The Olympic Countdown Is On For Irish Sailors As They Hit Marseilles For The Paris 2024 Test Event

Eve McMahon, Photo: World Sailing. Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Test Event, Marseille, France. Day 1 Race Day on 9th July 2023.

Marseilles test event marking countdown to Olympic Sailing regatta

With just over one year before the Sailing events of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games get underway, the Marseilles venue is preparing to stage a full rehearsal regatta for all involved next week (7th-16th July 2023).

Ireland will have an entry in three events which is limited to one per nation, the sailors were selected based on a trial series over the two World Cup regattas earlier in the season. The Test Event will be an important final preparation ahead of the first Olympic qualification opportunity at the World Sailing Championships next month.

Competing will be Finn Lynch (National Yacht Club) who competed at the Rio Olympics and is currently ranked number five in the world for the ILCA7 men’s single-handed event.

Multiple Gold medallist at youth level Eve McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) will continue building her experience in the senior fleet for the ILCA6 women’s single-handed event.

Tokyo 2020 Olympians Robert Dickson (Howth YC) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) return to full competition after early-season illness setbacks in the 49er men’s skiff event.

Racing will take place on Rade Sud de Marseille with the new Olympic village and marina nearby that is close to completion.

Irish Sailing’s Performance team have had an established training base close to the venue on the same sailing waters for the past two years at Pointe Rouge using a “home from home” replica set-up of their Performance HQ base at Dun Laoghaire.

“The Marseilles test regatta is a vital process event not just for the organisers but for the athletes and coaches as well who will be collecting as much information on the venue and its challenges as possible” commented James O’Callaghan, Performance Director with Irish Sailing. 

“Although the event itself is not important from a results perspective, next week will tease out any likely issues we will face in 2024.”

Beyond the test event, the full senior squad will have their sights firmly set on The Hague (Netherlands,  for the Allianz Sailing World Championships, a ten day event that combines all Olympic classes into a single regatta to decide the first nations to be allocated their Olympic place.

That event will see Seafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork Yacht Club) in competition for the 49er men’s skiff event while Ewan McMahon, one of three siblings from the Howth sailing family will also contest the ILCA7 men’s single-handed event.

The nation qualification goals at The Hague will be an Irish boat in the top 16 places by nation for each ILCA events (Men and Women) and a top ten nation place for the 49er men’s skiff event.

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