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Irish Sailing Team head for ILCA 6 & 7 European Championships

by Treasa Cox 9 Mar 2023 03:02 PST 12-17 March 2023
Finn Lynch at the 2021 ILCA 7 World Championships © David Branigan / Oceansport

Members of the Irish Sailing Olympic Team have arrived in Andora in Italy for the first international competition of the season. The ILCA team will compete at the 2023 ILCA Senior European Championships which sees both men and women competing in the ILCA 6 and 7.

On the team are Olympian and world silver medallist Finn Lynch (National YC) and world and European youth champion Eve McMahon (Howth YC). Also competing for Ireland is Ewan McMahon, an experienced campaigner and older sibling of Eve.

Competing in the non-Olympic ILCA 6 men's division are Irish Sailing Academy teammates Rocco Wright and Fiachra McDonnell.

This summer Finn Lynch was placed second in the world in the World Sailing rankings, thanks to a consistent string of results that included a silver medal at the ILCA7 World Championship in Barcelona in November 2021 and his 6th place at the 2022 ILCA 7 Men's World Championship in Mexico in May 2022.

Andora will be Eve McMahon's third senior level European championships but her first not competing as a Youth. She had an extremely successful summer in 2022 winning a hat-trick of gold medals at the ILCA 6 Youth European Championships in Greece, the World Sailing Youth World Championships in the Netherlands, the ILCA 6 Youth World Championships in Texas, and finishing with silver at the U21 ILCA Youth World Championships in Portugal in August.

In the men's ILCA 7 fleet there are 195 sailors representing 42 countries, including the reigning Senior European champion Pavlos Kontydes, the reigning World champion Jean Baptiste Bernaz (France) and the reigning Olympic Gold medallist Matthew Wearn (Australia). The ILCA 6 women's fleet sees 117 sailors representing 40 countries, including the reigning Senior European champion Agata Barwinska of Poland, and the reigning World champion and Olympic Gold medallist Anne-Marie Rindom of Denmark.

The team is supported by Irish Sailing Head coach Rory Fitzpatrick (OLY) and ILCA 7 coach Vasilij Zbogar, three-time Olympic medallist from Slovenia. In addition to the coaching team Ireland will have psychologist Kate Kirby and physiotherapist Mark McCabe in attendance at the event.

"It is quite unusual to have a peak event so early in the season but it provides a great opportunity for our ILCA sailors to get a gauge on how their winter programmes have impacted their progress. For Rocco and Fiachra, while this is not a major event in their calendar, it will be good for them to get competition in early in the season." said James O'Callaghan, Irish Sailing Performance Director.

Racing begins on Sunday 12th March and concludes with the medal races on Friday 17th March.

To follow the competition and results: 2023-senior.eurilca-europeans.org

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