Strong Irish start to Olympic qualifier in Lanzarote

Sporting their yellow overnight leaders’ tops, Ireland’s Olympic 49er skiff hopefuls Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club)  had another day of top ten results at the Spring Championship off Lanzarote today (Monday 22nd March 2021).

Racing on a more sheltered course area closer to Lanzarote’s mountains, lighter winds made for a tactically challenging day with the Dublin pair placing 8-6-8 for the three race day and are placed fifth overall in the 44-strong event.

Double-Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton (Ballyholme YC) with crew Séafra Guilfoyle (Royal Cork YC) had an 12-12-5 for the day in the same 21-boat flight and are placed 17th overall.  The pair were unlucky not to get fifth place in the second race of the day when their gennaker sail jammed at a mark rounding.

Tuesday’s programme calls for three further qualification races to decide the Gold and Silver fleet splits for the finals series before the medal race on Friday (26th March).

“It was great to see Rob and Seán launching this morning wearing their yellow jerseys signifying the overall lead,” commented James O’Callaghan, Irish Sailing’s Performance Director.  “It was a hard day to be consistent as Ryan and Séafra can attest as they were in the top five in all three races.  Their results don’t fully reflect their performance but they’ll still be confident at this early stage of the regatta.”

A single nation place remains for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo with at least four other nations in contention this week.  Rio 2016 Silver medalist Annalise Murphy is currently the only confirmed sailor for Tokyo while the Laser Men’s final qualification event takes place in Portugal next month.

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