One nation place for the Paris 2024 Olympics in the Men’s Skiff event will be decided this week at the 49er European Championship in Portugal (Vilamoura, November 8th -n13th) where two Irish crews will be in action.
Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) missed qualification by one place at the Sailing World Championships earlier in the summer and will now be aiming to close out the year on a high.
In spite of several notable results in the World Championships two months ago, critical starting-line errors ultimately cost them qualification for Ireland at the first opportunity.
The pair had overcome some early season medical issues and were clearly on form for most of the world championship where ten nations qualified for Paris 2024.
“There were a lot of positives from The Hague including clear, world-class boatspeed,” commented James O’Callaghan, Performance Director with Irish Sailing. “Their Achilles heel was the start where striking a balance between risk and reward was needed.”
Ireland’s second boat in Vilamoura will be the Crosshaven pairing of Seafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork Yacht Club).
The Cork duo will be seeking a top 20 result overall in the 90-strong event to meet Sport Ireland carding scheme criteria and regain a place on the Irish team.
The 49er European Championship is the final major regatta of 2023 for Ireland’s performance sailors. Eve McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) will be in action early in January 2024 when seven places for her Women’s Single-handed dinghy event will be decided at the ILCA6 World Championship in Argentina.
McMahon rounded off her 2023 season last month by winning Gold at the U21 World Championship in her event as she continues her upwards trajectory from a stellar youth career.