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Matt McGovern Rejoins Irish Sailing Team As 49er Coach

25th October 2019
Matt McGovern (right) with former skiff partner Ryan Seaton at the 2016 Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma Matt McGovern (right) with former skiff partner Ryan Seaton at the 2016 Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma Credit: David Branigan

Former Irish Olympic 49er sailor Matt McGovern has rejoined the Irish Sailing team as coach in the two-handed skiff class.

McGovern, who represented Ireland in the 49er at London 2012 and Rio 2016 with Ryan Seaton, retired from active competition in February last year and subsequently took up the role of high performance manager with the RYANI.

He will now assume coaching responsibilities for the two Irish Sailing 49er teams, which include his former skiff partner Seaton’s duo with Seafra Guilfoyle. The pair placed sixth in the World Cup medal race at Enoshima, the site for next summer’s Olympics, this past August.

Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, 2018 U23 49er World Champions and Volvo Irish Sailors of the Year, will also benefit from McGovern’s Olympic experience.

Irish Sailing head coach Rory Fitzpatrick said: “It’s great to have Matt join the coaching team. An accomplished athlete, he’ll bring a wealth of experience to the whole team. He is also one of the most organised and prepared athletes.

“In our Performance HQ we have a picture of him and Ryan in the workshop — it’s placed there as a reminder of Matt’s attention to detail, and something we want to inspire the younger athletes with.”

McGovern joins the team ahead of Ireland’s next bid for a place at Tokyo 2020 in the 49er Worlds this December.

Published in ISA, Olympic
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Irish Sailing

The Irish Sailing Association, also known as Irish Sailing, is the national governing body for sailing, powerboating and windsurfing in Ireland.

Founded in 1945 as the Irish Dinghy Racing Association, it became the Irish Yachting Association in 1964 and the Irish Sailing Association in 1992.

Irish Sailing is a Member National Authority (MNA) of World Sailing and a member of the Olympic Federation of Ireland.

The Association is governed by a volunteer board, elected by the member clubs. Policy Groups provide the link with members and stakeholders while advising the Board on specialist areas. There is a professional administration and performance staff, based at the headquarters in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Core functions include the regulation of sailing education, administering racing and selection of Irish sailors for international competition. It is the body recognised by the Olympic Federation of Ireland for nominating Irish qualified sailors to be considered for selection to represent Ireland at the Olympic Games. Irish sailors have medalled twice at the Olympics – David Wilkins and Jamie Wikinson at the 1980 games, and Annalise Murphy at the 2016 games.

The Association, through its network of clubs and centres, offers curriculum-based training in the various sailing, windsurfing and powerboating disciplines. Irish Sailing qualifications are recognised by Irish and European Authorities. Most prominent of these are the Yachtmaster and the International Certificate of Competency.

It runs the annual All-Ireland Championships (formerly the Helmsman’s Championship) for senior and junior sailors.

The Association has been led by leading lights in the sailing and business communities. These include Douglas Heard, Clayton Love Junior, John Burke and Robert Dix.

Close to 100 sailors have represented Ireland at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Membership of Irish Sailing is either by direct application or through membership of an affiliated organisation. The annual membership fee ranges from €75 for families, down to €20 for Seniors and Juniors.

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