away any other established but more modest championships with similar aims. One of these was something called the International Junior Regatta, which claimed world status, but whose heartlands were in mainland Northwest Europe and Scandinavia, and it was basically an inter-club event for national teams selected by the premier clubs (ie the poshest) in each country.

For twenty years from the 50s and 60s onwards, ace Dun Laoghaire helm Terry Roche of the Royal St George YC cruised the coasts of Europe in his 19-ton Hillyard cutter Neon Tetra (crazy name, crazy boat), and built up an unrivalled contact list with these top clubs and the key people in them. Thus the RStGYC became the organising club for Ireland, and staged the International Junior Regatta when it was hosted here.

George Henry (RStGYC) and Douglas Deane (Royal Munster YC) hoisting sail on their allocated Mermaid in the International Junior Regatta in Dun Laoghaire in 1955.George Henry (RStGYC) and Douglas Deane (Royal Munster YC) hoisting sail on their allocated Mermaid in the International Junior Regatta in Dun Laoghaire in 1955.

The late Dougie Deane of Cork remembered being sent up to Dun Laoghaire in 1955 to be part of the Irish squad, but as the racing was staged in Mermaids – at that time the only class in sufficient numbers of matched boats in Dun Laoghaire to stage an international invitational regatta of this sort - it wasn’t his happiest experience, as he was to become more accustomed to sailing to success in his own IDRA 14 Dusk with Donal McClement as crew.

However, as the 1960s gathered pace, the rapid development of Malahide as a powerhouse of rising talent began to show through in Irish participation in the International Junior Regatta, particularly when the Malahide effect began to be felt in Howth and brought forth the remarkable sailing talents of the “two sisters crew”, Margaret and Lee Cuffe-Smith, daughters of future HYC Commodore Bill Cuffe-Smith, who was no slouch himself when it came to inshore and offshore racing success.

The Irish Team at the 1965 International Junior Regatta in Denmark were (left to right) Robin Hennessy, Margaret Cuffe-Smith, Robert Michael, Lee Cuffe-Smith and Manager Terry RocheThe Irish Team at the 1965 International Junior Regatta in Denmark were (left to right) Robin Hennessy, Margaret Cuffe-Smith, Robert Michael, Lee Cuffe-Smith and Manager Terry Roche

The Irish team first leapt to fame in 1965 when the International Junior Regatta was staged at Skovshoved in Denmark, raced in International Snipes powered by as-equal-as-possible new Elvstrom sailed. The Cuffe-Smiths won the Girls Division, while the boys crew of Malahide’s Robin Hennessy and Robert Michael (a combination that later went on to win the coveted Endeavour Trophy in Enterprises in England) placed fourth to make Ireland second overall.

While Margaret and Lee Cuffe-Smith continued as the Irish girls representatives for much of the rest of the 1960s, Malahide furnished a changing lineup of top boy sailors, and in 1967 at Loosdrecht in the Netherlands, it was future Olympic Silver Medallist David Wilkins crewed by Philip Watson (yes, that Philip Watson), who provided the winning male ingredients for Ireland to win the International Junior Regatta Gold Cup for the first time, the podium points being Ireland 3415, Denmark 2973, and Finland 2747.

World Champions. The all-conquering 1967 Irish Team in the International Junior Regatta in The Netherlands were (left to right) Philip Watson, Lee Cuffe-Smith, manager Terry Roche, David Wilkins (Olympic Silver Medallist 1980) and Margaret Cuffe-Smith.World Champions. The all-conquering 1967 Irish Team in the International Junior Regatta in The Netherlands were (left to right) Philip Watson, Lee Cuffe-Smith, manager Terry Roche, David Wilkins (Olympic Silver Medallist 1980) and Margaret Cuffe-Smith.

The Irish team then repeated this performance in 1968 racing Flying Juniors at Alghero Bay in Sardinia. Thereafter, our top junior talents were moving into more senior racing, and sailing was opening up to a more democratic system, even if the new World Youth Championship in 1971 continued to manifest the all-powerful Scandinavian influence, but in time its worldwide locations reflected the new reality.

That said, it’s a cherishable thought that somewhere in the world in some fusty ancient clubs where the wearing of white-topped yachting caps and the onset of premature middle age is the norm, there are old buffers still discussing the need to provide some special sport in an International Junior Regatta for the young people, even as we see in Oman the glorifying of international sport as a tool of international commerce and a weapon of global politics, with fashionable clothing styles and accessories to match.

A timely reminder of the joys of sailing – Jonathan O’Shaughnessy in action on Lake GardaA timely reminder of the joys of sailing – Jonathan O’Shaughnessy in action on Lake Garda

She’s struck gold! Jonathan O’Shaughnessy and Eve McMahon at Lake Garda after the Worlds in JulyShe’s struck gold! Jonathan O’Shaughnessy and Eve McMahon at Lake Garda after the Worlds in July

The Irish team fly out next Wednesday (December 8th), and as the main event officially opens on Saturday, December 11th, they’ve little enough time to acclimatize. Jonathan O’Shaughnessy has the advantage of a recent intensive training session in Valencia (Spain, not Kerry), but Eve McMahon has been much involved with school exams, making her probably the only World Champion in Ireland to have been in this past week’s exam cohort.

As for the younger pair of Ben – who is Jonathan’s cousin - and James in the 29er, they’ve been first out of the school gates down Cork Harbour way each afternoon in recent weeks for an intensive two-hour session on the boat at Crosshaven. You could call it a One-Boat Twilight Regatta, but with November slithering darkly into December, the Miner’s Lamp Challenge might be a more appropriate title.

Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer in the 29er – they have been getting in some intensive post-school training at Crosshaven in the last of the daylight in recent weeksBen O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer in the 29er – they have been getting in some intensive post-school training at Crosshaven in the last of the daylight in recent weeks

In Oman, the Team Leader and Head Coach will be three times Olympic sailing medallist Vasilij Zbogar, who has been involved with the Irish international sailing effort since 2018. Most recently last month, his supportive work in helping Finn Lynch out of a performance slump to take Silver at the Laser Worlds in Barcelona led everyone to conclude that though he may be from Slovenia, his home is clearly the Slovenian Gaeltacht. And if he and Support Coach Thomas Chaix of Tralee Bay can produce something similar to the Barcelona Breakthrough in Oman, Vasilij will be perceived as the Jurgen Klopp of sailing in Ireland.

Vasilij Zbogar racing an Olympic Finn – he retired from Olympic sailing after the 2016 Games in Rio, having sailed five Olympiads and winning Silver and Bronze in the Laser, and Silver in the Finn in their final appearance as an Olympic Class in 2016Vasilij Zbogar racing an Olympic Finn – he retired from Olympic sailing after the 2016 Games in Rio, having sailed five Olympiads and winning Silver and Bronze in the Laser, and Silver in the Finn in their penultimate appearance as an Olympic Class in 2016

Published in W M Nixon

The cut short Investwise Irish Youth Sailing National Championships on Cork Harbour had produced some clear winners in five classes regardless of today's Yellow Alert weather warning at Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Five titles were divided between Dublin and Cork sailors with the host club taking two crowns, the biggest haul of any single club with the 29er and Topper titles won by local sailors.

Both Laser titles go to Dublin, with Howth Yacht Club taking the ILCA 6 and the National Yacht Club winning in the ILCA 4.

The 420 title is shared by a combined Malahide and Wexford duo.

McMahon wins ILCA 6 but Crosbie's Reinstatement Makes it Close

ILCA 6 Champion - Eve McMahon of Howth

As Afloat reported earlier, the final results from Saturday’s long day afloat weren’t initially confirmed as two titles were eventually settled ashore in the protest room this morning.

On Saturday evening, a protest by ILCA6 (Laser Radial) overall leader Eve McMahon saw the Howth Yacht Club sailor extend her lead over Michael Crosbie of the Royal Cork YC when he was disqualified from Race 10 due to a port and starboard incident.

However, the Crosshaven sailor returned to the protest room on Sunday morning to have his result reinstated as McMahon had not informed the race committee of her protest on Saturday.

McMahon still emerged as ILCA6 Youth National Champion after the tie-break with Crosbie.

O'Shaughnessy & Dwyer Lift 29er Skiff Title 

29er Champions Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer (Royal Cork YC) Photo: Bob Bateman29er Champions - Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer (Royal Cork YC) Photo: Bob Bateman

Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer (Royal Cork YC) won the 29er skiff national title by a single point as Afloat reported here after a close contest with Tim Norwood and Nathan Van Steenberge from the Royal Irish YC and National YC respectively in their eleven strong demonstration class that immediately followed a European Championships campaign on Lake Garda last week.

The runners-up were also in the protest room on Sunday morning seeking redress for equipment failure in their second race of the series on Friday but their submission was ruled out of time.

Collins top Toppers, Newcomer Ledoux Wins 4.7s

Rian CollinsTopper Champion - Rian Collins of Royal Cork Photo: Bob Bateman

As Afloat reported earlier, Crosshaven’s Rian Collins won the 38-boat Topper class with a 12-point lead over his clubmate Dan O’Leary taking the runner-up place in their seven-race series. Bobby Driscoll's third overall kept the Belfast Lough Topper flag flying.

Sam Ledoux of the National YCILCA 4 Champion - Sam Ledoux of the National YC Photo: Bob Bateman

The Topper fleet shared the same course as the ILCA4 (Laser 4.7) class, the second largest of the event with 31 boats where a newcomer to the class, Sam Ledoux of the National YC, emerged youth national champion. 

Five wins Give McDowell & Thompson the 420 Title

420  champions - Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson Photo: Bob Bateman420 champions - Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson Photo: Bob Bateman

The Malahide and Wexford Harbour pairing of Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson continued their three-day lead of the 420 class to win comfortably as Afloat reports here over Eoghan Duffy with Conor Paul of Lough Ree YC in a disappointingly small nine boat class.

Published in Youth Sailing

Not even a race disqualification can stop the march of Youth World Radial champion Eve McMahon at Royal Cork Yacht Club

The Under 18 star from Howth Yacht Club heads a mixed fleet of 30 boys and girls racing for youth national honours in Cork Harbour, where a place at the Oman World Sailing Championships this December is at stake.

After losing her overnight lead due to an opening day race disqualification, McMahon regained her overall lead of the ILCA6 (Laser Radial) division but only after a tiebreak from the chasing Michael Crosbie of the host club.

As well as an impressive scoreline that includes four strikes from ten races, McMahon has also found herself involved in three protests (either as an initiator or respondent) in the championships so far. Details here

Conor Galligan of the NYC rasing at the Youth Nationals Conor Galligan of the NYC rasing at the Youth Nationals

Crosbie was disqualified from the last race of the day, returning McMahon to a comfortable seven-point cushion at the top of the 30-boat fleet. 

Meanwhile, Jonathan O'Shaughnessy, the 2021 Radial National Champion who impressed at October's Eurocup, but got off to a poor star on Friday has moved up the rankings to third overall but still eight points behind Crosbie. Results below.

The fleet spent at least six hours on the water with racing delayed waiting for breeze to arrive, plus an extra race was added to the daily schedule.

The extra race was added in anticipation of strong winds on Sunday and fears of a blowout.

 ILCA 6/Radial Sailed: 10, Discards: 1, To count: 9, Entries: 30 ILCA 6/Radial Sailed: 10, Discards: 1, To count: 9, Entries: 30 

National's Ledoux Still leads 4.7s 

Sam Ledoux of the National YC leads the ILCA4 (Laser 4.7) fleet with 31 boats. After seven races sailed, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour campaigner has extended his lead on Royal St. George rival Matteo Ciaglia and now has a six-point margin. Royal Cork's Mauro G Regueral Nogguerol scoresheet has been updated to remove an earlier DNF from race two, a decision that puts the Spaniard into third overall. 

ILCA 4 Sailed: 7, Discards: 1, To count: 6, Entries: 32ILCA 4 Sailed: 7, Discards: 1, To count: 6, Entries: 32

Racing is scheduled for Sunday, but a forecast for strong winds looks set to cut the championships short.

Update Sunday 09.24: Due to current wind conditions and forecast, the race committee has decided to cancel sailing for the day. Prizegiving at 10 am in the marquee

ILCA 4 & 6 Day Three Youth Nationals Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman 

Published in Laser

Howth Yacht Club Laser Radial sailors share the top two places overall at the Investwise Youth Sailing Championships in Cork Harbour after six races sailed. 

There was no surprise yesterday when the World Radial Youth Female champion Eve McMahon leapt to the front of the fleet, almost unchallenged in yesterday's opening three races. 

The U18 champion continued her form to have a winning margin after today's race of seven points after six races sailed.

She proved consistent even in the tricky conditions and has a clean scoresheet except for two-second places scored in races three and four.

McMahon's clubmate Rocco Wright counted a race win, as did Michael Crosbie of the RCYC, level on points.

Good fleet awareness in variable conditions was a key to success in the ILCA classes where there are 30 boats plus fleetsGood fleet awareness in variable conditions was the key to success in the ILCA divisions, where there are 30 boat fleets in both classes. Photo: Bob Bateman.

Racing on the Curlane Bank race area, close to Crosshaven, shifting winds eventually permitted three races to be completed.

ILCA 6: Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Entries: 30ILCA 6: Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Entries: 30

National Yacht Club's Ledoux Leads ILCA 4s

Sam Ledoux of the National YC leads the ILCA4 (Laser 4.7) Class. The Dun Laoghaire Harbour ace has a two-point lead over neighbour Matteo Ciaglia of the Royal St. George. Local helm Max Tolan is lying third in the 32-boat fleet after three races sailed. Results below.

Racing continues tomorrow.

ILCA 4: Sailed: 3, Discards: 0, To count: 3, Entries: 32ILCA 4: Sailed: 3, Discards: 0, To count: 3, Entries: 32

ILCA 4 & 6 Day Two Youth Nationals Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

Published in Laser
Page 1 of 4

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

Tokyo 2021 Olympic Sailing

Olympic Sailing features a variety of craft, from dinghies and keelboats to windsurfing boards. The programme at Tokyo 2020 will include two events for both men and women, three for men only, two for women only and one for mixed crews:

Event Programme

RS:X - Windsurfer (Men/Women)
Laser - One Person Dinghy (Men)
Laser Radial - One Person Dinghy (Women)
Finn - One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) (Men)
470 - Two Person Dinghy (Men/Women)
49er - Skiff (Men)
49er FX - Skiff (Women)
Nacra 17 Foiling - Mixed Multihull

The mixed Nacra 17 Foiling - Mixed Multihull and women-only 49er FX - Skiff, events were first staged at Rio 2016.

Each event consists of a series of races. Points in each race are awarded according to position: the winner gets one point, the second-placed finisher scores two, and so on. The final race is called the medal race, for which points are doubled. Following the medal race, the individual or crew with the fewest total points is declared the winner.

During races, boats navigate a course shaped like an enormous triangle, heading for the finish line after they contend with the wind from all three directions. They must pass marker buoys a certain number of times and in a predetermined order.

Sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from 27 July to 6 August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. 

Venues: Enoshima Yacht Harbor

No. of events: 10

Dates: 27 July – 6 August

Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2021?
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Dates

Following a one year postponement, sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from 23 July 2021 and run until the 8 August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. 

Venue: Enoshima Yacht Harbour

No. of events: 10

Dates: 23 July – 8 August 2021

Tokyo 2020 Irish Olympic Sailing Team

ANNALISE MURPHY, Laser Radial

Age 31. From Rathfarnham, Dublin.

Club: National Yacht Club

Full-time sailor

Silver medallist at the 2016 Olympic Games, Rio (Laser Radial class). Competed in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017/2018. Represented Ireland at the London 2012 Olympics. Laser Radial European Champion in 2013.

ROBERT DICKSON, 49er (sails with Seán Waddilove)

Winner, U23 49er World Championships, September 2018, and 2018 Volvo/Afloat Irish Sailor of the Year

DOB: 6 March 1998, from Sutton, Co. Dublin. Age 23

Club: Howth Yacht Club

Currently studying: Sports Science and Health in DCU with a Sports Scholarship.

SEÁN WADDILOVE, 49er (sails with Robert Dickson)

Winner, U23 49er World Championships, September 2018, and recently awarded 2018 Volvo Afloat/Irish Sailor of the Year

DOB: 19 June 1997. From Skerries, Dublin

Age 24

Club: Skerries Sailing Club and Howth Yacht Club

Currently studying International Business and Languages and awarded sports scholarship at TU (Technology University)

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