The Irish Women’s match racing teams have been selected for the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship event in June. Skippers Laura Dillon and Mary O’Loughlin have been chosen to represent Ireland at this year’s ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championships, which will take place in Crosshaven June 3rd to 8th 2014 at Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven, Co Cork. It will also be the first leg of the World Women’s Match Racing Tour. Sixteen international teams are expected to compete. These will include some of the world’s highest ranking match racing sailors and potential Olympians.
Laura Dillon was the first and only female winner of the ISA Senior Helmsman’s Championship, taking the title in 1996, and also Bronze Medalist at the 1996 ISAF Youth Worlds. She is currently Irish Women’s Match Racing Champion from the event sailed in 2010. Mary O’Loughlin was the 1997 Mirror Ladies World Champion and represented Ireland in the Women’s Division of the ISAF Nations Cup hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club in 2006. Both Irish Skippers are familar with the sailing waters of Cork Harbour. Double Olympian Maria Coleman, crewing with Laura Dillon, also brings a wealth of sailing experience to this world event.
The selection trial hosted by Howth Yacht Club on Sunday the 13th April was sailed in the ISA J80 fleet. This fleet will also be used for the June event. Three teams were scheduled to sail a series of three round robins. With wind conditions of 15-20 knots very tight racing ensued. Only two full round robins were completed with the final round robin being only partially completed, but the ISA selection committee deemed there was sufficient racing to select the two leading teams. Racing was initially held with spinnakers but due to the wind conditions round robins 2 and 3 were raced without spinnakers.
The 2014 Women’s International Match Racing Series is a professional sailing circuit, hosted by the Women’s International Match Racing Association for the world’s leading women match racing sailors.
This event, sponsored by Cork County Council and the Port of Cork, will consolidate the position of Royal Cork Yacht Club and Cork Harbour on the world map for match racing. Royal Cork previously hosted the European leg of the ISAF Nations Cup sailed in 1720s and the final of the Nations Cup in 2006, sailed in J24s. Camden Fort Meagher will be the event head quarters and should provide spectators with an excellent view of racing from the cafe deck.
Racing will take place under the well experienced International Race Officers Peter Crowley and Alan Crosbie.
For further information on the Women’s Match Racing World Championships please see www.matchracing.ie