A lack of consistency has put this month's gold medal winners of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta into the Silver fleet of the 49er European Championships in Barcelona this morning. Belfast's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern say they 'struggled to get off the start line' during qualifiers this week even though they opened the regatta on Monday in top form (6 and 2). Since then conditions have been 'difficult'. A start line penalty (UFD) on the first day did not help matters for the Ballyholme Yacht Club pair.
Yesterday was a stressful final day of qualifying for the 72–boat 49er fleet, only 25 of whom made gold fleet. With seven of ten scheduled races completed there were still more than 20 teams on the bubble hoping to sail well enough to keep their hopes alive. The conditions were a combination of side shore and off shore breeze, which gave fits to the race officers and sailors alike to find suitable racing conditions. After the 9th race of the qualifying bubble had shrunk from about 20 teams to 8, only separated by six points with half going to make the gold fleet and half stuck on the outside looking in. The Irish Rio hopes ended up 14 places outside the cut for gold in 39th place. The results are here.
The untouchable Kiwis Peter Burling and Blair Tuke extended their lead on the day with two more race wins in the 49er
Gold Fleets Next
Gold fleet will race for the final three days, 25 boats in 49er, 36 boats in the 49erFX. The 49er Silver fleet will be split into two equal fleets who will continue to race on an equal footing for places 26 through 72.
Ireland's Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey from Dun Laoghaire are lying 21st in the FX division.
Both the Irish 49er and 49erfx are qualified for Rio.