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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

The Dunmore East RNLI Open Water Swim Charity Event will be held from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club on Sunday, June 2, with a predicted 350 sea swimmers expected for three swims of varying length - 1,600m, 800m, and 500m.

“This provides opportunities for individuals of all levels to brave the open water,” say the organisers. “Safety is the utmost priority, with a dedicated team of expert kayakers and safety boats on side to escort the swimmers throughout the event.”

Sponsored by EirGrid it is a key annual fixture supporting Dunmore East lifeboat. Margaret Barry, Chairperson of Dunmore East RNLI fundraising branch said, "Building upon the momentum of the previous year, the 2024 Dunmore East RNLI Open Water Swim promises to be an unforgettable experience, uniting swimmers of all levels in support of the important work carried out by the Dunmore East RNLI.

"EirGrid, our new event sponsor, has committed to a three-year sponsorship, enhancing the significance of this year's event and ensuring its continued impact and success"

More information about the Dunmore East RNLI Open Swim can be found here

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The weekly Sunday morning yellow-welly fund-raise walks that have been a feature of each May weekend in Crosshaven, going sociably along the easy Cork Harbour shore path to Drake's Pool and back to the lifeboat station for welcome sustenance, will conclude this Sunday (May 26th) with the walk beginning at 10.0am - the poster says it all.

ccrosshaven_lifeboat_poster

When started, it was hoped that May's usually springlike or just plain cold weather would keep things reasonably cool for the fully-foul-weather-clad lifeboat mascot Stormy Stan. But last Sunday morning's exceptionally bright sunlight was threatening to turn him into Sweatin' Stormy Stan, though he made it back to the comfort of the station nevertheless.

A cheery crowd with a purpose - last Sunday's Crosshaven Lifeboat walking groupA cheery crowd with a purpose - last Sunday's Crosshaven Lifeboat walking group

The walks have been attracting a diverse crowd, and if they haven't been simple chatting with each other, they'v been observing the diverse and seasonally-growing fleet of boats in the river. So can somebody please tell us if the handsome white sloop in the first photo includes an American-built boat that first arrived into Fenit on Tralee Bay many years ago, shippered Transatlantic by a seafaring priest?

The very worthy reason for it all - the Crosshaven lifeboat running as smoothly as envisaged by her designer, in action to seaward of Roche's PointThe very worthy reason for it all - the Crosshaven lifeboat running as smoothly as envisaged by her designer, in action to seaward of Roche's Point

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Carrybridge RNLI’s volunteers were called by Belfast Coastguard on Saturday afternoon (18 May) to assess a 6m vessel with one person on board which had run aground some two miles upstream from the lifeboat station on Upper Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.

Winds were southerly Force 3 with excellent visibility as the inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards proceeded to the vessel’s last known location, and on arrival found it holding on its anchor.

The lifeboat crew assessed the wellbeing of the casualty on board and found them to be safe and well.

Upon assessing the casualty vessel, the volunteer crew found that it had lost all means of propulsion.

The helm deemed the safest option would be for the lifeboat and its crew to set up a tow, with the owner’s permission, and bring it back to the safest public jetty at Carrybridge, to avoid other craft going into the shallows to assist.

One crew member from the lifeboat was placed on board the casualty vessel to assist and the casualty vessel was swiftly towed to safety.

Speaking following the call-out, Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI had advice for all boat users.

“Before setting out on your journey, please plan your route and carry out regular checks of their vessels position throughout your journey,” he said. “Have a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble, have lifejackets for all on board and plan their journey using the relevant charts.

“If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is: 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Galway RNLI lifeboat volunteer Olivia Byrne has been recognised for her exceptional service as a finalist for the prestigious Captain Dara Fitzpatrick Award. The award, which acknowledges the vital work of first responders and the significant role of women in the emergency services, honours individuals who exemplify compassion, bravery, leadership, and professionalism.

Olivia was selected as one of five finalists from a pool of candidates across Ireland. The award ceremony, hosted by the Irish Paramedicine Education and Research Network and the Fitzpatrick family, took place at the University of Limerick. The award pays homage to the legacy of Dara Fitzpatrick, an Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue pilot, by celebrating inspirational women working in the Irish pre-hospital community and emergency services.

Olivia Byrne, a nurse, midwife, and public health nurse, has also volunteered with the Galway Lifeboat crew for over two decades. Nominated for the award by the station’s Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Swan, Olivia's dedication and contributions to the team have been invaluable. Over the years, she has been involved in numerous rescues and has brought her nursing skills to the search and rescue role, benefiting both the crew and those they rescue.

Speaking about her recognition, Olivia expressed her gratitude, saying, "It is a great privilege for me to be included in this group of highly trained women." She also commended the other finalists for their outstanding leadership in their respective emergency service specialties.

‘The other finalists for the award are outstanding leaders in their emergency service specialties and the worthy winner of the Capt. Dara Fitzpatrick Award 2024 was Pte Nicole Carroll who is a Defence Forces Combat Medical Technician. I was delighted to be a finalist and to share the experience of the award ceremony with an incredible group of women.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI sprang into action yesterday afternoon following a distress call from the Irish Coast Guard. The call, received at 4:30 pm on Sunday, May 19, requested assistance for a family pet that had fallen from a cliff.

The crew found a Jack Russel terrier that had fallen 30-40 feet onto a bed of seaweed. Fortunately, two local kayakers had spotted the dog in distress and raised the alarm, prompting the lifeboat crew to respond.

Crew member Nadia Blanchfield bravely made her way to the small beach at Poles Bay, where she successfully recovered the dog and brought her on board the inshore lifeboat. The full crew, including Helm James Barry and Paddy O'Regan, ensured the safe return of the dog. The rescue took place under sunny, calm conditions with a light easterly breeze.

Pat Wallace, Volunteer Deputy Launch Authority, emphasised the importance of keeping pets on a lead near cliffs and water's edges. He also advised pet owners to have a means to call for help in case of emergencies and warned against attempting risky rescues.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Clogherhead RNLI Lifeboat station celebrated its 125th-anniversary last weekend with perfect weather, as the sun shone in a deep blue sky and the wind remained non-existent.

The festivities kicked off on Saturday, 18th May, with a group of enthusiastic swimmers taking part in a 125th Celebration Dip at 'The Little Strand' in Clogherhead. Prior to their dip, the swimmers and Clogherhead RNLI volunteers formed a human 1-2-5 on the beach, captured for posterity by a drone.

The main event took place on Sunday, drawing a large crowd to the lifeboat station for an afternoon of commemoration, celebration, music, and laughter. The event featured a short ecumenical service conducted by religious leaders, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony in remembrance of past volunteers and casualties. The afternoon was filled with entertainment from various musical acts and activities such as a sandcastle competition, face-painting, and a raffle.

The boathouse also housed a historical exhibition detailing the lifeboats that have served at the station over the years. The event was a memorable occasion, thanks to the hard work of the Clogherhead RNLI volunteers who organised and supervised the celebration. 

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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As the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, more than 40 rescue vessels, including both current and historical RNLI lifeboats as well as international boats, have come together to form a flotilla more than a mile long today (19 May).

The flotilla, which closed the two-day event held in Poole, Dorset, in the UK consisted of more than 20 historic RNLI lifeboats, the current lifeboat fleet including the most modern 25-knot lifeboat, the Shannon class, alongside current inshore lifeboats and the RNLI inshore rescue hovercraft.

The rowing lifeboat, the William Riley which went on active service in 1909 taking part in the flotilla Photo: Nathan WilliamsThe rowing lifeboat, the William Riley which went on active service in 1909 taking part in the flotilla Photo: Nathan Williams

International lifeboats were welcomed as part of the two-day event having travelled from France, Netherlands, Germany and Sweden. The oldest rescue craft taking part was a Swedish rowing lifeboat from 1868.

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As the RNLI commemorates the charity’s 200 years of lifesaving this year, Lough Derg RNLI celebrates 20 years of service on the lake.

Last Sunday afternoon (12 May), volunteers past and present at the Lough Derg lifeboat station gathered with their families and RNLI staff members at Lough Derg Yacht Club to celebrate the milestone.

Christine O’Malley, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI and MC for the event welcomed everyone, especially those who’d travelled long distances to join the celebration.

Christine, a retired consultant geriatrician, talked about taking on the role of LOM five years earlier, and the “steep learning curve” as she absorbed the responsibilities involved, met the challenges and celebrated the rewards.

She then introduced Niamh McCutcheon, chair of the Lough Derg fundraising committee and an RNLI vice-president.

Niamh — who had been fundraising locally for the RNLI for decades before the lifeboat was stationed on Lough Derg — praised the tireless work of the fundraising committee who, in tandem with the volunteer crews, have raised awareness of and donations to the RNLI, thus facilitating the charity’s goals to save every one.

She also spoke of her pride in the seeing volunteers from Lough Derg RNLI at the Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey in March.

Christine invited Niamh Stephenson, RNLI communications lead for Ireland, to speak next. Over the years Niamh and her colleague Nuala McAloon, RNLI regional communications manager for Ireland, have made themselves available to offer sage advice and guidance to the station’s lifeboat press officer on all media related matters.

Lough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer launched from the lifeboat station | Credit: RNLI/Eleanor HookerLough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer launched from the lifeboat station | Credit: RNLI/Eleanor Hooker

Niamh recalled her first stopover at Lough Derg RNLI — almost 20 year ago — and the warm welcome she received, including the daunting mountain of food volunteers had cooked for her visit.

Niamh spoke about the essential role of media and the bridge it forged between the activities of the lifeboat station and the public. She spoke of how media communications inspired support for the charity and attracted new volunteers to the crew and fundraising, as well as amplifying water safety messages for a new generation.

To thank past volunteers for their continued support, Christine invited area lifesaving manager Lisa Hollingum to speak and to present former crew with RNLI200 badges. Lisa commended the volunteers at Lough Derg RNLI for their dedication and commitment to maintaining the RNLIs high standard in all they do, and she looked forward to visiting the station again soon.

Liam Maloney, launching authority and former LOM at Lough Derg RNLI; Dr Peter Hooker, lifeboat medical advisor; and Eleanor Hooker, volunteer helm and lifeboat press officer had asked that Helena Duggan, RNLI assessor/trainer at Lough Derg RNLI from 2003 until 2022, present them with their 20-year Long Service Medals.

Helena recalled her early visits to the new lifeboat station at Lough Derg with her colleagues, the late Michael Carmody and Derek Potter, and the enthusiasm from volunteers as the station became established.

In a philosophical consideration of time, Helena stressed that the RNLI hugely appreciates the hours volunteers put into training, exercises and shouts, and that “every second you give to the RNLI is precious time, your time, and is never taken for granted”.

She made special mention too of the sacrifices and allowances families make so that volunteers may volunteer. Helena described the vast network of people, volunteers and staff, who work as a team to make the RNLI the organisation it is today.

The crew were honoured that current assessor/trainer Seán Ginnelly would travel all the way from Achill to join the celebrations.

Cutting the cake at last Sunday’s celebration at Lough Derg Yacht Club | Credit: RNLICutting the cake at last Sunday’s celebration at Lough Derg Yacht Club | Credit: RNLI

After receiving his medal from Helena, Liam Maloney gave a moving history of the origins of the RNLI lifeboat station on the lake. He acknowledged the successful proposal made to the RNLI by Teddy Knight and Charles Stanley Smith.

Carrig Primary School, where Liam was headmaster, provided a venue for new volunteers to have shore training in the year before the lifeboat went live for service on 24 April 2004. He smiled as he told us he taught many of past and current volunteers in the room. Liam recollected previous callouts, his anxiety for crew out in testing conditions and one in particular on a St Stephen’s Day morning that thankfully had a positive outcome.

Eleanor Hooker thanked Aoife Kennedy, lifeboat station administrator and launching authority and her sister Doireann Kennedy, volunteer crew, for organising the entire event, including having volunteers bake and cook for the reception to follow the speeches.

Eleanor recollected earlier times with former volunteers and the collegiate spirit among all at the station. She spoke of the mutual trust and teamwork — essential ingredients at a lifeboat station.

Eleanor welcomed James Corballis, an RNLI volunteer who has moved to the area from Galway RNLI, to the station. She congratulated Laura Clarke, chair of the Lap the Lake fundraising Committee on the incredible success of the RNLI charity cycle the previous day.

On receiving his Long Service Medal, consultant anaesthesist Dr Peter Hooker joked that “normally people fell asleep after a few minutes of my talking to them”, and so promised he would keep his words brief. He said it was an honour to be a part of the Lough Derg RNLI team and wanted, especially to thank Helena for her years of teaching and care and friendship at the station.

Christine thanked all present and invited the assembly to move upstairs to enjoy an afternoon tea.

“It was lovely to see so many people who have supported the lifeboat station over the years, whether on the water, off the water, through fundraising or the RNLI support team,” she said. “These are the people who helped make the Lifeboat Station into the excellent service we have today.

“It was great to acknowledge the remarkable 20 years of commitment to the station from Liam Maloney, Eleanor Hooker and Peter Hooker with Long Service Awards from the RNLI. A huge thank you to all our volunteers, past and present, and to their families, who have all given so much to create and sustain this lifesaving service on Lough Derg.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Port of Cork Company in partnership with the RNLI hosted over 100 secondary and primary school students at the port in Ringaskiddy on Wednesday (15 May) for a “Student Safe” water safety event to promote heightened awareness of water safety practices.

The key purpose of this RNLI “Student Safe” event was to inform and educate students on vital water safety information to help prepare them when engaging in water-related activities ahead of the summer season.

Since the first RNLI lifeboat station in Ireland was established in 1826, the charity has saved an estimated 8,357 lives at sea and aided a further 35,477 people.

As emergency water rescue operations often consist of a multi-agency approach, representatives from the National Ambulance Service, Community First Responders and the Irish Coast Guard were also in attendance and offered student groups the opportunity to engage on a one-to-one basis, ask questions and receive potentially lifesaving information.

This water safety event formed part of a larger collaboration between the Port of Cork and RNLI aimed at promoting essential life-saving water safety practices.

Earlier this year, promotional materials containing water safety tips were posted and erected within the main Ferry Terminal building at the port in Ringaskiddy, which welcomed 116,000 ferry passengers passing through in 2023.

Conor Mowlds, chief commercial officer at the Port of Cork Company praised the event: “It is incredibly important that young people are equipped with the correct knowledge and skills should they encounter difficulties on the water. Events such as this help to broaden water safety awareness to help mitigate emergency and life-threatening incidents.”

Mowlds added: “The Port of Cork is actively committed to working with the RNLI and other emergency service partners to promote water safety practices that create a safe environment for the local community and visitors in the Cork Harbour area.”

Linda-Gene Byrne, RNLI regional water safety lead said: “The RNLI saves lives at sea. But beyond the work we do on our lifeboats, we’re an active part of the community too.

“We are delighted to partner with other emergency services and the Port of Cork to deliver this community based event which enables local students to receive key safety messages.
“We would like to thank the Port of Cork for providing us the space and their support for this Student Safe event and all the schools for attending with their students. All the partners here today are so appreciative to have a space to work together to keep our communities safe.

“If any other schools would like to receive water safety talks that teach the young people in your classroom or group how to stay safe in, on and around the water we’re here to help.”

Two local schools, Coláiste Muire Réalt na Mara Crosshaven and Ringaskiddy Lower Harbour NS, attended the event at Ringaskiddy.

Published in Port of Cork
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The volunteer crew of Wicklow RNLI responded to two consecutive distress calls last Thursday (May 9th). The first call came in just before 1pm, reporting that two kayakers had capsized in the River Vartry, which flows into Wicklow Harbour. The inshore lifeboat, helmed by Paul Sillery, wasted no time and swiftly reached the scene.

On arrival, the crew found one casualty safe ashore while the other remained in the water. The crew promptly retrieved the second casualty and brought them to safety, also recovering the capsized kayak.

The second call, received just before 3 pm, summoned the crew to aid a 37ft motor vessel experiencing steering difficulties. The all-weather lifeboat, the Joanna and Henry Williams, was launched to assist the distressed vessel, located five miles northeast of Wicklow Harbour. After establishing contact with the skipper, it was determined that the vessel could make its way to the harbour, with the lifeboat crew providing an escort. Once at the harbour, the lifeboat facilitated a safe alongside tow to manoeuvre the vessel alongside the pier

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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

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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