The Irish Sailing Association (ISA) has revealed the 20 nominees in contention for its five prestigious annual awards including the premier accolade; the ISA Sailor of the Year award.
The awards will be presented at the ISA 8th Annual Awards Ball in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin on the 1st of March as hundreds of members and supporters of the Irish sailing community come together for one evening of celebration. 2013 was an incredibly successful year for Irish sailing with ISA squad sailors claiming a total of 13 international medals, including 8 Gold medals, at events around the world which has been represented in the calibre of nominees.
The female star of Irish sailing Annalise Murphy from Providence Team IRL had an outstanding season last year where she claimed three Gold medals and one Bronze. She will go head-to-head against two other equally deserving nominees for the title of Sailor of the Year, kindly supported by MGM Boats. Philip Bendon, who grew up in Glandore, Co. Cork before moving to Cape Town, spent time working for the Chicago Match Race Centre in 2012 where he learned to Match Race from the world champion Taylor Canfield. Only one year later, Philip was crowned 2013 Youth European Match Racing Champion which has earned him his nod. But both contenders will face stiff competition from the third nominee; offshore sailor and fellow Corkonian David Kenefick who, during his inaugural year on the tough French Figaro class circuit, was named ‘Rookie Champion of France of Offshore Racing’ – no easy feat in this highly physical and mentally gruelling area of competitive racing.
Paving the way for future international and Olympic successes are the 91 incredibly talented youth sailors who are rising through the ranks of the ISA Performance Pathway Programme. Among them is Carlow teenager Finn Lynch who in September was crowned the U21 Men’s Laser Radial World & European Champion as well as winning Bronze in the Men’s Laser Radial Senior World Championship. Finn has been nominated in the category of Youth Sailor of the Year along with Fionn Lyden from Cork who defeated over 300 sailors to win the Italian Europa Cup and Liam Glynn from Bangor, Co. Down who last year became the first Irish sailor ever to win the Topper World Championship.
There are more than 65 clubs all around the country making sailing accessible to almost 20,000 ISA members and the general public. The ISA Mitsubishi Motors Club of the Year Award is presented to the club that has developed initiatives and activities to significantly grow membership and community inclusion, raise the profile of the sport and improved safety standards. Amongst the nominees is Howth Yacht Club which hosted 26 open events during 2013 including the J24 World Championships and provides year round sailing, coaching, racing and cruising for thousands of members and visitors of all age groups. Also nominated in that category is Kinsale Yacht Club which hosted the incredibly successful major international regatta; the Disabled Sailing World Championships but also rallied round to care for the survivors of the Tall Ship Astrid when she sunk off the Cork coast in July. The two further nominees include Galway Bay Sailing Club which prides itself as being all-inclusive, all-year club with active groups in most areas of sailing including a strong disabled sailing programme and the vibrant and dynamic Lough Derg Yacht Club, one of the country’s oldest yacht clubs, attracting over 100 sailors on a weekly basis for its summer courses each year.
Other awards on the night include Volunteer of the Year, Instructor of the Year and Training Centre of the Year.
As the most exciting annual social event for the Irish sailing community, the ISA 8th Annual Awards Ball provides a platform for the ISA to officially acknowledge and commend some of the outstanding contributors to sailing over the past 12 months. ISA Chief Executive Harry Hermon remarked “We’re delighted to host this event every year to honour our very talented and dedicated sailors and volunteers. 2013 was a truly phenomenal year for us. We’re proud and excited to get together and celebrate the accomplishments made by some of our champions and heroes”.
And the nominees are:
ISA Sailor of the Year proudly supported by MGM Boats
- Philip Bendon (2013 Youth European Match Racing Champion)
- David Kenefick (Rookie Champion of France of Offshore Racing)
- Annalise Murphy (3 Gold medals and 1 Bronze medal)
ISA Mitsubishi Motors Club of the Year proudly supported by Mitsubishi Motors
- Galway Bay Sailing Club
- Howth Yacht Club
- Kinsale Yacht Club
- Lough Derg Yacht Club
ISA Youth Sailor of the Year
- Liam Glynn (Topper World Champion)
- Fionn Lyden (Italian Europa Cup Champion)
- Finn Lynch (U21 Men’s Laser Radial World Champion)
ISA Volunteer of the Year proudly supported by Dublin Port
Winner to be announced on the night
ISA Instructor of the Year proudly supported by Parasol Sun Care
- Ben Fusco (Royal St George Yacht Club)
- Graeme Grant (Howth Yacht Club)
- Emma Hett (Royal Cork Yacht Club)
- Will O’Morchoe (Courtown Sailing Club)
- Jill Roy (National Yacht Club)
ISA Training Centre of the Year
- Adventure Training Ireland
- Fastnet Marine OEC
- Malahide Yacht Club
- Royal Cork Yacht Club
- The Oysterhaven Centre