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Displaying items by tag: Paris 2024 Olympics

Jordi Xammar and Nora Brugman (ESP) have been crowned 470 dinghy World Champions of 2024. After five days of competition in a variety of conditions on the Bay of Palma, the stormy conditions of Sunday meant no Medal Race to conclude the 470 World Championship in Mallorca. The Spanish team would have taken an 11-point advantage into the final race so there is no doubt they are the worthy champions of the week.

Fast across the range

In the lighter breeze of the first three days the Japanese teams were unstoppable. When the breeze lifted to moderate 14-16 knots, Germany’s Simon Diesch and Anna Markfort scored two bullets. The Spanish were always waiting in the wings, and in the end their consistency earned them a well deserved first world title.

Runner-up at the previous two Worlds, Brugman was delighted and relieved to have brought the title home, especially on home waters. “We have been winning a lot of medals over the past couple of years but we needed to work on some areas to be strong enough to believe we could win gold. I’m really proud of this team and what we have achieved.”

Always pushing for more

Xammar paid tribute to his crew and their coach, Juan de la Fuente. “Nora is always pushing me to new levels, her commitment is never ending, and I’m so proud of her. And we are pushed hard by Juan to work harder than ever. He is the best. Winning today feels incredible. You don't get too many opportunities like this and especially to win a world title here in Spain.” Xammar has an Olympic bronze from Tokyo 2020 and de la Fuente won two bronze medals in the 470 for Argentina in 2000 and 2012. Now the goal is to turn bronze into gold for Paris 2024.

While the Spanish gold marks them as favourites for Olympic glory this summer at Paris 2024, there are some fast-improving teams from other nations. Vita Heathcote and Chris ‘Twiggy’ Grube have defied everyone’s expectations, including their own, to win a silver medal at these Worlds. “What we’ve achieved this week, it’s beyond our wildest dreams,” smiled Heathcote. “At this stage in the cycle as well, when everyone's putting their bringing their A-game to the event, this is amazing.”

Through thick and thin

It has been an extremely difficult few months in the build-up to the Worlds, with Grube suffering from chronic back pain and Heathcote battling illness and fatigue, yet somehow it all came together when it really mattered. “We’ve got an amazing team behind us, great training partners, and I couldn’t do any of this without the support of my wife Meg,” said Grube, the two-time Olympian who was reluctantly coaxed out of retirement by Heathcote looking to make it to her first Games.

After holding 1st, 2nd and 5th places in the Championship during the first couple of days, the Japanese teams fell down the order as the breeze increased. But the defending World Champions from 2023, Keiju Okada and Miho Yoshioka, held on for bronze and were positive about their experience. “We are happy with how we performed this week,” said Yoshioka, “and to win another medal is a great pleasure and honour for us.” Okada added: “This is also part of our selection trials for the Olympics so we have made a good start and we will continue to work hard over the coming weeks and months.”

Britain back on track

For a country that hadn’t even qualified a place at the Olympic Games, the British squad really stepped up this week and took overall victory in the Nations Cup, based on the best two results from each country. Heathcote and Grube’s silver was supported by a 9th place by training partners Martin Wrigley and Bettine Harris. The British won a tiebreak with the Japanese who finished as second best nation with Germany coming third.

470 Class president Andreas Kosmatopoulos awarded the David Barnes Trophy to the winning team from Spain. Barnes, who died in 2020, is fondly remembered as one of the legends of the 470 class. “I feel greatly honoured to be able to award the David Barnes Trophy to our new 470 World Champions. Apart from being an outstanding sailor, David was an innovator, a deep thinker, a great man. He used to practise after dark, because it made sailing in daylight easy for him. David, with Hamish Willcox crewing, went on to win three 470 World Championships in such a style that it changed the way we looked at 470 racing forever.”

470 Class executive director Dimitris Dimou praised the hosts, Club Nàutic S’Arenal, for organising one of the best events in many years and looked forward to bringing back the 470 fleet very soon. For now the 470 fleet looks towards the next major events on the calendar including the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma less than a month from now, followed by Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères, and the 470 European Championship in Cannes in early May.

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Ireland has taken the single Paris 2024 Olympic berth after today’s 49er Europen Championships medal race was cancelled in Vilamoura due to lack of wind.

Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove led the five nation fight for the single place on offer and had sailed a consistent series to be eight overall when racing was scrubbed.

The medal race was billed as a nailbiting showdown for the nation’s spot, with Italians Simone Ferrarese and Leonardo Chistè desperate to close the 3 point gap on their Irish rivals.

Having finished day one in 46th place, the Italians got better by the day and could have posed a serious threat to Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove.

When the racing was cancelled, the Irish burst into celebration and when they came ashore, the welcoming party was dressed in green, including Dickson’s parents. “We’re just over the moon,” said Dickson as he clinked champagne glasses with his teammate. “A massive relief to win a place at the Games.” 

The Irish programme now focuses on a 2024 trial series involving Ireland's second 49er campaign sailed by Royal Cork's Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan to decide who will be on the Marseille start line now that Ireland has earned its place.

France wins

Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros of France won the 49er European Championships overall by less than a point from Dominik Buksak and Szymon Wierzbicki from Poland. If the Medal Race had gone ahead, they would have gone in effectively tied and ready to compete in a who-beats-who scenario. The points were so tight in the men’s 49ers that any of the top six would have had a realistic shot at the gold medal.

But with the wind failing to materialise, Rual and Amoros can celebrate their first major victory in the 49er class. Buksak and Wierzbicki took the silver, and Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie of New Zealand the bronze.

Having led for much of the week, Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl will be disappointed to have missed the podium by just 2 points, but at least the Austrians know they are back in the game and able to compete at the highest level after a lacklustre year.

Read more about the progress of Ireland's top 49er duo in our dedicated Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove category

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Irish Olympic Sailing Team

Ireland has a proud representation in sailing at the Olympics dating back to 1948. Today there is a modern governing structure surrounding the selection of sailors the Olympic Regatta

Irish Olympic Sailing FAQs

Ireland’s representation in sailing at the Olympics dates back to 1948, when a team consisting of Jimmy Mooney (Firefly), Alf Delany and Hugh Allen (Swallow) competed in that year’s Summer Games in London (sailing off Torquay). Except for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Ireland has sent at least one sailor to every Summer Games since then.

  • 1948 – London (Torquay) — Firefly: Jimmy Mooney; Swallow: Alf Delany, Hugh Allen
  • 1952 – Helsinki — Finn: Alf Delany * 1956 – Melbourne — Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1960 – Rome — Flying Dutchman: Johnny Hooper, Peter Gray; Dragon: Jimmy Mooney, David Ryder, Robin Benson; Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1964 – Tokyo — Dragon: Eddie Kelliher, Harry Maguire, Rob Dalton; Finn: Johnny Hooper 
  • 1972 – Munich (Kiel) — Tempest: David Wilkins, Sean Whitaker; Dragon: Robin Hennessy, Harry Byrne, Owen Delany; Finn: Kevin McLaverty; Flying Dutchman: Harold Cudmore, Richard O’Shea
  • 1976 – Montreal (Kingston) — 470: Robert Dix, Peter Dix; Flying Dutchman: Barry O’Neill, Jamie Wilkinson; Tempest: David Wilkins, Derek Jago
  • 1980 – Moscow (Tallinn) — Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson (Silver medalists) * 1984 – Los Angeles — Finn: Bill O’Hara
  • 1988 – Seoul (Pusan) — Finn: Bill O’Hara; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; 470 (Women): Cathy MacAleavy, Aisling Byrne
  • 1992 – Barcelona — Europe: Denise Lyttle; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; Star: Mark Mansfield, Tom McWilliam
  • 1996 – Atlanta (Savannah) — Laser: Mark Lyttle; Europe: Aisling Bowman (Byrne); Finn: John Driscoll; Star: Mark Mansfield, David Burrows; 470 (Women): Denise Lyttle, Louise Cole; Soling: Marshall King, Dan O’Grady, Garrett Connolly
  • 2000 – Sydney — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, David O'Brien
  • 2004 – Athens — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, Killian Collins; 49er: Tom Fitzpatrick, Fraser Brown; 470: Gerald Owens, Ross Killian; Laser: Rory Fitzpatrick
  • 2008 – Beijing (Qingdao) — Star: Peter O’Leary, Stephen Milne; Finn: Tim Goodbody; Laser Radial: Ciara Peelo; 470: Gerald Owens, Phil Lawton
  • 2012 – London (Weymouth) — Star: Peter O’Leary, David Burrows; 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy; Laser: James Espey; 470: Gerald Owens, Scott Flanigan
  • 2016 – Rio — Laser Radial (Women): Annalise Murphy (Silver medalist); 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; 49erFX: Andrea Brewster, Saskia Tidey; Laser: Finn Lynch; Paralympic Sonar: John Twomey, Ian Costello & Austin O’Carroll

Ireland has won two Olympics medals in sailing events, both silver: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman at Moscow 1980, and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial at Rio 2016.

The current team, as of December 2020, consists of Laser sailors Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon, 49er pairs Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, and Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson, as well as Laser Radial sailors Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins.

Irish Sailing is the National Governing Body for sailing in Ireland.

Irish Sailing’s Performance division is responsible for selecting and nurturing Olympic contenders as part of its Performance Pathway.

The Performance Pathway is Irish Sailing’s Olympic talent pipeline. The Performance Pathway counts over 70 sailors from 11 years up in its programme.The Performance Pathway is made up of Junior, Youth, Academy, Development and Olympic squads. It provides young, talented and ambitious Irish sailors with opportunities to move up through the ranks from an early age. With up to 100 young athletes training with the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway, every aspect of their performance is planned and closely monitored while strong relationships are simultaneously built with the sailors and their families

Rory Fitzpatrick is the head coach of Irish Sailing Performance. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and was an Athens 2004 Olympian in the Laser class.

The Performance Director of Irish Sailing is James O’Callaghan. 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. He has coached at five Olympic Games and numerous European and World Championship events across multiple Olympic classes. He is also a member of the Irish Sailing Foundation board.

Annalise Murphy is by far and away the biggest Irish sailing star. Her fourth in London 2012 when she came so agonisingly close to a bronze medal followed by her superb silver medal performance four years later at Rio won the hearts of Ireland. Murphy is aiming to go one better in Tokyo 2021. 

Under head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the coaching staff consists of Laser Radial Academy coach Sean Evans, Olympic Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar and 49er team coach Matt McGovern.

The Irish Government provides funding to Irish Sailing. These funds are exclusively for the benefit of the Performance Pathway. However, this falls short of the amount required to fund the Performance Pathway in order to allow Ireland compete at the highest level. As a result the Performance Pathway programme currently receives around €850,000 per annum from Sport Ireland and €150,000 from sponsorship. A further €2 million per annum is needed to have a major impact at the highest level. The Irish Sailing Foundation was established to bridge the financial gap through securing philanthropic donations, corporate giving and sponsorship.

The vision of the Irish Sailing Foundation is to generate the required financial resources for Ireland to scale-up and execute its world-class sailing programme. Irish Sailing works tirelessly to promote sailing in Ireland and abroad and has been successful in securing funding of 1 million euro from Sport Ireland. However, to compete on a par with other nations, a further €2 million is required annually to realise the ambitions of our talented sailors. For this reason, the Irish Sailing Foundation was formed to seek philanthropic donations. Led by a Board of Directors and Head of Development Kathryn Grace, the foundation lads a campaign to bridge the financial gap to provide the Performance Pathway with the funds necessary to increase coaching hours, upgrade equipment and provide world class sport science support to a greater number of high-potential Irish sailors.

The Senior and Academy teams of the Performance Pathway are supported with the provision of a coach, vehicle, coach boat and boats. Even with this level of subsidy there is still a large financial burden on individual families due to travel costs, entry fees and accommodation. There are often compromises made on the amount of days a coach can be hired for and on many occasions it is necessary to opt out of major competitions outside Europe due to cost. Money raised by the Irish Sailing Foundation will go towards increased quality coaching time, world-class equipment, and subsiding entry fees and travel-related costs. It also goes towards broadening the base of talented sailors that can consider campaigning by removing financial hurdles, and the Performance HQ in Dublin to increase efficiency and reduce logistical issues.

The ethos of the Performance Pathway is progression. At each stage international performance benchmarks are utilised to ensure the sailors are meeting expectations set. The size of a sailor will generally dictate which boat they sail. The classes selected on the pathway have been identified as the best feeder classes for progression. Currently the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway consists of the following groups: * Pathway (U15) Optimist and Topper * Youth Academy (U19) Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 420 * Development Academy (U23) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX * Team IRL (direct-funded athletes) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX

The Irish Sailing performance director produces a detailed annual budget for the programme which is presented to Sport Ireland, Irish Sailing and the Foundation for detailed discussion and analysis of the programme, where each item of expenditure is reviewed and approved. Each year, the performance director drafts a Performance Plan and Budget designed to meet the objectives of Irish Performance Sailing based on an annual review of the Pathway Programmes from Junior to Olympic level. The plan is then presented to the Olympic Steering Group (OSG) where it is independently assessed and the budget is agreed. The OSG closely monitors the delivery of the plan ensuring it meets the agreed strategy, is within budget and in line with operational plans. The performance director communicates on an ongoing basis with the OSG throughout the year, reporting formally on a quarterly basis.

Due to the specialised nature of Performance Sport, Irish Sailing established an expert sub-committee which is referred to as the Olympic Steering Group (OSG). The OSG is chaired by Patrick Coveney and its objective is centred around winning Olympic medals so it oversees the delivery of the Irish Sailing’s Performance plan.

At Junior level (U15) sailors learn not only to be a sailor but also an athlete. They develop the discipline required to keep a training log while undertaking fitness programmes, attending coaching sessions and travelling to competitions. During the winter Regional Squads take place and then in spring the National Squads are selected for Summer Competitions. As sailors move into Youth level (U19) there is an exhaustive selection matrix used when considering a sailor for entry into the Performance Academy. Completion of club training programmes, attendance at the performance seminars, physical suitability and also progress at Junior and Youth competitions are assessed and reviewed. Once invited in to the Performance Academy, sailors are given a six-month trial before a final decision is made on their selection. Sailors in the Academy are very closely monitored and engage in a very well planned out sailing, training and competition programme. There are also defined international benchmarks which these sailors are required to meet by a certain age. Biannual reviews are conducted transparently with the sailors so they know exactly where they are performing well and they are made aware of where they may need to improve before the next review.

©Afloat 2020

Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition

Where is the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition being held? Sailing at Paris 2024 will take place in Marseille on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea between 28 July and 8 August, and will feature Kiteboarding for the first time, following a successful Olympic debut in 2018 at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. The sailing event is over 700 km from the main Olympic Games venue in Paris.

What are the events? The Olympic Sailing Competition at Paris 2024 will feature ten Events:

  • Women’s: Windsurfing, Kite, Dinghy, Skiff
  • Men’s: Windsurfing, Kite, Dinghy, Skiff
  • Mixed: Dinghy, Multihull

How do you qualify for Paris 2024?  The first opportunity for athletes to qualify for Paris 2024 will be the Sailing World Championships, The Hague 2023, followed by the Men’s and Women’s Dinghy 2024 World Championships and then a qualifier on each of World Sailing’s six continents in each of the ten Events. The final opportunity is a last chance regatta to be held in 2024, just a few months before the Games begin.

50-50 split between male and female athletes: The Paris 2024 Games is set to be the first to achieve a 50-50 split between male and female athletes, building on the progress made at both Rio 2016 (47.5%) and Tokyo 2020 (48.8%). It will also be the first Olympic Games where two of the three Chief roles in the sailing event will be held by female officials,

At a Glance -  Paris Olympics Sailing Marseille

July 28th – August 8th Paris Olympics Sailing Marseille

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