Olympic star training in Carrickfergus waters after slipway upgrade

Olympic sailor Ryan Seaton is back training at his home club in Carrickfergus following the completion of a slipway widening project.

Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 12:54 pm

Part-funded by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, the new slipway means Ryan, who represented Ireland in the 49er Class at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games (read here), can now launch his high-performance dinghy and undertake his winter training on familiar waters for the first time as he prepares for next year’s games in Tokyo.

With qualification for the much-anticipated competition just around the corner, Ryan and his crew, Seafra Guilfoyle, are making plenty of use of the new slipway as he aims for this third Olympics in a row.

Ryan said Belfast Lough is one of the best sailing locations throughout UK and Ireland but he was unable to take full advantage of training on it due to the lack of a slipway suitable for his dinghy.

Olympic sailor Ryan Seaton back training at his home club, Carrickfergus. Photos by Ryan Wilson.
Olympic sailor Ryan Seaton back training at his home club, Carrickfergus. Photos by Ryan Wilson.

“This new facility is an absolute game-changer for me and will make a huge difference as I can now continue my professional sailing career at my home club and complete some vital training ahead of Tokyo 2021 qualification,” the former Downshire School pupil said.

“My thanks are extended to Carrickfergus Sailing Club and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for making this possible and improving my training opportunities.”

The Mayor, Councillor Peter Johnston, said the initiative will be a boost to the entire sailing community.

“As a council, we are proud to be able to assist with this very worthwhile project and wish Ryan every success as he aims for next year’s Olympic games,” the first citizen said.

The upgraded Carrickfergus slipway.

“This new feature is a boost to both the club and other users and will hopefully inspire others to get involved and may even produce a few future Olympians.”

Following the cancellation of several championship events in 2020 due to coronavirus, the club is looking ahead to 2021 with great excitement as it plans to host two National and one European event.

Read previous slipway story here

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