Optimist Incident Report

Optimist Incident Report

Irish Sailing Publishes Optimist Incident Report

In October 2017 the Irish Sailing Performance Optimist Squad were training in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Early into this coaching session, winds significantly changed direction and gusts increased in strength, as the south-western edge of Storm Brian’s eye-wall approached, resulting in a number of boats being abandoned and damaged. While no sailors were harmed, the incident raised questions around the policies, processes and procedures of Irish Sailing’s performance coaching programmes that are now undergoing a thorough review. We immediately appointed independent external advisors acting on a voluntary basis, to investigate and report on the incident. The investigators spent over 1,000 hours interviewing various stakeholders and examining data to compile a report. It is important to note that the purpose of the investigation was to identify gaps and issues with a view to improving our processes, rather than to apportion blame.

In the executive summary attached below we set out some contextual background; the synopsis, summary analysis, and the recommendations from the report; along with a number of changes which were implemented by Irish Sailing immediately post incident, and actions following submission of the final report to the Irish Sailing Board of Directors. The full report is also attached below.

What happens now ?

  • There are several actions that we immediately put into place since the incident, and before the report was published. You can read all these in the executive summary
  • In addition, we have established a working group that will work with the CEO to implement all the report’s recommendations
  • We hope that one of the positive outcomes from all this will be clearer guidance for Clubs, Classes and Training Centres organising general water-based activities that fall outside the formal structures of our training schemes

For any queries please contact Harry Hermon CEO (