Olympian Finn Lynch named ‘Irish Sailor of the Year’

Olympian Finn Lynch was named Sailor of the Year at today’s Irish Sailing Awards.

The Carlow native has had an outstanding 2021, culminating in a silver medal at the ILCA 7 Laser World Championships in Barcelona in November. This result was the best achieved by an Irish sailor in any Olympic discipline and came weeks after his 7th place finish at the ILCA 7 Laser European Championships.

James O’Callaghan, Irish Sailing Performance Director said: “Finn’s progress since his disappointment in Olympic qualifying has been phenomenal. He responded like a true champion winning a silver medal at the World Championships. The recognition of the Irish sailing community and his status as Irish Sailor of the Year is truly deserved”.

Lynch was not the only Olympian honored as Annalize Murphy received the Association President’s Award to mark the end of her distinguished Olympic sailing career.

Patrick Coveney, CEO of Greencore and outgoing Chairman of the Irish Sailing Olympic Steering Group, said: “Annalize is perhaps the greatest Irish sailor of all time and has changed the way sailing is viewed in this country.” .

Meanwhile, Howth Yacht Club’s Eve McMahon has won Irish Young Sailor of the Year for the third consecutive year.

In July, she won gold at the ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) Youth World Championships in Italy, followed quickly by a silver medal at the EURILCA Laser Radial Youth Championships in Croatia. In December, she finished fourth at the ILCA6 Youth Sailing World Championships in Oman.

Oysterhaven Center in Cork has won the Irish Sailing Training Center of the Year award, having been named the Southern Region winner. The other two nominees were Courtown Sailing Club (East Region winners) and Royal Western YC and Kilrush Marina (West Region winners).

The sustainability award was won by Malahide Seascouts in Dublin for their innovative Gear Grab programme.

Skerries Sailing Club won the Irish Sailing Inclusion Award for their work with the Skerries Autism Friendly Town Group to introduce children with additional needs to sailing.

The Leadership Award went to Mary Duffy of the Bray Sailing Club, an armless sailor who represented Ireland at the Hansa Sailing World Championships and finished 14th despite only starting sailing in 2018.

Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Elaine O’Mahoney of Royal Western YC and Kilrush Marina, while Lead Instructor of the Year was awarded to Kris Long of Crookhaven Harbor Sailing Club in Cork.

Naomi C. Amerson