Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

rio maintopper

Rio 2016
Irish Laser sailor Finn Lynch (216890) on port tack in the Princess Sofia regatta in Palma, Mallorca
Some clever sailing through minimising race course errors has put Finn Lynch into sixth place overall in the Laser/ILCA 7 class at the Princess Sofia Regatta in Mallorca today. The National Yacht Club ace scored eighth and 14th in fresh winds today…
Finn Lynch rounds a weather mark in in Palma - The National Yacht Club ace is in the top ten of the Laser fleet at the Princess Sofia regatta
A most consistent performance from Irish Laser sailor Finn Lynch on the Bay of Palma shows the depth of the Rio Olympian's ambition for Paris 2024 as the National Yacht Club ace broke into the top ten overall of the…
Royal Cork sailors Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan were unable to make the cut-off for the Gold fleet at Palma
Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Seán Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) qualified for the Gold fleet of the 49er skiff event today (Wednesday 6th April 2022) at the Princess Sofia regatta in Palma, Mallorca. After a three-hour delay ashore waiting…
There were big winds for the 49er skiff competition at the Princesa Sofia Regatta
In the first regatta towards Paris 2024 in just two years' time, Ireland's Tokyo 2020 competitors Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove of Dublin are placed eighth overall after the opening rounds of the 49er skiff competition at the Princesa Sofia Regatta,…
Irish ILCA 7 competitor Jamie McMahon of Howth Yacht Club racing at the 51st Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía Mallorca, the first event of the 2022 Hempel World Cup Sailing Series
Consistent Finn Lynch kept Irish hopes of a top ILCA 7/Laser result at Palma’s Princesa Sofia Regatta on a gusty second day of qualification in the 162-boat fleet.  Rio 2016 Olympian Lynch (National Yacht Club) sits in 20th overall out…
The 154 boat men's Laser fleet racing at the 51 Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía Mallorca, the first event of the 2022 Hempel World Cup Series
All three Irish Laser men survived two tough opening races to be in the top 20% of the massive total 154-boat ILCA 7 fleet after day one of the giant Trofeo Sofia in Mallorca today. The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch…
Finn Lynch finished in fourth place in the 2019 Trofeo Sofia Mallorca but as regular Afloat readers know the Dun Laoghaire ace has since taken second in the World Championships in Barcelona last November, so is highly regarded as Ireland's top hope for a podium place in Mallorca.
It looks like Ireland's three ILCA 7/Laser competitors at the giant 51 Trofeo Sofia Mallorca are in for a 'baptism of fire' this morning, according to local reports, with strong winds forecast and all three Olympic medalists from Tokyo competing in the…
Finn Lynch - The 2021 Irish Laser World Championships silver medalist is in action in Palma
After recent warm-weather training, there should be no 'rustiness' from Irish Olympic campaigners keen to get on the right tack for Paris 2024 in Palma, Mallorca on Friday morning. The Princess Sofia Regatta is the first major international event since the 2020…
Racing at the 50th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar in April 2019
The current Olympic and world champions in the 49er and 49erFX will compete for the 51st Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca against top contenders in both classes. Many of the leading sailors have been training during recent days, taking advantage of…
Sean Evans is the new Olympic development coach for the Irish sailing team
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…
An ILCA 7 start at the Mallorca Sailing Centre Training Regatta
The Mallorca Sailing Centre Training Regatta for the Olympic classes ended over the weekend with Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon finishing 10th overall after eight races sailed in an ILCA 7/Laser fleet of 66 entries. The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch…
Vallon des Auffes beyond Porte d’Orient and the Corniche in Marseille
Officials in the southern French port city of Marseille have cited security concerns in their decision to cancel plans for a 5,000-seat grandstand at the Paris 2024 sailing venue, as insidethegames.biz reports. Proposals for a large spectator stand on the…
Finn Lynch racing in Barcelona last November where he finished second overall in the 2021 Laser World Championships
Ireland's 2021 Laser World Championships runner up Finn Lynch is back on Spanish waters this weekend at the  Mallorca Sailing Centre Regatta, a dress rehearsal for April's 51st Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca. Lynch is joined by Paris 2024 rival Ewan McMahon…
Ireland's Olympic Silver Medallists of 1980 wasn't quite as alone as this report would suggest - it has emerged in recent days that the late Ken Ryan personally funded their Flying Dutchman
There have been many fond and favourable responses to our recent Appreciation of the late Ken Ryan, Ireland's sailing administration polymath who was the living embodiment of the old saying that if you want anything done, and done well and…
The first athletes have begun to land in Mallorca and the Bay of Palma is beginning see the first signs of Olympic sailing
Following the recommendation of the IOC, World Sailing and the RFEV, Russian and Belarusian sailors have been excluded from next month's 51st Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca World Cup Series Regatta.  With one month to go until the start of the…
The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reiterated today the IOC’s strong condemnation of the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government and the government of Belarus through its support in this. The respective UN…

Irish Olympic Sailing Team

Ireland has a proud representation in sailing at the Olympics dating back to 1948. Today there is a modern governing structure surrounding the selection of sailors the Olympic Regatta

Irish Olympic Sailing FAQs

Ireland’s representation in sailing at the Olympics dates back to 1948, when a team consisting of Jimmy Mooney (Firefly), Alf Delany and Hugh Allen (Swallow) competed in that year’s Summer Games in London (sailing off Torquay). Except for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Ireland has sent at least one sailor to every Summer Games since then.

  • 1948 – London (Torquay) — Firefly: Jimmy Mooney; Swallow: Alf Delany, Hugh Allen
  • 1952 – Helsinki — Finn: Alf Delany * 1956 – Melbourne — Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1960 – Rome — Flying Dutchman: Johnny Hooper, Peter Gray; Dragon: Jimmy Mooney, David Ryder, Robin Benson; Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1964 – Tokyo — Dragon: Eddie Kelliher, Harry Maguire, Rob Dalton; Finn: Johnny Hooper 
  • 1972 – Munich (Kiel) — Tempest: David Wilkins, Sean Whitaker; Dragon: Robin Hennessy, Harry Byrne, Owen Delany; Finn: Kevin McLaverty; Flying Dutchman: Harold Cudmore, Richard O’Shea
  • 1976 – Montreal (Kingston) — 470: Robert Dix, Peter Dix; Flying Dutchman: Barry O’Neill, Jamie Wilkinson; Tempest: David Wilkins, Derek Jago
  • 1980 – Moscow (Tallinn) — Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson (Silver medalists) * 1984 – Los Angeles — Finn: Bill O’Hara
  • 1988 – Seoul (Pusan) — Finn: Bill O’Hara; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; 470 (Women): Cathy MacAleavy, Aisling Byrne
  • 1992 – Barcelona — Europe: Denise Lyttle; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; Star: Mark Mansfield, Tom McWilliam
  • 1996 – Atlanta (Savannah) — Laser: Mark Lyttle; Europe: Aisling Bowman (Byrne); Finn: John Driscoll; Star: Mark Mansfield, David Burrows; 470 (Women): Denise Lyttle, Louise Cole; Soling: Marshall King, Dan O’Grady, Garrett Connolly
  • 2000 – Sydney — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, David O'Brien
  • 2004 – Athens — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, Killian Collins; 49er: Tom Fitzpatrick, Fraser Brown; 470: Gerald Owens, Ross Killian; Laser: Rory Fitzpatrick
  • 2008 – Beijing (Qingdao) — Star: Peter O’Leary, Stephen Milne; Finn: Tim Goodbody; Laser Radial: Ciara Peelo; 470: Gerald Owens, Phil Lawton
  • 2012 – London (Weymouth) — Star: Peter O’Leary, David Burrows; 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy; Laser: James Espey; 470: Gerald Owens, Scott Flanigan
  • 2016 – Rio — Laser Radial (Women): Annalise Murphy (Silver medalist); 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; 49erFX: Andrea Brewster, Saskia Tidey; Laser: Finn Lynch; Paralympic Sonar: John Twomey, Ian Costello & Austin O’Carroll

Ireland has won two Olympics medals in sailing events, both silver: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman at Moscow 1980, and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial at Rio 2016.

The current team, as of December 2020, consists of Laser sailors Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon, 49er pairs Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, and Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson, as well as Laser Radial sailors Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins.

Irish Sailing is the National Governing Body for sailing in Ireland.

Irish Sailing’s Performance division is responsible for selecting and nurturing Olympic contenders as part of its Performance Pathway.

The Performance Pathway is Irish Sailing’s Olympic talent pipeline. The Performance Pathway counts over 70 sailors from 11 years up in its programme.The Performance Pathway is made up of Junior, Youth, Academy, Development and Olympic squads. It provides young, talented and ambitious Irish sailors with opportunities to move up through the ranks from an early age. With up to 100 young athletes training with the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway, every aspect of their performance is planned and closely monitored while strong relationships are simultaneously built with the sailors and their families

Rory Fitzpatrick is the head coach of Irish Sailing Performance. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and was an Athens 2004 Olympian in the Laser class.

The Performance Director of Irish Sailing is James O’Callaghan. Since 2006 James has been responsible for the development and delivery of athlete-focused, coach-led, performance-measured programmes across the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway. A Business & Economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he is a Level 3 Qualified Coach and Level 2 Coach Tutor. He has coached at five Olympic Games and numerous European and World Championship events across multiple Olympic classes. He is also a member of the Irish Sailing Foundation board.

Annalise Murphy is by far and away the biggest Irish sailing star. Her fourth in London 2012 when she came so agonisingly close to a bronze medal followed by her superb silver medal performance four years later at Rio won the hearts of Ireland. Murphy is aiming to go one better in Tokyo 2021. 

Under head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the coaching staff consists of Laser Radial Academy coach Sean Evans, Olympic Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar and 49er team coach Matt McGovern.

The Irish Government provides funding to Irish Sailing. These funds are exclusively for the benefit of the Performance Pathway. However, this falls short of the amount required to fund the Performance Pathway in order to allow Ireland compete at the highest level. As a result the Performance Pathway programme currently receives around €850,000 per annum from Sport Ireland and €150,000 from sponsorship. A further €2 million per annum is needed to have a major impact at the highest level. The Irish Sailing Foundation was established to bridge the financial gap through securing philanthropic donations, corporate giving and sponsorship.

The vision of the Irish Sailing Foundation is to generate the required financial resources for Ireland to scale-up and execute its world-class sailing programme. Irish Sailing works tirelessly to promote sailing in Ireland and abroad and has been successful in securing funding of 1 million euro from Sport Ireland. However, to compete on a par with other nations, a further €2 million is required annually to realise the ambitions of our talented sailors. For this reason, the Irish Sailing Foundation was formed to seek philanthropic donations. Led by a Board of Directors and Head of Development Kathryn Grace, the foundation lads a campaign to bridge the financial gap to provide the Performance Pathway with the funds necessary to increase coaching hours, upgrade equipment and provide world class sport science support to a greater number of high-potential Irish sailors.

The Senior and Academy teams of the Performance Pathway are supported with the provision of a coach, vehicle, coach boat and boats. Even with this level of subsidy there is still a large financial burden on individual families due to travel costs, entry fees and accommodation. There are often compromises made on the amount of days a coach can be hired for and on many occasions it is necessary to opt out of major competitions outside Europe due to cost. Money raised by the Irish Sailing Foundation will go towards increased quality coaching time, world-class equipment, and subsiding entry fees and travel-related costs. It also goes towards broadening the base of talented sailors that can consider campaigning by removing financial hurdles, and the Performance HQ in Dublin to increase efficiency and reduce logistical issues.

The ethos of the Performance Pathway is progression. At each stage international performance benchmarks are utilised to ensure the sailors are meeting expectations set. The size of a sailor will generally dictate which boat they sail. The classes selected on the pathway have been identified as the best feeder classes for progression. Currently the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway consists of the following groups: * Pathway (U15) Optimist and Topper * Youth Academy (U19) Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 420 * Development Academy (U23) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX * Team IRL (direct-funded athletes) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX

The Irish Sailing performance director produces a detailed annual budget for the programme which is presented to Sport Ireland, Irish Sailing and the Foundation for detailed discussion and analysis of the programme, where each item of expenditure is reviewed and approved. Each year, the performance director drafts a Performance Plan and Budget designed to meet the objectives of Irish Performance Sailing based on an annual review of the Pathway Programmes from Junior to Olympic level. The plan is then presented to the Olympic Steering Group (OSG) where it is independently assessed and the budget is agreed. The OSG closely monitors the delivery of the plan ensuring it meets the agreed strategy, is within budget and in line with operational plans. The performance director communicates on an ongoing basis with the OSG throughout the year, reporting formally on a quarterly basis.

Due to the specialised nature of Performance Sport, Irish Sailing established an expert sub-committee which is referred to as the Olympic Steering Group (OSG). The OSG is chaired by Patrick Coveney and its objective is centred around winning Olympic medals so it oversees the delivery of the Irish Sailing’s Performance plan.

At Junior level (U15) sailors learn not only to be a sailor but also an athlete. They develop the discipline required to keep a training log while undertaking fitness programmes, attending coaching sessions and travelling to competitions. During the winter Regional Squads take place and then in spring the National Squads are selected for Summer Competitions. As sailors move into Youth level (U19) there is an exhaustive selection matrix used when considering a sailor for entry into the Performance Academy. Completion of club training programmes, attendance at the performance seminars, physical suitability and also progress at Junior and Youth competitions are assessed and reviewed. Once invited in to the Performance Academy, sailors are given a six-month trial before a final decision is made on their selection. Sailors in the Academy are very closely monitored and engage in a very well planned out sailing, training and competition programme. There are also defined international benchmarks which these sailors are required to meet by a certain age. Biannual reviews are conducted transparently with the sailors so they know exactly where they are performing well and they are made aware of where they may need to improve before the next review.

©Afloat 2020

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating