Looking back at a summer of performance – a review from Performance Director James O’Callaghan.
With one major event to go before the end of the year, Performance Director James O’Callaghan rounds up this summer’s main activities and highlights for the Irish Sailing Team and looks ahead to the winter schedule.
Laser Radial Olympic Qualification
The highlight of the summer was the Laser Radial qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. There will now be a three-event trial early in 2020 to decide who will represent Ireland. There’s one spot, and four women contesting – Annalise Murphy, Aoife Hopkins, Aisling Keller, and Eve McMahon. At 16, Eve is the youngest of the four.
49ers look to Auckland
The World Sailing World Cup in Enoshima, venue for the 2020 Olympic sailing regatta took place in August and saw 49er team Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle finish as medal race finalists and in 10th position overall. After Enoshima, Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle ended their 49erFX campaign as their progress was not where they wanted it to be. Annalise is now focussing on the Laser Radial. The 49ers’ next chance to qualify for the Olympics is at the 2019 World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand. Their first race is on December 3rd and we’ll be updating you on their progress. The teams will likely need to secure a top 8 position to secure Ireland’s place.
Other highlights this summer included Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove’s outstanding U23 49er World Championships bronze medal, and Eve McMahon’s Laser Radial World Championships bronze medal and U17 World Title.
Another chance for the Laser to qualify
Although the Men did not qualify in the Laser, there is still one more opportunity to qualify in April 2020. The Genoa World Cup event will see three Irish Lasers compete for the qualification – Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon. If Ireland qualifies, the Laser spot will be given to the person who is first past the post.
Teams down under
The teams now travel to the southern hemisphere for training and competition – the Lasers train in Australia for November and December, and are joined by the Laser Radial team after Christmas. The 49ers leave for New Zealand in early November.
In other news…
Two-time Olympian Matt McGovern has taken over the 49er squad as coach. He replaces Ross Killian who continues to work with us as performance consultant specialising in the review process.
The Irish Sailing Academy has three new sailors on trial: Moss Simington, Ellie Cunnane and Jonathan O’Shaughnessy. They join Tom Higgins, Michael O’Suilleabhain, Eve McMahon and coach Sean Evans.
And finally, the Irish Sailing Youth National Championships take place in April 2020. More information to come shortly.