The Irish Sailing Associations Racing Manager, Ed Alcock, has announced that two teams have been selected to represent Ireland in the ISAF Nations Cup Europe II Regional Final from 19-23 July in Gdynia, Poland.
NationsCupGenericLogo 360 - ISAF Nations Cup 2011
As a result of the selection process arranged by the ISA the teams are Sam Hunt from Kinsale in the Open division and Laura Dillon from Howth in the Women's division.
Hunt has extensive match race experience having achieved third place in the ISA Match Race Championship and scoring highly on the Irish Match Race Tour in 2011. He is currently #308 in the ISAF World Match Race Open Rankings.
Dillon is the current Irish women's champion having won the ISA Women's Match Race Championship in 2011. She is currently #116 in the ISAF World Match Race Women's Rankings and is a previous winner of the ISA All Ireland Sailing Championship.
Match racing has grown strongly in Ireland since the ISA launched their SailFleet of J/80 keelboats in 2007 and the formation of the Match Race Ireland association in 2010.
Among the events that SailFleet has facilitated are the ISA All Ireland and Match Race Championships, the ISAF Nations Cup 2007 Regional Final in Kinsale and the Bangor Match Cup a Women's Grade 1 event on Belfast Lough next August.
'The ISAF Nations Cup is a very tough competition and the best match racers in the world competing,' said Alcock.
'Having hosted the Grand Final in Cork and a Regional Final more recently in Kinsale our sailors know that the standard will be high. Both Sam and Laura are very experienced match racers and know what they need to do to come out on top in these competitions.'
The ISAF Nations Cup is a global competition to find the world's top match racing nations in both open and women's events and to develop match racing infrastructure around the world.