James Espey from Ballyholme leads the three Providence Team IRL contenders for the sole Irish place in the Men’s single-handed event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Regatta. The final Irish trials event at the Laser World Championship has started in Mexico. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport.

Simon McGibney wants more clubs to ensure public know sport is accessible to all

Entries for this year’s Volvo Round Ireland Race have already reached almost 50 boats for the 704-mile event that starts at Wicklow on Saturday 18th June. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport.

IRCA National Championships and Round Ireland Race looking in rude health

Familiar sight: Tim Goodbody (left) at the helm of his Sigma 33 White Mischief that he and his crew campaigned for 17 years. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Veteran says fond farewell to David Thomas-design after 17 years

Providence Team Ireland’s Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton competing in the 49er skiff in Palma. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport.

After finishing fleet racing thinking first place was won, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern were scuppered by review

Providence Team Ireland’s Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern competing in the 49er skiff event where they are in joint first overall with three races remaining before the medal final. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

The London 2012 veterans are tied for first place with German and Austrian crews

Ireland’s Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern competing in the 49er skiff event at the Princesa Sofía Regatta where they are in joint first overall with up to four races remaining. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport.

Howth Yacht Club hosts country’s future hopefuls in what is now a pathway event

Team Providence Ireland sailors Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey competing in the 49erFX skiff class on the opening day of racing in the Princess Sofia Olympic classes regatta on the Bay of Palma. As a result of their performance at the world championships in November, the pair have qualified Ireland for Rio 2016. Photograph: David Branigan

The London 2012 veterans have already qualified Ireland for Rio 2016

 The IRC handicap system will be used as usual in 2016 sailing events such as the Volvo Round Ireland Race in June. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport.

Decision of what handicapping measures should be used still up for some debate

Team Ireland entry Quokka 8 chartered by Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling in action during the 2014 Commodores’ Cup. Photograph:  David Branigan/Oceansport

ICRA officials acknowledge the economic situation may hinder efforts to complete team

Anthony O’Leary’s Antix during the Commodore’s Cup in 2010 that saw Ireland win it’s first major international trophy at Cowes. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport.

Handicapping issue again to fore ahead of ICRA conference in Limerick

Liam Shanahan, 2015 Sailor of the Year, with his daughter Alice (left) and wife Ruth. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Skipper of J109 Ruth credits recognition of amateur sailors as he receives award

Record-breaking Phaedo passes Fastnet Rock lighthouse off west Cork last August. photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport.

Multiple record-holder 70-footer Phaedo has entered 704-mile race

In a promising result for the ISA Pathway programme, Lough Derg’s Aisling Keller delivered tenth overall in the 50-strong girls Laser radial event in Malaysia. File photograph: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times

Howth Yacht Club’s Douglas Elmes and Colin O’Sullivan in the double-handed 420 class

Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey of Ireland in action in the 49er Women’s race during the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Olympic prospects of Brewster and Tidey undone at the last by Canadian protest

John Twomey competing on home waters last summer at the Sovereign’s Cup: he will attempt to qualify for Rio 2016 later this month in Melbourne. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Veteran Irish Paralympian must first qualify in the Para World Sailing Championships

A protest earlier in October on Dún Laoghaire’s East Pier against the Harbour Company’s plans to construct a 390-metre cruise ship dock to accommodate very large cruisers inside the harbour. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.

Development of Dublin Bay can benefit anyone interested in watersports

Howth Yacht club will welcome six National 18-footers on the weekend of November 7th/8th.   Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport.

Eight of the latest generation of dinghies arrive in Cork Harbour

Defending champion Anthony O’Leary (centre) helming to his second ISA All-Ireland Sailing Championship win in Dublin Bay. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

All-Ireland sailing: Despite robust challenges, Crosshaven sailor glides easily home

The All-Ireland championships are sailed in one-design sportsboats provided by the ISA and their J80 Sailfleet boats. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport.

Royal Cork YC sailor in position to retain coveted Helmsman’s silver salver

Anthony O’Leay’s renamed American 40-footer Catapult. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport.

Royal Cork YC sailor the sole Irish competitor at Rolex Invitational Cup

Tom O’Mahony’s Loch Greine from the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Martin Lane’s Chatterbox from Schull Harbour Sailing Club racing past the Fastnet Rock lighthouse off the coast of West Cork during the third day of Calves Week. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

The late Steven Ackland was well-known to customers of Viking Marine and Galway Maritime

Ireland single-hander Annalise Murphy lies 20th overall at the Laser Redial European Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. Photograph: David Branigan.

Results at Laser Redial European Championships not really important

Dublin Bay winds die down for Saturday and Sunday as programme ends

Boats in Dublin Bay compete in the Dun Laoghaire Regatta where winds caused the postponement of some classes. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Jump Juice makes light of weather to complete hat-trick of wins in Class Zero

Huff of Arklow sails out of Dún Laoghaire harbour 65 years on from her yacht racing debut. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Blue-hulled sloop back on Dublin Bay 65 years after innovative design made waves

Dún Laoghaire YC takes two remaining titles in testing four-day series out of Kinsale

Howth YC entry Fusion at the front of the Division 3 fleet off the Kinsale coast on Day Three of the ICRA Sovereigns Cup. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport.

Plain sailing off Cork does not go without calamity and favourite may be grounded

Andy Williams’ Keronimo from Plymouth shortly before retiring from the first race on day two  of the ICRA Sovereigns Cup at Kinsale. David Branigan/Oceansport

Healthy turnout of 109 boats at the ICRA National Championships and Sovereign Cups

Howth boats are leading the way at the ICRA Nationals and Sovereigns Cup. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Dublin club sent a fleet of 15 crews with most at the front of their respective divisions

Cork sailor Justin Slattery was a member of the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing crew in this year’s Volvo Ocean Race. Photograph: Frank Miller.

Negotiating traffic zones not suitable for sailing a task to be confronted by crews in Irish waters

Sovereigns Cup at Kinsale this year will see the biggest boat turnout on the south coast

Four-day event at Kinsale will see biggest turnout on south coast this year

Justin Slattery of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing inspects the end of the prod during leg six from Itajai to Newport. Photograph: Matt Knighton/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race via Getty Images.

Any mishap on the last oceanic leg could cost crews dearly as race enter last 4,000 miles

Dead fish float on the edge of Guanabara Bay, a part of which is the Rio 2016 Olympic Games sailing venue, earlier this year. Photograph: Getty Images.

Flotsam or partially submerged objects in water a bigger problem than pollution

The Sovereigns Cup 2015 was launched on board the  LE Eithne in Dublin by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney (far right) with Mike Walsh, Kinsale YC regatta director,  Norbert Reilly,  Irish Cruiser Racing Association commodore and Ensign Ben Crumplin. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Simon Coveney lends support to ‘strategic thinking’ behind move at launch of four-day event

 Ian Walker at the helm of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during the the Volvo Ocean Race. Photograph: Getty Images

Team scored their second leg win of the race so far and maintained their pre-event goal of taking podium places in every leg

Annalise Murphy: her exploits in London 2012 are being credited for the rise in the number of female competitors.  Photogarph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Youth National Championships an indicator of sailors’ hopes of future Olympic success

This will be Damian Foxall’s eighth time around the infamous Cape Horn. Photograph: Mike Shaughnessy/Inpho

Specialist veteran has joined Donfeng, rivals of Justin Slattery’s Abu Dhabi Racing

The Dongfeng race team during the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race last month.

Irish sailor again teams up with Dongfeng crew in New Zealand

Ireland’s Damian Foxall is currently competing in the Tour of Arabia that started in Oman last week.

Les Glenans connections critical to Meath sailor’s career

Irish sailing is to benefit from €1 million in Government funding in 2015. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Funding currently shared across the needs of all sailors in the programme

ISA Olympic campaigners Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern on their 49er skiff. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport.

Competitions for year start in earnest with Olympic places still up for grabs

Guo Chuan, crew-member on Irish-Chinese backed Green Dragon and the first-ever Asian participant at the finish of leg 4 from Singapore to China in the Volvo Ocean Race at Qingdao. Photograph: David Branigan | Oceansport

World Yacht Racing Forum agrees that recruitment drive is badly needed

Team Alvimedica remains on station at the Cargados Carajos Shoals where Team Vestas Wind has run aground and abandoned ship for life rafts a few hours before sunrise during Leg 2 between Cape Town, South Africa and Abu Dhabi, UAE. Photograph: Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica/Volvo Ocean Race via Getty Images

Team Vestas Wind ran aground on rocks on islet of St Brandon during second leg

 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team skippered by Ian Walker  approaches the finish line to win  leg one of the Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. Photograph:  Nic Bothm/EPA

Irishman Justin Slattery part of seven-strong crew to triumph in Cape Town

April and Joe English in Crosshaven, Co Cork.

Cork native skippered first Irish boat to take part in Whitbread Round the World Race

Different systems are used over varied competitions in regards to use of professional sailors.

Coaches, parents and professional could be affected by alterations to competition rulings

 Aerial view of the fleet during the in-port race in Alicante. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images)

Seven-strong fleet leaves Alicante today on first leg of 39,000-mile race

 The fleet during the in-port race in Alicante, Spain. The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 is the 12th running of this ocean marathon. The route spans some 39,379 nautical miles and 10 ports in as many countries. Photograph:  David Ramos/Volvo Ocean Race/Getty Images

Magnificent seven set to do battle in bid to land podium places in prestigious event

800 sailors and 115 boats competed for the five national titles  in this year’s ICRA Championships at Dun Laoghaire. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport.

Travelling to away venues and fixture congestion seen as central problems

This summer one of the boats completed her full re-fit and has started racing once again in classic regattas around France

Former ISA pathway campaigner turned offshore sailor and dinghy coach Ben Lynch. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

ISA performance director James O’Callaghan points to former pathway sailors who have continued in the sport as coaches here or a(...)

Kerry yachtsman Damian Foxall is competing on MOD70 trimaran Oman Sail with Sidney Gavignet.

28 boats will undertake the Round Britain and Ireland race, starting at Cowes on Sunday

 The Irish Cruiser Racing Association team, comprising the crews of Antix, Catapult and Quokka 8, winners of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup at Cowes. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Victory is compensation for missing title defence in 2012

 The start of race four with Ireland’s Antix in a clear position in the middle of the fleet on the fifth day of racing in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup at Cowes. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Commodores’ Cup team with commanding 99.5-point lead after tricky day on The Solent

Competitors jockey for position  in the Laser European and World Sailing Championships at Dun Laoghaire last summer.  Photograph: Eric Luke

No shortage of issues for the national authority to tackle

Irish double-Olympian Peter O’Leary (centre) trimming the gennaker on Catapult on the fourth day of racing in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup at Cowes. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Three races to be attempted today to retrieve the schedule

Team Ireland captain Anthony O’Leary on Antix passing the famous Needles lightouse shortly after the start of the 118-nautical mile offshore race on the second day of racing in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup at Cowes. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Ireland’s Catapult, and teammates Antix and Quokka, in top 10 on the water early in race

Antix takes first place in both courses on day one at Cowes

Robert O’Leary helming Jeroboam (left) to the overall lead of the J109 EuroCup in the first race at Cork Week 2010 in Crosshaven. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

At its peak in 1998 Cork Week attracted upwards of 750 boats this time it will attract 87

Wicklow Head lighthouse is the first major headland shortly after the start of the 704-mile Round Ireland Race, which gets under way tomorrow off Wicklow Harbour at 2pm. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

David Ryan’s Monster Challenge, a Volvo 70-footer representing host club Wicklow, should be favourite for line honours

Three race wins and two secon places does it for Royal Irish YC boat

The leaders in Class One during last year’s ICRA National championships on Tralee Bay. A fleet of 115 boats will start this year’s event at Dún Laoghaire today. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

115 boats, along with over 800 sailors, only need a stiff breeze to get three days of racing off on schedule

Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern: finished just outside the medal race in the Netherlands last weekend.

Campaign momentum is building to a summer peak for all the Irish hopefuls across the classes in contention for Rio 2016

Annalise Murphy, left, with coach Rory Fitzpatrick. Murphy will be hoping the Hyeres Olympic Week in France next week will kick-start her season. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Event will take place at Royal Cork YC in the first week of June

 James Espey  is best of the Irish squad competing at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma, Mallorca.

Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial failed to qualify for the Gold fleet and two race wins in the Silver group will be of little s(...)

Anthony O’Leary of Royal Cork Yacht Club expected to be confirmed squad skipper

Plans to attract new entries from overseas and give the Round Ireland Race a higher international profile were announced by Wicklow Sailing Club in Dun Laoghaire  yesterday  and included details of the southside port being  used as a technical base for larger yachts. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

100 boats competing the ultimate target for biennial 704-mile race

Cork Week will retain a normal 10-race programme while reducing to a four day schedule to assist time-pressed crews.

Cruiser Racing championship set for Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire from June 13th to 15th

Howth YC’s David Lovegrove: is set to take over as president of the ISA in the spring. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Lovegrove is a past commodore of his north Dublin club and a former director of the ISA

Ben Duncan of the SB20 fleet emerges as overall winner after a shortened series

Damian Foxall is bracing himself for a tough Jacques Vabre Transatlantic Race.

David Kenifick lifts Rookie-of-the-Year award for his debut performance in the single-handed Figaro class

Last year’s winning 10-man UCD crew. A new format this year will see just six  taking part.

Organisers have switched from using the Archambault Grand Surprise to the smaller J80 that is sailed with half the crew

Annalise Murphy competing on her foiling-type Moth dinghy in Dun Laoghaire earlier this summer. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Ability for small boats to achieve the thrill the America’s Cup gives is available now

Ireland’s Annalise Murphy is escorted by a flotilla of supporters on winning the Laser European Championships at Dun Laoghaire. Photograph: Eric Luke.

Club-mate Finn Lynch becomes under-21 champion

 Ireland’s Annalise Murphy is carried ashore by supporters at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire  on winning the Laser European Championships. Photograph: Eric Luke

Teenager Finn Lynch wins under-21 world title

Annalise Murphy in action off Dun Laoghaire yesterday in the Laser European Championships. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Irishwoman takes 17-point advantage into final day of Women’s Laser Radial event

Italy’s Giovanni Coocoluto and Francesco Marral in high seas at the Laser European  Championships in  Dun Laoghaire yesterday. Photograph: Eric Luke.

Fionn Lyden slips to fifth place in Laser Radial Men’s event

Annalise Murphy in action yesterday. ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Irish star’s advantage still comes largely from her edge in fresh to strong conditions

Annalise Murphy: no mistaking her ability in the windier conditions. Photograph: Inpho/Cathal Noonan

Remaining races will decide the splits into Gold and Silver fleets for the Laser Radial

Ireland’s Annalise Murphy leading her flight to the first of two victories for the London 2012 Olympian at the Laser European World Championships at the National Yacht Club. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Olympic sailor breezes in ahead of the pack on first day of European Championships

Ireland’s Annalise Murphy tops the billing in the Laser Radial rig at the Royal Cork Yacht Club this week.

Ireland’s Annalise Murphy tops the billing in the Laser Radial in Cork

Robert Sheidt will make his Dublin Bay debut in a fortnight’s time.

Annalise Murphy will be fighting for European honours on home waters

Howth entry Challenger (right) leads local boat Wynward on the final day of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Brilliant sunshine and an obliging breeze rounded off a full race programme for the 393 boats at the biennial event

Entries in the Non-Spinnaker class competing close to Dalkey island on the opening day of the Volvo Dún Laoghaire regatta. Photograph: Alan Betson

Securing additional finance at this stage in the Olympic cycle, three years away from the Rio Games, means continuity of investm(...)

Competitors with their Spinnakers up  in the opening race of the Volvo Dún Laoghaire Regatta on the North Course. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Reilly notches up opening Class Zero win as competitors battle testing conditions

Kinsale harbour: Not one of the new national champions are competing in Kinsale this week yet the fleets in most classes are at least as big, if not bigger. Photograph: Alan Betson

The fleet of 90 boats gathered for Covestone Asset Management Sovereign’s Cup this week represents a considerable feat

 The spinnaker on Cork entry Jelly Baby (centre) splits in the breezy conditions in Tralee Bay on the opening day of the ICRA National Championships yesterday. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Pat Kelly’s J109 Storm from Rush leads after a second and first place in Class One

Annalise Murphy: won second gold medal of the month on the European Olympic classes circuit. Photograph: Inpho

Annalise Murphy sets sights on Laser Radial European Championships in September

Martin Breen’s Reflex 38 is planning an intensive 2013 season as the Discover Ireland Team flying the colours for The Gathering at key events in Irish and UK waters.

A fleet of 20 boats began the 11-race series ‘lynx metMasts ISORA series’

Sailing: At last weekend’s agm of the Irish Sailing Association (ISA), a motion from two prominent dinghy sailors prompted widesp(...)

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