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Margaret Hynes and her son, Sean competing in Holland.

Mother and son on sailing podium

A MEMBER of Cullaun Sailing Club in Kilkishen Margaret Hynes is riding the crest of a wave after she teamed up with her son, Sean to take a podium place at the Wayfarer World Championships in the Netherlands.

The Ennis woman, who now lives in County Limerick and has decades of experience on the water, celebrated a third-place finish (Silver Fleet) with 17-year-old son as crew at the championships in Holland.

A Wayfarer is a sailing dinghy approximately 16ft in length and known for its durability and versatility.
In June of this year, Margaret was helm and Kilkishen’s Mike Hayes the crew as their vessel, Seadhna, won the National Wayfarer Championships in Cavan, thus securing their participation at the world event on the Heegermeer in Frisesland, a prime Dutch sailing destination.

“Sean, who attends Ard Soil Rís, was one of the youngest crews there and I suppose another unusual thing was that I was one of only four women helms out of the 56 teams who were racing. The rest were all men,” explained Margaret. “We were racing in what was called the Silver Fleet and we were delighted to finish third.”

Margaret works as a clinical midwife specialist in University Maternity Hospital, Limerick and explained that she had double cause for celebration when in the Netherlands.

“We were actually out on the water when I got a call telling me that the maternity hospital had received its designation as a Baby Friendly Hospital for 2016, which is a recognition by the WHO and UNICEF of excellence in practice around breastfeeding promotion. Breastfeeding is my thing, so I was delighted to get that news as well,” she said.

Sailing, said Margaret, is a great way to unwind away from the busy hospital wards.

“I have been sailing for 36 years and working in the maternity hospital for 36 years as well, as it happens. Because I am always promoting breastfeeding, people will often ask me do I ever talk about or do anything else and when I tell them ‘I actually race boats’, they look at me funny,” she concluded.

By Seamus Hayes, sports editor

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