Bid to represent Ireland at 2016 Olympic Games
There was Dinner in the Club in March, during which Saskia and Andrea made a presentation that shows the extent of training and commitment required to compete at this level and to demonstrate the tension, excitement and energy involved in racing a 49er.
Two young women, Members of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Saskia Tidey and Andrea Brewster, are members of the ISA Olympic Squad and are currently seeking to be selected to represent Ireland in the 49er FX Skiff Class at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016, when, for the first time, the all-female Skiff Class will be included in the Games.
For the past while, they have been training in Australia and in Florida and competing internationally in order to acquire the appropriate ranking to represent Ireland at the Olympics.
Despite joining the ranking process later than others, they are now ranked as the 14th Nation and the 24th Boat in the world. There are many more competitions yet to take place before the selection for an Olympic place, but this place is now closely within their grasp.
Upcoming events in Palma de Mallorca, France, Italy, Holland, the UK and Portugal will lead to the World Championships in Argentina in October/November of this year and ultimately, we hope, to the Olympic Games in 2016. Throughout their training and competing at events, they have sailed their boat identifying their membership of the Royal Irish Yacht Club. This is a hugely important indicator of the Club’s profile worldwide. Last year, with the generous help of sponsorship from Spirit Motors and Volvo Ireland, they drove their campaign Volvo an incredible 13,500 km throughout Europe, towing the 49erFX from event to event. Their commitment to their sport is unquestionable and Andrea and Saskia’s quest for improvement is relentless. For this we thank them and we now wish to demonstrate our continuing support at the fundraising event.
Members can take the opportunity to see the cost of the individual items, such as gloves, harnesses, mast, boom, spinnaker, etc, all of which must be purchased and renewed, often many times, during the course of their preparation and training. Members will be invited to identify and become sponsors, at whatever level they wish, towards one or more of this long list of equipment.
Apart from the fact that the Olympic Games take place only every four years, it is an even rarer event to have young Members of the Royal Irish Yacht Club attempting to compete in them. I therefore urge the membership to get solidly behind this initiative and support the efforts of these two young ladies, of whom we are immensely proud.