The main party of the Irish Paralympic sailing competitors departed for Qingdao to-day (Aug 23rd) and will be joined by John Twomey who will fly out on Monday (Aug.25th).
Ireland will be represented by two teams out of the three disciplines for Paralympic sailing at the forthcoming Paralympic Games Beijing 2008. The regatta will be sailed at Qingdao. The Sonar Team will be represented by Paul McCarthy, helm, with crew Richard Whealey and Paul Ryan all of KYC. The International Sonar is a Bruce Kirby designed 23ft high performance keelboat with a conventional spinnaker. It was the Paralympic keelboat in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
The Skud 18 will be sailed by Amy Kelehan of the National Yacht Club and crewed by John Twomey of KYC, very well known to Royal Cork Yacht Club members where he sails a Sonar with a revised deck, the name of his boat being Shilleagh and he has had many successes. The Skud 18 is a lead assisted skiff with a tube launched asymmetrical spinnaker and a high performance stayed rig. Selected in 2005 as the two person Paralympic boat to compete in Beijing 2008, the Skud is a strict one design class. Sailors are seated on the centre line for Paralympic events. The event will commence on September 8th and we wish them all the very best of luck. We hope to follow the event as it unfolds.