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Exciting Prospects Ahead for 29er Sailors

Royal Cork Yacht Club Cadets Set for Action-Packed Year

Oisin Pierse and Fionn Daly, travelled to Valencia last weekend with the Irish Sailing 29er Academy, they will be showcasing their skills at the upcoming 29er EuroCup regattas in Valencia (Feb 1st-4th) and El Balis (Feb 14th-18th). Their participation marks the beginning of an exciting year for the academy sailors, who have a string of events lined up across Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, and Denmark.

Fuelled by the outstanding success of Irish 29er sailors in clinching World and European titles in 2023, this year’s academy sailors have over 160 planned days on the water. The team is supported by a dedicated strength and conditioning coach along with a nutritionist to ensure their well-rounded development.

Eoin Byrne, hailing from Waterford and a member of Royal Cork Yacht Club, has joined forces with NYC sailor William Walsh also a member of Royal Cork Yacht Club to fill the second boat position in the academy. This opportunity arose following the departure of European Champions Ben O’Shaughnessy (Royal Cork Yacht Club) and Ethan Spain (NYC/RCYC), who are transitioning to the FX class. The third academy team comprises World Champion Clementine Van Steenberg (NYC) and World Silver Medallist Jessica Riordan (RstG).

At present, former World U17 Champions and reigning European Female Champions Alana Twomey (Royal Cork Yacht Club) and Lucia Cullen (NYC/Royal Cork Yacht Club) are managing their commitments while preparing for the Leaving Certificate. They will compete in El Balis and defend their European Title later in the season. Their sights are set on repeating a brilliant 2023 in securing a coveted spot to represent Ireland at the Youth Worlds, scheduled to be held at Lake Garda in July.

Alana, Lucia, and Ben have been exceptional mentors and supporters to the newcomers, Oisin, Fionn,William and Eoin. On and off the water, they serve as true role models, representing the club and country with utmost pride and dedication on the international stage. The Royal Cork Yacht Club will witness an abundance of top-level 29er sailing this season, with the Youth Nationals (Apr 4th-7th) and 29er Nationals (Aug 16th-18th) being part of the Tri-Championship (29er, 420, Fireball Nationals). The academy sailors will be actively participating in these events, alongside academy training camps hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club in March and August.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club 29er class is actively seeking new sailors to join the fleet. With club boats available on a 1-year lease, they provide a unique opportunity for aspiring sailors. Typically, two families have shared a lease in the past. Training sessions take place on Sunday mornings, enabling single-handed sailors to continue their sailing activities on Saturdays and compete in other events. Mastering a 29er requires time and practice, and the fleet offers experienced crews to assist novice helms towards racing readiness in the 2025 season. The coaching team, led by Chris Bateman and Hugh Lynch, is exceptional, with Ben O’Shaughnessy also lending his expertise as his schedule permits. Both Oisin and Fionn have emerged from the 29er program at Royal Cork Yacht Club, a testament to the quality of the club’s 29er coaches.

If you are interested in joining the fleet, please get in touch with Class Captain Dominic Daly at

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