Last week one of Ireland’s Rio 2016 campaigns, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern launched their 2013 sailing season with style winning Gold at the Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth, UK. This week, with no time to relish the glory, the duo will once again face off against some of the finest 49er class sailors as they compete at Kiel Week in Germany.
Racing will begin on Saturday (22nd June) with organisers aiming for a total of 19 races over the five days. The Northern Irish pair will have gained confidence from their recent victory but bigger prizes are on the horizon. Seaton and McGovern will use Kiel Week predominately as a training regatta, honing their skills, because immediately afterwards they will travel to Aarhus in Denmark for the 49er European Championships. There they will, for the first time since the 2012 Games, compete against some of their fiercest adversaries from Australia and New Zealand.
Joining his fellow ISA Olympic teammates at Kiel Week will be Laser sailor James Espey. This will be the final regatta of the season for the 29 year old who has already competed at events in Spain, France and the UK this spring / summer. Meanwhile in the new Olympic 49er FX female class, newcomers to the Olympic campaign trail Tiffany Brien and Saskia Tidey will also compete in Kiel ahead of their European Championship debut in Denmark next week.
Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Performance Director James O’Callaghan commented “The teams are primarily focused on preparing for the Europeans. If we get a result it is a bonus but it is of secondary importance this week”.