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Displaying items by tag: National Yacht Club

Wednesday morning saw some early 2022 season double-handed two boat tuning for a pair of Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 keelboats on Dublin Bay.

ISORA campaigners Searcher (Pete Smyth) and John O'Gorman's Hot Cookie enjoyed 10-15 knots north-westerlies for a fast reach from Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Searcher and Hot Cookie, both from the National Yacht Club, cut quite a dash crossing a deserted bay at speed under pink and red spinnakers.

The pair returned to the harbour after a two-hour session with Searcher sporting a ripped kite in conditions that had strengthened to over 20 knots in gusts.

ISORA celebrates its Golden Jubilee with a return to traditional Irish Offshore Racing in 2022 with the first fixture on May 28th with a 60-mile race from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead. All this, of course, is preceded by DBSC's Spring Chicken Series that begins on February 6th. 

Published in ISORA

The National Yacht Club will be hosting a Match Racing Invitational in its fleet of Elliott 6m one-design keelboats on the 4th and 5th of December at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The purpose of this event is to match Ireland's best match racers against each other in anticipation of a National Championships in early 2022.

Invite forms for consideration are available here. Organisers say an impartial panel will review all applications, and ten invites will be issued.

A Notice of Race can be found below for full details of the event.

Further details are available from Mark Hassett ([email protected]) or Will Byrne ([email protected]).

Published in Match Racing

This weekend sees the conclusion of the five-week-long Flying Fifteen Frostbite Series at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Sixteen boats are entered, with an average of 11 competing each weekend.

PRO Keith Poole and his race team have provided great courses and racing in various conditions.

Ken Dumpleton and Joe Hickey in 'Rodriguez' lead the way after their impressive three race wins last Saturday, but Tom Galvin and Chris Doorly in 'Thingamabob' are just two points behind and with three races due on Saturday, they are still in with a chance.

Peter Murphy and Ciara Mulvey are in third place, followed by Tom Murphy and Karel Le Roux and Joe Coughlan and Andrew Marshall.

The NYC Frostbite Series for Flying Fifteens and Mermaids, which has been run for forty years, resumed this season after a break of two years.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Over sixty yachts and cruisers will be hauled out of the water at Dun Laoghaire Harbour tomorrow as the 2021 summer season ends at Ireland's biggest boating centre. 

The National Yacht Club and neighbouring Royal St. George YC will lift out approximately 30 cruisers apiece using a mobile crane. 

The boats will overwinter on the hardstanding at the waterfront clubhouses, where space is at a premium.

It's not the end of all sailing by any means, however. A winter Turkey Shoot Series run by DBSC that attracts up to 70 boats, mainly from the town marina, is scheduled to start on Nov 7th, and the DMYC Dinghy Frostbite Series will run in harbour racing until March.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour sailor Justin Burke was racing in the IRC B division of last weekend's postponed Spi Ouest Regatta and received a warm welcome in Brittany. 

Burke of the National Yacht Club, a champion SB20 and Flying Fifteen sailor, recently acquired a JPK 10.30 and used Spi Ouest as a shakedown on the new boat, including its short-handed options.

"I'm very taken by Brittany. Beautiful scenery, lovely food and a great attitude to sailing. The weather helps a lot, but above all the people. We have met a lot of like-minded locals".

Burke says the emphasis is very much on sailing rather than the bar afterwards and was somewhat surprised to come across quite a lot of older boats, including an old Shamrock. All the vintage boats were well kitted out with new sails and all "slickly sailed", he says.

Burke's plan is to return to France, (where there are reasonably priced flights to Nantes from Ireland) and race Spi Ouest regatta again in the Spring of 2022. He'll decide then if he leaves his new boat 'Das Boot' in Brittany or brings her home to Dun Laoghaire.

He told Afloat, "there's great energy and a lot is going on in Brittany". He has been invited to join a local training session for short-handed sailing.

More on Spi Ouest regatta here

Published in National YC
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John Patrick (left) from Belfast Sailability was the winner of the  2.4mR National Championships held at the National Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour at the weekend.

A small fleet of five competitors (from a total fleet of eight boats in the country) raced for both Open and Para titles. 

The National's Ed Totterdell was the Race Officer with four races sailed on Saturday and two on Sunday, all inside the harbour.

The open event was won by John Patrick from Belfast Sailability with Patrick Hassett in second and Oisin Putt in third place both from NYC.

The Para event was won by Patrick with Oisin second.

John Patrick (right) from Belfast Sailability was the winner of the Open Division of the  2.4mR Nationals held at Dun Laoghaire Harbour and receives his prize from National Yacht Club Commodore Conor O’ReganJohn Patrick (right) from Belfast Sailability was the winner of the Open Division of the  2.4mR Nationals held at Dun Laoghaire Harbour and receives his prize from National Yacht Club Commodore Conor O’Regan

Patrick Hassett (right) is congratulated by National Yacht Club Commodore Conor O’Regan for his overall win of the 2.4mR Nationals (Para division) at Dun Laoghaire HarbourPatrick Hassett (right) is congratulated by National Yacht Club Commodore Conor O’Regan for his overall win of the 2.4mR Nationals (Para division) at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Published in National YC
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The National Yacht Club hosts the ICRA Nationals on Friday. 80 boats are entered. As in previous years, Afloat sticks its neck out to predict the top boats and winners in each division at Dun Laoghaire

In a typical year, you would have a big event such as Cork Week or Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta to gauge which boats are on form before predicting who will rise to the podium at a late-season ICRA Nationals. With VDLR cancelled in 2021, we will have to rely on events such as Sovereigns Cup, Calves Week, D2D, ISORA and DBSC to predict the likely winners.

Wind forecasting –this will play a big part this year. With only a day to go, the weather pattern indicates generally light to medium airs. Most wind models call light airs on Friday, a little more on Saturday, maybe around 10 knots. Sunday is generally light, though one wind model is showing 15 knots for the last day.

Class 0 will have only one race —a long coastal on Friday and one race Sunday with three short races on Saturday. All the other classes will have two races on Friday and Sunday and three on Saturday.

Clearly, with light wind predominating for the first two days, it must be expected that the winners will come from boats that do well in these conditions.

Class 0 

An excellent turnout of 13 yachts is expected from Northern Ireland, Cork and Dublin.

As Afloat previously reported, from Northern Ireland comes Shaun Douglas's Beneteau 40.7, Gamechanger and Jay Colville's First 40, Forty Licks. These boats perform well and are well crewed but generally prefer medium conditions to let them use their waterline lengths. We are not sure they will get this breeze on Friday and Saturday.

Paul O'Higgins' JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI - likes the breezePaul O'Higgins' JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI - likes the breeze Photo: Afloat

If the conditions are medium to fresh, you would have to include Paul O'Higgins' JPK 10.80 as one of the likely winners. However, as was seen at Calves Week this year, she struggles in light airs, and this weekend's forecast will not be to their liking. She will stay in the hunt, though.

Sovereigns Cup winner, the new Grand Soleil 44, Samatom, owned by Bob Rendell from Howth, showed great form in both light and windy conditions in Kinsale to take the series from some good entries. However, her talents at that event included Olympian Mark Mansfield, who for ICRA's will be aboard another Class 0 entry, Frank Whelan's Greystones debutante J/122 Kaya.

The three Sunfast 3600s, Yoyo, Hot Cookie and Searcher, will be competing, but the lighter airs will not be to their liking.

This leaves the two likely favourites in these conditions, Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice from Royal Cork and Frank Whelan's J/122 Kaya. This could be an exciting battle with Mansfield calling the shots on Kaya and Maurice (Prof) O'Connell doing the same on Jump Juice. Should it stay light, there will be nothing in it.

If the breeze comes up a bit, Kaya will still be strong, so we will call for Kaya to take it from Jump, but not by much.

Class 1

With 26 entries, this will be the biggest class numerically. Nearly all from the Dublin area apart from the two well sailed J/109's From Cork (Brian Jones' Jelly Baby and Finbarr O'Regan's Artful Dodger) and the Ker 32, Hijacker from Strangford lough, owned by Stuart Cranston. Hijacker will be the top-rated boat in its class, but if form is anything to go by, her performance at a light airs Scottish Series in 2021 will not bode well for this event.

Form boat - J/99 Snapshot (Mike and Ritchie Evans)Form boat - J/99 Snapshot (Mike and Ritchie Evans) Photo: Bob Bateman

Class 1 will likely be dominated by the many J/109s competing plus the new J/99 Snapshot, owned by Richard and Michael Evans from Howth. Snapshot won a competitive Sovereigns Cup Class 1 and is competitive in light and medium conditions. She will have Shane Hughes aboard, so expect her to make the podium.

The conditions will favour the J 109's, and there are 14 entered. Trying to pick who will emerge will be difficult. In 2021, Finbarr O'Regan's Artful Dodger took the runner up spot at the Sovereign's Cup, but that is after John Murphy and Richard Colwell's Outrageous had two OCS results. Outrageous, if she stays clean, will be in the mix. From Dublin Bay, you have the trio of John Maybury's Joker 2 (a four times ICRA winner), Tim Goodbody's White Mischief and Brian and John Hall's Something Else. All three regularly perform well. From Howth, Outrageous (tactician Aoife Hopkins) will be joined by Pat Kelly's Storm (tactician Robert O'Leary), who favours a breeze typically, but will nevertheless be there or thereabouts. Depending on what talent these J109's have onboard will determine who will likely come to the top.

We will go for Outrajeous and Snapshot, taking the top two slots, with Snapshot taking it by a hair.

Class 2

14 entries in this class will undoubtedly be dominated by the Half Tonners who excel in lighter airs. If there is a breeze for the three days, you could see Anthony Gore Grimes Dux come into the picture, but it does not look like this breeze will be present. Likewise, the J 97's Lambay Rules and Windjammer.

Not to be ruled out - David Kelly's Half Tonner King OneNot to be ruled out - David Kelly's Half Tonner King One Photo: Bob Bateman

The battle of the Half Tonners will be intriguing. The three form Half tonners will unfortunately not include David Cullen's Checkmate XV. Instead Cullen will sail with Nigel Biggs on Checkmate XVIII. Darran Wright's Mata will include Howth's Ross McDonald and Olympian Killian Collins, who will no doubt make a difference. The form would say that Nigel Biggs always performs well on the big stage. We will call for Nigel Biggs Checkmate XVIII to take it from Mata and Jonny Swann sailing David Kelly's King One instead of his regular Harmony coming in third.

Class 3

Paul Coulton's Cri CriPaul Coulton's Cri Cri Photo: Afloat

Like Class 2, In lighter airs, the Quarter Tonners will like to rule the roost here. Paul Coulton's Cri Cri and Barry Cunningham and Jonathan Skeritt's Quest, both from the Royal Irish, will likely be the front runners. Of these two, Quest has the better record in the past and loves the light air.  Northern Ireland's Snoopy is still something of an unknown quantity here.

Were there to be breeze develop expect the J 24's to come into the picture, and of these, the wily Flor O'Driscoll could be one to watch.

Quest to win from Cri Cri and then a J24, possibly Flor.

Download the full entry list for the ICRA Championships here and download the Sailing Instructions below

This article was updated at 2 pm on Sept 2 to include additional crew and entry details

Published in ICRA

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships returns to Dublin Bay this weekend (September 3-5th) and brings one of the biggest Division Zero fleets the cruiser-racer body has ever seen.

An expected fleet of 13 Zeros is bigger than the fleet of ten that raced in the 2019 Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

The National Yacht Club will host the championships, the biggest test for Irish cruiser-racers since West Cork's Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale in June and Calves Week in August.

In all, a total fleet of almost 80 boats has been mustered, and that's a welcome boost for the championships that was cancelled twice last year in the pandemic.

Class divisions are downloadable below (as an excel file) for the weekend championships as another strong fleet of Division One yachts is unveiled by ICRA, with 25 or so entries anticipated. 

National titles

The arrival of the championships mean national titles in four IRC classes plus a white sails event will be decided on the Bay by next Sunday.

A total of 17 clubs from Ireland's North, South and East coasts will be represented by 77 crews, a slight reduction in overall numbers (100 boats in 2019) attributed to the country's gradual reopening after Covid-19.

ICRA Nationals - A total of 17 clubs from Ireland's North, South and East coasts will be represented Photo: AfloatICRA Nationals - 17 clubs from Ireland's North, South and East coasts will be represented. Photo: Afloat

“This year’s event is an opportunity for re-building crews and team bonding,” said Richard Colwell, Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association. "This year hasn't been without regular club racing, but the ICRA championships will be the biggest test of the year with so many clubs represented in the fleet."

The ICRA series will be hosted by the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire. The Covid restrictions in place mean that with a maximum of 200 to be accommodated in one location, the championships will have to spread out a little. After consultation with the other waterfront clubs, Royal St George and Royal Irish members will be hosted by their respective clubs. Visiting boats and their crews will be hosted at the National Yacht Club.The ICRA series will be hosted by the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire. The Covid restrictions mean that the championships will have to spread out a little, with a maximum of 200 to be accommodated in one location. After consultation with the other waterfront clubs, Royal St George and Royal Irish members will be hosted by their respective clubs. Visiting boats and their crews will be hosted at the National Yacht Club.

ICRA Courses

Many former national champions are participating across all classes. Two inshore fleets, with Class 1 in White Fleet and Class 2, 3 and non-spinnaker in Orange fleet, will race windward/leeward and round the cans. Class 0 will race a mixture of coastal and windward/leeward courses, starting from the same line as Class 1.

International Race Officers Jack Roy and Con Murphy are running racing afloat. At the same time, Ailbe Millerick and Bill O'Hara will lead ICRA's Protest Committee, who will, as in 2019, be on the water to witness racing.

Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 SamatomRobert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom will be racing in a bumper Class Zero Photo: Adam Winkelmann

After a great season with his previous boat Eleuthera, Frank Whelan's J122 Kaya from Greystones Sailing Club could well be the form boat in Division Zero, though with a slew of rivals in this hotly contested class. Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice from the Royal Cork YC and Paul O'Higgins' JPK1080 Rockabill VI from the Royal Irish YC are certain to be in the mix with Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom from Howth YC.

Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump JuiceConor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice Photo: Bob Bateman

After overall victory in Kinsale for the Sovereign's Cup in June, Mike & Richard Evans' J99 Snapshot will again try to disrupt the J109 fleet's dominance of Division 1. However, Stuart Cranston's Ker 32 Hijacker from Strangford Lough could add a fresh challenge.

Mike & Richard Evans' J99 SnapshotMike & Richard Evans' J/99 Snapshot Photo: Bob Bateman

Of the J109s, John and Brian Hall’s Something Else from the National YC will be looking for a result on home turf but can expect Howth's Colwell with John Murphy on Outrajeous to be on form as well as the Jones family's Jelly Baby from Crosshaven and the Goodbody's White Mischief from the Royal Irish YC.

John and Brian Hall’s Something Else from the National YC Photo: Bob BatemanJohn and Brian Hall’s Something Else from the National YC Photo: Bob Bateman

"We're all set and looking forward it - this is our first regatta in two years - we have a great crew, some of whom have sailed with me for 40 years," said Tim Goodbody (80). "Racing under IRC is great as we can sail with nine up so I can share the helm with Richard when I get tired."

The Royal Irish Yacht Club's John Maybury has made it four in a row at the ICRA National Championships in his Class One J109 Yacht Joker IIThe Royal Irish Yacht Club's John Maybury made it four in a row at the ICRA National Championships in 2019 in his Class One J109 yacht Joker II Photo: Afloat.

Nigel Biggs from Howth YC moves out of his new Flying Fifteen one design and back into Checkmate XVIII and will be the boat to beat in Division 2 after a near-perfect track record of wins in Dublin Bay in recent years. The Wright/De Nieve owned Mata, also from Howth, are likely challengers amongst the half-tonners.

Nigel Biggs'Half Tonner Checkmate XVIII Nigel Biggs' Half Tonner Checkmate XVIII Photo: Afloat

If the event gets breeze, clubmates Dux, an X302 sailed by the Gore-Grimes family, could repeat their 2019 event win though Lindsay Casey and Denis Powers' J97 Windjammer from the Royal St George YC is also tipped for the fresher conditions.

Anthony Gore-Grimes' Dux from Howth Yacht Club emerged overall winner of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships Photo:AfloatAnthony Gore-Grimes' Dux from Howth Yacht Club emerged overall winner of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships Photo: Afloat.

Bray Sailing Club’s Flor O’Driscoll will be taking on the might of the Royal Irish YC with his J24 Hard On Port facing the likes of Paul Colton’s Cri Cri and Barry Cunningham with Jonathan Skerritts' Quest, both revamped quarter-tonners.

"I've always enjoyed the ICRA's as the J24 is rated pretty well under IRC," O'Driscoll said while preparing for East coast championships in Howth. "We raced for the first time in two years in Foynes for the southerns but could have done better with a sixth place."

The Covid-19 pandemic forced the abandonment of much of the 2020 and early 2021 fixtures. Still, measures have been relaxed enough to permit safe competition afloat though shoreside social activities continue to be severely curtailed for this season.

Howth J109 Outrajeous (Richard Colwell and John Murphy) Photo: Bob BatemanHowth J109 Outrajeous (Richard Colwell and John Murphy) Photo: Bob Bateman

"Our main priority is to deliver a strong racing series afloat this year which will certain to be a warm-up for hopefully a full 2022 season," said Richard Colwell, Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association. "While social is more difficult in Covid restrictions, we have worked hard to make sure there will still be limited social activity spread across the Dun Laoghaire waterfront so everyone can enjoy the event as much as possible."

Racing begins this Friday at 1125hrs.

2021 ICRA National Championships Event Schedule

Thursday 6th June

2100hrs Skippers Briefing on Zoom (an invitation will be emailed in advance)

Friday 7th June

0830hrs Breakfast on the forecourt, Coffee & pastries in Club Room bar
1125hrs Racing
1600hrs BBQ on the forecourt
1800hrs Sailing Buffet in Dining Room

Saturday 8th June

0830hrs Breakfast on the forecourt, Coffee & pastries in Club Room bar
1125hrs Racing
1600hrs BBQ on the forecourt
1930hrs Regatta Dinner

Sunday 9th June

0830hrs Breakfast on the forecourt, Coffee & pastries in Club Room bar
1025hrs Racing
1500hrs BBQ on the forecourt
Approx. 1630hrs ICRA National Championships Prize Giving

Published in ICRA

The National Yacht Club's under 30 membership is making waves on European waters over the coming weeks.

As Afloat reported earlier, over in Palma, Spain, NYC's Will Byrne is currently competing on the Club Swan 50 'Mathilde' at the 39th Copa del Rey. This event attracts some of the top sailors worldwide, and the team currently lies 10th overall after a strong start to the final series of races.

The Dun Laoghaire Harbour club's U25 Team are heading off to their first event this weekend to compete in the J/24 National Championships in Sligo Yacht Club. The skipper Mark O'Connor hopes for a good result against a strong fleet that includes U25 teams from rival clubs.

With an increased interest in offshore sailing among younger members, Oisin Cullen, Conor Totterdell, Conor Corson, and Saoirse Reynolds are all participating in the world-famous Fastnet Race.

This year's edition of the race concludes in Cherbourg for the first time, increasing the overall distance by 15% to 695nm. Oisin and Saoirse will be taking on the race for a second time on Simon Harris’s J/112e 'J’Ouvert' in IRC2. Conor Corson will be on the bow of the A13 'Phosphorus II' in IRC1, while Conor Totterdell is co-skippering Irish Offshore Sailing Schools Sunfast 37 'Desert Star'.

Published in National YC
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Royal Ulster's 'man on a mission' John Minnis lived up to his pre-championship word and delivered a perfect scoreline to win the Beneteau 31.7 Irish National Championships 2021 at the National Yacht Club this afternoon with five straight wins. 

The Gareth Flannigan helmed Northern Ireland entry was chased hard on Dublin Bay by the host club's Chris Johnston in Prospect.

The local crew counted four second places in the two-day championships. 

Michael Blaney's After You Too from the Royal St. George Yacht club finished third overall.

Chris Johnston's Prospect was second overallChris Johnston's Prospect was second overall

Spurred on by their winnings at the Scottish Series in May, when Final Call won Class 3 convincingly and lifted the Causeway Cup for the best performance by a boat-based outside Scotland.

15-20-knot winds proved to be testing championship conditions for the 10-boat fleet over the three day event.

Michael Blaney's After You Too from the Royal St. George Yacht club finished third overall.Michael Blaney's After You Too from the Royal St. George Yacht club finished third overall.

The same south-easterly breeze continued on Sunday with a good chop in the south of the Bay where the Beneteau 31.7s shared a course with the Ruffians, also racing for national championship honours.

Results are here.

2021 Beneteau 31.7 National Championship Photo Gallery

Published in Beneteau 31.7
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Irish Olympic Sailing Team

Ireland has a proud representation in sailing at the Olympics dating back to 1948. Today there is a modern governing structure surrounding the selection of sailors the Olympic Regatta

Irish Olympic Sailing FAQs

Ireland’s representation in sailing at the Olympics dates back to 1948, when a team consisting of Jimmy Mooney (Firefly), Alf Delany and Hugh Allen (Swallow) competed in that year’s Summer Games in London (sailing off Torquay). Except for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Ireland has sent at least one sailor to every Summer Games since then.

  • 1948 – London (Torquay) — Firefly: Jimmy Mooney; Swallow: Alf Delany, Hugh Allen
  • 1952 – Helsinki — Finn: Alf Delany * 1956 – Melbourne — Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1960 – Rome — Flying Dutchman: Johnny Hooper, Peter Gray; Dragon: Jimmy Mooney, David Ryder, Robin Benson; Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1964 – Tokyo — Dragon: Eddie Kelliher, Harry Maguire, Rob Dalton; Finn: Johnny Hooper 
  • 1972 – Munich (Kiel) — Tempest: David Wilkins, Sean Whitaker; Dragon: Robin Hennessy, Harry Byrne, Owen Delany; Finn: Kevin McLaverty; Flying Dutchman: Harold Cudmore, Richard O’Shea
  • 1976 – Montreal (Kingston) — 470: Robert Dix, Peter Dix; Flying Dutchman: Barry O’Neill, Jamie Wilkinson; Tempest: David Wilkins, Derek Jago
  • 1980 – Moscow (Tallinn) — Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson (Silver medalists) * 1984 – Los Angeles — Finn: Bill O’Hara
  • 1988 – Seoul (Pusan) — Finn: Bill O’Hara; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; 470 (Women): Cathy MacAleavy, Aisling Byrne
  • 1992 – Barcelona — Europe: Denise Lyttle; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; Star: Mark Mansfield, Tom McWilliam
  • 1996 – Atlanta (Savannah) — Laser: Mark Lyttle; Europe: Aisling Bowman (Byrne); Finn: John Driscoll; Star: Mark Mansfield, David Burrows; 470 (Women): Denise Lyttle, Louise Cole; Soling: Marshall King, Dan O’Grady, Garrett Connolly
  • 2000 – Sydney — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, David O'Brien
  • 2004 – Athens — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, Killian Collins; 49er: Tom Fitzpatrick, Fraser Brown; 470: Gerald Owens, Ross Killian; Laser: Rory Fitzpatrick
  • 2008 – Beijing (Qingdao) — Star: Peter O’Leary, Stephen Milne; Finn: Tim Goodbody; Laser Radial: Ciara Peelo; 470: Gerald Owens, Phil Lawton
  • 2012 – London (Weymouth) — Star: Peter O’Leary, David Burrows; 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy; Laser: James Espey; 470: Gerald Owens, Scott Flanigan
  • 2016 – Rio — Laser Radial (Women): Annalise Murphy (Silver medalist); 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; 49erFX: Andrea Brewster, Saskia Tidey; Laser: Finn Lynch; Paralympic Sonar: John Twomey, Ian Costello & Austin O’Carroll

Ireland has won two Olympics medals in sailing events, both silver: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman at Moscow 1980, and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial at Rio 2016.

The current team, as of December 2020, consists of Laser sailors Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon, 49er pairs Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, and Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson, as well as Laser Radial sailors Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins.

Irish Sailing is the National Governing Body for sailing in Ireland.

Irish Sailing’s Performance division is responsible for selecting and nurturing Olympic contenders as part of its Performance Pathway.

The Performance Pathway is Irish Sailing’s Olympic talent pipeline. The Performance Pathway counts over 70 sailors from 11 years up in its programme.The Performance Pathway is made up of Junior, Youth, Academy, Development and Olympic squads. It provides young, talented and ambitious Irish sailors with opportunities to move up through the ranks from an early age. With up to 100 young athletes training with the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway, every aspect of their performance is planned and closely monitored while strong relationships are simultaneously built with the sailors and their families

Rory Fitzpatrick is the head coach of Irish Sailing Performance. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and was an Athens 2004 Olympian in the Laser class.

The Performance Director of Irish Sailing is James O’Callaghan. Since 2006 James has been responsible for the development and delivery of athlete-focused, coach-led, performance-measured programmes across the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway. A Business & Economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he is a Level 3 Qualified Coach and Level 2 Coach Tutor. He has coached at five Olympic Games and numerous European and World Championship events across multiple Olympic classes. He is also a member of the Irish Sailing Foundation board.

Annalise Murphy is by far and away the biggest Irish sailing star. Her fourth in London 2012 when she came so agonisingly close to a bronze medal followed by her superb silver medal performance four years later at Rio won the hearts of Ireland. Murphy is aiming to go one better in Tokyo 2021. 

Under head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the coaching staff consists of Laser Radial Academy coach Sean Evans, Olympic Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar and 49er team coach Matt McGovern.

The Irish Government provides funding to Irish Sailing. These funds are exclusively for the benefit of the Performance Pathway. However, this falls short of the amount required to fund the Performance Pathway in order to allow Ireland compete at the highest level. As a result the Performance Pathway programme currently receives around €850,000 per annum from Sport Ireland and €150,000 from sponsorship. A further €2 million per annum is needed to have a major impact at the highest level. The Irish Sailing Foundation was established to bridge the financial gap through securing philanthropic donations, corporate giving and sponsorship.

The vision of the Irish Sailing Foundation is to generate the required financial resources for Ireland to scale-up and execute its world-class sailing programme. Irish Sailing works tirelessly to promote sailing in Ireland and abroad and has been successful in securing funding of 1 million euro from Sport Ireland. However, to compete on a par with other nations, a further €2 million is required annually to realise the ambitions of our talented sailors. For this reason, the Irish Sailing Foundation was formed to seek philanthropic donations. Led by a Board of Directors and Head of Development Kathryn Grace, the foundation lads a campaign to bridge the financial gap to provide the Performance Pathway with the funds necessary to increase coaching hours, upgrade equipment and provide world class sport science support to a greater number of high-potential Irish sailors.

The Senior and Academy teams of the Performance Pathway are supported with the provision of a coach, vehicle, coach boat and boats. Even with this level of subsidy there is still a large financial burden on individual families due to travel costs, entry fees and accommodation. There are often compromises made on the amount of days a coach can be hired for and on many occasions it is necessary to opt out of major competitions outside Europe due to cost. Money raised by the Irish Sailing Foundation will go towards increased quality coaching time, world-class equipment, and subsiding entry fees and travel-related costs. It also goes towards broadening the base of talented sailors that can consider campaigning by removing financial hurdles, and the Performance HQ in Dublin to increase efficiency and reduce logistical issues.

The ethos of the Performance Pathway is progression. At each stage international performance benchmarks are utilised to ensure the sailors are meeting expectations set. The size of a sailor will generally dictate which boat they sail. The classes selected on the pathway have been identified as the best feeder classes for progression. Currently the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway consists of the following groups: * Pathway (U15) Optimist and Topper * Youth Academy (U19) Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 420 * Development Academy (U23) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX * Team IRL (direct-funded athletes) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX

The Irish Sailing performance director produces a detailed annual budget for the programme which is presented to Sport Ireland, Irish Sailing and the Foundation for detailed discussion and analysis of the programme, where each item of expenditure is reviewed and approved. Each year, the performance director drafts a Performance Plan and Budget designed to meet the objectives of Irish Performance Sailing based on an annual review of the Pathway Programmes from Junior to Olympic level. The plan is then presented to the Olympic Steering Group (OSG) where it is independently assessed and the budget is agreed. The OSG closely monitors the delivery of the plan ensuring it meets the agreed strategy, is within budget and in line with operational plans. The performance director communicates on an ongoing basis with the OSG throughout the year, reporting formally on a quarterly basis.

Due to the specialised nature of Performance Sport, Irish Sailing established an expert sub-committee which is referred to as the Olympic Steering Group (OSG). The OSG is chaired by Patrick Coveney and its objective is centred around winning Olympic medals so it oversees the delivery of the Irish Sailing’s Performance plan.

At Junior level (U15) sailors learn not only to be a sailor but also an athlete. They develop the discipline required to keep a training log while undertaking fitness programmes, attending coaching sessions and travelling to competitions. During the winter Regional Squads take place and then in spring the National Squads are selected for Summer Competitions. As sailors move into Youth level (U19) there is an exhaustive selection matrix used when considering a sailor for entry into the Performance Academy. Completion of club training programmes, attendance at the performance seminars, physical suitability and also progress at Junior and Youth competitions are assessed and reviewed. Once invited in to the Performance Academy, sailors are given a six-month trial before a final decision is made on their selection. Sailors in the Academy are very closely monitored and engage in a very well planned out sailing, training and competition programme. There are also defined international benchmarks which these sailors are required to meet by a certain age. Biannual reviews are conducted transparently with the sailors so they know exactly where they are performing well and they are made aware of where they may need to improve before the next review.

©Afloat 2020

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

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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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