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Displaying items by tag: Ewan McMahon

Irish Olympic class sailors did not make it to Saturday's medal race final at French Olympic Week in Hyères, France on April 26th, 2024. This week's regatta saw all events conclude their series despite moderate winds and torrential rain on Friday.

Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan from Royal Cork Yacht ClubSéafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan from Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Sailing Energy

49er Trial to be Decided in A Fortnight

The Men's skiff event saw a two-boat selection trial building towards an epic conclusion after two inconclusive regattas, with only five points separating the two crews. Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove from Dublin's Howth Yacht Club dropped back five places to 16th after a lacklustre four-race final day. Crosshaven's Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan from Royal Cork Yacht Club ended the series in 21st overall after a final day that included a disqualification for early starting.

The third and final event in their trials series, the 49er European Championships at La Grand Motté, France, begins in less than two weeks. Dickson and Waddilove hold a tiny five-point advantage, meaning the Cork crew must beat them by five places and finish within the top 20 at the Europeans to win a place with Team Ireland for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Details of the scoring for the Irish trials series process are:

4. Scoring
4.1 Points shall be awarded to the Athlete in each Trial Regatta exactly corresponding to that Athlete’s final overall placing in that Trial Regatta as shown on the official final results sheet published by the regatta organisers. For example, an overall first place shall score one point; a second place shall score two points and so on. The maximum points an Athlete will be awarded in a Trial Regatta is 25 points for double handed events and 30 points for single handed events. This score will be awarded to an Athlete either where they do not compete at the Trial Regatta or where they finish with a higher score then indicated above, other than where an Athlete’s overall score is higher than indicated above as a result of a breach of RRS 2 Fair Sailing for illegally hindering an opponent (Case 78), in which case the points as shown on the official results sheet shall apply.

4.2 In the event of a double handed team not continuing together and where both seek qualification for the Games the minimum standard to be included in a Trial Series or points accrued from the Trial Regattas may, by agreement between the parties and the OSG, be awarded to either the helm or the crew. If the parties cannot agree the Performance Director will decide which, if any of them, benefits from their past performances together.

4.3 Points for the Trials Series for each Event shall include the points from each Trial Regatta.

4.4 If there is a tied score between two or more Athletes in any Trials Series, each Athlete’s Trial Regatta scores shall be listed in order of best (lowest) to worst (highest) and at the first point where there is a difference the tie shall be broken in favour of the Athlete with the best score. If a tie still remains between two or more Athletes, the Athlete with the best final overall placing in the last Trial Regatta shall be recommended.

4.5 If no Athlete scores better than 25th place overall (for double handers) or 30th place overall (for single handers) in the Trial Series for an Event, the Trial Series results shall not apply and the OSG will recommend the Athlete who they feel shall best represent Ireland at the Games.

4.6 Subject to Section 4.4 & 4.5 above, the Athlete with the lowest number of points at the conclusion of the Trials Series shall be recommended by the OSG to the Board.


No amendment to these procedures shall be made in respect of any Event without the prior written consent of each Athlete for that Event. However the OSG reserves the right to amend the procedures unilaterally if agreement cannot be reached between the Athletes.

Eve McMahon from Howth Yacht ClubEve McMahon from Howth Yacht Club Photo: Sailing Energy


Eve McMahon from Howth Yacht Club needed a big jump to reach the top ten for a place in the medal race on Saturday in the women's one-person dinghy (ILCA6 class). She scored a creditable ninth in the morning but was unable to secure her spot in the medal race.

ILCA 7 campaigner Ewan McMahon of Howth at full speed at French Olympic Week  Photo: Sailing EnergyILCA 7 campaigner Ewan McMahon of Howth at full speed at French Olympic Week  Photo: Sailing Energy


In the men's counterpart event (ILCA7 class), Finn Lynch from Carlow's National Yacht Club dropped from 23rd to 31st for the regatta after a disappointing run. Ewan McMahon from Howth Yacht Club held his overnight 22nd place after a 14th place in the morning, followed by his worst score of the regatta, a 38th, which he was then able to discard.

Performance Director with Irish Sailing, James O'Callaghan, said, "For sure, there are a lot of positives after a week with the outcome we've had. We got to do the dry-run for the games which was the intention for this event."

The coming three months will see the full squad based in Marseille for fine-tuning and re-familiarisation with the Olympic sailing venue where the Irish Sailing Foundation has provided a training base for the past three years.

Paris 2024 Irish Olympic trialists, in their second of three trials, posted close results after the first races sailed at the ILCA 7 European Championships in Athens today.

Finn Lynch (National Yacht Club) and Ewan McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) had almost matching scores in their respective qualifying fleets, with Lynch scoring 22nd followed by a fourth; McMahon had a 23rd, then a fourth also.

Two races were completed in between spells of near-calm conditions. The 140-boat fleet was only at sea for a few hours when they were recalled to shore as the wind died.

"It's up to the sailor at the moment to choose which way to sail, but the conditions are so hard to manage that I expected from before the event started that it would be a high-scoring event," commented Irish Coach Vasilij Zbogar.

Irish Olympic trials leader Finn Lynch completes a tack in the light winds at the ILCA 7 European Championships in Athens Photo: Matias CapizzanoIrish Olympic trials leader Finn Lynch completes a tack in the light winds at the ILCA 7 European Championships in Athens Photo: Matias Capizzano

With more light winds expected for Day 4 on Wednesday, organisers will again try for three races, although once four have been completed, the minimum standard for a championship event will have been reached.

Lynch and McMahon are competing in the six-day series that also serves as part of the selection trials for the single national place already secured for the Men's single-handed event at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

A young sailor named Omer Vered from Israel is currently leading in the ILCA 7 European Championship with a total of 7 points after the first two races.  He managed to secure a fifth and a second place, which puts him in the running for one of the two Olympic spots offered by the event for Paris 2024.

Close contenders include Benjamin Vadnai from Hungary with 8 points and Pietro Giacomoni from Italy with 9 points after finishing 7th and 1st and 4th and 5th, respectively.

Zan Luka Zelko from Slovenia (6th and 5th) and Bruno Gaspic from Croatia (5th and 6th) are tied in the provisional Top 5 with 11 points each. If the race ended now, Zan Luka Zelko would secure the second Olympic berth for his country.

Irish sailors Finn Lynch and Ewan McMahon are battling it out for a spot in the Men's ILCA 7 single-handed event at the Paris 2024 Olympic regatta. With just five months to go before the event begins in Marseilles, the two are gearing up for the second of three regattas at the ILCA 7 European Championships in Athens next week.

It'll be an interesting week if Carlow's Lynch – after finishing ninth overall in last month's ILCA 7 class world championships in Adelaide, Australia – can hold form. He could arguably expect a top-five finish as the Athens fleet does not appear to be as high quality as Adelaide. Only three of the World Championship medal race competitors are entered (Lynch, Kontides and Jurassic), with a host of World and European athletes marked absent, such as British ace Micky Beckett from Wales, his training partner Sam Whaley of GBR, Tomassgard of Norway, Bernaz of FRA, Bos of NED and Buhl of GER.

Lynch hailing from the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay holds the edge in the Irish trials but 'Green Rebel' independent campaigner McMahon, from Howth Yacht Club, is not too far behind and is expected to put up a stiff challenge at the upcoming event in Greece.

'Green Rebel' independent campaigner Ewan McMahon of Howth 'Green Rebel' independent campaigner Ewan McMahon of Howth 

With a total of 141 boats participating in the event, the competition is sure to be intense. A strong showing by McMahon could leave the pair needing the French Olympic Week event in April to decide the Irish Sailing nomination to the Olympic Federation of Ireland.

The trials will be decided on a high-points scoring basis that incentivizes both sailors to concentrate on their best regatta score rather than winning the place for Paris 2024. Lynch, who previously won Silver at the 2021 World Championship in Barcelona, is keen to secure his spot in the Olympics after missing qualification for the Tokyo Games.

Despite the notoriously demanding nature of the Men's single-handed event, Lynch is raring to go and has his sights firmly set on Olympic glory. If he can hold off McMahon and secure his place in the Irish team, he'll be one step closer to achieving his dream.

Consistent sailing by Ireland's Finn Lynch at the ILCA 7 World Championships in Adelaide, Australia, this week shows the depth of the Rio Olympian's ambition to make the Marseille Olympic start line this summer. 

According to provisional results (see below), the National Yacht Club ace qualified for the gold fleet on Saturday in 11th place in the 153-boat fleet. Also through to a top-50 coveted gold fleet position is Lynch's Paris 2024 rival, Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club, in 38th place.

An impressive scoresheet of all top ten results thus far of  (8.0). 4.0, 6.0, 8.0, 5.0 and 6.0 put Lynch on 29.0 points, just one point off the top ten and 15 off the podium.

"Finn had a really good day again with two solid races and in a good position going into the finals," commented Lynch's coach Vasilij Zbogar. "Even for the best sailors, a small mistake can be really painful, but even when he slips back, he's recovering well".

Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club racing in he final qualification rounds of the  ILCA 7 World Championships in Adelaide, Australia Photo: Jack FletcherEwan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club racing in he final qualification rounds of the  ILCA 7 World Championships in Adelaide, Australia Photo: Jack Fletcher

It's an even performance that makes good on Lynch's pre-event strategy in this single discard championship to take a set of solid results into the finals series.

The regatta also serves as the first round of an Irish Olympic trial for Paris 2024 in the men's singlehanded class.

Reigning Olympic and World champion Matt Wearn is back on top of the leaderboard with a 1,3  to lead the final series on nine points.

Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard, who was atop the rankings, is now third on 13 points, with Welsh sailor Michael Beckett second on 12.

Conditions are placing considerable demands on all the athletes, and the coming days will also be a fitness test, especially on Monday when the forecast suggests the strongest wind of the week.

There was a hint of this on Sunday as the competition started off with light winds but steadily increased in strength. The afternoon wore on, though, with plenty of shifting directions in a classic sea breeze versus gradient wind.

The event schedule has two races each on Monday and Tuesday for the final round, with the top ten boats in the Gold fleet, then going into a short, high-scoring Olympic-style medal race final on Wednesday while the remaining competitors battle to decide the other overall standings.

Results below.

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Both Irish sailors competing in the 153-boat ILCA7 class world championships in Adelaide, Australia, had a stand-out day on Saturday, as they counted top ten results in tricky conditions. The event is preparing to end its qualification phase, and both Finn Lynch from the National Yacht Club and Ewan McMahon from Howth Yacht Club are hoping to secure a place in the men’s single-handed event at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Regatta.

Lynch took a 6 and 8 in his qualification fleet to lie 14th overall after two days while McMahon posted a 9,6 in his fleet to lie 25th.

See results below

Lynch and McMahon are part of a trials series of three regattas over the coming months, where they only need to focus on achieving the best possible results, rather than racing specifically against each other. 

Saturday’s weather off the South Australian coast proved tricky for race organisers, who first sent the fleet to sea expecting wind to build, then returned to shore when the sea breeze failed to materialize. After a delay of three hours, racing gradually got underway, though it was close to sunset when the sailors eventually finished for the day, but with the event still on schedule.

Just Sunday's programme of a further two races - weather permitting - will decide how the full fleet of 153 entries are split into the Gold, Silver, and Bronze divisions, with both Irish sailors currently well-placed to achieve the top tier series that begins on Monday.

"Both sailors had a really good day, and Ewan managed to have a good average, which is what we want, definitely, and Finn also had two top tens, which is also what we want at this stage," commented Ireland's coach Vasilij Zbogar. "What we want are low scores and no bad results in the qualifying round because there is only one discard in the whole regatta."

For both sailors, their event goal means at least Gold fleet, but ideally, they want to finish in the top ten by the end of the finals round to contest the Medal Race on Wednesday to decide the podium.

Across both qualification and final rounds, each sailor will compete in at least ten races, which has been estimated to equate to a week of back-to-back daily half-marathons in physical performance terms. Racing is scheduled to continue in the early hours of Sunday 28th, with the conclusion of the qualification series.

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The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch scored two top-ten results in the opening races of the ILCA7 world championships in Adelaide, Australia, today to take an early lead in the Irish Olympic selection trial for Paris 2024 against rival Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club. The Rio Olympian is lying tenth overall in the 153-strong fleet.

McEwan opened his championship account with 24th place before earning a strong ninth place in race two to lie in 40th place.

See results sheet below

"Finn had a decent day, and the goal is to have top tens in the qualifying races, especially as there's just one discard for the whole event," commented coach Vasilij Zbogar. "Ewan had one good race and one average but proved that he can be in front - he just needs a little more consistency in the coming races."

'Green Rebel' campaigner Ewan McMahon of Howth took a well earned ninth in race two of the ILCA 7 World Championships in Adelaide Photo: Jack Fletcher'Green Rebel' campaigner Ewan McMahon of Howth took a well earned ninth in race two of the ILCA 7 World Championships in Adelaide Photo: Jack Fletcher

Maximising points at this early stage of the regatta is essential as the 153 competitors are split across three qualifying fleets to determine the Gold fleet line-up for the finals series that begins on Monday.

"We had beautiful wind for the first day but very challenging and physically demanding long races - hard for the sailors," said Zbogar. "Definitely, everyone is taking as little risk as possible, as the first three days are the most important for qualifying."

Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard won his two opening races giving himself the perfect start to his 2024 campaign.

"There's just one discard for the whole event"

With the 153-strong entry list split between three qualifying fleets, Tomasgaard drew first blood in the red fleet with two race wins, while Australian hopefuls Matt Wearn and Luke Elliott took a race win each in the yellow fleet, and Philipp Buhl (GER) and Mickey Beckett (GBR) each took a win in blue fleet.

It sets the scene for an exciting battle at the front of the fleet with Tomasgaard a point clear in first, Elliott second on three points, and Buhl third on four points, however it remains far too early to identify any key favourites for the title.

German Philipp Buhl, a world champion from the last time the ILCA 7 Worlds were in Australia, said the first day of the Worlds was always an important one to ensure you got away to a good start.

“The first day today was pretty solid and I’m quite happy with the result even though I didn’t manage to get off the start line too well in the first race,” he said.

“In the beginning of an event, basically it is all about not having a big score, so I managed to do this and came through the day quite cleanly in amazing conditions.

 A fleet start on the first day of the ILCA7 World Championships in Adelaide with Ireland's Finn Lynch pictured left Photo: Jack Fletcher A fleet start on the first day of the ILCA7 World Championships in Adelaide with Ireland's Finn Lynch pictured left Photo: Jack Fletcher

“This World Championships means quite a lot to me personally, because it’s part of my Olympic selection that is not done yet for us in Germany, and it’s a World Championships where you always want to do well.”

The top Aussie sailors are all in good shape as well, which was to be expected on home waters, with the five Australian Sailing Team and Australian Sailing Squad members all inside the top 20 after the first day.

Australian Sailing Squad member Finn Alexander finished the first day with a 9,7 scorecard and said the team was in good shape to perform well over the next week.

“We’ve spent a bit of time here in Adelaide and it’s a beautiful place, the weather absolutely turned it on today, we had a really nice gradient breeze of about 10-20 knots, you can’t really ask for much more on day one of a Worlds,” he said.

“We’ve got a really strong contingent, we’ve got five really good guys (in the squad) and we’ve all been pushing hard, backed up with a really solid futures group, so the future of Australian sailing is looking pretty good.”

Tomorrow’s forecast is looking like it will offer more glamour Adelaide conditions with variable morning weather shifting into a late afternoon sea breeze of up to 15 knots.

If all goes to plan, the race committee is expected to run two races per day, giving them a 10-race series up until the end of 30 January followed by the exciting 10-boat medal race on 31 January to close out the series.

Howth Yacht Club sailor Ewan McMahon has launched an independent campaign to compete in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Offshore survey company Green Rebel, headquartered in Cork Harbour, is supporting the Dubliner's bid.

The 24-year-old sailor will compete in three performance-based trial events next year to determine which of two eligible candidates will represent Ireland in the sole spot in the ILCA 7 class at the Olympics.

The men's ILCA 7 is the only Irish boat so far qualified for Paris 2024, thanks to the August result of Rio 2016 veteran Finn Lynch in The Hague.

McMahon has a strong track record in sailing, having started at the age of 8 and developed a passion for the sport across many sailing classes. He has represented Ireland in both youth and senior categories and has competed at the highest levels nationally and internationally.

"I have the ability to edge out those margins to succeed"

Despite achieving the necessary published criteria at a recent World Cup, the McMahon campaign says in a press statement announcing his independent bid that his application for Sport Ireland funding for 2024 was "disallowed following a decision by Irish Sailing (IS) to invalidate the event’s qualification status".

The ISA says it determined that the World Cup event in Almere did not meet the “minimum standard of fleet” to qualify as a carding event under the 2024 Carding Scheme rules.

As a result, Ewan has taken the initiative to self-manage, fund, and organise his own campaign. He trains alongside other top-ranked international sailors, and his fitness program is supported and managed by the UCD Elite Sport Ad Astra scholarship team.

Howth Yacht Club sailor Ewan McMahon is pursuing his Olympic dream for Paris 2024 with support from Green Rebel Photo: Alex DenisuicHowth Yacht Club sailor Ewan McMahon is pursuing his Olympic dream for Paris 2024 with support from Green Rebel Photo: Alex Denisuic

McMahon is being sponsored by the Irish offshore survey company Green Rebel. Kieran Ivers, CEO of Green Rebel, said, "We greatly admire his strength of character and resilience to keep pursuing his Olympic dream, and we wish him the very best of luck and look forward to being part of his journey towards Paris 2024."

McMahon said, "I have dedicated a large part of my life to my Olympic sailing goals and will continue in my endeavours of achieving selection for the Irish place in the coming months. The margins for winning at the top of the fleet are very small and I believe I have the ability to edge out those margins to succeed."

The selection will be based on performances across three key trial events early next year, which are likely to include the World Championships in Australia, the European Championships in Athens, and another additional international event in France. As a solo Olympic campaigner, there are many demands and Ewan is extremely grateful for the incredible sponsorship and support of Green Rebel which has allowed him to forge his own path and ensure that he will be at peak performance for the trials.

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An Irish Olympic campaigner is one of two Irish International Moth sailors are competing at the UK Open Championship 2023 Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy that concludes on Friday. 

Paris 2024 ILCA 7 trialist Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club is lying 30th in the near 100-boat fleet, and Wexford Harbour's Ronan Wallace is three places ahead on 27th.

It’s not just the temperatures that are hotting up in the UK right now; the foiling Moths in Weymouth have once again taken it to the next level ahead of the 2023 World Championship.

Leading the charge is a young group of Kiwis from Manly Sailing Club, who have been pushing each other daily just a few kilometres north of Auckland, New Zealand. Jacob Pye and Mathias Coutts won four of the eight races held today, in their respective groups, and it’s Jacob who leads the UK Open overnight.

"I'm very happy. Put in a great performance today!" said Jacob after racing. "I have to put it down to the group I'm sailing and training with all the time, a great bunch from New Zealand. There's been a lot of testing and training up to this point and it's really starting to pay off. It's great to put good scores on the board. I did the Australian Nationals against Tom Burton a couple of months ago, and to come back and show I've made an improvement is a great feeling."

Mathias Coutts was similarly pleased with his day, despite being black-flagged in his first race: “Definitely pleased with my pace. Great breeze, great racing out there, and lots of competitive boats. I was really happy with my speed. We've had a good group of us back home who train up together and share lots of information. I think we've really made some good progress as a team."

Another member of the Manly Moth team is Jack Bennett, who put in three top-three results:

"It's great to have a good team [of Kiwis]. I’m pretty happy with the results today, for sure! We certainly try to work as much as we can as a team. It's a benefit having three boats out on the water most days. It's really handy having the boys together.

"I loved it when the breeze came in a little bit more. We could get some high speeds. I loved it! Great fun, good racing. I think I clocked 30 downwind today, which was pretty good."

There was a particularly proud dad out on the water in a RIB, who has done more than his fair share of winning on the water over the years, and is very happy to see the next generation of sailing superstars launch themselves onto the international stage…

"It's a great group of three 17 year olds - it's pretty cool to see!" said Russell Coutts. On his son Mathias he added, "He had a good day today. He's been struggling a bit lately, so it was good to see him get out there and do well today."

Jacob Pye may be happy to be leading Olympic gold medallist Tom Burton, but the Australian sailor is just two points behind him in the standings:

"It seemed like a long day. Four ace races in an awesome breeze, flat water, what more could you ask for really?!

"If I got off the line in the front pack I felt like I could sail away a little bit, but I made some little errors in the starts and didn't get off the first two that great and there are guys that are plenty quick enough to sail away when other people are in gas; not much you can do really!

"The course was super right-hand dominant, but you didn't want to go too far because of that big ship in the way - you could get into a massive lull just at the tacking point. It would lure you in, but you could make a big mistake there. I think I gave away maybe two in the races, on the last downwind, doing something stupid."

Tom was sporting a particularly fetching hat on the water which he recently picked up: "New hat, yeah! I got it in Garda this year for cycling. I figured I'd take the aerodynamics to the next level."

In fourth place overall is the USA’s Riley Gibbs who is taking some time out from his America’s Cup duties:

"Yeah, it was a good shakedown day. It's nice to get some time off work, with support from NYYC American Magic to be here, and we want to represent our team the best we can."

"Since sailing the big boat [AC75] and AC40s we don't get much time to go Moth sailing, as much fun as it is, and as much as we enjoy the competition with our team mates!"

"We had just enough time to go through all our equipment in the lead up to this event, so are taking this as a 'learn as we go' regatta, then looking forward to the Worlds."

"Unfortunately I got a little greedy on the right-hand side of the track, underneath that ship, and dropped a tack; it was my race over. It is tight; if you miss a shift you're out the back. It's great racing - really high level."

The wind could be up a notch on Friday, which may mix things up a bit. What’s clear is that there are far too many sailors racing at the top of their game to give anyone a ‘favourite’ tag. It’s anyone’s game, but whoever wins the International Moth UK Open will take a big confidence boost into the World Championship.

Event report by Mark Jardine

Published in Moth
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Olympic campaigner for Paris 2024, Duko Bos claimed victory in the ILCA 7 class but not before a medal-race scare that left the Dutchman scrambling for the finish line.

Bos’ nine-point lead at the top of the standings looked in peril as he rounded the windward mark in last place.

But a late charge saw him surge through the field and into second place, leaving him on 15 points that was comfortably enough to hold off Finland’s Valtteri Uusitalo with 26.

Bos and Uusitalo jousted for a yellow bib that changed hands three times in four races early in the regatta, before the Dutch star pulled away with three successive bullets.

“I was disappointed (in the first part of the race), my goal was to stay in the top three,” said Bos. “From there the wind was strong and I’m happy I made it in the end.”

Just as in the ILCA 6 class, bronze went down to the wire as Italy’s Alessia Spadoni snagged it from Willem Wiersema on countback.

Both struggled in the medal race but Spadoni’s 8th place trumped Wiersema in 9th to reach the podium.

Howth interest

Irish brothers Ewan and Jamie McMahon finished 13th and 21st in the 37-boat fleet

Results here

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Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon leads Irish hopes heading into the Gold fleet for the ILCA 7 class in 25th overall at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Mallorca.

McMahon's rival for Paris 2024, Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club posted seventh and eighth places, which pulled him up to 34th overall and, crucially, inside the Gold fleet cut as the Rio veteran had been as low as 124th after a day one UFD flag penalty.

Jamie McMahon (Howth YC) placed 140th overall and will compete in the Bronze Fleet finals.

The 2021 World Champion Germany’s Philipp Buhl came back from a black flag to record a 1,3 to lie second, whilst Australia’s Olympic champion Matt Wearn drops to 11th after a BFD also.

GBR’s Daniel Whitely has no counting score worse than second, and so leads the Men’s fleet, which has only managed five races over the first three days of racing.

Irish coach Vasilij Zbogar, maintains that as tomorrow is the start of the finals, "everything is still open".

Racing continues for the next three days, with sailors competing to win a top ten place for Saturday's single medal race final.

Results are here

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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 "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