Offshore racing and bravery honoured at Volvo Irish Sailing Awards

Conor Fogerty’s triumphant trans-Atlantic race win earned him the overall honour of Volvo Irish Sailor of the Year at a ceremony in Dublin last night. Dramatic life-saving incidents were also recognised amongst the awards.

Conor Fogerty was named tonight as Volvo Sailor of the Year at the Volvo Irish Sailing Awards. Hosted by Irish Sailing, the annual event drew a record crowd of over 400 people from across the sailing community to celebrate an eventful year of sailing. Conor won for his battle to win the Single-Handed East-West Transatlantic race. The Howth sailor showed skill and determination sailing his Sunfast 36000 Bam through ferocious weather, which felled other international competitors – the race  was no joyride, and he thoroughly deserved his win and the prestigious Gipsy Moth Trophy.

The Irish Sailing President’s Awards were given to Simon Hoffmann, Santiago Alegre, Jay Stacy and Cian Mollen for their bravery and heroism in rescuing fellow sailors Johnny Durcan and Colin Byrne. Also recognised was Carmel Winkelmann, a nonagenarian of the National YC who has been at the forefront of junior sail training since the 1960s.

Dan McGaughey of Donaghadee Sailing Club in NI took home the Volvo Youth Sailor of the year for his performance internationally in the Topper class, culminating in placing 3 rd at the Topper World Championships in Loctudy, France. The Youth award was hotly contested from a shortlist which shows the depth of talented young sailors flying up the ranks.

Crookhaven Harbour Sailing Club took home the Volvo Irish Sailing Training Centre of the Year award, having been nominated as winners of the South Region. The two other nominees on the shortlist were Galway City Sailing Club (West & North Region winners) and Bray Sailing Club (winner of the East Region).

Volvo Irish Sailing Senior Instructor of the Year Award went to Kate Caldwell of Mullaghmore Sailing Club in Sligo. She received the award for exceptional services to instructing and training.

Also thanked at the awards were Matt McGovern, recently retired two-time Olympian, and his brother Russell McGovern for his services to performance coaching.


The Awards took place on Friday 9 February at the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin.

There are four categories:

You can find out all the nominees below, and we look forward to seeing you in February at the Awards.

See full details of the Afloat Sailors of the Month here.



Volvo Irish Sailing Training Centre of the Year 2017

Recognising the dedication to providing training opportunities in their region.
Bray Sailing Club
Crookhaven Harbour Sailing Club
Galway City Sailing Club


Volvo Irish Sailing Senior Instructor of the Year 2017

Recognising the hard work and expertise shown as a Senior Instructor.
Brian Leonard Baltimore Sailing Club
Kate Caldwell Mullaghmore Sailing Club
Andrew Levie Wexford Harbour Boat & Tennis Club


Volvo Youth Sailor of the Year 2017

Recognising the excellent performance of our young Irish Sailors overseas
Sally Bell 10th Radial Youth Worlds
Johnny Durcan 1st Europa Cup Hoorn (Radial)
Dan McGaughey 3rd in Topper World Championships, Loctudy in France
Eve McMahon Bronze U17 Radial Youth Worlds
Ewan McMahon 8th Radial Youth Worlds
Loghlen Rickard Youth Laser Radial North American Champion (6th overall)


Volvo Sailor of the Year 2017

Nominees taken from the Afloat magazine Sailor of the Month list.
Stewart Hosford January
Alex Thompson January
Daragh Nagle February
Ian Moore February
Richard Roberts March
Ewan McMahon April
Tom Dolan April
Saskia Tidey April
The Kelly Family (Rush SC) May
Conor Fogerty June
John Maybury June
Nin O'Leary July
Frank Kowalski July
Aoife Hopkins July
Simon Hoffman August
Santiago Alegro August
Fionn Lyden August
Michael Boyd August
Peter Dunlop September
Vicky Cox September
Lorcan Tighe September
Michael O'Connor September
Damian Foxall October
Michael O'Suillebhain October
Paul O'Higgins November
Liam Manning November
Finn Lynch December
Jim Cooney & Gordon Maguire December

2017 awards irish sailng