RYANI Sailor in Focus - Dan McGaughey

As we witness the conclusion of the Tokyo 2020 Sailing Events RYANI Performance Pathway Alumni Dan McGaughey gives us an update on his campaign progress as he aspires to relies his own Olympic Dream. Dan was a member of both the RYANI Topper and Laser Class achieving some many Podium results in this time including a 3rd Overall in the Topper Worlds 2017, Irish Youth Sailor of the Year and 2019 RYANI Youth Champion. Now based in Plymouth and competing in the Laser Standard he continues to progress as part of the British Sailing Teams Transitional Squad.
Youth Squad 05 Aug 21
Northern Ireland sailor Dan McGaughey

How did you get into sailing?

I started at Donaghadee Sailing Club by attending a course for my level one and two. I had no select reason other than I enjoyed sports and my parents suggested it would be something new to try over the summer. The course went well, and I decided I wanted to progress so that I could do the racing on Sundays.

Where are you based now?

I am now based in Plymouth as I am attending a three-year university degree there. This gives me a good home venue to train in that is close and safe for training by myself. It is also only a short journey to Weymouth where most of my training takes place.

Tell us about your training…how many hours a week do you train, how often do you sail and go to the gym?

Most consistently my training occurs off the water with a lot of gym and cycling coming into play especially in the winter months. I like to get in at least six off the water training sessions a week, usually an even mix of cycling and gym sessions. My sailing especially in Plymouth is very weather dependent as with no rescue it is sometimes hard to get on the water. Most of my volume comes in blocks of sailing. This will usually consist of travelling ether abroad or to Weymouth for a prolonged period of time in which I can focus on sailing.

How are you balancing training with university life?

With my current schedule, the week consists of usually two or three university intense days. On these days I prioritise university and try to get one off the water session fitted into the evening. This leaves two days in the week along with weekends that I can prioritise sailing and off the water training.

What events/training camps have you done this year and have you had any results?

Due to circumstances in the early stages of this year it was very hard to find events that would run reliably. So for the first part of this year I spent a lot of my time on training. This consists of transition squad training in Weymouth and solo training in Plymouth. Coming into the summer I spent several weeks abroad being coached when restrictions were eased. Then returned to a second block of group training in Weymouth. 

What are your future goals?

My short-term goals are to compete in the U21 World Championships in Poland this coming August. I hope to gain insight from the competition this year before I compete again next year in my final year as part of the U21 category. More long term I plan to continue along the British pathway system progressing through the different stages of support.

Could you give us a piece of advice for our young sailors?

I would advise anyone wanting to progress to trust their own opinions and take every opportunity that you can. Don’t let logistics, such as funding or time, sway your judgement. With a good plan logistics can fall into place later.