Sunday 19 November 2017

Sailing: Irish stars buoyed by Olympic sponsorship

Ireland's Annalise Murphy sails. Photo: Reuters
Ireland's Annalise Murphy sails. Photo: Reuters

Irish high-performance sailing received a boost following the announcement that Providence Resources is to become the title sponsor for the squad preparing for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

After initially supporting the ISA team in the lead-in to the London Games, the company has committed to a four-year programme that will provide funds in addition to the grant aid received from the Irish Sport Council.

While details of the amount involved were not revealed, additional training events and coaching for the qualifying members of the squad will be provided over the course of the build-up to 2016, including the establishment of a camp in Rio.

The Brazilian city is not noted for being a windy venue, in contrast to Weymouth, where the Irish sailors returned their best team performance in 30 years.

Olympic sailors Annalise Murphy (Laser Radial), along with Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern (49er skiff) and James Espey (Laser) have all declared their intention to campaign for Rio.

Ten-times Paralympic veteran John Twomey will campaign in the Sonar along with Ian Costello.

A number of other campaigns are in training to reach qualification for 2016, plus two campaigns in the new all-female class 49er FX skiff.

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