Eve McMahon

SAILING: Ireland's Eve McMahon secures Paris 2024 Olympic qualification in Argentina

10 Jan 2024
Sarah Stanley

With a race to spare, Ireland's Eve McMahon has secured a nation place for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing regatta (Mar del Plata, Argentina - Tuesday 9th January 2024) for the women's single-handed event.

Seven nation places are being decided at the ILCA6 World Championships with official confirmation expected after the event concludes on Wednesday evening (Irish time)

As the sole Irish contender in the class at senior level, McMahon's name will be submitted by Irish Sailing to the Olympic Federation of Ireland for inclusion in the Olympic team for Paris 2024.

The result by the 19 year old Dublin sailor (Howth Yacht Club) brings to three the number of disciplines that Ireland has qualified for.

In August of 2023, Rio 2016 veteran Finn Lynch (National Yacht Club) was the first senior athlete to secure nation qualification for the men's single-handed event.  In November, Robert Dickson (Howth YC) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) qualified Ireland for the men's skiff event.

Both events will face a trials series to decide on nominations to the OFI at a series of regattas in the Spring.

McMahon's result this week means all three events in Irish Sailing's senior team will be represented in Marseilles for the Olympic regatta.

Qualification by McMahon marks the latest accomplishment in her debut year at senior level following her Under 21 world championship title win in the ILCA6 class in October.

In 2022, at the conclusion of her youth career, the Howth sailor delivered three Gold medals at a series of world championship events in the same class that Annalise Murphy, her one of her coaches won Silver in at the Rio Games.

The world championships that conclude today in Argentina were the second qualification opportunity for seven nations to win places.  Currently lying second of these nations going into the final day, the worst she can score in sixth qualifying nation.

"Eve is definitely capable of better performance in terms of the world championships but to secure qualification she's had to start races very conservatively just to give herself an advantage," said Rory Fitzpatrick, Irish Sailing Head Coach.  "With one more race to go, she's going to keep it simple and get around the track fast."

The event is following a new format in that the top ten boats will sail their medal race as normal but the remainder of the Gold fleet will also race in their own fleet for higher points.  This leaves McMahon mathematically unbeatable for Olympic qualification.