Disappointment and Silver bullets for Irish sailors in Portugal

After Friday’s disappointment for the Irish squad at European Laser Olympic qualification regatta in Vilamoura, Portugal all seven boats completed the full 12-race series today (Saturday 24th April 2021) with a mix of results.

Ireland does still have two other boats qualified for Tokyo 2020:  Annalise Murphy (National YC) in the Women’s single-handed event and Robert Dickson (Howth YC) with Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club)  in the Men’s skiff event.

While Rio Olympic veteran Finn Lynch (National Yacht Club) was unable to qualify Ireland in the Laser event for Tokyo 2020, the Carlow sailor competed in the final two races of the Gold fleet today and completed the event in 33rd place overall following a 14th and 42nd places for the day.

Germany’s Philipp Buhl as reigning world champion delivered a thrilling finish to the series, edging out Brazil’s five-times Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt by a single point in the big swell finale.  Spain and The Netherlands won the two Olympic nation places for Tokyo.

Ewan McMahon from Howth YC improved to 48th overall with a 23rd and 55th for the day.  Liam McGlynn of Ballyholme YC also picked up places to 56th in the 70-boat Gold fleet.

In the Men’s event Silver fleet, newcomers to Senior level racing Tom Higgins and Hugo Kennedy, both of the Royal St. George YC in Dun Laoghaire placed 46th and 62nd respectively.

Meanwhile, Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy (National YC) put the disappointment of missing Gold fleet behind by delivering four consecutive race win ‘bullets’ in the Radial Silver fleet to win the classification.

Aoife Hopkins and Eve McMahon, both of Howth YC finished 6th and 9th respectively in the 44-boat Silver fleet.

“Finn undertook a high-quality campaign with massive commitment so missing qualification for the Olympics is a bitter pill to swallow," commented James O’Callaghan, Irish Sailing’s Performance Director.  “However, both Ewan and Liam's Gold fleet experience will stand to them and make the whole team stronger as we look towards Paris 2024.”

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