The ISA Performance Department kicked off the start of the year with training camps in Gran Canaria, Cadiz and Barcelona in Spain and Sardinia, Italy.
There are now 102 sailors training as part of the ISA Performance Pathway starting from the junior pathway classes through to the Olympic classes. All of these sailors are closely monitored and follow a tailored strength and conditioning programme managed by Sports Med Ireland in addition to receiving regular coaching on the water.
Providence Team IRL consists of four Olympic and Paralympic campaigns all of whom competed in the London 2012 Games. The only change for 2014 is that Corkman Anthony Hegarty has retired from the Sonar crew to be replaced by Dublin doctor Austin O’Carroll.
Providence Team IRL
49er: Ryan Seaton & Matthew McGovern
Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy
Laser: James Espey
Sonar: John Twomey, Ian Costello and Austin O’Carroll
The focus event for Providence Team IRL this year will be the Olympic qualifier in Santander, Spain in September and the target is to qualify Ireland in all classes. Annalise Murphy and the Sonar crew start their year with an early season regatta at the ISAF World Cup in Miami in late January.
Also working towards the opportunity to sail in Santander is the Olympic Development Squad. Irish qualification for the new Olympic female skiff class; the 49erFX will be the focus for Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey who showed potential at the 49erFX World Championship last September having only teamed up together just weeks before the regatta. The pair have been training hard in Sardinia over the winter with the Italian team that finished 4th in the 2013 World Championship.
Also in contention for a qualification attempt is the Laser Development Squad which had a great year in 2013.
Laser Development Squad
Philip Doran – Former Laser 4.7 and U17 Laser Radial World Champion
Finn Lynch – Current Men’s U21 Laser Radial World Champion and 2012 ISAF Youth World Silver Medallist
Robbie Gilmore – 4th U21 World, 5th European and 6th World at the 2013 Laser Radial World Championships
Fionn Lyden – 6th U21 World, 8th European and 10th World at the 2013 Laser Radial World Championships
All of these sailors, with the exception of Philip Doran, have just graduated from the Men’s Laser Radial class into the Men’s Laser Standard and all are studying for either Leaving Cert or University exams. Although they will attend training camps during weekends and holidays, their full-time campaigns will not commence until the summer months.
ISA Performance is funded by the Irish Sports Council’s High Performance Unit and this funding is specifically ring-fenced for the ISA Performance Pathway. The ISA Performance teams won 13 medals internationally in 2013, eight of which were Gold.
In addition, Gul Performance Apparel is the technical clothing partners for ISA Performance and supplies the sailors with sailing clothing.
In 2013 ISA Performance also secured a sponsorship deal with VeloRevolution - a custom cycling and Triathlon clothing supplier. VeloRevolution supply Providence Team IRL and the Development Squad with high quality cycling gear as used by the Tour de France riders so they train hard in comfort when out on their bikes.
A supplier agreement was also agreed with High5 Sports Nutrition, helping the sailors to race harder and recover faster. Existing agreements were also renewed with both Harken and Parasol Sun Care.
The Olympic and Paralympic Squad received a boost in 2013 when Providence Resources P.l.c. agreed a four-year title sponsorship deal to assist in the pursuit of success at the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.