Women’s Match Racing World Championship selection decision reversed


Irish Sailing Association

this week reversed a decision to fill the host nation's wild card place for the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship on Cork Harbour at the start of June.

The four-day event will be held in the Sailfleet J80s, a short distance from Royal Cork Yacht Club, from June 3rd to 8th and 16 teams of a helm and three crew will be invited to enter.


Controversy erupted after the process for nominations to the national authority allowed just eight days and that January 29th deadline expired with just one nomination received .

After protests, the board of the ISA met on Monday and set aside the process. A sub-committee has been formed to re-open a nomination process and hold trials if necessary.

No board-member with a potential interest in competing in the event was reportedly included in the discussion or will be involved in the three-person selection panel.

A representative of the single applicant was informed of the reversal yesterday but could not be reached for comment.

Ireland was awarded this year's event at the International Sailing Federation's annual conference in November 2012 .

The fleet of J80 keelboats, funded by sponsorship and a government sports capital grant in 2006, saw a surge of interest in this area of the sport, notably amongst younger sailors.

A drop-off in numbers over the last few seasons has been attributed to emigration, according to one ISA source.

Reignite interest
While it is generally believed that perhaps a few dozen sailors are actively involved in match-racing, hosting the world championships could reignite interest and a trials series will provide a useful barometer of participation.

It is expected that details of the new application process will be made available on www.sailing.ie either today or Monday and a 21-day deadline will be allowed.

One explanation offered for the previous short deadline was a mis-reading of the official “Notice of Race” document published by ISAF on December 20th but only published in Ireland on January 21st.

The NOR cites the world rankings of February 5th for invitations to be issued, apparently leading to confusion with the deadline for the Irish wild card.

Sent out
Invitations to the top 15-ranked international helms to enter the event were sent out last Friday with the Irish team permitted under the host nation concession to follow.

David Branigan

David Branigan

David Branigan is a contributor on sailing to The Irish Times