Performance Director

James O'Callaghan

Irish Sailing Performance Director

Since 2006 James has been responsible for the development and delivery of athlete-focused, coach-led, performance-measured programmes across the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway.  

A Business & Economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he is a Level 3 Qualified Coach and Level 2 Coach Tutor. James also has a Diploma in Executive Coaching from University College Cork.

He is also a member of the Irish Sailing Foundation board.

The Coaches and Support

colin kavanagh

Graduate of University College Dublin and Athens 2004 Laser Class Olympian.

Working with Performance Director James O’Callaghan, Rory will create greater opportunities for the sailors through performance planning, athlete and coach review structures, overseeing interactions with team support services, and creating development strategies for the coaching team. Rory’s aim is to get the best coaching knowledge from our teams and generate a progressive Olympic-cycle legacy. 

colin kavanagh

A graduate of Swansea University with a degree in Sports Science.  Sean was previously an Olympic 49er coach in Rio 2016.




colin kavanagh

Vasilij joined the Irish Sailing Performance Coaching team in 2018. He is a 3-time Olympic Medallist having won a bronze in Athens 2004, silver in Beijing 2008 & another silver in Rio 2016 making him the most successful Olympian in Slovenia.



colin kavanagh

Matt McGovern represented Ireland in the 49er class at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He retired in February 2018, and since then has been working with the RYA Northern Ireland as High Performance Manager. Matt will oversee our two 49er teams with the aim of bringing them to a world-class level in senior Olympic sailing, and with a view to preparing for the challenge of Tokyo 2020 and beyond to 2024.

colin kavanagh

Scott Flanigan represented Ireland in the 470 Class in London 2012. He is a graduate of Earth Sciences at Trinity College Dublin and an MSc at Bayes Business School. Scott has several years work experience in analytical and research fields in finance and trading. He acquired further technical skills through an executive course in Data Science and machine learning with Imperial College London.  

Support Services


Support services provided by ...

  • Mark McCabe Physiotherapist, S+C
  • Kate Kirby Psychologist
  • Jessie Barr Psychologist
  • Ronan Doherty Nutritionist
  • Willemien Phelan Meteorology