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Gold Fleet for Lynch Means Olympic Dream Within Grasp

16th May 2016
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Finn Lynch made the gold fleet cut in Mexico yesterday giving him a crucial Olympic trials advantage Finn Lynch made the gold fleet cut in Mexico yesterday giving him a crucial Olympic trials advantage

The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch made the gold fleet cut at the Laser Worlds in Mexico yesterday by finishing the qualifying rounds in 56th place in the 112–boat fleet, taking the last place for today's gold fleet finals. Not only is it a significant achievement for the former youth medalist at this level in an Olympic year, but much more importantly it moves the Carlow youth a step closer to winning Olympic selection by Wednesday. Both rivals Fionn Lyden and James Espey will complete the championships in silver fleet position where they are in five places apart in 65th and 70th place respectively. The final series starts to day and although the trials advantage is now with Lynch there are still six races left to sail. 

Nick Thompson of Great Britain had another good day at the races to close out the qualifying series in first place overall in the Laser Standard Men’s World Championship in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. Thompson’s 2nd and 4th place allowed him to increase his advantage over Jean-Baptiste Bernaz of France to five points, a margin by which Laser Championships can be won or lost. Tomorrow the sailors will be split into gold and silver fleets to begin three days of finals series racing.

Celebrated Laser World Champion and Olympic medalist, Robert Scheidt, moved into third place with two more top-ten results while the previous third place holder, Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic, scored an 8th and 25th. Stipanovic now has to count a 14th (his previous discard race) but holds on to fourth place overall.
The top-3 sailors at the end of qualification have all, so far, maintained single figure results excluding their discard races. However, a close look at the score cards reveals that several sailors are starting to find the consistency that was missing at the beginning of the championship. These include the best sailor of the day, Wannes Van Laar of Belgium, who posted two second place finishes today to jump five places into fifth overall.
Today’s slightly lighter winds from a more southerly direction provided another mix in the results on this final qualification day. Changes in the wind strength and direction were minimal, between 215 and 230 degrees and 9 to 12 knots during the three hours of racing. However, these variations were enough to keep things interesting for the sailors and proved sufficient to provide significant changes in positions from one race to the next.
With three days of Finals Series racing to come, the sailors are certainly aware that the coming days of will be long and twice as hard, as the world’s top sailors now go head-to-head. Sailing skills need to be at a sailor’s best. Places will be won and lost by a meter or a second. A cool head under the hot sun and maximum concentration will be needed to stay consistent over the upcoming six scheduled races – even more so if the weather changes.

Overall Results after 8 races with 1 discard
Nick Thompson GBR 16pts
Jean-Baptiste Bernaz FRA 21pts
Robert Scheidt BRA 33pts
Tonci Stipanovic CRO 37pts
Wannes van Laer BEL 39pts
Matthew Wearn AUS 41pts.
Tom Burton 42pts
Marco Gallo ITA 46pts
Philipp Buhl GER 46pts
Sam Meech NZL 50pts

Published in Olympic

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