Performance Update: Christmas Special

Performance Update: Christmas Special

Irish Sailing Performance Update: Christmas Special

Welcome to the final Performance Update of 2022. Results continued to break records in the youth programme with Rocco Wright claiming gold at the ILCA European Championships, and Eve McMahon nominated for the high-profile RTE Sportsperson of the Year Awards.  

Rocco Wright takes gold in Hyères:

After battling at the top of his 60 boat event, Irish Sailing Academy’s Rocco Wright emerged overall winner of the ILCA6 Men's European Championship (21st November) in Hyères, France. The 16 year old also won the U21 division. This win adds to his Youth World Championship gold won in the Netherlands in July. 

The ILCA6 Men's event is the stepping-stone class to senior level competition for the ILCA7 used at the Olympic Games. 

"Rocco has worked hard on his fitness since the summer; this work was rewarded with the stellar performances in breeze earlier in the week" said James O'Callaghan, Performance Director with Irish Sailing.  "The result and his superb 2022 season is not only a tribute to him but also to the support of his family and wider community in Howth Yacht Club." 

"I'm extremely happy with this week as the first few days were very challenging and that was my weakness coming out of summer," he said.  "I'm just speechless to be world and European champion this year. It was always a dream of mine to win a worlds and a European and to do it the same year... I'm just over the moon!" said Rocco.  


Half Term action for the Irish Sailing Winter Squads  

Even as the days get colder, the weather doesn’t stop our Youth and Junior Squads getting out and active on the water.  Half term saw over 150 Optimists, fifteen ILCA 4 (formerly Laser 4.7), twenty Toppers, ten Academy sailors and 29ers, and some 420s out on the water across the country.   

The Optimist National training week held at Lough Derg Yacht club was a resounding success. Despite a breezy start, this did not stop the fun and long list of onshore training activities for all the sailors. As well as top coaching the clinic also saw education around physical training and research led workshops on talent development, which over 50 parents attended.   

Meanwhile Liam Glynn, former Irish Sailing Team member held ILCA 4 and Topper junior squads coaching in Dun Laoghaire over the half term. 

“It was back to basics for the sailors, teaching them how the sail works and how the precise adjustments of shape they make are massively important to the speed of their boats” commented Liam.  

He also had over twenty boats from other clubs in Dun Laoghaire join in some of the racing. Opening the clinics like this allows local sailors to see where the level is at in the country.  

Weeks like this are a key component for inspiring and driving the next generation of sailors. Irish Sailing Development Coach Sean Evans said “It is great to see so much activity still on the water after such a busy summer season, there has been really positive turnout in all the classes, and we aim to continue this through the coming winter months.”   


Award season for Eve:

Thanks to her stellar summer, Eve McMahon has been nominated for two awards: the high profile RTE Sports Person of the Year Award, taking place on 17 December where she’s nominated in the Youth category alongside four other young sports stars, and the Outsider Awards, in the Woman of the Year category. These awards will take place in early 2023. 


Major events to come in Q1 2023:

  • Princesa Sofia Regatta (ILCAs and 49ers) 1-8 April Palma, Mallorca, Spain 

  • Irish Sailing Youth National Championships 13-16 April Howth YC 

  • Olympic Week (ILCAs and 49ers) 22-29 April Hyeres, France 


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