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Displaying items by tag: Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove

Irish 49er skiff sailors are set to compete in the 49er class world championship in Lanzarote, Canary Islands from March 4th to March 10th, 2024. With less than five months left before the Paris 2024 Olympics, this event marks an intensive phase for the Irish sailors. 

Two Irish boats will be contesting a three-event selection trials to decide who will be nominated by Irish Sailing to the Olympic Federation of Ireland for inclusion in the Olympic Team. Although a place in the men's skiff event for the games has already been secured, the Irish sailors are leaving no stone unturned in their preparations for the Olympics. 

Veteran Olympians Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove will return to Lanzarote to compete in the event where they qualified for Tokyo 2020 just three years ago. In 2020, the duo secured bronze at the Spring Championships and will be seeking at least a top ten finish or a podium place next week. 

Royal Cork sailors Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan will contest an Olympic trial for Paris 2024 at the 49er class world championship in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, next week Photo: World SailingRoyal Cork sailors Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan will contest an Olympic trial for Paris 2024 at the 49er class world championship in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, next week Photo: World Sailing

Crosshaven's Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan, campaigning independently of Irish Sailing's senior squad, are also chasing selection and will be looking to see the fruits of their intensive winter training paying off and recently landed a sponsorship deal. The Cork Harbour pairing will also aim to secure Sport Ireland carding status with a good performance in Lanzarote, which is the first of the three-event trials series. 

A total of 75 crews from 28 countries will compete in the six-day series, which comprises a qualification round to decide the Gold fleet round. From there, the top ten boats will sail a short medal race to decide the podium. 

The French Olympic Week in Hyeres followed by the 49er European Championships will complete the trials that emphasise best overall event standings rather than a boat-on-boat competition, James O'Callaghan, Irish Sailing's Director of Performance, said. "As with the ILCA7 for the men’s single-handed event, these trials will be decided on a low-points scoring basis," he added. "This incentivises both crews to concentrate on their best regatta score rather than winning the place for Paris 2024."

The single-handed events have already concluded, with Eve McMahon and Finn Lynch in the process of being nominated to the Olympic Federation of Ireland in their respective events at the Olympic regatta set for Marseille, which will begin at the end of July.

The “Fingal Flyers” Rob Dickson of Howth (and other clubs) with Sean Waddilove of Skerries brightened sailing spirits in the gloomiest month of the year, with an absolutely stellar performance in the Olympic 49er Euros 2023 at Vilamoura in Portugal.

They swept all before them both for total victory in the event, leaving their way clear into the 2024 Sailing Olympiad at Marseille, where they first leapt to fame while still very much newbies in the U23 49er Worlds in September 2018.

Since then, despite the various Covid interruptions, they have significantly matured into the top level. They’ve taken on board the harsh lessons learned at the Tokyo Olympics, and with their start problems coming well under control, they now have an on-track and determined campaign which has brought us all some early Christmas glitter.

Published in Sailor of the Month

There will be a tight finish to Monday's battle for the single European qualification spot on offer at the 49er European Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal.

After 12 races since last Wednesday, in some difficult light air conditions, Ireland and Italy are in eighth and ninth overall, only separated by 3 points pending any protests.

Dubliner's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove are holding a top ten place as the championships enters its medal race finale on Monday with a Paris 2024 place at stake.

Sunday's racing proved difficult in a disappearing sea breeze. Dickson (Howth YC) and Waddilove (Skerries SC) took a fourth place in the opening race of the day, a 14th and 15th places followed and they slipped from sixth place overnight to eighth.

At the same time, Italians Simone Ferrarse and Leonardo Chiste moved up from eleventh to ninth place and follow the Irish boat by a gap of three points.

"That was a tough day; it was hard to get the strategy right,' said Dickson after racing ended. "Considering the conditions and Gold fleet, we're pretty happy with it."

Just one nation place for Paris 2024 is being decided at this regatta, with one-time Paris place leader Belgium along with Germany also able to mount a challenge on the final day.

Much depends on the weather and whether the full schedule can be sailed on Monday.

A further fleet race is due before deciding the final top ten boats to compete in the high-scoring medal race final.

Paris 2024 hopefuls Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove have been performing consistently well at the 49er European Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal. However, with the competition reaching its halfway stage, the Dublin pair need to deliver a strong set of results to stay within the criteria for the Gold fleet. Currently listed at 18th overall, they are tied on points with two other boats.

At least two races are scheduled for Friday to complete the qualification round and decide the top 25 boats for the finals, where one Olympic berth in Paris is on offer. The competition is extremely close. The 14-point spread from first place to 18th highlights this fact. What's more, the spread from 18th to 26th is even tighter at just three points. 

The week is a vital week for the European nations who have yet to book an Olympic spot. Yannick Lefèbvre and Jan Heuninck are doing great work for Belgium and, in sixth overall are currently the highest-placed team in the battle for 49er qualification.

The second Irish boat sailed by Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan from Royal Cork is facing an uphill battle to win a place in the Gold fleet. They discarded a 19th but went on to score 15th and 19th places, which drops them to 59th overall.

Light wind 49e Euros - the top boats are all struggling for consistency with the tricky conditions Photo: Prow MediaLight wind 49e Euros - the top boats are all struggling for consistency with the tricky conditions Photo: Prow Media

The Dublin pair discarded a 16th place from the opening race of day two and went on to score an eleventh and a ninth for the day that saw the light breeze progressively drop away to near-calm conditions.

"We're pretty happy with our starts - two good and one bad one - but our starting is going well [but] it's more about trying to spot the shifts," commented Dickson. "Whatever we get, we get - we can't really control the conditions."

The forecast for the remaining four days of the regatta continues with light winds. The competition is intense, and just one weighty result could tip any of the top boats out of Gold fleet contention.

There was bitter disappointment at the Allianz Sailing World Championships at The Hague today after Tokyo 2020 Olympians Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove missed the first chance of Olympic Nation Qualification for Paris 2024 in the Mens Skiff discipline.

The Howth and Skerries duo looked on course to take one of the first Paris spots midweek when they were as high as sixth overall in the 49er class, but today's performance will be agonising for them as they ended their 15-race series in 14th place overall after counting a black flag disqualification (their second of the championships) in race 14. 

While the Olympic nation qualification in The Hague represented the best possible preparation for Paris 2024 and the best indicator that Ireland is in the medal hunt, Irish 49er campaigners, which includes Royal Cork's Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan, have two remaining opportunities to make the Marseille startline next July. These are the 2023 European Championships in Portugal in November and a final 'Last Chance' qualification regatta just weeks before the Games itself.

The Irish crew suffered a last place in Wednesday's opening race that was delayed till the afternoon due to light winds. They could have carried that result except that they incurred a Black Flag starting disqualification in the penultimate race in which they placed second.

Had their result not been disqualified today, they would have achieved both the medal race top ten and Olympic qualification for Ireland at the first attempt.

Meanwhile, the Irish pair's training partners Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werken (NED) have won 49er gold before Friday’s medal race. 
This is the Dutch team’s third consecutive world title, and for Lambriex the sweetest so far. 
“The level of the fleet was the highest we’ve seen, we’ve done it on home waters, and we have qualified to go to the Olympics,” smiled Lambriex.
“I’m proud of how Floris and I have dealt with the pressure this week. We didn’t sail so well yesterday and we were a bit behind the Spanish at the start of the day. We expected a big battle with them but then we saw their name on the board at the end of the second race.” 
Unfortunately for Diego Botin and Florian Trittel they had fallen foul of the black flag, disqualified for starting a fraction too soon. 
“This made our job a bit more straightforward,” said Lambriex. 
The Spanish hold second place but will have to sail well in the medal race to keep silver ahead of the Swiss team of Sebastien Schneiter and Arno de Planta who are just 4.2 points behind in third place.

The following countries have qualified for the games in 49er.

  1. Netherlands
  2. Spain
  3. Switzerland
  4. USA
  5. New Zealand
  6. Poland
  7. Great Britain
  8. Croatia
  9. Denmark
  10. Austria

Italy, Germany, and Ireland are the next three placed countries who have missed qualifying.

Also, Australia is now guaranteed a spot based on New Zealand qualifying, and there only being two competing nations in Oceania, and one spot awarded at the Oceania Qualifier. Canada also sets up well, as the USA has qualified early, leaving one spot for North America at the Pan Am Games, and only Canada and Mexico remaining in North America.

In a tough spot are the Asian nations and, to some extent South America. Asia has the most nations remaining, and with none qualifying so far, they must all fight for a single spot at the Asian qualifier in Thailand this December. South America will also have a tough battle, with Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and potentially Peru all seeking out a single spot in the Pan Am Games. All teams not qualified by the end of the continental qualifiers must aim for one of the three at-large berths at the last chance qualifier in April 2024.

The medal race will be on August 18th, and there will be a solid battle for the silver medal between Spain and SUI, with the British, Kiwis, and Americans having a shot at the bronze.

Results here

Solid performances from Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove in the men's skiff 49er class at the Allianz Sailing World Championships at The Hague are needed on Wednesday if the Irish Tokyo 2020 representatives are to retain their top ten place, a scenario which would lead them to both the medal race final on Friday and one of ten nation places available for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Strong tides and light winds add to the challenges on Tuesday, and the Dublin crew found themselves in 19th and 15th places in both races before recovering with a creditable third in the second race of the day. Overall the pair have slipped from sixth to tenth and cannot afford any further drop in form if a Paris berth is to remain on the cards.

The battle between leaders Botin with Trittel (ESP) and Lambriex with van de Werken (NED) is on! After twelve 49er races, the Spanish and Dutch protagonists find themselves just 0.2 points apart at the top of the standings. The teams are locked on the leaderboard and locked on the water, too, finishing within two places in each of the three races today. The Dutch won two of the three times to whittle down the small lead to a minuscule one. For example, 30 seconds after the start of race three, both the Spanish and Dutch struggled to hold their lanes on starboard. The Dutch tacked to Port and ducked the Spanish, and then just a few moments later, the Spanish tacked to follow and keep in lockstep. 30 minutes later, the pair were still together, finishing 6th and 7th, respectively.

James Peters and Fynn Sterrit (GBR) had two wins today and a poor race to bring themselves into the mix after the first day of gold fleet racing. They also won their final qualifying race to be on three wins in a row, the third of which was very comfortable by the time they completed the second lap. The British pair are up into third overall, typically a finish that would secure themselves a place in Paris within the confidential British trial system.

In the race to qualify nation places for Paris 2024, ten different nations are represented in the top 10 overall and aim to get the ten Paris berths on offer this week.

Gold fleet racing continues on Wednesday, with three more races scheduled. Then the top 10 will race the medal race on the 18th of August.

Results here

Tokyo 2020 Olympians Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove have secured a spot in the Gold fleet at the Allianz Sailing World Championships in The Hague, Netherlands, bringing them one step closer to Paris 2024 Olympic qualification.

The duo from Howth Yacht Club and Skerries Sailing Club respectively, put in another strong performance, winning one race and securing a second-place finish.

There was also the prospect of another podium place in the final race of the day. However, the Dublin crew, who led the fleet, were caught off guard as they found themselves becalmed on an otherwise breezy day and immediately slipped back down the fleet.

Ultimately, Dickson and Waddilove placed 12th to finish the nine-race preliminary round in sixth overall, while Ireland's second 49er skiff sailed by Seafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan of the Royal Cork Yacht Club placed 14th, but an earlier disqualification for early starting ended their hopes of making the cut for the Gold fleet.

Seafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Sailing EnergySeafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Sailing Energy

Britain's Peters and Fynn Sterritt secured red fleet glory, but it’s still the host nations Lambriex and Van de Werken who are leading the charge after solid third, fifth and second-place finishes.
Botin and Trittel are just 1.8 points behind in second, however, recording two bullets and a second in the red fleet to cut the gap on their Dutch rivals.
Polish pair Lukasz Przybytek and Jacek Piasecki secured a blue fleet victory to sit in the bronze medal spot ahead of Swiss stars Sebastien Schneiter and Arno de Planta.
Peters and Sterrit are five points behind that duo and Peters, 30, said: “It does feel good – I know it’s only early in the regatta, but it does feel like we can be competitive.
“We feel in good shape both physically and mentally and feeling quite positive going into the next few days.”
Croatian brothers Mihovil and Katija Fantela sit sixth and Rio 2016 Olympic champion Mihovil, 37, said: “It was a solid day – we had two really great starts but were missing a bit of speed to be in the top three.”

Monday will be a rest day for the 49er skiffs before the final round starts on Tuesday, with the medal race for the top ten boats on Friday. With ten nation places available for qualification to Paris 2024 at this event, achieving a place on Friday will be essential. Currently, 12 countries are in the top 15 places, making the competition even more intense.

Results are here

Ireland's 49er pair Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove have had a Super Saturday at the World Sailing Championships in The Hague, their 1, 3, 2 results scored pulling them into fifth overall and keeping Paris 2024 Olympic Qualification plans on track despite a first-day disqualification.

The stunning Irish result – achieved in some blustery conditions with big seas – was only second in the fleet to Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken (NED), who, aiming at the threepeat, launched themselves into the lead.

"The whole day we had good speed, plus (good starts) and we perhaps only left one point out there," said Skerries-based Waddilove.  "We can't really get much better than that."

The Royal Cork 49er crew of Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan Photo: Sailing EnergyThe Royal Cork 49er crew of Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan Photo: Sailing Energy

Ireland's second 49er crew of Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan are lying 40th in the 83-boat fleet. They had a capsize while leading the fleet in the second race.

Lambriex and van de Werken are back in form, shifting into first place overall in very tough conditions. The pair were second in the first race of day two, and then won the remaining two races, rising to the occasion as the breeze built to the edge of sailability. If the understated Dutch pair can win again, this time on home waters, it would be the second time any 49er team has managed the threepeat after global legends Burling and Tuke (NZL) did it from 2018 through 2020.

They almost managed something harder, winning three races in a day at an Elite 49er competition. They pulled of that feat on day 3 of the Test Event, something only done once by Burling and Tuke and once by Wadlow and Rast in recorded 49er history (race results pre-2008 are hard to find)

Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros (FRA) scored a 5, 1, 1 and moved into seventh.

There are three qualifying fleets of 49er, meaning nine daily wins are available. As usual for 49er qualifying, the points are incredibly close to qualify for gold fleet. If the split were to happen today, five teams would squeak into the top 25 on 41 points, while Wang and Qi (CHN) who were sitting in third overall last night, would miss out on 42 points. Three more races are scheduled for day three, after which the fleet will be split into gold, silver, and bronze.

Ten different nations currently make up the top 10 overall, and as a reminder, the top 10 nations in this regatta, excluding the pre-qualified France, will earn berths in Paris.

The 49er fleet was the last on the water and got the biggest conditions of the regatta so far.

Further fresh and blustery conditions are expected for Day 3 before a rest day on Monday though the forecast for the remainder of the week is currently suggesting lighter weather.

Results are here

Additional reporting from the 49er class association

So far, the most unpredictable class of the Paris 2024 Test competition has been the 49er, with six winners in as many races, including an Irish win for Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove in Race 3.

Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie (NZL) took the final win of the second day of action, and that was enough to move into top spot, ahead of Sébastien Schneiter and Arno De Planta (SUI) on countback, with the pair both on 27 points.

However, with the next four teams all sitting between 30 and 32 points, including third place for Mihovil and Sime Fantela (CRO), the 2018 world champions, the Kiwis are well aware of the precarious nature of their position heading into the rest day.

McHardie said: “It was a super tricky day, it was unbelievably shifty with big puffs and big lulls so it was all about getting off the start line, it was a bit of a left-hand track, so you needed a good start, and then go left, that made for an ok race.

“I’m sure there will always be a target on the back, but we’ll go out there and race our best. It’s not a bad place to be coming into a rest day. It was always about coming here to do the best we can, so to come into a lay-day in first, we’re pretty stoked.”

The 49er fleet has a scheduled day off on Thursday as the ten fleets share 4-course areas in this Field of Play Test.

More from the 49er class association here and a (glitchy) results link here

The host nations Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken had the 49er title sewn up with the medal race to spare, so attention turned to the battle for bronze at the Allianz Regatta in the Netherlands on Sunday.

Australia’s Jim Colley and Shaun Connor soared from tenth to third in this regatta but were left to rue Saturday’s slip-ups for losing their grip on bronze.

Despite finishing second in the medal race, they missed the medals by one point.

Austria’s Keanu Prettner and Jakob Flachberger bagged bronze, their maiden World Cup podium.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Flachberger. “We’ve got to drive to Kiel tomorrow, so we can’t party too much, but there will be a party when we get home!”

No Irish in medal race

Ireland's Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan from Royal Cork Yacht Club finished 11th in the 32-boat fleet beating Tokyo 2020 Irish reps Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, who counted three retirals and a DNS on over the course of 12 races to be 14th overall.

Results here

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