colin kavanagh

Club: Kinsale Yacht Club

Professional/Business Experience: Has worked as self-employed accountant FCPA since 1978.

Sailing Experience: John Twomey is an Irish Paralympic athlete and sailor. He has represented Ireland at 11 consecutive Paralympic games winning medals at three of them. Starting off as a track and field athlete, he moved from athletics to sailing in 1996.

He has been the helmsman in the Mixed Three Person Sonar, a 23-foot two sail keelboat in the 2000 Sydney Games, 2004 Athens Games, 2012 London Games and 2016 Rio Games and the Mixed Two Person SKUD18 in 2008 Beijing Games.
At the 2015 ISAF World Championships in Weymouth, he teamed with Ian Costelloe and Austin O’Carroll to win the bronze medal in the Sonar Class. They finished sixth in the Miami event.
Twomey was elected President of the International Association for Disabled Sailing in 2012.

colin kavanagh

Club: Galway Bay Sailing Club

Sailing Experience: Vera started sailing at the age of 10 in a mirror and then a laser on Lough Derg and spent many years cruising with her parents in Ireland, France and Scotland. She participated in the Sydney to Hobart Race in 1988, on-board Asgard II and in 2004 she fulfilled a lifelong ambition to skipper a yacht across the North Atlantic. In 2019/20 Vera fulfilled another ambition a 14-month Atlantic circuit sailing adventure with her family. She is an active member of Galway bay Sailing Club and previously held the position of RC Training as part of the GBSC committee.  Vera is involved in all aspects of cruising through both the Irish Cruising Club and the Ocean Cruising Club

Professional/Business Experience: Vera studied a BSc in Marine Science and Hydrography at Liverpool John Moores University and followed a career in deep water 3D seismic exploration 1993 to 2006. In 2006 she began work at the Marine Institute of Ireland in Galway and concurrently was awarded an MSc in Coastal Zone management.  She is currently working as a marine scientist on INFOMAR, Ireland’s seabed mapping program.

colin kavanagh

Club: Baltimore Sailing Club

Sailing Experience: Niall began sailing in his early 20s and over the past 30 years has owned and raced boats in the 1720, J24 and Cruiser Classes in Dublin Bay, Baltimore, Wicklow, and Lough Derg. He has also cruised in both Irish and Mediterranean waters. He currently has a 1720 (his third) which after an absence of several years he hopes to have back racing in 2021. Niall was Commodore of Baltimore Sailing Club in 2018 and 2019 and served as Vice Commodore, Sailing Secretary and General Committee of the club over several years. He is a past member of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, National Yacht Club and Wicklow Sailing Club.

Professional/Business Experience: Niall recently retired after a 35-year business career spent predominantly in Human Resource Management (HRM) across a variety of organisation types and sectors. He is currently involved in several private business ventures and divides his time between West Cork and Dublin.

colin kavanagh

Club: Howth Yacht Club

Sailing Experience:  Richard started his sailing life in Mirror dinghies on Datchet reservoir.  He has successfully campaigned cruiser racing boats in several classes.   He began this journey in an Albin Express Relativity in Class 3, moved on to win several National Championships in his co-owned Corby 25’s Kinetic and Fusion in class 2,  and can be now be found campaigning his co-owned J109 OutraJeous in Class 1.

Professional/Business Experience:  Richard is CEO of polling and market research company RED C.  He founded RED C Research in 2003, and the company has grown to become the largest full service, market research and polling agency in Ireland.  He is also Vice President of WIN International Research group, a former Chairman of AIMRO the body that represents the market research industry in Ireland and also represents Ireland at ESOMAR, the European association for the market research industry.  He is a frequent media contributor and commentator on consumer trends and politics in Ireland and worldwide.

Area of Responsibility:  Richard was elected Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) Commodore in November 2018, and cruiser racing is his area of responsibility on board.

colin kavanagh

Club: Sligo Yacht Club

Sailing Experience: Nancy started sailing when she moved to the North West Coast of Ireland from her native Belgium at the age of 25. After an initial few years crewing in the cruiser class of SYC she found her niche in the front of a GP14. She lives in South Sligo with her husband and 3 kids. Once her eldest son was of sailing age she joined him in the Mirror fleet and when not crewing in a GP 14 is regularly spotted helming one of the mirrors she shares with her kids. Nancy is an active member of Sligo Yacht Club, having previously served as secretary, centre principal and now focuses on driving the development of the Junior Mirror fleet. Nancy is the chair-person of Safe Haven Ireland, a charity which creates youth/integration development projects through the sport of sailing for young people from a migrant background.

Professional/Business Experience: Nancy is an experienced HR professional currently working with a Local Development Company in Co. Sligo.

Area of Responsibility on the Board: Training

colin kavanagh

Clubs - Royal Irish Yacht Club and Irish Cruising Club

Sailing Experience  - Andrew started sailing aged 5 tied to the stern of Arandora, a Dublin Bay 24, his father’s idea of babysitting. He was raised around boats and developed his love of sailing in Mirror Dinghies. Today he owns Chinook, a Beneteau 21, and races regularly in Dublin Bay. Andrew is an annual visitor to the Mediterranean, where the Croatian coastline is his favourite place to sail.

Professional Experience: Andrew is an entrepreneur in the Irish design sector having successfully built his own design management and brand strategy consultancy, Bradley Brand. He is is a Director of the Institute of Designers in Ireland. In 2017 he was a ministerial appointment to the Board of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. He also Chairman of Design Skillnet, a Government of Ireland initiate for enterprise led training.

colin kavanagh

Club: Killaloe Sailing Club

Sailing Experience: Sue lives near Killaloe with her husband Kieron, having made a long held dream a reality when they moved to Ireland from the UK in 2014.   They started sailing rather later in life on sailing cruisers and transitioned to dinghies when they joined Killaloe Sailing Club in 2014.  Sue has been active member of the club’s committee for a number of years and is currently the Rear Commodore and Chair of the Development Committee.

Professional Experience: Sue Concannon has spent over 30 years stock broking/related market areas and has been an independent Non Executive Director of Euroclear UK & Ireland since 2011 where she also chairs the nominations, remuneration and governance committee and is a member of the audit committee.  Prior to this, Sue was CEO of a retail stockbroking subsidiary of the UK Bank HBOS, a role she held for 13 years.  Previous roles were as Business Development Director of ShareLink and a number of years in operations management for a computer company.


colin kavanagh

Clubs: Howth Yacht Club and Royal Ocean Racing Club

Sailing Experience: David started his sailing career in Kilbarrack Sailing Club in his trusted Optimist, leading into Mirrors and then Lasers with some success. He first started yacht racing at 16 on Rockabill II and moved on a couple of years later to sail on half tonners and three quarter tonners, both domestically and also in numerous ISORA and Round Irelands. He graduated onto more international boats racing Fastnets, Cowes Weeks and spent several summers racing in the Solent with considerable success including Cowes Week overall winners and also sailing in three Commodore’s Cups. At the same time he sailed his Impala 28 owned with some friends and dominated any Class 3 events they participated in, going ironically full circle back into half tonners, this time the turbo charged versions with King One and now Checkmate XV in which he is the current European Champion.

Professional/Business Career: David is the Managing Director of Euro Car Parks in Ireland, one of the largest and most successful parking operators in the State. He is a regular media commentator on matters parking and transport. He also is involved in several property development and management companies and is a qualified Chartered Surveyor, having started life as an Accountant for Esso in the UK.

colin kavanagh

Clubs: National Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club

Frank, better known as Mal, started sailing in his teens in 420s then 470s, before settling into the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen fleet where he sailed with the late Jack Roy for nearly 14 years. After that he moved on to cruisers and spent several years ISORA racing before taking an interest in real cruising and race management. He has often cruised to France and Spain as well as enjoying many charter holidays in Greece and the Caribbean. He holds a Yachtmaster Offshore and many other certificates and qualifications including RYA National Mark Layer and RYA Sail measurer. He developed the mark laying qualification system for Irish Sailing and has been a member of the Race Officials Policy Group for some years. In 2019 Mal joined the Irish Sailing Governance Committee.

Mal is a member of the National Yacht Club for 40+ years where he held positions of Sailing Secretary, Junior Organiser and Honorary Secretary. He is also a member of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

Now retired, Mal practised as a solicitor and was a partner in the Dispute Resolution department of Matheson for 24 years.  Subsequently he established a property management and receivership practice, now part of WKN Real Estate Advisors, where he continues as a consultant.

colin kavanagh

Club: Sutton Dinghy Club

Sailing background: Katie grew up in Cork and was introduced to sailing and boats at a young age through her family. She is a former member of Monkstown Bay SC and the RCYC. She was particularly involved with the National 18 Class and won the Irish Nationals with her father, Tom. Katie spent several years crewing in J24s, ynglings, etchells and match racing, representing Ireland in the Nations Cup in 2006. She also enjoys cruising with her Cork family in their Victory 40.

Katie is currently a member of Sutton Dinghy Club and sails a GP14. She has secured several Top 3 results in the Irish Fleet and in 2018 at the GP14 World Championship Katie won 1st female helm and was part of the 1st all female crew.

Katie is passionate about supporting women in the sport. In 2021, she was invited to speak the RYA dinghy show - “Women Win Too”, and as part of World Sailing’s Women Sailing Festival on the subject of women helms.

Katie is the Treasurer of the GP14 Class Association of Ireland.

Professional Qualifications: Katie is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and has held several senior finance positions. She is currently Head of Finance at the IT services provider, Ergo.

She also holds a Diploma Qualification with the Institute of Directors.

colin kavanagh

Growing up in Kinsale Boatyard Tessa was exposed to a variety of sailing experiences from a young age and completed a round-Ireland sail at age 16 with a youth crew which hooked her on cruising. Tessa became a sailing instructor at 17 and has been sailing instructor trainer for 12 years and also gaining her yacht master offshore and working as a cruising instructor. This has involved many sailing adventures and deliveries across Europe, New Zealand and the Caribbean. Tessa has dabbled in racing Dragons and cruisers, but as her main passion lies in training, she often finds herself running a training course instead. Tessa spends her summers aboard an Albin Vega 27 which has been her portal into boat life in Ireland.


Tessa worked across Ireland and the USA for 10 years instructing sailing and other outdoor activities. Recognizing the positive impact that instructing sailing and being outdoors had on her own mental health and wellbeing, Tessa pursued an undergrad in Psychology and a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy. She now works to combine the two disciplines and is involved in many projects across the ‘adventure therapy’ field. She is operations manager at Sailing into Wellness (a not for profit organisation that offers therapeutic programmes on the sea); a director of Surf2Heal (a camp for people with autism), and a part-time counsellor and psychotherapist. Tessa is a Pride Ambassador for Irish Sailing. 



colin kavanagh

Bill O’Hara was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) on the New Year’s Honours List for his services to sailing. Bill has worked with Irish Sailing since the late 1980s. He is on the Olympic Steering Group, and set up the Academy Team; he represented Ireland at LA and Seoul Olympics and is now an international judge, umpire and race officer.

Irish Sailing Association Presidents

Name From


Douglas Heard 1945 1962
Clayton Love Junior 1962 1972
Johnny Walker 1972 1977
Patrick Kirwan 1977 1982
John Bourke 1982 1985
Peter Gray 1985 1988
Paddy O'Neill 1988 1992
Barry Rose 1992 1994
Roger Bannon 1994 1996
Neil Murphy 1996 1998
Paddy Maguire 1998 2002
John Crebbin 2002 2005
Robert Dix 2005 2008
Peter Crowley 2008 2011
Niamh McCutcheon 2011 2014
David Lovegrove 2014 2017
Jack Roy 2017 2020
David O'Brien 2020 2021
John Twomey 2021 -