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Rowing Ireland, the governing body for rowing in Ireland, has launched an exciting new initiative to engage schools and clubs across the country in the world of rowing ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The initiative, called "Catch Us If You Can," aims to mirror the rigorous training schedule of Rowing Ireland's High-Performance athletes and promote the sport of rowing at the grassroots level.

As part of the initiative, participating schools will compete for the chance to win a state-of-the-art Concept 2 rowing machine for their institution. The prize is both an incentive for schools to participate and also a valuable addition to their sports facilities, encouraging ongoing engagement with rowing long into the future at the grassroots level.

"Catch Us If You Can" will feature a series of inspiring and insightful videos showcasing the personal experiences and training insights of Rowing Ireland's High-Performance athletes as they prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics. These videos will offer a behind-the-scenes look into the dedication and determination required to compete at the highest level of rowing.

The initiative will extend to Rowing Ireland's 100 clubs, offering members the chance to "Catch" the HP athletes in their training pursuits leading up to the Olympics. This inclusive approach will foster a sense of camaraderie and connection within the broader rowing community, uniting athletes of all levels in their passion for the sport.

"Catch Us If You Can" builds upon the success of Rowing Ireland's existing Get Going...Get Rowing programme"Catch Us If You Can" builds upon the success of Rowing Ireland's existing Get Going...Get Rowing programme

Derek Bowen, Manager of the Get Rowing Programme, expressed his excitement for the initiative, stating, "We are thrilled to launch 'Catch Us If You Can' ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics. This initiative not only provides a unique opportunity for schools and clubs to engage with the sport of rowing but also allows us to share the incredible journey of our high-performance athletes as they prepare for the Paris Olympics.”

Ireland currently has six boats qualified for the Paris Olympics and one boat for the Paralympics. After an exciting week of racing in Italy for World Cup I, they came home with two medals, silver for the Women's Pair and bronze for the Men's Double. Up next is the European Championships in Hungary in two weeks' time followed by the Final Qualification Regatta next month where Ireland will have one last go at qualifying some more boats.

"Catch Us If You Can" builds upon the success of Rowing Ireland's existing Get Going...Get Rowing programme, furthering the organisation's commitment to promoting participation and excellence in rowing across Ireland.

For more information on "Catch Us If You Can" and how to get involved, please visit the Get Going Get Rowing website.

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The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has said that a training session which went wrong on the river Corrib and resulted in the loss of two competitive rowing craft “posed a threat of death or serious injury” to those involved.

Fortunately, no lives were lost in the incident which occurred on January 14th, 2023, but the crew in two University of Galway rowing boats which were swept towards the Salmon Weir were novices with minimal experience.

New safety recommendations have been issued to eight rowing clubs after the MCIB identified that patterns of risky behaviour had become “normalised” and posed a threat to safety.

The incident occurred as University of Galway boats were approaching the end of their trip and saw other boats from Coláiste Iognáid heading upriver towards them.

One Coláiste Iognáid rowing boat with nine school teenagers was accompanied by a coach’s launch with two adults on board.

All craft steered towards the centre of the river to avoid a collision but this was in breach of “rules of the river”.

The vessels were now all in the river’s main current, with near-gale force westerly winds, and the two boats from the University of Galway Boat Club were swept towards the Salmon Weir where they capsized against safety booms.

The Coláiste Iognáid Rowing Club rowing craft subsequently capsized in reeds along the east bank, and all were rescued.

The MCIB criticised the university boat club for inadequate planning of a trip which took place in unsuitable weather and river conditions.

“A small craft warning and a gale warning were in effect from five hours before this rowing trip commenced, as winds of up to Force 8 were forecasted to occur along the western seaboard,” the report says.

It says the river conditions were also unsuitable for this rowing trip, as the river was in its normal winter spate conditions, with a high flow rate and a low water temperature.

“ These conditions existed for weeks before and after this casualty event. These conditions occurred in the vicinity of a significant weir, which the crews had to row past on both the outward and return legs,”it says.

“The high flow rate meant that the crews were unable to effectively control their boats, to change course away from the approaching weir. The low water temperature meant that the crews were exposed to the dangers of cold water immersion when their vessels capsized and they entered the water,”it says.

The MCIB notes that five incidents had occurred over the preceding two decades involving recreational boats at or above the weir.

The lack of a rescue vessel above the weir is also highlighted – the RNLI, Garda and Galway Fire and Rescue Service are located below the weir.

The full report is here

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Rowing Ireland has announced the athletes that will represent Ireland at the European Championships. Racing will take place from the 25th April – 28th April in Szeged, Hungary.

The Szeged National Canoeing and Rowing Olympic Centre has an eight-lane rowing course that hosted several rowing championships, including the FISA World Junior Championships in 1989 and the FISU University Rowing Championships in 2010. It is also used for training camps and annual national rowing championships.

Alison Bergin (Fermoy RC) and Zoe Hyde (Tralee RC) will row in the Women’s Double at at the European Championships in Szeged, HungaryAlison Bergin (Fermoy RC) and Zoe Hyde (Tralee RC) will row in the Women’s Double at at the European Championships in Szeged, Hungary

The European Rowing Championships were held almost every year from 1893 to 1973. After that, they were replaced by the World Rowing Championships. However, a European Championships event was reintroduced into the international rowing calendar in 2007. The championships were moved to an early season spot in 2013 and have since become an important event for many teams.

Selected European Championship Irish Crews

Women’s Double

Alison Bergin (Fermoy RC)
Zoe Hyde (Tralee RC)

Lightweight Men’s Double

Paul O'Donovan (Skibbereen RC)
Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen RC)

Lightweight Women’s Single

Margaret Cremen (University College Cork RC)

Lightweight Men’s Single

Jake McCarthy (Skibbereen RC)

European Championships Race Schedule

European Rowing Championships Race Schedule 2024European Rowing Championships Race Schedule 2024 - downloadable below as a pdf

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Irish rowers Fiona Murtagh and Airfic Keogh are taking home the silver medals for the Women's Pair and the Men's Double of Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch are also coming home with silverware after winning bronze.

Up against reigning World Champions Veronique Meester and Ymkje Clevering of the Netherlands, the crew from Galway had a tough race ahead. Ireland was the quickest boat through the second half of the race and brought it right down to one second between themselves and the Netherlands when they got to the line.

(Above and below) Irish rowers Fiona Murtagh and Airfic Keogh, with silver medals for the Women's Pair won at the World Cup Rowing at Lago di Varese, Italy

"It's our second event since Worlds, our second event in the pair together so we're constantly learning and this is a good start to the Olympic year" said Fiona Murtagh. On the last few months since the World Championships, Aifric Keogh said, "We've had a really good winter together, I think this is the longest we've ever been in one boat, usually it's a lot of chopping and changing so that's been nice, it gives us the space to try things out".

Irish rowers Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch, with bronze medals for the Men's Pair won at the World Cup Rowing at Lago di Varese, Italy(Above and below) Irish rowers Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch, with bronze medals for the Men's Pair won at the World Cup Rowing at Lago di Varese, Italy

In the Men's Double, Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch just squeezed past the German crew into third position coming to the line, the medals were theirs for the taking. "We had one of our fastest starts ever" says Doyle "And then we looked around and we weren't in the medal contentions. The plan was we had a sprint up our sleeves to go early at the 700 meters but then Daire called it early at 750 metres."

Irish rowers Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch, with bronze medals for the Men's Pair won at the World Cup Rowing at Lago di Varese, Italy

"A part of me was looking at the stroke coach thinking, how is this going to last? But, it did and int increased and the speed was good, and I knew from the speed on the stroke coach that we were coming into the medals no matter what happened because no one could match what we were doing".

Emily Hegarty (Skibbereen RC), Natalie Long (Lee Valley RC), Eimear Lambe (Old Collegians BC) and Imogen Magner (Carlow RC) crossed the line in fourth position in the Women's Four, just missing out on the podium. Coming through the pack in the middle of the race, it was the second half that Ireland really kicked into it, with their final quarter being the fastest that they did. Both Great Britain and the Netherlands have already booked their spots for this years Olympic Games so it's all to play for when it comes to the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in May.

Sanita Puspure racing for Old Collegians BC finished 5th in the A Final of the Women's Single Scull. Sitting in sixth place right up until the last 500 meters, Sanita made started to wind it up for the last quarter moving as the third fastest boat, enough to bring her up a place to fifth. The podium positions went to Karolien Florijn of the Netherlands, Alexandra Foester of Germany and Inger Seim Kavlie of Norway.

Konan Pazzaia pulled out another incredible race this morning winning the B Final of the Men's Single. In one of the tightest races of the day, Pazzaia had the grandstand on their toes coming into the final few meters of the race. Andre Pinto of Portugal was ahead from the first marker, but from that point it was just bowballs separating him from Ireland. Konan stepped it up again for the famous Irish sprint but even as the crews crossed the line it was a close call to see who got it. In the end, Ireland came up on top just .6 of a second ahead.

Nathan Timoney and Ross Corrigan of Enniskillen, Fermanagh finished out their World Cup with a win in the B Final of the Men's Pair. It was the second German pair that had the quickest start off the blocks, but only just about, through the first 500 meters there was less than half a second separating the top three crews. Over the second quarter, Timoney and Corrigan began to create their lead, taking a boat length on the rest of the field. Finishing out strong they continued to pull away from Germany and Italy right to the line.

The Men's Four of John Kearney, Andrew Sheehan, Jack Dorney and Ronan Byrne finished third in their B Final. Denmark and Australia were the leading two crews from the start of the race however, Ireland put the pressure on coming into the final 500 meters where they clocked the fastest final split out of the four crews. Unfortunately, even with their impressive surge towards the line, it wasn't enough to get them ahead of the crew from Australia. They finish up the World Cup in 9th position overall.

Next up from the Irish Rowing High Performance team is the European Championships taking place in Szeged, Hungary from April 25th to 28th

Sunday Results

Women's Pair -> SILVER
Men's Double -> BRONZE
Women's Four -> 4th
Women's Single -> 5th
Men's Pair -> 1st B Final
Men's Single -> 1st B Final
Men's Four -> 3rd B Final

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After a few miserable days in the lead-up to Rowing World Cup racing in Lago di Varese, Italy -, the sun finally shone on Lago di Varese as day two of the World Rowing Cup II got underway. The regatta saw four crews from Ireland compete for medals in the A Finals.

In the Men's Double, Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch dominated their repechage, leading the race from the start line to the finish. The Belfast and Clonmel rowers will go into tomorrow's A final with the quickest time out of the two repechages that raced today. They will be going head to head with the reigning World Champions, Stefan Broenink and Melvin Twellaar of the Netherlands, in a race not to be missed.

Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch dominated their repechage in the Men's DoublePhilip Doyle and Daire Lynch dominated their repechage in the Men's Double

Sanita Puspure of Old Collegians BC is back racing for medals in the Women's Single after qualifying today for the A Final. The top three crews from the A/B Semi would move through to the race for medals, and Puspure did what she had to do, finishing in second place behind the Norwegian sculler. With a conservative start, Sanita began closer to the back of the pack and made her way up through the field as the race progressed. Crews to watch in tomorrow's final are the undefeated two-time World Champion Karolien Florijn of the Netherlands and 2022 U23 World Champion Alexandra Foester of Germany.

The Men's Four of John Kearney, Andrew Sheehan, Jack Dorney, and Ronan Byrne finished fourth in their repechage, sending them through to tomorrow's B Final. Going out with a stronger start than yesterday's heat, Ireland passed the first marker in second position and the halfway mark in third. This move definitely played to their advantage, putting them in a better position coming into the final stretch.

The Men's Four of John Kearney, Andrew Sheehan, Jack Dorney, and Ronan ByrneThe Men's Four of John Kearney, Andrew Sheehan, Jack Dorney, and Ronan Byrne

Nathan Timoney of Enniskillen Royal BC and Ross Corrigan of Portora BC missed out on the Men's Pair A Final by just over three seconds. Finishing third behind Denmark and Italy in their repechage wasn't enough to see them through to the race for medals, as just two crews were to progress. Ireland stuck with the top group in the race, not drifting more than the three-second gap from the leading pairs. They will be up in the first race of the day tomorrow against Sweden, Italy, and two German crews.

Brian Colsh wrapped up his World Cup this morning in the C Final of the Men's Single. The Men's single scull is one of the most competitive events and attracted the largest number of entries at this regatta with 30 scullers on the start list. Through the second quarter of his race, Colsh squeezed ahead of the scullers from Monaco and Egypt and moved into second position. Winding it up into the finish, Brian was able to hold off Abdelkhalek Elbanna of Egypt in his late sprint for the line. Colsh leaves Italy 14th out of the 30 athletes.

Queen's University Belfast BC rower, Konan Pazzaia, finished fourth in the A/B Semi of the Men's Single, which sends him through to the B Final. Pazzaia went out hard to put himself in the three qualifying positions and managed to hold this right through to the third 500. George Bourne of Great Britain made his move at this point and just got ahead of the sculler from Ireland. Pazzaia didn't let him go easy, staying on his stern and finishing just two and a half seconds behind. He will be up against Portugal, Ukraine, Brazil, Spain, and Switzerland tomorrow morning in the B Final.

Saturday Results

Men's Double Repechage 1st -> A Final
Women's Single A/B Semi 2nd -> A Final
Men's Pair Repechage 3rd -> B Final
Men's Four Repechage 4th -> B Final
Men's Single (Pazzaia) A/B Semi 4th -> B Final
Men's Single (Colsh) C Final -> 2nd

Sunday Schedule (IST)

8:30am - Men's Pair B Final
8:48am - Men's Four B Final
9:00am - Men's Single (Pazzaia) B Final
10:05am - Women's Pair A Final
10:45am - Men's Double A Final
11:30am - Women's Four A Final
13:00pm - Women's Single A Final

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The 2024 international rowing season has officially begun with the first World Cup in Italy, and the Irish crews have made their presence felt right from the start.

The Women's Four of Emily Hegarty, Natalie Long, Eimear Lambe, and Imogen Magner clinched first place in their heat, leaving the reigning World Champions, the Netherlands, behind. The Irish crew left it to their final sprint to move into the leading position, securing their place in the top two direct qualifying spots. Sunday's final promises to be an exciting event as the Irish crew looks forward to the challenge.

Sanita Puspure goes into the A/B semifinals on Saturday in the Rowing World Cup with the second-fastest time and hopes to make it to the top three spotsSanita Puspure goes into the A/B semifinals on Saturday in the Rowing World Cup with the second-fastest time and hopes to make it to the top three spots

Sanita Puspure, who had a challenging race in Tokyo, made a strong comeback in her single, crossing the line first in her heat. Puspure goes into the A/B semifinals on Saturday with the second-fastest time and hopes to make it to the top three spots, which will go on to the A Final. In the Women's Pair, Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh were the first to hit the water, finishing just one second behind the Netherlands, the 2023 World Championship gold medalists.

As a preliminary race for lanes, Sunday's final promises to be an interesting event with different strategies from the individual teams. Both of Ireland's Men's Scullers, Konan Pazzaia, and Brian Colsh, successfully progressed from their heats and qualified for this afternoon's Quarterfinals. Pazzaia held his position through the race, finishing in second place, while Colsh secured his spot in the Quarterfinals by finishing third in his heat.

Irish Men's Sculler Konan PazzaiaIrish Men's Sculler Konan Pazzaia

Irish Men's Sculler Konan PazzaiaIrish Men's Sculler Konan Pazzaia

Pazzaia bumped it up again in the Men's Single Quarterfinals, beating Quentin Antognelli from Monaco on the line to finish in third, securing the last qualifying spot to the A/B Semi. Tomorrow he'll face last year's World Champion, Ollie Zeidler from Germany. Colsh is into the C Final after a fifth place finish in his Quarterfinal. Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch are into tomorrow morning's repechage in the Men's Double, having just missed out on qualifying directly into the A Final.

The fastest two doubles will make it to the race for medals on Sunday. The Fermanagh pair of Nathan Timoney and Ross Corrigan finished fourth in the heat of the Men's Pair and are into tomorrow's repechage. The top two crews from the repechage will make it through to the A Final.

Ireland's M4 - Ronan Byrne, Jack Dorney, Andrew Sheehan and John KearneyIreland's M4 - Ronan Byrne, Jack Dorney, Andrew Sheehan and John Kearney

The Men's Four of John Kearney, Andrew Sheehan, Jack Dorney, and Ronan Byrne finished fifth in their heat and will race again tomorrow in the repechage. It's just two boats from a competitive field that will make it through to Sunday's A Final.

Saturday's schedule (IST) includes the Men's Single C Final (Colsh), Men's Pair Repechage, Men's Double Repechage, Men's Four Repechage, Women's Single A/B Semi, and Men's Single A/B Semi (Pazzaia).

Fans can look forward to a thrilling day of racing as Ireland continues to make its mark on the international stage.

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Due to the weather forecast, both the Neptune and Commercial rowing regattas in Dublin have been cancelled. The organisers have cited strong winds of 45k/hr and gusts of 90k/ph expected to hit Islandbridge as the cause.

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Ireland has announced the names of the athletes who will represent the country at the upcoming Rowing World Cup. The racing event is scheduled to take place from April 12 to April 14 in Varese, Italy.  Antonio Maurogiovanni, the High-Performance Director of Rowing Ireland, revealed the selected crews.

The women's four crew includes Emily Hegarty from Skibbereen RC, Natalie Long from Lee Valley RC, Eimear Lambe from Old Collegians BC, and Imogen Magner from Carlow RCThe women's four crew includes Emily Hegarty from Skibbereen RC, Natalie Long from Lee Valley RC, Eimear Lambe from Old Collegians BC, and Imogen Magner from Carlow RC

The women's four crew includes Emily Hegarty from Skibbereen RC, Natalie Long from Lee Valley RC, Eimear Lambe from Old Collegians BC, and Imogen Magner from Carlow RC. On the other hand, the men's four crew consists of John Kearney from UCC RC, Andrew Sheehan from UCC RC, Jack Dorney from Shandon BC/Harvard, and Ronan Byrne from Shandon RC.

Aifric Keogh & Fiona Murtagh will race for Ireland in W2 at the Rowing World Cup in Italy in AprilAifric Keogh & Fiona Murtagh will race for Ireland in W2 at the Rowing World Cup in Italy in April

Fiona Murtagh from the University of Galway RC and Aifric Keogh from Gráinne Mhaol RC will represent Ireland in the Women's Pair (Qualified boat for Paris). Meanwhile, Nathan Timoney from Enniskillen Royal BC and Ross Corrigan from Portora BC will form the Men's Pair (Qualified boat for Paris). In the Men's Double (Qualified boat for Paris), Philip Doyle from Belfast BC and Daire Lynch from Clonmel RC will represent Ireland.

Philip Doyle from Belfast BC and Daire Lynch from Clonmel RC will race in the Men’s Double (Qualified Boat for Paris)Philip Doyle from Belfast BC and Daire Lynch from Clonmel RC will race in the Men’s Double (Qualified Boat for Paris)

Sanita Puspure from Old Collegians BC will be the sole representative for Ireland in the Women's Single category. Konan Pazzaia from Queen's University Belfast BC and Brian Colsh from University of Galway BC will represent Ireland in the Men's Single category.

Selected Irish Crews for 2024 World Cup:

Women’s Four

Emily Hegarty (Skibbereen RC)
Natalie Long (Lee Valley RC)
Eimear Lambe (Old Collegians BC)
Imogen Magner (Carlow RC)

Men’s Four

John Kearney (UCC RC)
Andrew Sheehan (UCC RC)
Jack Dorney (Shandon BC/Harvard)
Ronan Byrne (Shandon RC)

Women’s Pair (Qualified Boat for Paris)

Fiona Murtagh (University of Galway RC)
Aifric Keogh (Gráinne Mhaol RC)

Men’s Pair (Qualified Boat for Paris)

Nathan Timoney (Enniskillen Royal BC)
Ross Corrigan (Portora BC)

Men’s Double (Qualified Boat for Paris)

Philip Doyle (Belfast BC)
Daire Lynch (Clonmel RC)

Women’s Single

Sanita Puspure (Old Collegians BC)

Men’s Single

Konan Pazzaia (Queen’s University Belfast BC)
Brian Colsh (University of Galway BC)

More information regarding the 2024 World Cup can be found here

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Lurgan’s Linda Blakely aims to cross the treacherous 3,000-mile Atlantic Ocean in a 12-foot boat aptly named Ulster Warrior, reports the Sunday Life.

She will start 2024 attempting to break a world record for a female solo rower, which is 40 days and 19 hours, set by 35-year-old Englishwoman Victoria Evans in 2022. Linda, who will be 50 about halfway through the challenge aims to raise £100,000 for the charity Action Medical Research.

She plans to set off from Gran Canaria to St Lucia in the Caribbean on January 7, weather-permitting, and hopes to arrive in St Lucia 40 days later, where her brother Peter and his family will be there to welcome her ashore.

Linda lives in London, where she runs three homes for young people with special needs. In 2018, she became the first woman in the UK to summit both Everest and Lhotse within a day.

Other accolades are competition in Iron Man challenges and winning a silver medal in European championships in long-distance triathlons with Team GB.

She tells the Belfast Telegraph that her mission is to become the fastest woman in the world to cross the Atlantic alone. She explains: “When I first thought about doing it, the record was 49 days, which seemed to be there for the taking, but then Victoria (Evans) did it in 40 days. She set a tough benchmark. Until this year, I had never rowed before, but I have a great club in London, the Sons of the Thames, who have taken me under their wing and taught me how to row, and I’ve been doing some racing with them.”

More from Sunday Life here

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Ireland's rowing team has made history at the 2023 World Rowing Championships, finishing the competition with four medals and securing seven crews for the Paris 2024 event. This marks the most crews that Ireland has ever qualified for at the World Championships, with only four crews qualifying during the Tokyo cycle. 

Although some crews did not qualify, they still have a chance at the Final Qualification Regatta in May. One of the highlights of the event was Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch's bronze medal win in the men's double. The duo started slow and were at the back of the pack in the first 1000 metres. However, they made a strong comeback and secured the bronze medal, racing right to the line with the Croatian double and coming in just one second behind the Sinkovic's. 

Alison Bergin and Zoe Hyde, the young women's double, also put in a commendable performance, managing to stay at the top of the pack throughout the race and finishing in fourth place. They missed out on a podium finish by just one and a half seconds, but their impressive performance has marked them as a crew to watch in the future. 

This historic week for Irish rowing has seen incredible racing, with the team's eye now firmly set on the Paris event next year. The team's performance has demonstrated that they are on the up, and the future looks bright for Irish rowing.

Day 7 Results

Men's Double A Final -> BRONZE
Women's Double A Final - > 4th

Overall Results
Lightweight Men's Double -> GOLD and OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION
Lightweight Women's Scull -> GOLD
Women's Pair -> 4th and OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION
Women's Double -> 4th and OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION
Lightweight women's Double -> 1st B Final and OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION
W4- -> 3rd B Final
M4x -> 1st C Final
M4- -> 3rd C Final
LM1x -> 5th D Final

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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


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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