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And the Winner is.....Irish Sailor of the Year To be Announced at 6.30pm

21st March 2020
And the Winner is.....Irish Sailor of the Year To be Announced at 6.30pm

Tonight at 6.30 pm, Afloat along with Irish Sailing in an 'online ceremony' will be revealing the 2019 winner of the Sailor of the Year award. Selected from a shortlist of sailors who have already earned monthly awards, the Irish Sailing/Afloat Irish Sailor of the Year Award will be profiled on Afloat. 

The annual battle for Sailor of the Year is drawn from an impressive list which includes young sailors like Harry Durcan, James Dwyer Matthews and siblings Eve and Jamie McMahon who have shown impressive form throughout 2019; offshore champion Paul O’Higgins who has won the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race two years in a row; Cork’s Anthony O’Leary representing Ireland in keelboats internationally; school and university captains Lucy McCutcheon, Mark Hassett and Jack Fahy showing the young talent in team racing; windsurfer Oisin van Gelderen who continues to break speed records, alongside those who have dedicated their lives to sailing – like Pierce Purcell of Galway who was a founder of Galway Bay Sailing Club, Gary MacMahon who lead a 20-year project to repatriate and restore the wooden ketch “Ilen” now used for community-based education and sailing projects, and Cormac MacDonncha who organised the Galway-Lorient Cruise in Company.

For a full review of the 2019 Sailors of the Month read W M Nixon here.

Update at 6.30pm: Congratulations to Paul O’Higgins, Irish Sailor of the Year.  Click to read a profile of the winner by W M Nixon here.

Published in Sailor of the Year
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Ireland's Sailor of the Year Awards

Created in 1996, the Afloat Sailor of the Year Awards represent all that is praiseworthy, innovative and groundbreaking in the Irish sailing scene.

Since it began 25 years ago, the awards have recognised over 500 monthly award winners in the pages of Ireland's sailing magazine Afloat, and these have been made to both amateur and professional sailors. The first-ever Sailor of the Year was dinghy sailor Mark Lyttle, a race winner at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

And since then it's gone on to read like a who's who of Irish sailing.

The national award is specially designed to salute the achievements of Ireland's sailing's elite. After two decades the awards has developed into a premier awards ceremony for water sports.

The overall national award will be announced each January to the person who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to, Irish sailing in the previous year.

A review of the first 25 years of the Irish Sailor the Year Awards is here

Irish Sailor of the Year Award FAQs

The Irish Sailor of the Year Awards is a scheme designed by Afloat magazine to represent all that is praiseworthy, innovative and groundbreaking in the Irish sailing scene..

The Irish Sailor of the Year Awards began in 1996.

The awards are administered by Afloat, Ireland's boating magazine.

  • 1996 Mark Lyttle
  • 1997 Tom Roche
  • 1998 Tom Fitzpatrick & David McHugh
  • 1999 Mark Mansfield
  • 2000 David Burrows
  • 2001 Maria Coleman
  • 2002 Eric Lisson
  • 2003 Noel Butler & Stephen Campion
  • 2004 Eamonn Crosbie
  • 2005 Paddy Barry & Jarlath Cunnane
  • 2006 Justin Slattery
  • 2007 Ger O'Rourke
  • 2008 Damian Foxall
  • 2009 Mark Mills
  • 2010 Anthony O'Leary
  • 2011 George Kenefick
  • 2012 Annalise Murphy
  • 2013 David Kenefick
  • 2014 Anthony O'Leary
  • 2015 Liam Shanahan
  • 2016 Annalise Murphy
  • 2017 Conor Fogerty
  • 2018 Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove
  • 2019 Paul O'Higgins

Yes. The boating public and maritime community can have their say to help guide judges in deciding who should be crowned Ireland's Sailor of the Year by using an Afloat online poll). The judges welcome the traditional huge level of public interest in helping them make their decision but firmly retain their right to make the ultimate decision for the final choice while taking voting trends into account. By voting for your favourite nominee, you are creating additional awareness of their nomination and highlighting their success.

Anthony O'Leary of Crosshaven and Annalise Murphy of Dun Laoghaire are the only contenders to be Afloat.ie "Sailors of the Year" twice – himself in 2010 and 2014, and herself in 2012 and 2016.

In its 25 year history, there have been wins for 15, offshore or IRC achievements, nine dinghy and one designs accomplishments and one for adventure sailing.

Annually, generally in January or February of the following year.

In 2003 Her Royal Highness Princess Anne presented the Awards.

©Afloat 2020

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