No change for hunting Irish at Olympic qualification in Portugal

After two races in the Gold fleet series at the European Laser Olympic qualification regatta in Vilamoura, Portugal today (Wednesday 21st April 2021), Rio Olympic veteran Finn Lynch from Carlow (National Yacht Club) remains in 34th place overall with just four races remaining to decide two nation places for Tokyo 2020.

A 20th and 27th place for the day wasn’t the form Lynch needed to upend the nation running-order.  He will need more of the top six places he delivered at the start of the series to offer a realistic chance for Ireland to secure one of the remaining nation places.

With two days of racing scheduled, Spain’s Joel Rodrigues Perez has moved from eighth to fourth overnight as the runaway lead contender.  Belgian and Dutch boats are currently well-matched for the second place though both may yet be distracted enough to open possibilities for the other nations including Ireland.

“We are still in the hunt.  The final two days will require digging into the mental and physical reserves to chase down the leading pack ,” commented James O’Callaghan, Irish Sailing’s Performance Director.  “Thirty percent of the regatta remains, so there will undoubtedly be a few more twists and turns before we know the outcome.”

In contrast to Wednesday and his best day of the week, Ewan McMahon from Howth YC discarded a 66th place but followed it with a 50th place in the light wind conditions and lies 50th in the 70-boat Gold fleet.  Liam Glynn from Ballyholme YC also discarded his first race of the day and a 32nd place moved him up a place to 59th overall.

Ireland currently has two 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.  This week’s event in Vilamoura will decide the remaining two European places for this summer’s scheduled Games.

Full results here under ILCA 7

http://vilamourasailing.sailti.com/en/default/races/race-resultsall/text/2021-ilca-vilamoura-european-continental-qualification-en/menuaction/index

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