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Yesterday saw the long-awaited Irish Olympic Sailing Team plan come to fruition in Dun Laoghaire Harbour when the converted shipping container units, which will house the Irish Sailing Performance HQ Gym, Briefing Room, Lounge and Boat Workshop, arrived on site at the Irish Lights Depot in the south county Dublin harbour.

Over the next few days, the plan is for the containers to be moved into position and furnished while the new Olympic Sailing Team pontoon, as previously reported, gets the finishing touches alongside them.

Annalise murphyAnnalise Murphy and her Olympic coach Rory Fitzpatrick were on site yesterday at Irish Lights, the new home of Irish Olympic sailing

Published in Olympic
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With two years to Tokyo 2020, Irish Olympic Sailors will be keeping a keen eye on changes to the all-important international calendar following changes to dates announced by World Sailing.

The Spring dates for the World Cup Series Genoa and the Hyéres Regatta, which will follow the Trofeo Princesa Sofia have been revised and are now confirmed for 2019 and 2020.

The events will be held on the following dates:

Trofeo Princesa Sofia, 29 March - 6 April,
Genoa World Cup Series Round, 15-21 April
Hyéres Regatta, 27 April - 4 May

Trofeo Princesa Sofia, 27 March to 4 April
Genoa World Cup Series Round, 13-19 April
Hyéres Regatta, 25 April - 2 May

Genoa, Italy will host its first World Cup Series event in 2019 and the 2020 edition will also act as the European continental qualification regatta for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Both the 2019 and 2020 editions of World Cup Series Genoa will have open quotas, allowing large fleets to race off the Italian city's dramatic coastline.

Trofeo Princesa Sofia, held in Palma de Mallorca, Spain and the Hyéres Regatta, hosted in the French town, will be ranked 100-point regattas with the Genoa World Cup a 200-point event.

The new dates provide the opportunity for Olympic Class sailors to participate in 3 major regattas in the Mediterranean over a 5-week period.

From 2021, the Hyéres Regatta will return to its traditional timing of the fourth week of April.

On the calendar of events, World Sailing President, Kim Andersen, commented, "The schedule of events enables the world's leading Olympic class sailors an opportunity to test themselves on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

"The scheduling enables the competitors ample time to travel from venue to venue, prepare on the competitions waters and to compete at a high level. I thank the Fédération Française de Voile and the Federazione Italiana Vela for their close cooperation in confirming the dates for the next two year's."

Francesco Ettorre, President of the FIV said, "I'm very happy that a positive solution has been found, in line with the long-lasting good relationship between the FFVoile and FIV. It is also a great honour to host the Continental Qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Now all our focus will go towards providing great racing and the best hospitality and organization for all the sailors."

Nicolas Henard, President of the FFVoile said, "The FFVoile is very happy to be a major part of a great 2019 South European Olympic Tour. As usual, Hyères and Marseille will be ready to welcome the international elite of sailing."

About the World Cup Series

The 2019 World Cup Series commenced in Enoshima, Japan in September. Rounds in Miami, USA and Genoa, Italy will follow in 2019 culminating with the Final in Marseille. Enoshima will host the first round of the 2019-20 series with Miami and Genoa following before a return to Enoshima for the Final as sailors and teams to maximise their opportunity to compete at the Olympic venue and to reduce travel and logistics costs for teams ahead of Tokyo 2020.

The schedule of World Cup events for 2019 - 2020 is:

2019 World Cup

Enoshima Round: 9-16 September 2018
Miami Round: 27 January-3 February 2019
Genoa Round: 15-21 April 2019
Marseille Final: 2-9 June 2019

2020 World Cup

Enoshima Round: 25 August-1 September 2019
Miami Round: 26 January-2 February 2020
Genoa Round: 13-19 April 2020
Enoshima Final: June* 2020

Published in Tokyo 2020
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The Olympic Federation of Ireland has welcomed the Government’s announcement that it will increase current funding for Sport Ireland by €6.5m in 2019.  The news has also been cautiously welcomed by Irish Sailing's High-Performance Director James O'Callaghan. 

Through its National Sports Policy 2019-2017, the Government has committed to doubling funding for sport over the next ten years from €111m to €220m annually, and within that, to a trebling of investment to support elite athletes and their programmes from €11m to €30m per annum over the period.

The details released this week come on the back of €1.5m for High-Performance sport announced by Government earlier this year and will help to provide support for Irish Olympic athletes and their programmes as they prepare for Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

Speaking after the details of the funding increase was announced today, Olympic Federation of Ireland President, Sarah Keane said, “There is a clear correlation between funding for High-Performance Sport and success on the international stage so this additional current funding provided for Sport Ireland is very welcome. The National Sports Policy launched earlier this year provides a solid framework for future success. Today’s announcement demonstrates that the Government is committed to make good on its policy commitments by implementing the first of the increases required over the next ten years. Ireland’s Olympic athletes work incredibly hard to succeed internationally and deserve our support so that they can fulfil their potential.

“The results achieved by our Olympic Sports this summer, and the continuing good performances of our young athletes at the Youth Olympic Games, demonstrate that we can start to deliver consistently with the correct funding and structures in place. This funding announcement is vitally important to address the lost ground caused by the crash of 2008 and to narrow the gap against the support provided in many of the nations which we compete against internationally 

“The strong partnerships that now exist between the Olympic Federation of Ireland, Sport Ireland, the NGBs, the athletes and the Sport Ireland Institute means that the system is well set up to capitalise on this investment in the years to come. 

“I want to thank Minister Shane Ross and Minister Brendan Griffin for their work through this budget to deliver on the policy’s funding commitments and Minister Paschal Donohoe and An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for their support. 

“We look forward to working closely with Government, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and Sport Ireland on implementation, and to the many benefits that this investment will deliver.”

James O'Callaghan said: "Broadly has to be seen as positive but we need to see the details to see what it actually means for us [Sailing]"

Published in Tokyo 2020
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There were some mixed results for Irish Sailors in Japan as the World Cup Series in Enoshima, the first major event on Tokyo 2020 Olympic waters, came to a tame finish yesterday.  The Irish crews agree it has been a good experience being out on the Olympic racetrack and all four teams have 'learned a lot' in some varied conditions but, says team management, the Irish sailing team will need 'more time here' at the venue over the next two years.

Laser sailor Finn Lynch finished in the top third of his fleet thanks in part to a second scored in race seven. At 17th overall, the National Yacht Club star was the best of the Irish in his 59-boat fleet.

His female counterparts in the Radial division, Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller, who are rivals for the single Irish Olympic berth, finished 27th and 37th respectively in their 53-boat fleet. Hopkins of Howth Yacht Club just managed to make the top half of the fleet, her best result being an 11th scored in the seventh and final race of the series.

Team manager James O'Callaghan has rapidly come to the conclusion that the Irish sailors will need to be "all-rounders" to be successful in Enoshima in two year's time.

"At the beginning, we had side effects from a typhoon and some big waves. Then we had sea breeze which got pretty strong. Then we had offshore NE massively shifty flat water, coming off the mountains. We need more time here" O'Callaghan told "The Dutch have probably spent the most time here and they got four gold and a silver!" he added.

As reported previously, the Irish 49er pair Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle finished 20 from 27. "Managing to get some solid starts, and continuing to try and work out the other bits!", the pair commented on social media.

Japan strike gold on Tokyo 2020 Waters 

Japan’s Keiju Okada and Jumpei Hokazono won gold in the Men’s 470 . The Japanese held an eight-point lead heading into the final day but, due to a light breeze, the fleet were unable to sail, with only the Laser and Laser Radial completing their Medal Races.

Racing was due to commence at 12:00 local time, but the expected sea breeze had not yet developed as cloud covered Sagami Bay. It wasn’t until 15:00 that a 5-6 knot south-westerly breeze developed, allowing the Laser to hit the water. By that time, the 470 Medal Races had been cancelled, handing the Japanese men and Afrodite Kyranakou and Anneloes van Veen (NED) gold.

Elliot Hanson (GBR) won in the Laser the day prior and Marit Bouwmeester (NED) claimed an expectant Laser Radial gold. As the Finn were unable to race, Nicholas Heiner (NED) was confirmed as the victor.

Across the week, Okada and Hokazono sailed with great consistency and as soon as racing was cancelled for the day, they could start their celebrations.

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) took silver and Daichi Takayama and Kimihiko Imamura (JPN) completed the podium. Kazuto Doi and Naoya Kimura (JPN) finished in fourth, marking a tremendous regatta for the Japanese team.

Japanese Sailing team leader Aiko Saito said, “We have at least four in the top ten and then we have one or two more. It’s our key class and I am very happy that the boys are doing well. For me, it doesn’t matter who wins, just as long as we are winning.”

Okada and Hokazono are originally from Japan’s southern island, Kyushu, but moved up to Enoshima to target Tokyo 2020. With beaming smiles ahead of the medal ceremony, they commented, “Winning the selection for the Japanese team is very tough but we’ll do the best we can. Winning here in Enoshima gives us an advantage and we are training here more than anyone else, so that’s going to give us confidence for the future.”

The Laser fleet were the first to set sail at 15:17 local time. Elliot Hanson (GBR) held an unassailable 43-point over the fleet going into the Medal Race, ensuring the title was his.

“It’s an amazing feeling to perform so dominantly on the Olympic waters,” said Hanson. “It didn’t sink in how disappointed I was to let my medal slip away at the World Championships in Aarhus until I got home.

“After a bad performance, there’s nothing better than another event to throw yourself into to bounce back, so I was really fired up for this one.”

Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) won the Medal Race but it did not move him onto the podium. Matt Wearn (AUS), finishing in second, benefitted from Thomas Saunders’ (NZL) tenth to move into second spot, and Sam Meech (NZL) completed the medal line up.

Watch the Laser Medal Race back here

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) won the Laser Radial Medal Race to firm up a top spot on the podium which was already all but hers.

Victory in Enoshima confirmed her place at Tokyo 2020 too, as the event acted as a qualification event for the Dutch Laser Radial squad.

“It was pretty challenging with the light winds and offshore breeze so I’m very happy with the result,” said Bouwmeester. “It’s great to secure my spot for the Olympics and now I can focus on putting together the best possible campaign I can. I’m going to try and spend as much time as I can in Enoshima.”

In a light wind Medal Race, Josefin Olsson’s (SWE) second and Emma Plasschaert’s (BEL) fourth ensured there was no movement in silver and bronze respectively.

Click here to watch the Laser Radial Medal Race

Afrodite Kyranakou and Anneloes van Veen (NED) won gold in the Women’s 470 thanks to a consistent week of racing. The Dutch duo narrowly missed out on qualifying their country for Tokyo 2020 at the Hempel Sailing World Championships, but they demonstrated they can perform on Olympic waters.

From eight races sailed, the pair were in the top six in all but one, and finished three points ahead of 2018 World Champions Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka (JPN). Benedetta di Salle and Alessandra Dubbini (ITA) completed the podium.

“We were really looking forward to having a fight with the Japanese and Italian teams,” said Kyranakou. “They’re pretty good on those conditions so it would have been a good test.

“It’s nice to know we already won but on the other hand it’s very productive to sail on Olympic waters any day.”

“It’s a little bit weird to win and not race but it’s nice,” concluded van Veen.

The Finn hit the water in an attempt to sail their Medal Race, but as the late afternoon breeze started to drop, it became unsuitable for racing.

As the clock ticked down to the 16:30 time limit, expectations were low as a breeze failed to materialise and, bang on time, the Race Committee called an end to a compelling week of racing.

Heiner takes away gold, with Great Britain’s Giles Scott and Ed Wright in second and third respectively.

“It was a great week for me, I was nine points behind at the start and on the back foot,” said Heiner. “I had a really solid week and I’m really happy with the way I sailed. I would have loved to have sailed today but it wouldn’t have been a fair race.

“I’ve raced against most guys a lot this year and this is only the third time I’ve raced against Giles. He’s kind of the unbeatable man and to do that from nine points behind feels good.”

After a packed schedule of events throughout 2018, many of the sailors will now enjoy a period of rest and recuperation before heading to Miami, Florida, USA for the second round of Sailing’s World Cup Series.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch was best of the Irish Olympic Sailing Team at the World Cup Series event in Enoshima, Japan yesterday, finishing 28th from 59 boats in the men's Laser class after four races on Tokyo 2020 Olympic waters.

10-20 knot shifty winds and two bad starts made for tricky sailing for the Carlow native.

In the Women's Laser Radial class, Howth's Aoife Hopkins in 34th place leads Lough Derg's Radial National Champion Aisling Keller in 41st in a fleet of 53. 

The single Irish 49er of Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle lie 19th from 27 after six races sailed.

Full results are here.

As the dust just about settles on the Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018, many of the newly-crowned World Champions continue their form at the World Cup Series event in Enoshima, Japan.

The 2018 World Cup Series Enoshima is the first to be held on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition field of play, and competitors who have succeeded on Olympic waters ahead of the Games often achieve glory come showtime.

Out of the 466 sailors from 44 nations, the World Champions crowned in Aarhus have come to the forefront once again, suggesting that their talents and racing know-how can be seemingly transferred from one venue to the next.

Racing continued at 11:40 today.

Top three by class after day one:

470 Men
1. Keiju Okada / Jumpei Hokazono, JPN, 7 points
2. Naoki Ichino / Takashi Hasegawa, JPN, 10
3. Kevin Peponnet / Jeremie Mion, FRA, 11

470 Women
1. Benedetta Di Salle Alessandra Dubbini, ITA, 7
2. Afrodite Zegers / Anneloes van Veen, NED, 7
3.Elena Berta / Bianca Caruso, ITA, 9

49er Men
1. Dylan Fletcher-Scott / Stuart Bithell, GBR, 3
2. Lukasz Przybytek / Pawel Kolodzinski, POL, 5
3. James Peters / Fynn Sterritt, GBR, 7

49erFX Women
1. Martine Soffiatti Grael / Kahena Kunze, BRA, 3
2. Alexandra Maloney / Molly Meech, NZL, 4
3. Ida Marie Baad Nielsen / Marie Thusgaard Olsen, DEN, 4

Finn Men
1. Giles Scott, GBR, 7
2. Josh Junior, NZL, 8
3. Edward Wright, GBR, 10

Laser Men
1. Michael Beckett, GBR, 10
2. Philipp Buhl, GER, 11
3. Matthew Wearn, AUS, 15

Laser Radial Women
1. Emma Plasschaert, BEL, 8
2. Sarah Douglas, CAN, 12
3. Josefin Olsson, SWE, 16

1. Ruggero Tita / Caterina Marianna Banti, ITA, 2
2. Vittorio Bissaro / Maelle Frascari, ITA, 4
3. Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders, NZL, 5

RS:X Men
1. Mattia Camboni, ITA, 2
2. Kiran Badloe, NED, 4
3. Pierre Le Coq, FRA, 7

RS:X Women
1. Lilian De Geus, NED, 2
2. Peina Chen, CHN, 4
3. Charline Picon, FRA, 5

Published in Tokyo 2020
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An Irish team of three Lasers (two women and one man) and a single 49er pair get their first taste of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition venue in Enoshima, Japan this week when the harbour will host sailors for the first event of the 2019 World Cup Series.

Following the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, (where unfortunately Ireland was unable to qualify for Tokyo in any class) the sailors are continuing their journey to the 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Out in Japan representing Ireland are Radial rivals Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller (the new Radial Champion), Finn Lynch in the Laser Standard and the Belfast-Cork 49er duo Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle.

Enoshima will welcome sailors in just under two years’ time for the Olympic Games and for many, the World Cup will be their first opportunity to learn about the Olympic venue.

Events held on Olympic waters are often strong indicators of what to expect at the Olympic Games.

Annalise Murphy

Following the London 2012 test event in 2011, 17 medallists went on to clinch an Olympic medal, while at the Aquece Rio 2015, Rio 2016’s sailing test event, 16 medallists achieved an Olympic medal a year later.

Of course, as regular readers of will know, this was not the case for then Radial sailor Annalise Murphy in Rio. The Dubliner had to wait until the cusp of the Games itself when she won a pre-Olympic regatta only weeks before delivering her famous silver medal result, building so magnificently on her fourth overall from London 2012.

Two years later, Murphy is out of the Radial class and heading for a brand new challenge in a double-handed campaign. She is not in Tokyo with new sailing partner Katie Tingle but Belfast Lough organisers say her 49erfx campaign will debut at Ballyholme Yacht Club's 'Speed' event later this month. 

The fleets in Enoshima feature many of the leading racers who will be aiming to reign supreme and set a benchmark. Eight of the World Champions crowned in Aarhus are racing and will be joined by more than 450 sailors from 45 nations. More than 30 Olympic medallists are also competing.

Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) have been unbeatable in the Nacra 17 in 2018, winning two World Cup events as well as the World Championships.

In Aarhus, the scene was set for a memorable Medal Race as the Italians led by a narrow margin over Nathan and Haylee Outteridge (AUS), Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) and Lin Ea Cenholt and Christian Peter Lübeck (DEN) who were all in contention for gold.

However, a consistent breeze failed to materialise, handing the Italians the world title. The four teams will pick up where they left off in Enoshima, renewing their rivalry in a bid to show who has what it takes on Olympic waters for the first time.

Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) make a return to the World Cup Series, following Riou’s successful adventure on-board Dongfeng Race Team during the Volvo Ocean Race. Besson and Riou were the unprecedented favourites for Rio 2016 gold two years ago, but Besson sustained a back injury that severely impacted his performance. The pair won all four World Championships in the Rio quad and will once again be a team to be feared.

Further contenders in the Nacra 17 fleet include Rio 2016 silver medallists Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS), Ben Saxton and Nicola Boniface (GBR), Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL) and Bora Gulari and Louisa Chafee (USA).

Over the last seven years, Giles Scott (GBR) has raced at 26 international competitions in the Finn. He has won 23 of those, narrowly missing out on gold in the remaining three and settling for silver. After some months off to focus on the British America’s Cup project, he returns to the Finn fleet in Enoshima.

Many of Scott’s victories in recent years have been comprehensive but the 21-boat fleet in Enoshima has significant strength in depth. Jorge Zarif (BRA), Tapio Nirkko (FIN), Jonathan Lobert (FRA), Ed Wright (GBR), Nicholas Heiner (NED), Caleb Paine (USA) and Max Salminen (SWE) all have what it takes to stop Scott in his tracks.

Pavlos Kontides (CYP), 2018 World Champion, will spearhead the 59-boat Laser fleet, the largest in Enoshima. Rio 2016 medallists Tom Burton (AUS), Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) and Sam Meech (NZL) will also sail in the fleet.

Belgium’s newly-crowned Laser Radial World Champion, Emma Plasschaert, will be joined by Rio 2016 gold medallist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) in the 54-boat pack. Both sailors will be vying for the podium, as will Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN), Alison Young (GBR) and Paige Railey (USA).

The Netherlands dominated in the RS:X competition in Aarhus, winning gold in the men’s and women’s fleets. Both Dorian van Rijsselberghe and Lilian de Geus will be in Enoshima with strong competition around them in their respective fleets.

Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz won a third gold for the Netherlands in Aarhus and they will race in the 24-boat 49erFX fleet that also features Rio 2016 gold medallists Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA). In the 49er, 26-teams will race.

The Men’s and Women’s 470 fleets will feature 32 and 23 teams respectively.

Racing starts at 11:00 local time on Tuesday 11 September. The Men’s and Women’s RS:X, 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 competition will conclude on Saturday 15 September with their Medal Races and the Laser, Laser Radial, 470s and Finn will wrap up on Sunday 16.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Dublin Skiff sailors Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove have won the 49er Under–23 Junior World title in Marseille, France.

In a final race climax, the Howth and Skerries pairing won the last race from a chasing pack in the 52-boat fleet.

The duo, both aged 19, who previously topped the 420 class in Ireland before moving up to the Olympic 49er, showed very consistent form during the five-day event on the Cote D'Azur with seven results from nine races in the top five.

Robert dickson Sean WaddiloveGold Medal Winners - Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove in control in big breeze in France Photo: 49er class

Dickson and Waddilove went into today’s final round as overnight leaders and really held their nerve despite gear failure in race ten that saw them slip to ninth.

However, they recovered superbly to prevail in the subsequent final race of the series and secure gold, Ireland's first ever win in the skiff class at this age group.

It's all a long way from February 2017 when the pair were down after injury to Waddilove threatened their Tokyo 2020 campaign progress

The win continues a top Irish junior season after Liam Glynn took home a bronze medal in the U21 Laser World Championships in July.

Overall results are here

Additional reportage from

The only fleet to get out this afternoon was the 49er Gold Fleet, as the Mistral that has been with us the past three days continued at full strength. Six teams were within eight points of the leader at the start of the final race, so saying it was anyone’s regatta is no understatement!

Robert DICKSON and Seán WADDILOVE (IRL) sealed the victory by winning the last race. The overnight leaders started at the boat, caught the first shift off the cliffs and after a couple more tacks up the beat consolidated and extended in victory to seal the championship.

Locked in a tie after the series, it is Max STINGELE and Linov SCHEEL (GER) that edged out Daniel NYBORG and Sebastian WRIGHT OLSEN (DEN) based on winning the countback on the strength of their gold fleet win in the first race of the day.

The German had the best day on the water, with a 1, 5, and were all smiles after coming back to shore. In between the two races, when it was still unclear if the RC would run a second race or not, skipper Max could be seen physically ramping up his energy level with a series of shouts and leg slaps to be sure hey was up for the occasion. They were not able to replicate their commanding win from the first race, but sailed very well when it mattered most.

Third place is a decent consolation prize for the Danes but they will be kicking themselves for an error in the first race that cost them the championship. In third place down the first run they capsized in their gybe. They weren’t overly under pressure, and they probably make that gybe 7 times out of 10, but not that time.

They were not the only contenders to capsize in the moment, as so did fourth overall’s Bart LAMBRIEX and Scipio HOUTMAN (NED). It took them an age to get the boat back upright, and they could only recover to 15th, a hammer blow since they already had a 19th on their scorecard while the rest of the fleet all had lower discard races.

There were no moments of rest for any of the fleet for the duration of the session. The breeze and seas were right on the limit for the afternoons racing, but ultimately most the gold fleet acquitted themselves nicely in the challenging conditions.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Following the conclusion of Men’s and Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser / Laser Radial and Women’s Skiff – 49erFX fleet racing at the Hempel Sailing World Championships, the first nations in those fleets have booked their spot at Tokyo 2020. Ireland did not qualify in any class so Irish Team management will be following the allocation of places carefully given the next opportunity to qualify is not until 2019, a year before the Games itself.

In the Laser and Radial, 14 and 18 places respectively were available in Aarhus. In the 49erFX there were eight places available.

Subject to final notification from World Sailing after the event to the relevant Member National Authority / National Olympic Committee, the following nations have qualified:

Great Britain
New Zealand

Within the 60-boat fleet, 25 nations were represented.

Great Britain
New Zealand
South Korea

Sixty-five nations were represented in the 165 boat fleet, the largest in Aarhus.

Laser Radial
Great Britain

Out of 119 entrants in the Radial, 53 nations were represented.

Japanese sailors were represented in all fleets so as host nation, receive an entry into every Tokyo 2020 Olympic sailing event.

About the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition Qualification System

The World Championships is the principal qualification event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with 101 places, 40% of the total quota in the ten Olympic sailing disciplines, up for grabs.

Six places will be available in the Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy following the 2018 Asian Games and 2019 Pan Am Games.

Class Association World Championships in 2019 will see the awarding of 61 places and throughout the remainder of 2019, moving into 2020, Continental Qualification events will be held to decide the remaining 68 places.

Two Men's One Person Dinghy and two Women's One Person Dinghy spots will be awarded to eligible National Olympic Committees (NOC) through the Tripartite Commission Invitation Places. The International Olympic Committee will invite eligible NOCs on 14 October 2019 to apply for these places.

Each NOC may enter a maximum of one boat per event, a total of 15 athletes (eight men and seven women) at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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The Irish Olympic Sailing Team is to 'carefully review' its plans after failing to qualify for Tokyo 2020 in any of the four classes it contested at this week's Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

It was expected at least two qualification places would have been earned at the championships where 40% of all Tokyo berths were up for grabs but the decision to reduce the number of Olympic places being determined at Aarhus from 50% to just 40% meant the steep qualification slope got even steeper for the young Irish team.

"There's no denying our disappointment that Ireland didn't qualify in any of the classes for Tokyo 2020 at this first attempt though this belies just how promising some of the individual performances actually were over the past week," commented James O'Callaghan, Irish Sailing Performance Director. "The average age of the squad is 21 and while we will carefully review our approach to Tokyo, we still expect that these sailors will continue to improve over the coming months."

After eight days of competition, the 14 Irish sailors at the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Denmark have ended their individual events. In spite of several strong performances including individual race wins, Ireland will have to wait for the next opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

In general terms, in six of the ten Olympic events, a finish in the top eight places overall was rewarded with a place in the 2020 Olympic Regatta in Aarhus.

The exceptions were the two single handers - the Laser and Laser Radial - which get 14 spots for the Men and 18 for the Women but even this turned out to be too steep for Ireland.

After several days of unsettled weather and light winds, near perfect sailing conditions greeted the sailors on the Bay of Aarhus today with competitions concluded in the Laser and Laser Radial Gold fleets as well as the 49er Silver and Bronze fleets where most of the Irish sailors have been competing.

Ireland’s best hope for qualifying for Tokyo at the event was Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club competing in the Men’s Laser event and he ended his ten-race series with a creditable performance when he placed ninth out of 58 boats in the single race that concluded the delayed schedule.

Despite winning Race 7 in the Gold fleet, he 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 shows three top ten results and that must be seen as trending positively two years out from the Games.

Wednesday also saw another Gold fleet race victory for Howth Yacht Club’s Aoife Hopkins that hinted at similar to come as her senior career develops. She discarded the last race of ten-race series today (Thursday) to finish in 50th place overall.

In the Silver and Bronze fleets in three other events for Irish boats, there was a long day afloat as the Men’s 49er skiff event caught up on its weather-delayed schedule but was concluded in a four-race day. London and Rio veteran Ryan Seaton of Ballyholme Yacht Club, now paired with Séafra Guilfoyle of the Royal Cork Yacht Club ended their event in 36th place overall following sixth and second places today 

Robert Dickson of Howth Yacht Club with Sean Waddilove from Skerries Sailing Club racing in the Silver fleet placed 53rd overall and best of the Development Academy crews. Sean and Tadgh Donnelly from the National Yacht Club picked places in the overall standings thanks to first and second places on the final day and ended 71st overall. Mark Hassett from Baltimore Sailing Club and Oisin O'Driscoll from Schull Harbour Sailing Club placed 75th out of the 86 entries in the class.

Amongst the single-handers, Liam Glynn from Ballyholme Yacht Club finished in 93rd place overall out of 165 Lasers while Aisling Keller from Lough Derg Yacht Club was 85th out of 119 Laser Radials.

In the Finn class that ended fleet racing yesterday, Baltimore Sailing Club's Fionn Lyden was finished second in the Silver fleet and 47th overall while Donaghadee Sailing Club's Oisín Mcclelland was close behind in 49th out of 90 boats.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Sailing’s oldest enemy played havoc in what was supposed to be the busiest day of the Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018 so far on Monday.

After a week of ideal conditions, light and changeable winds made for difficult race management decisions at the today where Ireland had four crews competing in the 49er skiff event. Although three races had been scheduled, only one race was sailed to complete the minimum of six races required for the qualification round.

Following a late-evening decision, hoped-for additional racing using the reserve-day on Tuesday for the 49er fleet will not now take place meaning that Ryan Seaton of Ballyholme Yacht Club with Séafra Guilfoyle from the Royal Cork Yacht Club will not progress to the Gold fleet racing in spite of a strong performance in Monday's fickle winds.

After winning the start of the first race, the duo was second at the first mark and after a shifty final leg, ended the race in sixth place.  In the second race of the day, the pair was holding fourth place when the light breeze faded and the race was abandoned.

In the Yellow flight that succeeded in sailing two races, Mark Hassett from Baltimore Sailing Club with Oisin O'Driscoll from Schull Harbour Sailing Club had an eighth place in the second race, their best of the series so far.  However, that race has now been discounted because the two other 49er flights were unable to sail a matching seventh race.

Laser AarhusFinn Lynch will be aiming to qualify for Tokyo over the next four races at Aarhus. Photo: World Sailing

"Finn Lynch is the strongest prospect for qualifying the country for Tokyo 2020"

Tomorrow (Tuesday) sees battle commences in the Gold fleet events for the Men’s Laser and Women’s Laser Radial classes following a rest day on Monday.  Rio 2016 veteran Finn Lynch from the National Yacht Club is the best placed of all the 14 Irish athletes across all classes in Aarhus and is the strongest prospect for qualifying the country for Tokyo 2020.

Lynch has sailed a strong regatta since starting last Friday but with four races remaining over the next two days, his task will be to deliver consistency and repeat his earlier top ten results in what is certain to be a hugely competitive Gold fleet.

In the Women’s Laser Radial event, Howth Yacht Club’s Aoife Hopkins will be aiming to maximise her first Sailing World Championship Gold fleet experience over the next two days after she successfully qualified on Sunday.

Silver fleet racing across several classes on Tuesday includes Aisling Keller from Lough Derg Yacht Club in the Laser Radial, Liam Glynn from Ballyholme Yacht Club in the Laser, Fionn Lyden from Baltimore Sailing Club and Oisin Mcclelland from Donaghadee Sailing Club who are both in the Finn event.

In the 49er world championship series that continues on Wednesday, Seaton and Guilfoyle will contest the Silver fleet along with Robert Dickson from Howth Yacht Club sailing with Sean Waddilove from Skerries Sailing Club.  Hassett and O'Driscoll will compete in the Bronze fleet along with Sean and Tadgh Donnelly from National Yacht Club.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!