It could yet prove to be a regular feature of Awards over the coming months and the Irish Sailing celebration of the past year went ahead as planned on Saturday night but in a virtual fashion.
To avoid bringing together a crowd, Irish Sailing announced the winners on social media channels in a series of video clips that honoured the recipients in an initiative reflecting the COVID-19 emergency.
Dublin owner-skipper Paul O’Higgins was the first double-winner of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race.
Racing his JPK 1080 “Rockabill VI”, he also showed consistent form with a series of wins throughout the year, including a class victory at the ICRA National Championships in June, Calves Week in August, and the ISORA title in September.
The Sailor of the Year Award is given by Irish Sailing in association with Afloat magazine.
The Irish Sailing President’s Award was given to Gary MacMahon of the Ilen project in West Cork. Gary spearheaded the project to repatriate and restore the historic wooden ketch, which is now used for community-based sailing and educational projects.
Malahide Yacht Club took home the popular Irish Sailing Training Centre of the Year award, having been nominated as winners of the Eastern Region. The two other nominees were Galway Bay Sailing Club (West Region winners) and the Oysterhaven Centre (winner of the South Region).
The Irish Sailing Senior Instructor of the Year Award went to Sam Hennessy of Wicklow Sailing Club. The Sustainability Award was won by two clubs – Bray Sailing Club (Co. Wicklow) and the National Sailing Club in Dun Laoghaire for their environmental work. The Inclusion Award was won by Jon Hynes and his team at Kinsale Outdoor Education Centre.
Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club was awarded the Youth Sailor of the Year for her performance internationally in the Laser Radial class.
The Irish Sailing Awards were proudly supported by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
Image credit: Inpho.ie