Ryan Seaton who is a member of Carrickfergus Sailing Club and who has represented Ireland in the 49 er Class at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics has been able to resume his winter training for the first time at his home club following the recent completion of the slipway widening project which was partly funded by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
In past campaigns Ryan has had to train away from home because the slipway at Carrickfergus was unsuitable to launch a high-performance dinghy. Ryan and his crew Seafra Guilfoyle are hoping to again qualify to represent Ireland at next year’s Tokyo Olympics. Qualification would see Ryan represent Ireland at three consecutive Olympics.
Ryan commented, ” Carrickfergus and Belfast Lough is one of the best sailing locations throughout UK and Ireland. But unfortunately, due to its lack of suitable slipway access I was unable to complete my journey to professional sailing success at my home club. The new CSC slipway is a game changer when it comes to launching and retrieving my Olympic class 49er. It means I can complete some of my Tokyo 2021 training in home waters for the first time.
The Club had two National and one European event in the diary for 2020 following the slipway completion but unfortunately due to Covid restrictions the events had to be cancelled.
A spokesperson for the Club advised that they were hopeful that these events would be held next year, conditions permitting and afford sailors from clubs both in Ireland and Great Britain to compete in Carrickfergus and Belfast Lough.
In the meantime, the club has benefited from the new slipway since restrictions eased in July with regular junior sailing and training hoping to find another Carrickfergus Olympian amongst them. Sailors in the Rs 400 dinghy class have also been racing at the club.
The Club would take this opportunity to thank MEABC for all their assistance and financial support in making the project a reality for all sailors at the club Olympians or otherwise.
Media@carrickfergussc.org Photography Ryan Wilson