#rio2016 – Just over a year before the Rio Olympics Sailing Regatta, the much anticipated 2016 Olympic Games Sailing Nomination Procedures has been published by the Irish Sailing Association (downloadable below).
A real dilemma for selectors has been the men's Laser class. Belfast's James Espey (31) did Ireland a great service in qualifying the country at the first attempt. The selectors have been aware that two years can make a difference to the development of younger sailors, suggesting that recent Youth World silver medalists Finn Lynch (19) and Seafra Guilfoyle (18) will come into the selection mix. Espey's age and performance profile suggest, that while he could triumph in an unambiguous trials format selectors have decided Irish sailing might be better served by looking to the future, especially as the talent glass in this class is more than half full.
It looks like early selection in the Laser Radial and 49er class has not been too hard a decision for the ISA. Any significant competition to the Rio nation qualifying sailors has not materilaised, and this removes the uncertainty of a trial series. This can bring benefits to the performances of Annalise Murphy (25), Ryan Seaton (26) and Matt McGovern (28), allowing them to build a programme focusing on podium positions at major events. Funding, coaching and athlete needs support can be built around this model. In the case of Murphy, in particular, improving performance in light air conditions is a must if Ireland is to improve on its 2012 result in Weymouth.
In the nomination procedure, the ISA sets out a trials series for the Laser standard class (men) and notes that apart from the Laser standard, a trial will only take place in another class if more than one candidate meets a minimum standard. For the Laser Radial this is top 60% at the Oman Laser Worlds later this year. According to the criteria, if a trial is needed the entry will be open to all candidates.
So far Ireland has secured nation qualification for Rio in the Laser, Laser Radial and the 49er dinghies. A campaign for a fourth slot in the women's 49erfx is currently underway.
In the 49erFX, selection has to await country qualification, but this should be a formality given recent top performances by Brewster and Tidey. Their performance may have inspired other young sailors to up their game and pose a challenge for them even late in 2015 or is such a prospect now too remote?
The Trial Regattas for Laser and Laser Radial shall be, 2015 Copa Brasil de Vela, 2016 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, and the 2016 Laser Radial World Championships (Women) and the 2016 Laser World Championships (Men)
The Trial Regattas for 49er and 49erfx shall be, 2015 Copa Brasil de Vela, 2016 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, and the 2016 49er and 49erfx World Championships
Full details downloadable below.