Sailor of The Year Nominee!
Laura has been nominated for her stellar year of racing. Most recently finishing up in her position as Overseas Rear Commodore of the RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club) Dillon is no stranger to international waters. We interviewed Laura, to hear all about what she has taken away from 2022.
Here in Ireland she sails as part of the J99 Crew, who won Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) Boat of the Year 2022 ‘Snapshot’ that sails out of Howth Yacht Club and won their Autumn League in 2022. She also co-helmed Snapshot to win the Irish Sailing Sia Partners Women at the Helm event in August in the National Yacht Club.
Dillon was also delighted to win ICRA class 1 at Cork week, as tactician onboard Journeymaker II, J111.
Then just a little further afield in Cowes, UK, Dillon was named Top Female Helm at Cowes week, where her boat Winsome, also placed 2nd. Here Dillon sails on a Dutch boat, Winsome, with a crew she has sailed with for the past 12 years. Winsome had a good season in 2022 and Dillon skippered them to class wins in RORC Easter Regatta and also Round the Isle of Wight race.
Finally, we scale up and move a little further South; to an Oyster 82, Zig Zag and across to Antigua to be precise. In March 2022 and again this March 2023, Laura is doing tactics on ZigZag, an Oyster 82 from UK, whom she has raced with for over 10 years.
Dillon takes every opportunity to get in a mixture of sailing and is keen to promote the sport wherever she can. Whether this be in her home club of Howth, to a wider audience with Irish Sailing or through family and friends. Loving the team element of the sport she has now racked up over 35 years of competitive international sailing, she comments that;
“The competitive element is what keeps me coming back! You are forced to switch off from work, as you simply can’t be thinking about anything else on a start line.”
When asked if she has any highlights from 2022, she recollected on her time at the Women at the Helm event in Dun Laoghaire. Mentioning how special the event was to be amongst such a great group female sailors on and off the water, only made better by the stellar weather and summer conditions in Dublin Bay.
Finally Dillon mentioned how privileged she feels to be a part of this group of Nominees and how amazing the wide span of nominees is for the sport as a whole.
Leaving us with the quote “Sailing Is a Sport for Life!”
Congratulations Laura Dillon on all your successes and here’s to more in 2023!