posted on March 07, 2011 15:30
The ISA 5th Annual Awards Ball was held on Saturday the 5th of March in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin where 6 nominees became winners of the 6 prestigious ISA Awards. Minister for Sport, Mary Hanafin was there to present the awards at the biggest social event of the year for the sailing, motorboating and windsurfing community.
Among the winners was Nicholas ‘Nin’ O’Leary of Royal Cork Yacht Club who beat both his father, Anthony O’Leary, and his brother, Peter O’Leary, who were also nominees, to win the ISA Sailing Achievement of the Year. Nicholas’ achievements included narrowly beating his father Anthony at the ISA All Ireland Championships in 2010 by just a single point after a nail-biting finale in difficult conditions off Kinsale in November. The win made it three-in-a-row for this remarkable young 24 year old sailor, the only person to achieve this in the 64 years of the event’s history. On receiving the award Nicholas remarked “I was not expecting to win the award. Being nominated in the same category as Mick Liddy and Mark Pollock and their amazing achievement was prestigious enough and also having competition like Oisin Van Gelderen and his speed sailing title so it really was great to have my accomplishments recognised.”
The black-tie Awards Ball was a great success with 315 guests attending from all corners of the Irish and International boating community including German Markus Hendricks and his English crew Eric Smilie, winners of the ISA Powerboating Achievement of the Year award for their win at the Round Ireland Powerboat Race in Galway in May 2010. Minister for Sport, Mary Hanafin, who was in attendance at the event, commented on how struck she was by the passion each guest had for their sport and how highly the ISA is regarded within the Irish Sports Council and other statutory bodies.
The Awards Ball was also the first event for the ISA’s new President Niamh McCutcheon who was elected earlier that day at the ISA AGM. Niamh has now made history becoming the first female ISA President since the organisation was founded in 1945. Niamh remarked “I am delighted and honoured to be elected as ISA President for the next 3 years and this Awards Ball has been an excellent introduction for me. It provides a platform for the ISA to officially acknowledge and commend some of the outstanding contributors to our sports and we’re delighted to host this event.”
As watersports enthusiasts, ISA members are aware of the tremendous work the RNLI do each and every day. In order to support their tireless work the event also held a collection in aid of the RNLI which raised over €2,250.
And the winners are...
ISA Sailing Achievement of the Year
Sponsored by Euro Car Parks
This award is presented by the ISA to recognise the outstanding achievement in a sailing craft by an Irish person or in Ireland during 2010.
Winner: Nicholas ‘Nin’ O’Leary, Royal Cork Yacht Club
Nicholas’ achievements included narrowly beating his father Anthony at the ISA All Ireland Championships in 2010 by just a single point after a nail-biting finale in difficult conditions off Kinsale in November. The win made it three-in-a-row for this remarkable young 24 year old sailor - the only person to achieve this in the 64 years of the event’s history.
ISA Powerboating Achievement of the Year
Sponsored by Yachtsman euromarine
This award is presented by the ISA to recognise the outstanding achievement in a motorboat craft by an Irish person or in Ireland during 2010.
Winner: Markus Hendrick and Eric Smillie.
Marcus and Eric were the only international entry in the Round Ireland Powerboat Race which started and finished in Galway in May 2010. With their Classic P1 boat “Chinzano” with its twin 650hp inboard engines they won consistently on each of the five legs, burning 7,000 litres of fuel during the race, crossing the finish line, airborne travelling @ 83kts. Markus and Eric have vowed to return and race in the future.
ISA Volunteer of the Year
Sponsored by Eirisk
This award is given to a member of an ISA affiliated club or class who has made a significant voluntary contribution to their sport during 2010.
Winner: Brian Craig, Royal St. George Yacht Club.
Brian has been nominated by the Royal St. George Yacht Club for the vital role he has played in developing sailing in Ireland and specifically Dun Laoghaire over the past 40 years. His most recent success was winning the bid for Dun Laoghaire to host the 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds.
ISA Youth Sailor of the Year
Sponsored by Spirit Motor Group
This award is presented by the ISA to recognise the outstanding achievement by a sailor competing in ISA Performance Pathway boats during 2010.
Winner: Finn Lynch, Blessington Sailing Club
Placing 2nd overall at the Topper World Championships in 2010 left the Carlow sailor in good stead for a Youth Sailor nomination. A determined sailor and strong character, it’s clear that with these strengths Finn has the potential to go far in our sport.
ISA Instructor of the Year
Sponsored by Parasol Sun Care
This award recognises the role instructors have in providing access to our sports. The final 5 have been nominated by their students with the ultimate winner selected by an ISA judging panel.
Winner: Aine Carroll, Rush Sailing Club
Aine has been an ISA instructor for the last 11 years, instructing both adult and junior sailors in Rush Sailing Club. A keen Mermaid sailor, her love of sailing, her enthusiasm for the sport and willingness to give her time to her sailors have been infectious and remarkable. Apparently the kids at the club think she is a 'legend' and ‘cool’.
ISA Training Centre of the Year
Sponsored by Dublin Port Company
The face of ISA water sports to thousands of participants. The best in 2010 as nominated by their students.
Winner: University of Limerick Activity Centre
Situated on the sheltered shores of Lough Derg, University of Limerick Activity Centre has been in operation for over a decade. ULAC provides a varied programme of adventure activities to the general public. The University of Limerick Activity Centre runs ISA courses in sailing dinghies, windsurfers, powerboat as well as emergency care training courses.