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Displaying items by tag: Seafra Guilfoyle

The Olympic Federation of Ireland has announced that 49er skiff crew Seafra Guilfoyle has become one of its ‘Dare to Believe' ambassadors.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club sailor was included in the unveiling of 25 ‘Dare to Believe’ athlete ambassadors from across a variety of sports.

Guilfoyle teamed with Double Olympian Ryan Seaton of Belfast Lough is currently seeking the final country berth for Ireland in the 49er skiff class in order to get to Tokyo next year.  

The OFI also announced FBD Insurance as the sponsor of this year’s ‘Dare to Believe’ Olympic Schools Programme. Ireland’s homegrown insurer is the Official Sponsor of Team Ireland on the road to Tokyo, and this extension of the sponsorship will allow ‘Dare to Believe’ to continue to grow and inspire schoolchildren nationwide. Today’s announcement  

In its first year, ‘Dare to Believe’, which was set up with funding from Olympic Solidarity support, surpassed all of its targets, bringing the Olympics into the classroom for over 5,000 children nationwide. The school activation programme, championed and supported by the Olympic Federation of Ireland Athletes’ Commission, was developed by 2008 Olympian Roisin McGettigan and, as the programme moves into the next phase, the focus is on further expansion, with a boost of 16 new ambassadors to the programme, bringing the total to 25 athletes.

‘Dare to Believe’, will teach primary school students about Olympic Values and Olympism through a curriculum that includes over 40 of the approved education methodologies. The ‘five-ring’ programme allows teachers to interactively explore broad themes that reflect the Olympic Values of Respect and Equality, Healthy Body and Mind, and Joy of Effort. The final ring focuses on Striving for Excellence, which sees the athlete ambassador deliver their personal sporting story to the class, with the changing environment meaning that these visits will now be virtual. 

A host of the ‘Dare to Believe’ athletes, including boxer Kellie Harrington, hockey stars, Anna O’Flanagan, Roisin Upton and Emma Buckley as well as Oliver Dingley (Diving), Sive Brassil (Modern Pentathlon) and Brendan Boyce (Race Walking) will also appear on RTÉ’s After School Hub programme next week from Monday, November 23rd, with Olympic Federation of Ireland Athletes’ Commission member and Olympic medallist in boxing, Kenneth Egan, also set to feature on the programme.

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Three Irish Olympic 49ers will compete at the European Championships at Union-Yacht-Club Attersee, on Lake Attersee, Austria next week. 

After a halt to global racing in March, this will be the first time for teams to come together and race in a championship since the World Championship in Geelong in February.

Irish 49er Olympic Qualification

Ireland is vying with Belgium, Sweden and Italy for the one remaining European place at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. Form at the 2020 Worlds suggested that Irish sailors would be favourites having finished ahead of the other three candidates, but they are the lowest in a tightly packed group in the world rankings.

Even though Attersee is not a qualifying event, Italy is sending four teams, the Swedes have three teams and the Belgians one team.

It's hard to fathom how after starting out ahead of the curve for Tokyo four years ago, Ireland is now in the 49er last chance saloon. However, 'we are where we are', as the saying goes, and the final chance to secure the last berth now looks scheduled for early 2021.

In the meantime, the race is on to find that crucial speed edge to bring Ireland Olympic representation in the men's skiff class next July.

Three Irish skiff teams for Attersee

After seven months without racing Irish crews checked in with the European fleet earlier this month at Kiel Week in a build-up to the Europeans.

It produced some important markers for both Irish men's skiff teams, not least the fact that it was the Under-23 duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove that came out on top. The Howth and Skerries pairing finished 14th some 13 places ahead of double Olympian Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle who had a silver fleet finish in 27th place in the 52-boat fleet. 

For Attersee, a new Irish combination makes its debut as Sean Donnelly and Marcus O'Leary represent the Royal St. George Yacht Club

European 49er Championship Racing Schedule

Date Activity First Warning
Mon 28th Sept 2020 Practice Race 12:55
Tues 29th Sept 2020 Qualifying Series 10:55
Wed 30th Set 2020 Qualifying Series 10:55
Thurs 1st  Oct 2020 Qualifying Series 10:55
Fri 2nd Oct 2020 Final Series 10:55
Sat 3rd Oct 2020 Final Series 10:55
Sun 4th Oct 2020 Final Series 09:55
Published in Tokyo 2020

Sky Sport will broadcast live all six days of December’s 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships in Auckland, New Zealand, which is believed to be a world-first for an Olympic class sailing world championships it has been announced by the 49er and 49erFX world president Marcus Spillane from Cork.

Spillane is also a member of Irish Sailing's Olympic Steering Group charged with assisting Irish Sailors to reach medal winning positions in the Olympic Games so he will have added interest in ensuring Ireland's 49er crews, Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle and Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove will be in the best possible position to compete for the final chance of an Olympic berth at Tokyo 2020.

Unfortunately, the championships will not now include Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle who quit their fledgeling campaign last week.

49er Dickson Waddilove 1854Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove are New Zealand bound Photo: Afloat

As many as 400 of the world’s best sailors, including New Zealand’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech, are expected to compete at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club from December 3-8.

Not only will world titles be on the line, but many countries will be using it as an Olympic selection event so the stakes will be high.

Sky Sport will screen live all six days of racing – six races a day – and also produce a daily highlights package, which will also be shown on free-to-air partner Prime TV.

On-the-water gyroscopic cameras will capture all the racing action, including state-of-the-art drones, and there will be comprehensive analysis and interviews from the boat park before and after the racing presented by a team of sailing experts.

Tracking and animation will also be provided by Animation Research Ltd, who are world leaders in graphics visualisation.

“We’re proud to be the host broadcaster for this great event, and we look forward to bringing sailing fans racing coverage from December 3-8 on Sky Sport,” Sky head of sports production Brian Hitchcock said.

The scale of the production is believed to be a world-first for an Olympic class regatta and will enable New Zealand fans to get close to the action. Negotiations are also progressing to distribute the feed internationally.

The 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 are arguably the most exciting of all of the Olympic classes, with the boats reaching speeds in excess of 20 knots.

Burling and Tuke have made a successful comeback to the 49er after a couple of years focusing on the America’s Cup and Ocean Race, winning last month’s Olympic test event in Japan, and will be looking to add a fifth world title in December.

“We are thrilled to have Sky Sport New Zealand broadcast our upcoming world championship,” 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 president Spillane said. “The 2019 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 world championships are likely to be the most competitive regatta in all of sailing this year.

“To have a passionate New Zealand audience and our global fanbase be able to watch the whole thing is wonderful for the sport.”

The regatta is one of the highlights on the upcoming sailing calendar, which also includes February’s RS:X world championships in Auckland as well as the 2021 America’s Cup.

“It’s a great time to be involved in sailing in this country,” Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie said. “With Sky Sport’s partnership, we have an opportunity to further inspire our young sailors through sharing content, telling stories and showing live just how exciting sailing, and in particular, 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 sailing, can be.

“As a passionate nation of sports enthusiasts and sailors, we look forward to what promises to be an exciting week of competition and thank Sky Sport for their commitment to work with us in showcasing sailing and Auckland and New Zealand.”

Published in Tokyo 2020

Northern Ireland's Ryan Seaton from Ballyholme Yacht Club and Séafra Guilfoyle of Royal Cork Yacht Club have made the cut for their 49er Gold fleet which begins this morning, the result was confirmed with a strong fourth place scored yesterday afternoon to put the duo 19th overall. 

The fact will not be lost on Seaton, however, that three years ago – in a red hot Olympic year – he won this regatta outright indicating there is much work for the new Belfast-Cork pair to do if a result is to be achieved in Tokyo next year to eclipse the creditable tenth overall he secured at Rio 2016 with former partner Matt McGovern.

The pair said on social media: "Some solid races in qualifying have us set up nicely for gold fleet. Still focusing on the processes but really happy with how we’re going".

Other Irish skiff results from Howth's Rob Dickson (sailing this week with Robbie Gilmore) and Sean and Tadhg Donnelly are here.

The top of the 49er fleet is tight after three more qualifying races were completed. GBR’s 2017 world champions Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell are just one point clear of the Argentina’s Yago and Klaus Lange, winners here last year. 

“At the important moments we chose the right positions on the race course.” Klaus Lange recalled, “We had a really good winter of training sailed with the Austrian squad in Argentina. We have made progress and for us, we have to work perfectly as a team we are really strong".

Their Austrian training partners Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl won two from three races yesterday and are third overall while reigning world champions Sime and Mihovil Fantela of Croatia moved up to fifth with a 12pts aggregate.

Full results are here Check out all our Irish Olympic sailing coverage in the build-up to Tokyo 2020 here

Published in Tokyo 2020

Belfast Lough and Cork Harbour duo Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle are 20th overall in quite possibly the largest 49er fleet ever assembled in Palma of 108 boats after the first day of racing at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta.

Helmsman Ryan Seaton, tenth in Rio, and who won the class in Palma in 2016, is only now getting up to speed after a troublesome winter of injuries for new crew Guilfoyle. The pair counted a (17), 9 and an encouraging third in the final race yesterday.

But these early qualifying rounds in light winds have not been plain sailing for the other Irish skiffs. Afloat.ie's Irish Sailor of the Year Rob Dickson, who is without his regular crew Sean Waddilove and sailing with stand-in Robbie Gilmore, lies 106th after 'gear problems' yesterday. 

The National Yacht Club's Sean and Tadhg Donnelly are 105th. Not competing this year are West Cork duo, Mark Hassett and Oisin O'Driscoll. 

Also absent from the Irish set-up in Palma this year is longtime coach Tytus Konarzewski who is credited with bringing the Dickson–Waddilove duo to U23 World Championship success last season. Konarzewski departed the Irish camp after the 'merger' of the youth and senior Irish skiff programmes this winter that saw the skiff numbers reduced.

Full results are here. Read more about Irish hopes for Tokyo 2020 here.

Published in Tokyo 2020

#49er - More than €5,000 is the cost of competition for Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle as they prep for their first event as a duo in Mallorca this coming spring.

The new combination have joined with PledgeSports to crowdfund the necessary budget for a new 49er skiff plus flights, accommodation and ferries as they ready for their debut competition event in the Balearic Islands.

Ahead of that, they will be training with other Olympic hopeful teams and coaches in Cadiz and Mallorca in preparation for a season that builds on a tremendously successful 2016 for Irish high performance sailing.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, last month double Olympian Seaton teamed up with 20-year-old Royal Cork prospect Guilfoyle, making his comeback from an injury that ruled him out of last summer’s Olympics, with ambitions to represent Ireland in the skiff class at Tokyo 2020.

But they will face strong competition for that spot, not least from Seaton’s former partner and fellow Belfast sailor Matt McGovern, with whom he finished in the top 10 in Rio, who is also currently looking for a new skiff partner.

More on the €5,350 Seaton and Guilfoyle are looking to raise can be found on the PledgeSports website HERE.

Published in Olympic

A unique north–south Olympic campaign was launched last night at Royal Cork Yacht Club when double Olympian Ryan Seaton of Belfast Lough announced new crew Seafra Guilfoyle of Cork Harbour as his partner for Tokyo 2020.

As Afloat.ie reported previously, the new pairing will face stiff competition not least from Seaton's former crew Matt McGovern who is among up to four campaigns aiming for Tokyo selection in the mens skiff class.

The Belast–Cork duo say they are looking to build on Rio's top ten finish, Ireland's top Olympic 49er result so far.

In a further boost for Irish skiff class hopes, a boat that is not yet raced here domestically, there are also three other fledgling campaigns readying for Tokyo and beyond too.

Oisin O’Driscoll from Schull and Mark Hassett from Baltimore, Sean and Tadgh Donnelly from Dun Laoghaire, and Robert Dickson from Howth with Sean Waddilove from Skerries have all been involved in training camps at home and in Spain bringing Irish interest in the 16–footer to an all–time high.

Read also: Irish 49ers Are Ahead of the Curve

Published in Olympic

Royal Cork dinghy sailor Seafra Guilfoyle (20) will team up with Belfast double Olympian Ryan Seaton for a Tokyo 2020 Olympic 49er campaign.

The move brings the curtain down on an eight year campaign by Seaton who split from crew Matt McGovern after Rio. Seaton had been trialling a number of crew replacements since Rio, as earlier reported by Afloat.ie. 

McGovern, also from Belfast, is in talks to find a new sailing partner as he intends to continue for Tokyo too.  

According to Royal Cork Yacht Club, Seaton and Guilfoyle will make a formal announcement of the campaign in Crosshaven this Friday. The duo will be looking to build on the Rio top ten finish.

Guilfoyle, an ISAF youth silver medalist in the Laser Radial from 2014, withdrew from the 2016 Mens Laser trial with a back injury.

As Afloat.ie reported in Ireland may field as many as four Olympic 49er campaigns for Tokyo. Read our 49er profile here.

Published in Olympic

Ireland's Laser Radial 2014 World Silver Medalist Seafra Guilfoyle had to pull out of the first Irish Olympic Trial for Rio due to a back injury last season. Three months later and thanks to a steroid injection, the Crosshaven sailor flew out to the Canaries this week to compete at the Laser European Championships. Unfortunately, the slipped disc injury has flared up again and the Irish youth champion has been kept ashore in Las Palmas. Here Guilfoyle outlines the setbacks to his campaign

The injury all started back at the end of June, I had started to feel pain in my left leg while walking around but was confused as I didn't feel any pain while sailing. I went to Germany at the start of July for a Europa Cup. We had to drive from Amsterdam to Warnemunde which is a 10 hour drive. That didn't help my leg and I could feel more pain coming on.

We did two days of training before the event and I was feeling quite a lot of pain while walking so I texted my trainer Mark McCabe and he said not to do the event. We had to do the same journey back to Amsterdam and once I got to the airport I could barely stand.

Back in Cork, Mark organised for me to come to his gym in Sportsmed in Dublin to be accessed. He got an x-ray for me where the results showed that I had a slipped disc in my back and it was rubbing off the nerve which gave the pain in my leg. I spent the whole summer each week in sports med where I would do half sessions a day and I would go back to Cork on the weekend.

I had to skip both the under–21 Worlds and Europeans. My first time sailing was in September during a camp. I did some half days but couldn't go out in heavy winds. I was slowly getting back to sailing and was happy to be allowed attend a camp in Croatia during the end of October. Unfortunately, I wasn't careful enough and sailed six out of nine days there which was too much for my back to handle.

Once I got back to Ireland I felt a lot of pain in my leg again which meant I set myself back a good bit. I was back in the gym quite a lot and spent two weeks in Sportsmed before Christmas doing rehab. I wasn't allowed back in the boat at this time. It was looking better until I got a chest infection just after Christmas. This happens each year because of dampness and asthma.

After Christmas, I consulted with Mark, the ISA doctor James O'Donovan and the team at UCC and we all decided it was time to get the steroid injection. Since getting the injection I have felt that it has helped a lot and I was feeling barely any pain in the leg just before coming to the Canaries for the European Championships. I was hoping to be able to compete in this event but the bus journey from Cork to Dublin and the four and a half hour flight was too much for my back to handle and it brought back a lot of leg pain.

I have been in contact with Mark everyday and the leg pain has started to ease off a lot.

Published in Olympic
Tagged under

#py500 – Séafra Guilfoyle has won the Royal Cork Yacht Club's  PY 500 dinghy prize this afternoon. Only 8 seconds separated 3 dinghy classes at the finish writes Claire Bateman.

Saturday March 14 was the due date for the second annual PY 500 race at the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Well, what a story. The morning dawned with a beautiful blue sky and wonderful reflections in the clear water but alas and alack not a hint of a breeze could be felt and Race Officer Nathan Kirwan had no option but to postpone racing. As the race was to be held in the river, it was hoped to have a start an hour before high water but it was not to be. 'Experts' scanned the skies and ascertained that what clouds were there were moving slightly from the east. And so, when the light fickle breeze did fill in at 11.45am a windward/leeward course was set starting from the club marina with instructions for all boats to sail three rounds.

With a prize fund of €500 for the lucky winner and the ebb tide starting to flow more strongly the competitors were somewhat over eager and a general recall was necessary for the first start but all boats got away cleanly on the second attempt. The race had attracted an excellent entry of 38 but with the light wind morning this was whittled down to 32, still an excellent number. There was a great variety of craft on the water heading for the first mark ranging from National 18's, RS 400's, Lasers full rig, Laser Radials and Lasers 4.7, Toppers, an International 14, a 29er, a Pico, a Laser Stratos, a Finn and a brave Mirror and they all rounded the first mark without any incidents. They completed three rounds of the course and great concentration was needed in the light wind sailing but it proved to be a very enjoyable event resulting in only minor shouting between the competitors

When the results were calculated using the Portsmouth Yardstick only eight seconds separated the first three boats and indeed only three seconds separated the first two boats. Séafre Guilfoyle in a Laser full rig was the popular winner followed by a National 18 sailed by Nicholas O'Leary crewed by Michael O'Brien and Alex O'Connell, in second place and David Kenefick crewed by Grattan Roberts in an RS400 third .

Given the tightness of the results, one wonders what would have been the final placings if the two leading National 18's hadn't decide to concentrate between themselves on having a luffing match approaching the leeward mark in round 2, and who can tell whether or not this was where the vital three seconds between first and second place was lost. Neither they nor we will ever know for sure!

_DSC5589_1.jpg_DSC5636_1.jpg_MG_9657_1.jpg_MG_9659_1.jpg_MG_9676_1.jpg_MG_9688_1.jpg_MG_9734_1.jpg_MG_9740_1.jpg_MG_9745_1.jpg_MG_9746_1.jpg_MG_9754_1.jpg_MG_9778_1.jpg_MG_9796_1.jpg_MG_9801_1.jpg_MG_9807_1.jpg_MG_9817_1.jpg

Published in Royal Cork YC
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