No Olympic qualification for Irish sailors in Portugal

On the penultimate day of the European Laser Olympic qualification regatta in Vilamoura, Portugal  (Friday 23rd April 2021), Irish hopes of securing a third boat for Tokyo have ended after two breezy races in the Gold fleet.

Hopes were high that Rio Olympic veteran Finn Lynch from Carlow (National Yacht Club) would return some of his previous form and deliver some more top six results that might close the gap on nation qualification.

However, after multiple attempts by the race committee at starting the 70-boat Gold fleet in heavy swell conditions, Lynch was one of 14 boats disqualified from race nine.  As he had used his one-race discard for a previous disqualification earlier in the event, he now counts maximum points that places him out of contention for an Olympic place.

“Finn and the whole team worked incredibly hard so to not get the result is very tough,” commented James O’Callaghan, Irish Sailing’s Performance Director.  “It does not make us a bad team overnight but we'll need to analyse everything that has happened and apply these learnings for the Paris 2024 campaign.”

Lynch went on to score a 23rd place in the second race of the day and will also compete in Saturday’s final races along with the other Irish boats.

Ewan McMahon from Howth YC had a 37th and 47th for the day and lies 51st overall while Liam McGlynn of Ballyholme YC was 47th and 50th and is in 59th place going into the final day.

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

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