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Displaying items by tag: Finn Lynch

The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch recovered to a strong sixth from his ninth overall position going into the final day of racing in the ILCA 7 (men's Laser) fleet of 31 boats at the Lanzarote Winter Series Regatta today.

After ten races plus today's light air medal race, the Rio Olympian ended the training regatta some 17 points off fifth overall but ahead of Dutch sailor Duko Bos, and Switzerland's Eliot Merceron both main rivals for one of the final Tokyo qualification berths.

Race win for Tom Higgins

The regatta saw a return to the water for Royal St. George's Tom Higgins after an absence of two days and a what a return he made, winning race ten of the series to beat among others Brazilian legend Robert Scheidt. Scheidt, the holder of two gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze from five Olympic Games, finished second overall to France's Jean-Baptiste Bernaz.

Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon who lost a day due to injury finished 26th.

The regatta takes the Irish men's Laser team a step closer to Hyeres Regatta in April where there are two final Olympic spots available at the planned European Sailing Cup. Up to six countries are in the running – Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands and Belgium and Ireland with Ireland finishing behind all of these at the latest World Championships but, significantly, top of those competing this week in Lanzarote. 

Results are here

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Annalise Murphy has dropped to fourth overall in the ILCA 6 class after a penultimate day of lighter wind conditions at the Olympic classes Lanzarote Winter Series in the Canary Islands.

The 2016 Irish Olympic silver medalist had overhauled regatta leader Anne Marie Rindom of Denmark by a single point after race eight today and moved briefly into the overall lead but after a 17 scored in race nine this afternoon, the National Yacht Club solo sailor was back in fourth overall with a scoresheet so far of  3,2,2,2,1,6,4,33 and 17.

Conditions were much lighter today than the first two days of rig busting weather in the Canaries competition with easterly winds from six to 13-knots.

Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon is lying in 25th place in the 40-boat fleet.

Finn Lynch drops back to ninth

The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch has dropped back from sixth to ninth overall in the ILCA 7 fleet of 31 boats.

A win for Lynch in race eight provided his best result of the series so far but otherwise, a 21 and 22 scored in today's other two races put the Rio Olympian back three places overall with 76 points overall and a scoreline to date of 14, 2, 6, 7, 22, 3, 21, 1 and 22.

Ewan McMahon returned to the fleet today after an eye injury sustained on Tuesday kept him out of three races. The Howth sailor is lying 23rd overall. Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George Yacht Club did not compete.

The final races of the series including a medal race will be held on Thursday.

Results here.

Published in Tokyo 2020

The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch, Ireland's top hope for an ILCA 7 berth in Tokyo this July, stays sixth overall after six races sailed in a breezy second day of the Lanzarote Winter Series but neither of his Irish teammates competed in today's three tough races in 20-knots and big waves. 

Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon was forced to retire from racing following an eye injury in race four this morning. Exact details are not known but it appears the UCD third-year engineering student was struck by a boom end at a gybe mark in the first race. The injury was bad enough to rule him out of racing for the day but it is understood McMahon is 'ok' and should be able to race tomorrow.

Royal St. George's Tom Higgins also counted three 'DNCs'.

Winds are forecast to be lighter for today's racing.

Results here.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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As Ireland tries to boost its Olympic sailing team from currently one dinghy (Annalise Murphy in the Radial) with two more (a men's Laser and a 49er), the final Olympic qualifier for the men's Laser class has been confirmed for France in April 2021 (French Olympic Week, April 17-24 in Hyeres).

There are still two nation places up for grabs and three Irish men are chasing a final berth. Ireland is up against Italy, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands so it is likely to go right down to the wire before we know who ultimately claims the place. 

Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon are all looking for the single berth and whoever finishes on top in the Cote D'Azur will be deemed to have been selected.

Since late summer performance sailing has been back in regatta mode with the team competing across Europe in Poland and Italy. 

After training from the Irish Sailing Performance HQ in Dun Laoghaire all summer, once restrictions lifted the Lasers and Laser Radials headed to Lake Garda in Italy for training, and then on to the Italian National Championships – the first time the team had competed since Covid restrictions began. Murphy won this competition overall and from there the team headed to the European Championships in Gdansk, Poland.

As Afloat reported previously, Finn Lynch had a great regatta finishing in 13th position in Gdansk, a personal best for the Dun Laoghaire ace but there was a disappointment overall for Tokyo qualified Murphy. There was another personal best for Lynch's rival Glynn too, who finished 43 from 126.

Howth's Eve McMahon at only 16-years-old had her first senior European championships, qualifying for the Gold Fleet and finishing in 45th - a great marker of future potential.

More on Finn Lynch's plans here

Published in Tokyo 2020
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2016 Irish Rio representative Finn Lynch believes that he can take one of the final two qualification spots for Tokyo 2021 in the Men's Laser class if he focuses on improving areas that prevented him from doing so at the last two qualification regattas. 

"There’s a bunch of good people who still haven’t qualified. There are five or six nations with guys who can have regattas in the top ten but I’m not really focusing on that. I’m focussing on trying to improve on the things that held me back on the last two qualification regattas. And If I can do that, there’s no reason that I cannot get a spot", he told the Irish Laer Class AGM last week.

Lynch gave his online interview coming off the back of the European Championships in Poland last month where he showed the depth of his Olympic ambitions and secured a personal best of 13th from a fleet of 126. It's a highly creditable result that will boost the 24-year-old's confidence in his race for one of the final Olympic berths.

Finn Lynch took a 13th overall - and a personal best - at the 2020 Laser EuropeansFinn Lynch took a 13th overall - and a personal best - at the 2020 Laser Europeans

Presumably, Lynch's training will focus on some uneven performances where the Irish ace has shown himself well able to win world championship races but, unfortunately,  just not managed to string together a consistent series to seize one of the prized Olympic berths.

As Afloat reported previously, the World Sailing Championships at Aarhus, Denmark, in August 2018 was the first opportunity to qualify for Tokyo, but Irish crews in three events did not pass the test then. Despite winning Race 7 in the Gold fleet, Lynch missed qualification by about 20 points as he carried two mid-forties results after he was disqualified from Race 8 for a premature start. Yet, in all this, his score sheet showed three top ten results, an otherwise very positive result. At the next qualification opportunity, the 2019 World Championships in Japan, Lynch ended the championship in 40th overall in the 148-boat fleet, 11th unqualified country and some 56-points off the tally required.

Prior to that, in the early part of 2019, the dedicated Olympic solo sailor had overall placings within the top ten at three major international events, and at Genoa 2019 he was an overall leader at one stage, and a slight turn of fortune would have seen him in the medals. His solid Laser performance moved him up to 15th in the world rankings in April 2019, so Lynch really does have the turn of speed required.

Fast forward to today and the scenario is that Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland are in the running for the final places with Ireland finishing behind all of these at the 2019 World Championships, so the race is well and truly on to take one of these final European places. 

Portuguese winter training camp

During the special AGM interview section, Lynch also gave details by Zoom of his planned extended training camp in Portugal under coach three-time Olympic medallist Vasilij Žbogar.

Lynch says he is 'really excited' about the plan for this winter. The National Yacht Club sailor will be training with the Norwegian team and aims to stay in warmer climes until the final Tokyo qualification regatta, the venue for which is as yet unconfirmed due to COVID-19.

"It's just a rumour but it could now be Hyeres Regatta next April or it could be Palma or Hyeres or maybe a different World Cup," he told Jim McMahon, Secretary of the Irish Laser Class during the online Q & A.

Also looking to secure Ireland's place in the forthcoming regatta are trialists Bangor's Liam Glynn and Howth's Ewan McMahon and whoever can secure the place at next Spring's Regatta automatically becomes the Irish nominee for Tokyo.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Finn Lynch showed the depth of his Olympic ambitions when he continued up the scoresheet in Poland today to finish with a personal best of 13th from a fleet of 126 at the Laser European Championships.

It's a remarkable comeback from the National Yacht Club sailor who sailed a strong final series to close out the six-day championships in his highest position of the week.

The result easily trumps his 27th scored at the May 2019 Euros in Porto and also the 55th overall scored at the 2018 La Rochelle Euros.

As Afloat reported this week, Lynch went from 37th on day one before moving up to 25th after two races sailed in the opening qualifiers. He then dropped to 42nd overall after four races sailed but by Saturday, the Rio 2016 rep was back up into the thirties and yesterday he had recovered to 18th. It was clear he was on a comeback, sealing his best ever Euro result today just three tantalizing places outside the coveted top ten.

The result, of course, shows the real potential of the County Carlow native if he can iron out some troubling inconsistencies. However, the overall scoresheet also provides a snapshot of the size of the challenge Lynch faces if he is to secure one of the final berths for Tokyo 2021. Rivals for the last Euro Olympic berth, Spain and Italy, finished just ahead of him and Belgium and Greece just behind, so the battle ahead is clear. 

Confidence boost

While there is no doubt just how tight the margins are for the last Olympic qualification event next year, this Polish result at least will give Lynch the confidence to continue pushing forward for what amounts to his last chance at becoming a double Olympian in this quadrennial.

Belfast Lough's Liam Glynn Photo: Thom TouwBelfast Lough's Liam Glynn Photo: Thom Touw

Belfast Lough's Liam Glynn’s result (43rd place) and qualification for the gold fleet sets him up well for the coming season. Ewan McMahon (43rd in the silver fleet) will be disappointed given the fact that he qualified for the gold fleet at the 2019 World Championships but at only 20 years of age, McMahon is gaining valuable experience at this level.

British podium lock-out

The British squad confirmed they wanted the whole podium for them on the Laser Men’s championship, but with a little surprise in the end, with their next Olympic representative Elliot Hanson GBR (11-5) overcoming Michael Beckett GBR (17-14) in this last two races and conquering the Gold medal. Silver for Mickey and Bronze for the 2019 European champion Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR (10-19).

"I wouldn’t have cared which one of us won today. To lockout, the podium with 2 of your best mates since I was 11 years old is something special in the laser fleet and something I’ll hold on to for a long time" – Elliot Hanson GBR

“Very very happy! With only 6 days sailing pre-event, I definitely wasn’t expecting this result! A big thanks to Nick Thompson who kept me on the right track! I enjoyed every moment of this event. Over the moon to come away with a medal alongside the Brit Lads”, emphasized Lorenzo.

Almost there on the podium was Croatian Filip Jurisic CRO (16-3), finally fourth with same points than third.

A good championship for Russian Sergey Komissarov RUS (2-8), wrapping the event with nice results and climbing to the fifth place overall.

A second discard today allowed the 2020 World champion Philipp Buhl GER (1-7) to drop his two Black flags from the score and jump to the Top 10 for the first time in the event, conquering the 6th European place.

Joel Rodriguez ESP, Tonci Stipanovic CRO, Jonatan Vadnai HUN and Jean Baptiste Bernaz FRA completed the European Top 10.

Charlie Buckingham USA (7-54) finished 6th overall in the Open European Trophy.

Tom Higgins sixth in Radial

Royal St. George's Tom Higgins finished in sixth position in the Men’s Laser Radial, just missed out on a U21 podium finish.

Results here

Published in Laser
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Finn Lynch continued his climb back up the scoresheet in the penultimate (and coldest) day of the 2020 Laser Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy in Poland.

The second discard hasn’t kicked in on the final series yet, which means it’s all still to play for tomorrow in the final two races of the Men’s Laser Standard division. It could see Ireland’s 2016 Rio rep climb higher than his18th place (up ten places overnight) a big comeback for the National Yacht Club sailor after being as low as 42nd after four races sailed.

Liam Glynn in 40th. Ewan McMahon is 18th in the silver fleet.

Organisers are expecting the final day tomorrow to be the windiest yet.

The British squad conquered the Laser Men’s podium in full today, with Michael Beckett GBR (24-22) retaining the leadership with 59 points but now closely followed by Elliot Hanson GBR (6-19) just 2.3 points behind. Third place is now for Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR (18-3) with 73.

“I forgot my jacket today so first of all, I have to thank Chris (my coach) for letting me use his between races on what must have been the coldest days sailing for a while. It was another tricky offshore day where it was hard to remain consistent. It’s tight at the top but great to be up there with both Enzo & Micky. Tomorrow should bring something different with a windy onshore breeze, it’s been a while since we’ve been hiking so I can’t wait!”– Elliot Hanson GBR

"Hard day as always in a Laser Gold fleet. Some nip and tuck racing out there. Tomorrow last day. Enjoying the moment"  – Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR

Places fourth to tenth are pretty tight now with all 6 competitors separated by 13 points. Russian sailor Sergey Komissarov RUS (13-27) heads this pack with 90, followed by William De Smet BEL (9-29) and Filip Jurisic CRO (20-4) with 92 and 95 points respectively.

“Today was about controlling the damage. I made a big comeback in the last race. Tomorrow will be the big show down. A second discard comes in play which will mix up the results massively. The only thing I can do tomorrow is sail at my very best and bring my A-game” – William De Smet BEL

"Definitely 20&4 today recover me a bit after very bad day yesterday. I manage to find my way in this light, tricky and shifty conditions. I am keeping focus for the last two races tomorrow, because still everything is open!" – Filip Jurisic CRO

Dimitris Papadimitriou GRE –99–, Nicolo Villa ITA –100–, Joaquin Blanco ESP –102– and Giovanni Coccoluto ITA –103 pt and winner of the last race today– are wrapping the provisional European Top 10.

It was a bad day for multi-champion Pavlos Kontides CYP (40-32) dropping to the 15th place with 114 points.

Charlie Buckingham USA (3-16) continued to show a great consistent sailing today and climbed to the 4th place overall with 83 units.

Higgins Up to Fifth in Radial

In the men’s Radial division, Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George Yacht Club scored a bullet in his last race and moves to fifth place overall in the 30-boat fleet.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Tricky light breezes prevailed in the first Final series day at the 2020 Laser Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy in Gdansk, Poland today that saw Finn Lynch move up three places overall in the 107-boat fleet to 25th place.

 Belfast lough's Liam Glynn is 45th. Ewan McMahon from Howth is in fourth position in the silver fleet.

Two new races were added to scores in the Laser Men’s Gold competition, with a nice day for the British sailor Michael Beckett GBR (4-15-4-1-2-7-4) reinforcing now leadership with 22 points, getting a nice gap to second Elliot Hanson GBR (3-8-1-7.3RDGq-17-17-2) with 38.3. Third place is still on hands of Pavlos Kontides CYP (2-21-2-9-4-37-7), although with a worst discard and counting 45 units.

Bad day for the overnight co-leader Filip Jurisic CRO (1-4-3-3-40-32-28), adding 60 points to his score and dropping to the 12th place.

Sergey Komissarov RUS and Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR are close to the podium positions in fourth and fifth, with 50 and 52 points respectively.

Ascendant William De Smet BEL is now sixth on ranking with 57 points, based on a great consistency work. Alessio Spadoni ITA is also climbing positions and ranked now seventh with 64.

Eighth place for Joaquin Blanco ESP with 66. It's the same score for Dimitris Papadimitriou GRE, entering the top 10 list for the first time in the event. Giovanni Coccoluto ITA holds the last of awarded positions on tenth with 69 points.

Charlie Buckingham USA is best of non-European sailors participating of this competition, holding the 8th place overall with 64 units.

Tom Higgins stays eighth in Radial men's fleet

Tom HigginsTom Higgins of the Royal St. George Yacht Club competing in the men's Radial Europeans. Photo: Thom Touw

In the men’s Radial division, Royal St. George’s Tom Higgins lies sixth in his 30-boat fleet.

The second day of finals racing continues tomorrow and the championships conclude on Tuesday.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch made an impressive leap of 14 places from 42nd after four races to 28th overall this evening to complete the qualification stages of the Laser Radial Europeans on Gdansk Bay, Poland.

Light winds meant that the fleet only finished one race today in the final qualification day 2020 Laser Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy in Gdansk, Poland.

Both Lynch and Belfast Lough's Liam Glynn make the gold fleet in 28th and 38th position but a black flag disqualification in race four cost Ireland’s 2016 Rio rep dearly with scores of 20,19,12,(64.0 BFD) and 8.0. 

Howth’s Ewan McMahon will continue racing in the silver fleet and currently places in 73rd.

Laser European Championships racing in Gdansk Photo: Thom TouwLaser European Championships racing in Gdansk Photo: Thom Touw

All three sailors are still trying to qualify Ireland for the Tokyo Olympics and take one of two final European berths available so this regatta represents an important opportunity before the Olympic qualifier early next season.

The leadership changed hands today after the single race contested with light wind. British sailor Michael Beckett GBR (4-15-4-1-2) is heading now the fleet with 11 points, sharing score with overnight leader Filip Jurisic CRO (1-4-3-3-41). Third place belongs now to multi-champion Pavlos Kontides CYP (2-21-2-9-4) with 17 points.

"Tricky and variable conditions so far which is visible from the results of the fleet. Tomorrow the real war begins in the gold fleet with the top 50% of the competitors battling it out in the 6 remaining races" – Pavlos Kontides CYP

Brits Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR (1-1-20-11-5) and Elliot Hanson GBR (3-8-1-7.3RDGq-17) are also close with 18 and 19.3 points respectively.
Joaquin Blanco ESP –26 pt–, Sergey Komissarov RUS –26 pt–, Alessio Spadoni ITA –33 pt–, William De Smet BEL –33 pt– and Jean Baptiste Bernaz FRA –37 pt– also wrapped the Qualifying series among the European top 10.

Juan Maegli GUA and Ryan Lo SGP are best non-European sailors, holding the 8th and 10th places in the overall ranking.

Tom Higgins eighth in Radial

In the men's Radial division, Tom Higgins of the Royal St George Yacht Club stays in the top ten of his 30-boat fleet in eighth overall.

The Final series will start tomorrow, where the Standard fleet will be split in Gold and Silver.

The first warning signal for the Standard will be at 11:00.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch has dropped five places to be 42nd overall after four races sailed at the 126-boat fleet of the Men's Laser Radial European Championships on Gdansk Bay in Poland. 

Belfast Lough's Liam Glynn is six places behind the Irish Rio representative and Howth's Ewan McMahon is in 83rd place. 

Saturday is another day of qualifying races before the fleets split for Sunday's final series.

Today was another day of great sailing conditions. A shifty NW breeze varying from 8-15 knots brought much longer waves than yesterday, although conditions were still choppy due to the 'unsteady' wind.

Consistency is paying off for Croatian Filip Jurisic CRO (1--3-3) leading now the Standard championship with 7 points, chased in full by the British quad: Michael Beckett GBR (4--4-1) and Elliot Hanson GBR (3-8-1-) complete the provisional podium with 9 and 12 points respectively.

The overnight leader Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR (1-1-20-11) is now fourth overall and sharing 13 points with Pavlos Kontides CYP and Joel Rodriguez ESP on 5th and 6th. Seventh place for another Spanish sailor, Joaquin Blanco ESP, only one point behind them.

Jean Baptiste Bernaz FRA, Alessio Spadoni ITA and Sergey Komissarov RUS complete the top 10 rank with 17, 19 and 20 points respectively.

Sailing will continue tomorrow with two new scheduled races. The day will start with Coaches/Team Leaders meeting at 09:00. First warning signal for the Radial will be at 11:00 / 11:45 for the Standard.

Royal St. George's Tom Higgins racing in the 30-boat men's Radial class is in fifth place, dropping three places on the second day.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under
Page 1 of 16

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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