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Displaying items by tag: Irish Sailing

Sailing is in a very healthy state the President of Irish Sailing told the organisation’s annual general meeting in the Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour.

“We’re growing the membership and participation on the water in Ireland is growing generally. We reckon there are between sixty and ninety thousand people actively involved in sailing and watersports,” John Twomey told the meeting. “They’re not all documented. We have 27,000 members, which is an increase again over the past years. We don’t always catch all those people on the water in club membership. There are people doing their own thing on the water, but the main thing is that the water facilities in Ireland, the seas, the lakes, the rivers, are being enjoyed by the people of the country. There is great potential.”

John Twomey, who is now heading into his second year as President, confirmed unanimously at the meeting, praised young sailors and said that for a country of about five million people to be second in the table of youth medals internationally was a wonderful achievement. “We punch above our weight in terms of resources.”

The meeting was told by Irish Sailing CEO, Tim Bourke, that there had been “much change” in the organisation last year, with many of the team departing. “Change is the opportunity for the team to restructure the organisation into specific areas of expertise. An evolution rather than revolution. These changes should allow us to work more effectively. A common theme amongst those I have met is the surprise realisation at how much is done by Irish Sailing in the background of the sport, the sheer passion of the team, the complexity of its activities and the absolute value of both the institution and the sport’s volunteers on the ground and on the water. With a restructured organisation we look to the future with optimism and determination.”

Irish Sailing Annual Report

After a lengthy debate, the meeting agreed to defer the proposed increases in membership and club affiliation fees, which would be re-examined at management and board level for further discussion and action.

It was announced that this year’s Watersports Inclusion Games will be held at Ramor Watersports Club in Co.Cavan on Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23.

I spoke to John Twomey for this week’s Podcast, about the state of sailing now, the development of the National Watersports Campus at Dun Laoghaire in which Irish Sailing is one of the national organisation governing bodies which has committed funding towards the project, the involvement of more women in sailing, youth sailing and Ireland’s prospects for this year’s sailing in the Olympics.

Listen to the Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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The national sailing organisation is proposing to raise club affiliation fees and will be asking for approval at the annual general meeting in the Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven on Tuesday week (March 26th)

The proposed increase is 15%, to be paid in three annual instalments of 5% starting this year.

“As part of the review of our strategy and operations in 2023, which we are communicating through our regional conferences, we have reviewed all current pricing in light of the fact that they have remained untouched for many years whilst costs have risen,” Irish Sailing says. “We are aware of the need to balance our membership and services income with increased Sport Ireland funding. Many prices in our full range products and services have, as a result, risen and been communicated out to the membership.

“As our Member Subscription and Affiliation fees have not changed for over a decade, we wish to propose corrective action, for members’ approval. We believe that Club Affiliation fees should rise by 15% overall, somewhat behind general cost rises over the period of c.21%. However, in order to make this change easier for clubs, we propose a 5% Affiliation fee increase, followed by similar increases in the next two years,” Irish Sailing says in its meeting notice. “We also propose an increase of Member Subscription from €46 to €55 to be in line with costs and other offerings. These proposals will be discussed at the AGM and, as set out by our Constitution, put to a vote to our members.”

The Irish Sailing AGM at 4 p.m., will be followed by the organisation’s Southern Conference at 6 p.m.

The full notice is here

Published in ISA
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It appears to be all change at the Irish Sailing Association this year, with some long-term staff members departing Park Road Headquarters in Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay.

Four staff have resigned from Irish Sailing in 2023 so far. The most recent are the Head of Communications, Treasa Cox, and South Coast Development Officer, Gail McAllister. 

There were other Project Management, Support Services and Accounts departures in that period, too, new CEO Tim Bourke told Afloat.

As regular Afloat readers will recall, ISA President John Twomey hosted a drinks party at the Royal St. George Yacht Club with Sport Ireland's top brass and selected guests in attendance to wave off former CEO Harry Hermon last December. 

The longest-serving CEO in Irish sport told the Christmas-time retirement gathering he was leaving the national governing body on a 'stable footing'.

From a staff point of view, however, it appears to have been anything but as Irish Sailing deals with what it describes this week as a 'change of leader and period of change'.

The sailing body hit troubled water in the personnel dept when Hermon was followed out the door early in the new year by two admin staff, one of which wrote to colleagues: "I had not anticipated being in a position where I would be writing this email to you at this stage of my career with Irish Sailing".

In May, we learned of the departure of long-serving regional development officer McAllister after 11 years, who exited weeks after briefing the ICRA National Conference on a buoyant year ahead. Likewise, the Head of Communications announced her departure in June after a six-year stint.

Bourke, who took on the role in January 2023, is not quite sailing solo but is looking to steady the ship with some new crew.

Personnel at Irish Sailing numbered 17 (between part and full-time) in October 2022. Bourke says the number of staff is currently 15 (between part and full-time), which should rise with planned appointments. 

He says about the current recruitment situation: "Three of the roles have been successfully filled. Additional roles in Data and Digital Communications have been secured. Recruitment is ongoing for a Head of Communications and a Chief Operating Officer.  We are pleased with the number of applicants for the roles". 

Happily, "no further departures are anticipated", he adds.

Published in ISA
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The Irish Sailing Association’s recently-published 2022 annual financial statements present a picture of robust financial good health, with almost €1.4m in the bank, though nearly €900k of this reflects grants received, which have yet to be disbursed.

However, the summarised financial statements provide no explanation for the extraordinary reversal of the overall operating result, with a surplus of €171k in 2021 turning into a loss of €67k in 2022, a swing of €238k.

The Association’s accounts also show almost €650k in “Members Funds”, to which a further €436k in deferred Grants can be mentally provisionally allocated because it is largely a bookkeeping exercise which is unlikely ever to have to be repaid.

To this, of course, the valuable premises on Park Road in Dun Laoghaire can also be added, which is carried in the accounts at a book value of €116k and is probably conservatively worth something in excess of €2m. The building is currently used as offices for Association staff (which are now closed to the sailing public unless by prior appointment), but with a change in use to domestic accommodation under planning regulations, the value could be considerably more.

The members can take considerable comfort from the healthy state of the Association with liquid and tangible fixed assets worth something close to €3m.

In a major change of policy from what has been adopted for over 30 years, the Board seems to have decided that the members do not need to have sight of the customary unaudited detailed income and expenditure accounts and associated analysis which used to provide a wealth of information and data on the activities of the Association. Instead, the decision seems to be that the members should be satisfied with the minimum statutory disclosures required by law. This contrasts with the five pages devoted to analysing Government Grants received, excluding Covid Grants.

There are no details of salaries, income from the membership, income generated from trading activities, or regulatory compliance and certification roles.

 As part of the original Joint Membership Scheme (JMS), this analysis was also promised, on an ongoing basis, to reassure the members that general funds from Core activities were ring-fenced from the High-Performance area. Hopefully, this data will be provided in anticipation of the forthcoming AGM on the 25th of March in a format closer to what the constituent club members of the Association would see in their own annual accounts.

Download the 2022 ISA Accounts below as a PDF file

March 20th 1900 hrs Read update: Irish Sailing Association Publishes 'Updated' Financial Statements

Published in ISA
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Dun Laoghaire Harbour sailor Tim Bourke has been appointed as the new CEO of Irish Sailing

The appointment follows the departure of the previous CEO Harry Hermon before Christmas. 

The National Governing Body said, "Tim is well regarded in both business and sailing circles, bringing a discerning blend of commercial and sporting experience to lead the organisation".

"Tim has a life-long passion for sailing, which started with dinghies and continued with instructing, racing keelboats, cruising and volunteering", it says.

Bourke previously ran a sailing school in the USA and co-founded the SB20 class in Ireland. 

Among the requirements for the new CEO is establishing Irish Sailing’s strategic direction, including strategies to grow participation and encourage inclusion and diversity.

The successful candidate takes the helm during a time of “real crisis in [Irish] elite sailing”, as heard at Irish Sailing’s AGM early last year.

Irish Sailing claims a membership of 24,000 across 100 clubs, 45 affiliated classes, 35 affiliated and 40 commercial training/activity centres running accredited training programmes.

Bourke will head a team of over 20, including full, part-time and contract workers at the headquarters at Park Road, Dun Laoghaire, in County Dublin.

Published in ISA
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As the application deadline passed yesterday (Friday, October 28th) for the role of CEO at Irish Sailing, there will be scrutiny of candidates at Park Road headquarters, Dun Laoghaire, to see if there is an individual capable of maintaining relations with the country's yacht clubs and classes while at the same time navigating the Sport Ireland maze that provides so much government finance to the national governing body.

Afloat understands there has been considerable interest in the position due to the pending retirement of current chief executive Harry Hermon, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

However, surprise has been expressed in some quarters that several likely candidates have reportedly decided to let the opportunity pass.

The successful candidate will take the helm during a time of “real crisis in [Irish] elite sailing”, as heard at Irish Sailing’s AGM earlier this year.

Although those involved in the recruitment process remain tight-lipped, the word on the waterfront is that the ranks of the sailing community itself have produced at least half a dozen names for the hat, including those from the international racing fraternities – both inshore and offshore – as well as current administrators. As Afloat sources reveal, expressions of interest have also come from suitably qualified sailing school instructors and coaches for the rumoured to be €90k role.

Irish Sailing’s recruitment partner Ascension Executive Recruitment told Afloat the salary for the role “is negotiable depending on experience.” Hence, that figure is most likely a starting point where the benchmark, according to industry sources, might be as high as €130k.

The vacancy, it is understood, has appealed to some other national governing body administrators too, where there are ambitious 'Number Twos' keen to move up the career ladder.

In the job description and role profile, the national governing body for sailing, power boating and windsurfing in Ireland says the CEO is responsible for leading the organisation to ensure the sustainability of the sport, its reputation and achievement of outstanding success”.

Among the requirements for the new CEO is establishing Irish Sailing’s strategic direction, including strategies to grow participation and encourage inclusion and diversity.

They will have significant experience within a business or similar environment, managing multiple stakeholders and funding sources, with a genuine desire to grow the sport of sailing at all levels.

They will also have “a track record of driving innovation and change”.

Applications closed on Friday, 28 October, and more on the role can be found via Irish Sailing’s LinkedIn page HERE.

Published in ISA
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Irish Sailing has launched the recruitment process for a new CEO due to the pending retirement of current chief executive Harry Hermon, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

In the job description and role profile, the national governing body for sailing, power boating and windsurfing in Ireland says the CEO is responsible for leading the organisation to ensure the sustainability of the sport, its reputation and achievement of outstanding success”.

Among the requirements for the new CEO are establishing Irish Sailing’s strategic direction, including strategies to grow participation and encourage inclusion and diversity.

The successful candidate will take the helm during a time of “real crisis in [Irish] elite sailing”, as heard at Irish Sailing’s AGM earlier this year.

They will have significant experience within a business or similar environment, managing multiple stakeholders and funding sources, with a genuine desire to grow the sport of sailing at all levels.

They will also have “a track record of driving innovation and change”.

Irish Sailing’s recruitment partner Ascension Executive Recruitment said the salary for the role “is negotiable depending on experience”.

Applications close on Friday, 28 October and more on the role can be found via Irish Sailing’s LinkedIn page HERE.

This story was updated on Thursday 6 October to include a detail on the salary range.

Published in ISA

Irish Sailing says it will begin a recruitment process for a new CEO soon, following Harry Hermon’s retirement announcement today (Thursday 1 September).

Hermon, who has held the role since 2006, is to retire this December to “spend more time with [his] family”.

During his tenure with Irish Sailing, which began in 1999 in the role of club development officer, Hermon was in the hot seat for four Olympic Games including Annalise Murphy’s historic silver medal in the Laser Radial at Rio 2016.

Commenting on his retirement, Hermon said: “It has been an honour and privilege to work with Irish Sailing over the past 23 years … With COVID-19 behind us and the organisation on a stable footing, I believe it is the right time to retire from Irish Sailing and spend more time with my family at home and overseas. I wish everyone involved in the organisation the very best in the future.”

John Twomey, president of Irish Sailing said: “I would like to thank Harry for all his work with Irish Sailing. He will be missed, and we wish him well in the future.”

 

Published in ISA

Ireland’s biggest youth sailing regatta will see numbers back up to pre-COVID highs with over 200 young sailors taking part in the 2022 Irish Sailing Youth National Championships this week.

This year the event is hosted by Ballyholme Yacht Club in Bangor, Northern Ireland from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 April.

Ballyholme is the biggest club in Northern Ireland and has a reputation of producing world-class sailors representing Ireland at international and Olympic level, including Liam Glynn and 49er Olympians Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton.

Strategically, it also allows for a wide variety of race courses, with the whole of Belfast Lough to play with. Boys and girls under 18 will compete against each other on the water, with a rough 60:40 male/female split.

Irish Sailing Youth Nationals 2022 banner

Irish Sailing says the Youth Nationals are unique in not only being the biggest youth sailing event held in Ireland, but also the only time that different youth classes come together to compete, gain valuable experience on the water, and learn more about advancing to the high-performance ranks directly from the coaches.

Young sailors from across Ireland will compete across six different classes of boat, identified as the best to facilitate progression through the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway: 420, Topper, ILCA 4 (Laser 4.7), ILCA 6 (Laser Radial), 29ers and Optimists — the latter of which are fully integrated for the first time.

And Irish sailing’s younger prospects will have to brace themselves for a cold four days as water temperatures in Ballyholme at this time of the year are still chilly, with average temperatures of 4-12 degrees Celsius and reliably windy conditions.

Published in Youth Sailing

Irish Sailing has announced changes to its Olympic coaching team in the wake of last month’s Tokyo 2020 performance review.

Sean Evans, who has worked with Irish Sailing since 2018 as Academy coach, now becomes the Olympic development coach, a role that oversees the development of athletes aspiring to undertake Olympic campaigns.

Meanwhile, Valencia-based Milan Vujasinovic has been appointed Laser Radial Academy coach, a position he previously held from 2011-2014.

Published in ISA
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Irish Sailing Club of the Year Award

This unique and informal competition was inaugurated in 1979, with Mitsubishi Motors becoming main sponsors in 1986. The purpose of the award is to highlight and honour the voluntary effort which goes into creating and maintaining the unrivalled success of Ireland's yacht and sailing clubs. 

In making their assessment, the adjudicators take many factors into consideration. In addition to the obvious one of sailing success at local, national and international level, considerable attention is also paid to the satisfaction which members in every branch of sailing and boating feel with the way their club is run, and how effectively it meets their specific needs, while also encouraging sailing development and training.

The successful staging of events, whether local, national or international, is also a factor in making the assessment, and the adjudicators place particular emphasis on the level of effective voluntary input which the membership is ready and willing to give in support of their club's activities.

The importance of a dynamic and fruitful interaction with the local community is emphasised, and also with the relevant governmental and sporting bodies, both at local and national level. The adjudicators expect to find a genuine sense of continuity in club life and administration. Thus although the award is held in a specific year in celebration of achievements in the previous year, it is intended that it should reflect an ongoing story of success and well-planned programmes for future implementation. 

Over the years, the adjudication system has been continually refined in order to be able to make realistic comparisons between clubs of varying types and size. With the competition's expansion to include class associations and specialist national watersports bodies, the "Club of the Year" competition continues to keep pace with developing trends, while at the same time reflecting the fact that Ireland's leading sailing clubs are themselves national and global pace-setters

Irish Sailing Club of the Year Award FAQs

The purpose of the award is to highlight and honour the voluntary effort which goes into creating and maintaining the unrivalled success of Ireland's yacht and sailing clubs.

A ship's wheel engraved with the names of all the past winners.

The Sailing Club of the Year competition began in 1979.

PR consultant Sean O’Shea (a member of Clontarf Y & BC) had the idea of a trophy which would somehow honour the ordinary sailing club members, volunteers and sailing participants, who may not have personally won prizes, to feel a sense of identity and reward and special pride in their club. Initially some sort of direct inter-club contest was envisaged, but sailing journalist W M Nixon suggested that a way could be found for the comparative evaluation of the achievements and quality of clubs despite their significant differences in size and style.

The award recognises local, national & international sailing success by the winning club's members in both racing and cruising, the completion of a varied and useful sailing and social programme at the club, the fulfilling by the club of its significant and socially-aware role in the community, and the evidence of a genuine feeling among all members that the club meets their individual needs afloat and ashore.

The first club of the Year winner in 1979 was Wicklow Sailing Club.

Royal Cork Yacht Club has won the award most, seven times in all in 1987, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2006, 2015 & 2020.

The National YC has won six times, in 1981, 1985, 1993, 1996, 2012 & 2018.

Howth Yacht Club has won five times, in 1982, 1986, 1995, 2009 & 2019

Ireland is loosely divided into regions with the obviously high-achieving clubs from each area recommended through an informal nationwide panel of local sailors going into a long-list, which is then whittled down to a short-list of between three and eight clubs.

The final short-list is evaluated by an anonymous team based on experienced sailors, sailing journalists and sponsors’ representatives

From 1979 to 2020 the Sailing Club of the Year Award winners are:

  • 1979 Wicklow SC
  • 1980 Malahide YC
  • 1981 National YC
  • 1982 Howth YC
  • 1983 Royal St George YC
  • 1984 Dundalk SC
  • 1985 National YC (Sponsorship by Mitsubishi Motors began in 1985-86)
  • 1986 Howth YC
  • 1987 Royal Cork YC
  • 1988 Dublin University SC
  • 1989 Irish Cruising. Club
  • 1990 Glenans Irish SC
  • 1991 Galway Bay SC
  • 1992 Royal Cork YC
  • 1993 National YC & Cumann Badoiri Naomh Bhreannain (Dingle) (after 1993, year indicated is one in which trophy is held)
  • 1995 Howth Yacht Club
  • 1996 National Yacht Club
  • 1997 Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • 1998 Kinsale Yacht Club
  • 1999 Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club
  • 2000 Royal Cork Yacht Club (in 2000, competition extended to include class associations and specialist organisations)
  • 2001 Howth Sailing Club Seventeen Footer Association
  • 2002 Galway Bay Sailing Club
  • 2003 Coiste an Asgard
  • 2004 Royal St George Yacht Club
  • 2005 Lough Derg Yacht Club
  • 2006 Royal Cork Yacht Club (Water Club of the Harbour of Cork)
  • 2007 Dublin Bay Sailing Club
  • 2008 Lough Ree YC & Shannon One Design Assoc.
  • 2009 Howth Yacht Club
  • 2010 Royal St George YC
  • 2011 Irish Cruiser Racing Association
  • 2012 National Yacht Club
  • 2013 Royal St George YC
  • 2014 Kinsale YC
  • 2015 Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • 2016 Royal Irish Yacht Club
  • 2017 Wicklow Sailing Club
  • 2018 National Yacht Club
  • 2019 Howth Yacht Club
  • 2020 Royal Cork Yacht Club

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