Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove

Ireland's 49er team, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove signed off their Olympic regatta in style, winning the final race of the qualifying series, but missing out on medal race qualification by 8 points.

Their day started well with a 3rd place in race 1, but came unstuck in the second race when a 17th place put paid to their chances of medal race qualification. As this resilient pair have shown, the way to combat disappointment is by working harder, sailing faster and sailing smarter, which they did to great effect, winning in a 10-knot southerly breeze by the relatively comfortable (in 49er terms) margin of 24 seconds.

NZL, GBR and ESP occupy the podium slots going into Monday's medal race. With only four points separating the top three, the stage is set for an epic contest.

The Irish had their disqualification case (from two races due to an overweight harness) reopened overnight but 'the decision of the original hearing stands'. The findings are downloadable below as a pdf file.

What might have been? The numbers suggest that if the Irish boat had not been disqualified in two races, they would have entered the medal race in 8th position. This would have been too far back to medal, some 26 points behind 3rd place, with a maximum gain of 18 points available.

Dickson and Waddilove will now be installed as one of the favourites for the 2024 Olympics, to be sailed in Marseille in just three years time. The lessons learnt here will stand to them, as will their speed and tactical nous.

Speaking afterwards, Dickson said: "I'm pretty proud of the way we sailed, it's really good to finish on a high with the last race, and pretty amazing that we got two race wins. We've learned a lot from these games and we're going to bring that forward to (Paris) 2024."

Waddilove added: "Overall, it was a very positive experience and we've learnt plenty from this Olympic experience that we can bring forward. My biggest takeaway from this week is that we were very much capable of competing against these guys that have done multiple Olympics and have medals and medals under their belts and there's no reason why we can't get to 2024 and be medal contenders."

Results and overall standings are here

Olympic debutants Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove from Howth and Skerries in County Dublin got their regatta off to a sensational start today winning the opening race with a nail-biting finish, holding off the GBR boat by mere centimetres on the line.

While the result is provisional the early season promise shown by the two Irish debutantes when they secured the Irish nomination in style in Lanzarote.

Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove secured a mid-line front row start with plenty of clear air to blast off their Olympic Regatta Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove secured a mid-line front row start with plenty of clear air to blast off their Olympic Regatta Photo: Sailing Energy

A good start in clear air laid the ground work and favouring the left side of the course they took the lead at the first mark and then had a ding-dong battle with GBR all the way to the finish.

After the race the pair were relieved to start their campaign strongly, emphasising the changing nature of the sport. “I feel thrilled,” said Waddilove after the race, “We can’t ask for a better start, but you have to remember that this is the very first race, and anything could change with eleven races to go, plus a medal race, hopefully!” Dickson added, “It was pretty close, but you only have to win by a few centimetres. We didn’t know crossing the line that we’d done it until we came in and our coach told us.”

Racing is now cancelled for the rest of today and will resume tomorrow.

Silhouetted in the Enoshima sunshine, there's no mistaking the Irish tricolour in the lead of Race One of the 49er fleet Photo: Sailing EnergySilhouetted in the Enoshima sunshine, there's no mistaking the Irish tricolour in the lead of Race One of the 49er fleet Photo: Sailing Energy

The 49er scoreboard says it all - Ireland in the lead in TokyoThe 49er scoreboard says it all - Ireland in the lead in Tokyo in the first of a scheduled 12 races

Results are here

More on Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove here

Published in Tokyo 2020

Time was when the question of whether the 2020-Olympics-in-2021 should or should not be staged would have been described as the Elephant in the Room, suggesting the presence of an imponderable so large and unthinkable that the sanity-seeking majority of the global sporting population have continued determinedly along as though it is, of course, going to happen. The ponderous pachyderm, they've said, is a figment of people's imagination.

But a small but growing minority in sport are increasingly in agreement with the fact that an international super-spreader event like the Olympics simply has to be cancelled as the world still grapples with an ever-mutating virus.

That's the balance of attitudes within the gung-ho sporting community. But within the population at large, the situation is already very different, with 90% of the general population in host country Japan being against the idea of the Games going ahead in July – just two months and one week away, to be precise – while at the more specific level, at least 40 Japanese townships, which in previous Olympiad years had generously hosted national teams, have indicated that in July 2021, such teams will no longer be welcome.

A Spreader Event of Olympic proportions…..but even if the traditional Olympic Parade is not staged in the event of the games being held in Tokyo in July, can safe distancing be maintained in a country where vaccination levels are still very low.A Spreader Event of Olympic proportions…..but even if the traditional Olympic Parade is not staged in the event of the games being held in Tokyo in July, can safe distancing be maintained in a country where vaccination levels are still very low.

The emergence of this and other gloom-inducing facts during the past week or so, such as a lowly 1% vaccination rate in Japan itself, have contributed to what appears to be a tipping point in opinion in top sporting circles. This is leading to the weary resignation of preparing for acceptance of the unthinkable – that the postponed 2020 Olympics will not happen in 2021, and thus is there any point of thinking about a third attempt at staging them in Japan in 2022, when the 2024 Paris Olympics are already thundering up the agenda?

The scenario is so unthinkable - so unreal and rumour-prone - that those of us on the outside can only grasp at straws in the wind as to how things are going in the real decision-making centres. And for long enough, as the majority of us clung to the hope that the Games would go ahead - albeit in very shrunken relatively spectator-less settings – each little indicator that suggested things were on track was hopefully added to our viewpoint.

But in doing so, we were ignoring the sheer vastness, the extremely spread-out nature, and the very lengthy time-span of the modern Olympics. Even in the most normal of times, the potential for some section of the games to come off the rails is ever-present. So heaven alone knows what twists of disease and other trouble might unravel in the extreme heat of 2021 Tokyo in high summer, when hysteria can run amok.

When Ireland first sailed in a Japanese Olympics in 1964, the racing was staged in October when the intense summer heat had eased. This year's regatta is planned here at Enoshima in July, a bit cooler than the main centre of Tokyo nearby, but still making a period of acclimatisation for Irish sailors highly desirable.When Ireland first sailed in a Japanese Olympics in 1964, the racing was staged in October when the intense summer heat had eased. This year's regatta is planned here at Enoshima in July, a bit cooler than the main centre of Tokyo nearby, but still making a period of acclimatisation for Irish sailors highly desirable.

The two factors that seemed to put us through the tipping point this past week have been the Japanese townships' declining of the opportunity to host teams – for that was something very specific as opposed to the vagueness of a national opinion poll – and the outcome of an announcement last week, that this week would be seeing all national teams receiving their first jab of the Pfizer vaccine if they hadn't already got it, or were on some other vaccination.

The Pfizer seems to have emerged as the Gold Standard, as it provides 95% immunity whereas some of the "workhorse" vaxes, while still effective, give significantly less protection. But anecdotal evidence from personal experiences suggests that the two-part Pfizer super-jab leaves you in no doubt whatever that your body has been put through quite a major biochemical experience.

There's a four week gap between the two Pfizer injections, and a full return to feelings of normality shouldn't really be expected until about a fortnight after the second jab, though the latest research suggests that you'll have achieved virtually full immunity one week after Jab Two.

Full immunity and a feeling of general well-being are two very different psycho-physical states, and thus it's realistic to think that an Olympic athlete receiving the full Pfizer treatment would need to have a clear eight week period after the first jab, before they could hope to return to that very finely-tuned condition which is optimal performance preparedness, and has more physical and mental components than you'd think possible.

Thus when the announcement came last week that agreement had been reached for all un-vaccinated Olympians to begin the Pfizer course this week, with the response coming that Olympic medical teams were ready and able for the administration, it gave us small grounds for added optimism. For this proposed schedule was just within the time-frame for the full post-vaccination recovery of the athletes by the time the Games began to take shape.

Team Dickson/Waddilove performing at peak. To achieve this level of fitness, an athlete would need to be as far post-vaccine as possible.   Team Dickson/Waddilove performing at peak. To achieve this level of fitness, an athlete would need to be as far post-vaccine as possible.  

But so far this week we've not been able to confirm any evidence at all that the widely-welcomed vaccination programme for the Olympians has gone ahead, and that apparent non-event - in addition to the Japanese townships' "Not Welcome" announcements - suggest we're in a domino-effect continuum, at the end of which we'll find the cancellation of the 2021 Olympics.

That said, much of the athletic preparation towards the postponed Games has been done under the radar, and it could well be that it's official Olympic management policy not to reveal that a vaccination programme is under way at the moment until it is successfully completed, for fear of arousing some unpleasant protests from career begrudgers about the Olympians receiving elite treatment when the world is crying out for vaccination.

Most reasonable folk would strongly support the view that Olympic athletes – a very tiny minority – have done so much to inspire the rest of us, cheering us up generally through two winters of gloom, that they should as a matter of course have been among the primary groups for vaccination.

For sure, the real heroes deserving immediate vaccination have been the frontline health workers. But it's almost impossible to over-estimate the psychological benefits which those able to continue successfully with their sport have gifted to the rest of us. And while the unique nature of our sport has meant that quite a bit of in-Ireland sailing has been possible in pandemic gaps, it is the Irish sailing breakthroughs at a restricted international level that have been the brightest lights in the general gloom.

It was as recently as mid-March that the Afloat.ie Editorial Team were having a conversation with renowned coach Tytus Konarzewski about the chances of the "Fingal Flyers" 49er team – Rob Dickson of Howth and Sam Waddilove of Skerries - making it past the final stages of Olympic selection – the last chance saloon - at Lanzarote at the end of the month.

The hugely experienced Konarzewski has seen and done it all, and comfortably takes the long view. When he started coaching with Dickson & Waddilove, it was with the long count-down to the 2024 Olympics in mind. But didn't the boys go and spoil it all by winning the U23 49er Worlds at Marseille in September 2018?

This not only made them the Afloat.ie Sailors of the Year 2018, but also saw them yanked by the powers-that-be out of their buildup programme towards 2024, and pushed instead into the main road towards Tokyo 2020, while the highly-regarded Konarzewski was let go.

The Sage of Successful Sailing – renowned coach Tytus Konarzewski in thoughtful observational mode on Dublin Bay. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien   The Sage of Successful Sailing – renowned coach Tytus Konarzewski in thoughtful observational mode on Dublin Bay. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O'Brien  

It was an arguably unhealthy development in terms of campaign planning, but where others then came to see the postponement of the 2020 Olympics as a problem in the latter stages of securing the 49er slot in 2021, Dickson & Waddilove saw it as an opportunity to up their game, and as the final selection races came over the horizon, they were in a new place in terms of performance and potential.

Nevertheless, in that mid-March conversation with the great Tytus, there was still a huge element of the "what ifs" about the permutations which could make the breakthrough possible. And in the actual event when the pressure was palpable, the burden on the two young sailors was inescapable. Yet they managed it with the medal race to spare. And with the pressure off, their carefree performance of brilliance in the final race to leave so many top sailors behind them simply adds to our hopes that the 2021 Sailing Olympics at Enoshima will somehow take place.

The Fingal Flyers qualify for the Olympics – Sam Waddilove of Skerries and Rob Dickson of Howth in Lanzarote, with Rob wearing his lucky hat which reminded everyone of………The Fingal Flyers qualify for the Olympics – Sam Waddilove of Skerries and Rob Dickson of Howth in Lanzarote, with Rob wearing his lucky hat which reminded everyone of………

…..the sailing headgear which was the trademark of his famous grandfather Roy Dickson, seen here at the helm of his Corby 40 Cracklin Rosie at the start of the 1997 Fastnet Race. Photo: W M Nixon…..the sailing headgear which was the trademark of his famous grandfather Roy Dickson, seen here at the helm of his Corby 40 Cracklin Rosie at the start of the 1997 Fastnet Race. Photo: W M Nixon

Not least of the pleasures in their success in Lanzarote was that Rob Dickson took part in a post-race interview in his new "lucky hat", which fondly reminded all those who knew of it of the similar hat which was the trademark headgear of his legendary sailing grandfather, the late Roy Dickson.

This in turn reminds us that at its best, Irish sailing is just one great big family affair, even if it often involves putting an extremely broad meaning on what "family" signifies. But whatever it is, it's good. And while we hope very dearly indeed that our reading of the rules about the staging or not of the 2021 version of the 2020 Olympics proves to be wrong, should it be right we can only point to the next suitable date as being 24th July 2022.

Published in W M Nixon

Two Irish Tokyo rivals both now in the hunt for one of the final European Olympic berths have resumed their battle after COVID at a scaled-down Kiel Week Regatta 2020, in northern Germany this week.

With two races left to sail its Howth and Skerries duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove that lead Irish hopes in 15th in the 52-boat fleet with two final races left to sail today. The pair, who also recorded the top Irish result at the 2020 World Championships in Australia in February, are in the top 30% of the fleet and as such it makes a welcome return to the race track, except for a UFD penalty in yesterday's final race of the day.

The Belfast and Cork combination of double Olympian Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle will have probably been looking for more out of the week on the Baltic than their current 32nd position in the international fleet.

Both the 49er teams will head to Austria for the 49er European Championships, from 28 Sept – 4 October on Lake Attersee, a notoriously tricky venue.

As Afloat reported previously Irish campaigns chasing last places in the 49er, Laser and Finn classes were in turmoil in Spring when COVID-19 hit key final European qualifications in Italy and Spain, ultimately postponing the Games itself.

Ireland is competing with Belgium, Sweden and Italy for the one remaining European place. Form at the 2020 Worlds suggests that Irish sailors would be favourites for the place having finished ahead of the other three candidates but the final selection system has yet to be confirmed.

Published in Tokyo 2020

After a great first day of racing for Howth Yacht Club's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove at the 2020 49er World Championships in Geelong, Australia the U23 pairing will be heading into a truncated qualifying series after day one was completely lost to weather.

With a first place, a fourth and 22nd scored, the north Dublin duo are 17th in the overall rankings so far.

As regular Afloat readers will know it is the second World Championship race win for the plucky pair, they notched up their first-ever win in Auckland last December at the 2019 championships. 

Rivals for the single Irish berth in Tokyo, Ryan Seaton of Belfast Lough and Seafra Guilfoyle of Royal Cork lie in 49th place.

Both Irish crews are in search of Olympic qualification and while it is not available for Ireland at this event, it is hoped form here should carry forward to the next (and final) qualifier, the Sailing World Cup event in Genoa, Italy, April 13-19 where whoever qualifies the nation (if either) will be sent to Tokyo.

The Geelong championships have had a frustrating start, with all racing suspended on day one on Monday.

There’s at least one more day of qualifying races before the fleet is divided into Gold and Silver fleets.

Results are here

Published in Tokyo 2020

#HYC - This evening, Saturday 8 September, Howth Yacht Club will host a special reception for newly crowned 49er U23 World Champions Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove.

All members are welcome to join the Prosecco toast for the youth skiff pair and Tokyo 2020 hopefuls, who won their last race from a chasing pack to claim the title in Marseille last weekend.

Tapas will be serves at the reception, which kicks off at 7pm in the clubhouse — and juniors are also welcome, with pizza and soft drinks on the menu.

In other HYC news, there’s only one week left to go before the club’s new-look Autumn League begins.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the six-week series from next Saturday includes a special family day on 22 September.

Published in Howth YC

An aspiring journalist from Dublin was among those highly commended in the first YJA Young Blogger of the Year Competition.

Cathal McCahey, 21, was longlisted for the inaugural prize for his video profile on Ireland’s 49er Olympic hopefuls Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, produced for Dublin City University’s campus TV news programme.

McCahey was recognised among a talented young group whose entries displayed skills from video to photography, writing blogs and ebooks, and even painting.

This year’s top prize went to Monique and Ollie Vennis-Ozanne from Fareham in Hampshire, UK for their video on last year’s Ovington Junior Inland Sailing Championship, which impressed the judges with its mix of drone footage, crew interviews and running commentary.

The siblings received their award at the RYA Dinghy Show in Alexandra Palace last Saturday 3 March.

Entries are now open for the 2018 YJA Young Blogger Competition, which is open to any aspiring journalist aged 21 or younger on 31 December 2018.

Published in News Update

Four of five of Ireland's full–time 49er Olympic campaigns launch this morning at the showcase Trofeo Princesa Sofía Regatta in Palma, Mallorca.

Northern Ireland helmsman Ryan Seaton, tenth in Rio, won the class in Palma last year but sails this time with new crew Seafra Guilfoyle. The North–South duo will be looking for a repeat performance in their Goldfinger named boat to get their Tokyo 2020 campaign off to a perfect start.

Wet Dreams sailed by Mark Hassett and Oisin O'Driscoll from West Cork, Seán and Tadhg Donnelly from the National Yacht Club as well as Howth's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove (recovered from injury) are also in action, all setting out on the first stages of what they hope will be a successful journey to the 2020 Olympic regatta in Tokyo, Japan. But only one will qualify.

The Olympic sailing competition of the 48 Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR will see almost 700 boats and 900 sailors from 56 nations race across the ten Olympic classes in the bay of Palma, in Majorca, Spain, from Monday 27 March to Saturday 1 April.

The 49er sailors are joined in Palma by two Belfast single-handers. Former Topper World Champion Liam Glynn and Donaghdee's Oisin McClelland will race in the Laser and Finn classes respectively.

There is also Irish interest in the women's 49erfx where the Royal Irish Yacht Club's Saskia Tidey competes for Team GB with Charlotte Dobson.

Seaton's London and Rio partner, Matt McGovern, who is now teamed up with Strangford's Robbie Gilmore, is not travelling to Palma, concentrating instead on the Delta Lloyd regatta in Holland in May. From there McGovern and Gilmore head to Kiel Week in June. In July the 49er Europeans are also in Kiel. The final event of our European season will be the 49er Worlds in Porto in August. 

In any event, there will be no shortage of competition in the 49er for the four Irish boats with Argentina’s young pairing of Yago and Klaus Lange finished seventh in Rio and were fifth in Miami at the Sailing World Cup also attending. Poland’s Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski were eighth in Rio and seventh in the 49er Europeans last year in Barcelona. And the Spanish pair of Diego Botin and Lago Lopez Marra were third in Miami, third in the 2016 Europeans and third in Palma last year and ninth in the Olympic regatta in Rio. In Miami in January Brasilian legend five times Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt opened a new chapter in his storied career with 16th at his first regatta in the 49er class with crew Gabriel Borges. They will be looking to prove their progression here. GBR’s 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Simon Hiscocks races with young Daniel Budden. Compatriots Dylan Fletcher and Alan Sign, sixth in Rio, start here after winning Miami.

There are changes to the format of the  race in Palma. For example the 49er and 49er FX Classes will now be decided over three ten minute races over an Arena Style rectangle course. 

The 49er fleet race in two groups Monday and Tuesday and then Wednesday and Friday are Semi Finals for 25 boats. From these aggregate scores there are ten boats advancing to a three race Medal Race Final.

Ferran Muniesa Manager of the Trofeo Princesa Sofía explains:

“ It was immediately obvious from last November’s World Sailing General Meeting that Olympic sailing needs changes to the format which was used in Rio 2016, as pushed for by the International Olympic Committee, by the Olympic classes and by the sailors themselves, recognising that Final day needs to be more understandable. At the last Olympics there were several cases where medals were already won before the Medal Race and that does not make sense to those who maybe do not know sailing, nor does it make for an exciting finale.
So we agreed with the Events Committee to get in touch with all of the different classes and to look at their proposals. Thus all off these formats come from the classes themselves. There is no point in experimenting without the backing of the classes. Now we hope we have formats which are more understandable to non experts.”

He adds:
“ We are a regatta which likes to innovate and to rise to a challenge like this. We have had a lot to adapt, not least the result systems. In practical terms that also means another course area on the last day and more people to run it. It’s a great challenge for the Trofeo Princesa Sofía IBEROSTAR. At first when we went through the proposals our people were looking at me like ‘what on earth?’…Now here we are ready to do it all. This is the right time to do it. We can be a little more flexible at this time in the quadrennial but you have to test it on a big scale like this, at a good level.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating