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Paris 2024 Olympic campaigner Finn Lynch has won the 'Champions' Cup' at Foynes Yacht Club and sailed this year in the 17-foot Mermaid class.

Tricky light winds saw the schedule of races for the annual event cut short on the Shannon Estuary.

After just three races sailed in two days, the National Yacht Club's Lynch lifted the trophy with brother Rory and Carol Martin in the single-race final round.

The result denied Ger Owens of the GP14 class his chance of a three-peat, with the defending champion finishing seventh. 

Second overall was the GP14s Ruan O'Tiarnaigh, Ross Nolan and Kate O Regan.

Third was J24 Euro Champion Cillian Dickson, Louis Mulloy and Packer Thorne.

In a racing series that was planned for two days, the first day saw no racing due to almost no wind. Despite concerns over the forecast for Sunday, all skippers decided to go ahead with a shortened series. After one quick race each, the top nine boats from both flights were chosen.

Owens, a triple Olympian, secured his place in the final quite easily, raising hopes of a three-in-a-row win. However, Lynch, with his skills in downwind sailing, won the race in the short final race, which was held just minutes before the deadline to start the last race expired.

The very light winds started to drop as the eastbound tide began to rise, which threatened to abandon the race.

However, since all nine boats were similarly impacted by the change in wind, the race continued. Lynch, with crew members Rory Lynch and Carol Martin, finished first with just seconds to go.

Next year's event will live up to its earlier 'All Ireland' moniker and is likely to head north to Belfast Lough, where the event may be raced in RS400 dinghies, according to Afloat sources.

Full results below

Published in All Irelands
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Finn Lynch can add nation qualifying for the Paris Olympics 2024 to his many ILCA 7 achievements to date, including a world silver medal from 2021.

In a nerve-jangling conclusion to the Gold fleet series in the Men's single-handed event at the Allianz Sailing World Championships in The Hague on 19th August 2023, the National Yacht Club ace secured one of the last Paris 2024 Olympics places for Ireland available in The Netherlands. 

Lynch sailed out into the final two races for his event, needing only to deliver two safe results to maintain or improve on 14th place by nation. A total of 16 countries have qualified for the Men single-handed events, including Ireland.

After crossing the finishing line, he sailed ashore under the impression that he had missed qualification when he had actually managed to place 15th by nation and 23rd overall.

Elated with the outcome, he described qualifying Ireland for Paris 2024 as a "monkey off my back" and will now focus fully on preparations for the Olympics and selection for the national squad.

Published in Sailor of the Month
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Finn Lynch secured Ireland's berth at the Paris Olympics in the ILCA 7 class this afternoon when he claimed the 15th of 16 nation places on offer at the Sailing World Championships in The Hague.

The world championship silver medalist who represented Ireland in Rio 2016 but failed to qualify for Tokyo 2020, will be relieved to get Paris 2024 qualification in the men's dinghy behind him after a week of drama on the North Sea that saw 27-year-old Carlow sailor end the competition in 23rd overall when had been as high as eighth at one point. A delighted Lynch described the result as "a monkey off my back".

In a mixed final day, he placed 19th in the first race but was unable to break into the leading group and placed 38th in the last of the ten-race series.

After crossing the finishing line, he sailed ashore believing he had missed qualification when he had actually managed to place 15th by nation and 23rd overall.

Ireland sought three such qualifications at The Hague, but Lynch was the only sailor to make the Paris 2024 cut, a much-needed consolation after missing out on the World Championship medal race.

Now that Ireland is qualified in the men's dinghy, Lynch will contest the Paris 2024 place with Howth's Ewan McMahon in an Olympic trial series to be announced.

Meanwhile, Matt Wearn (AUS) is on the brink of adding a first world title to his Olympic gold medal after navigating his way into a comfortable lead in the ILCA 7. 
Going into the day trailing Micky Beckett (GBR), Wearn knew that a previous black flag disqualification for the Brit meant he was much more vulnerable to a bad score. 
So even though Beckett came second in the opening race of the day, stretching his lead further, Wearn was able to match-race his opponent – effectively delaying Beckett – with the pair finishing 65th and 66th, respectively. 
That allowed Wearn to move into top spot, with a 20-point lead over George Gautrey (NZL), while Beckett is a point further back. Wearn will therefore need to get around the course in the medal race with no penalties to take gold. 

Results here.

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Irish sailors are waiting for the wind to win a Paris 2024 Olympic berth after racing was cancelled at the Allianz Sailing World Championships in The Hague today. 

No racing was possible due to light winds, the opposite conditions of what caused the cancellation of the first day's racing at the Irish ILCA Nationals at Howth Yacht Club

Saturday's forecast for the Dutch coast is more promising as organisers try to complete the Gold fleet racing in the ILCA7 men's single-handed class.

Finn Lynch (National Yacht Club) is on track for Paris 2024 Olympics and hopes to improve his standing in the upcoming races. Lynch is joined by Howth's Ewan McMahon.

Results here.

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Ireland's Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club is lying within the Olympic nation qualifying criteria for Paris 2024 in 14th place out of 16 nations going into the final two races of the Sailing World Championships in The Hague.

The Rio 2016 ILCA 7 representative –  who failed to qualify for Tokyo 2020 – moved up 11 places in the overall standings from 33 to 22 on Thursday to be within the first Paris berth allocations.

A strong tidal current and fresh winds meant a physical and tactical day for the ILCA7 class single-handers.

In the opening race, Lynch placed second at the first mark but hit it in the strong tide, and after taking his penalty turn, he went on to finish in eighth place.

Tide again played a pivotal role in the second race that saw the former world championship silver medalist finish 17th in the 80-strong fleet.

With two races remaining, on the overnight standings, he is 22nd overall and is unlikely to make the medal race but within the Olympic qualifying criteria in 14th out of 16 nations, so a repeat performance or better is required on Friday.

Ireland's second boat racing in Gold fleet for the ILCA7 event saw Ewan McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) avoid multiple collisions at the first mark and place 23rd in the opening race.  He then discarded a 50th in the next race to hold 43rd overall and aims to deliver a top-half overall result.

A top two is starting to emerge in the ILCA 7 with Micky Beckett (GBR) and Matt Wearn (AUS) starting to move clear of the field. 
Beckett recovered from a difficult position in the second race of the day to finish eighth, and still holds an 11-point lead over Wearn. 
The bigger gap comes after the Australian however, with George Gautrey (NZL) 21 points back in third, followed closely by Pavlos Kontides (CYP) and Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA). 

Friday's forecast is for light winds in the morning, when the final two races are currently scheduled for.  With Spring tide conditions reaching their fastest flow of the week, Saturday's reserve day may yet be needed to complete the fleet series.

Results here.

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In 33rd position, Finn Lynch (National Yacht Club) has four ILCA 7 races left on Thursday at the Sailing World Championships in The Hague to make the medal race top ten plus a top 16 overall position to qualify Ireland for the Paris 2024 Olympics. 

After a 15th place and a 58th scored in Wednesday's wind against strong tide conditions, the Carlow sailor has it all to do on Thursday with countryman and rival for the single Irish berth, Ewan McMahon (Howth Yacht Club), just nine places behind in 42nd overall in the 69-strong division.

At the front of the fleet, Micky Beckett (GBR) overcame a black flag disqualification in the first race to extend his lead in the ILCA 7, thanks to a second in the day's final race.

However, Olympic champion Matt Wearn (AUS) was the big mover, with a first and a third to move into second overall, albeit still 15 points behind Beckett.

However, a strong start to competition in the gold fleet, Wearn will hope to match his exploits at the Paris Test Event when a strong finish saw him overhaul Beckett for victory.

Results here

It's the red-hot gold fleet for Finn Lynch in the ILCA 7 class of the Allianz Sailing World Championships, but not without drama in The Hague today as the Rio 2016 rep was disqualified for a premature start under the black flag rule after winning the day's second race.

The National Yacht Club ace must improve his overall score in the strong tidal waters off Scheveningen to be in the top 16 nations by Friday to win a place at Paris 2024.

"Lynch must be in the top 16 nations by Friday to win a place at Paris 2024"

The Men's ILCA 7 fleet departed the slipway before 9 am for a scheduled earlier start to complete the qualification round with a minimum of four and preferably a fifth race.

However, while races three and four were completed, attempts to get the fifth race away failed into the building flood tide.  The sailors headed ashore after seven hours on the water, so the stakes are high, with lots of points still to be won - or lost - by Friday.

The Sailing World Championships race schedule has been rearranged to use Wednesday's rest day for racing, so the ILCA 7 will - subject to weather - have two races daily for the coming three days to decide Sunday's medal race final and the top 16 nations to win a place at Paris 2024.

On a day where the conditions made it tricky for the ILCA 7 sailors to race, Micky Bennett (GBR) took the limited opportunities that came his way and now sits on top of the leaderboard after four races.

Finishing third and then second in the blue fleet, Bennett has a one-point lead over Pavlos Kontides (CYP) at this early stage, while Philipp Buhl (GER) is third after winning the second race of the day in the yellow fleet.

Results here

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Rio 2016 Olympian Finn Lynch (National Yacht Club) in the Men's ILCA7 event had a 12th and a fourth place on the opening day to end a solid eighth overall at the Sailing World Championships at The Hague. 

The championships are the first opportunity to qualify for the Paris Olympics, a step Lynch failed to make for Tokyo four years ago. 

Lynch's solid start today is typical of some recent form, including a well-earned sixth at last month's Olympic Test event, so hopes are high a nation place will be secured this week. 

A second Irish ILCA 7 sailor, Ewan McMahon (Howth Yacht Club), recovered from a 40th in the opening race to place 17th.

Ewan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club is competing at the Sailing World Championships in The Hague Photo: Sailing EnergyEwan McMahon of Howth Yacht Club is competing at the Sailing World Championships in The Hague Photo: Sailing Energy

Champion Australian Wearn was far from his fluent best on the ICLA 7 class's opening day as two-time Olympic silver medallist Stipanovic stole the show.

The experienced Croatian grabbed two blue fleet victories as Beckett, who had gold snatched away from him by Wearn at last month’s Test Event in Marseille, finished third and first in the yellow fleet.

Wearn could only muster two 11th-place finishes in the blue fleet as Cypriot Pavlos Kontides finished fourth and second in those races to lie third in the overall standings ahead of Hermann Tomasgaard (NOR).

Wearn, 27, recovered from a similarly slow start to grab Olympic gold in Tokyo two summers ago and says channelling memories of that fightback can fuel a rousing Dutch turnaround.

He said: “[Tokyo] definitely does cross the mind – even though things might not be great now, there’s still a lot of racing ahead.

“I always knew it was going to be a long and tough week – I definitely think about it every now and then, and I’ve just got to keep pushing.”

Beckett trails Stipanovic by two points heading into the second day of racing, adding: “You can’t win anything on day one, but you can lose a lot, and I haven’t lost it.”

Results are here

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An ultra-consistent Finn Lynch (IRL) is lurking in the hunt for a podium finish at the Paris 2024 Test Event in Marseilles on Saturday after a string of top-ten results in a 42-boat ILCA 7 fleet.

The National Yacht Club's Lynch was as high as third on Wednesday evening, the second time in the series he's been in a podium position, but dropped back to fifth overall on Thursday after scoring an 11th in race nine.

Michael Beckett (GBR) has moved into a commanding position for the title. He suffered his first off day of the competition on Thursday, but the Irish sea sailor bounced back in style to put himself into a strong position ahead of the medal race.

Finishing second and then third, Beckett moved back ahead of Olympic champion Matt Wearn (AUS) in the standings.

Beckett currently sits on 30 points, nine clear of Wearn, meaning that even with double points in the medal race on Saturday, he has a comfortable buffer.

New Zealander George Gautrey won the second race of the day to move up to third on 45 points with Pavlos Kontides (CYP) and Finn Lynch (IRL) lurking in the hunt for a podium finish on 48 and 49 respectively.

Results here

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Marseille's mistral breeze swept Ireland's Finn Lynch into third overall after eight races sailed today in the  ILCA 7 at the Paris 2024 Test Event

Lynch has had a consistent regatta with seven top eight results and bounced back from his 15th in race six with a 6,1 in today's breezy races to be six points off the lead.

The Olympic champion Matt Wearn (AUS) jumped ahead of Michael Beckett (GBR) at the top of the ILCA 7 standings after a fine showing, finishing third and then first in the day’s two races.

That was enough to take the top spot from Beckett, who could only finish 14th in the first race and now sits on 26 points, two behind Wearn and within four points of Lynch on 30.

And as in the ILCA 6, Ireland had another success as the National Yacht Club's Lynch won the first race of the day, enough to move into third overall, one point clear of Pavlos Kontides (CYP).

Results here

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