#Rio2016 - After yesterday's postponement of Annalise Murphy's Laser Radial medal race, this evening all Irish eyes will focus once again on the near-shore Pao de Azucar course – literal translation 'bread of sugar', better known as Sugarloaf, and so called because of its proximity to the iconic mountain that overlooks the natural harbour of Rio De Janeiro.
Using a two-round windward/leeward course with a leeward gate and final reach, race officers will target a 25-minute duration, half the scheduled time of races in the preliminary round.
Today’s forecast on this course is for light to moderate winds at the scheduled start time:
Finn Lynch’s Olympics finished with the final race in the preliminary series last Saturday, 32nd overall of the 46 competitors.
Rio was always going to be a dress rehearsal for the National Yacht Club sailor, whose real target is Tokyo in four years' time.
It’s not going to be an easy ride, however, as there is an emerging force of young Irish Laser sailors, inspired by Ireland’s recent performances, who will push hard for 2020 selection.
The final three races of the qualification series are scheduled for today, and Irish duo Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern will be looking to consolidate and hopefully advance towards medal positions prior to Thursday’s medal race.
Currently in fifth place, 12 points behind the Australians in the bronze medal position, the Ballyholme pair will need three good races to catch up.
The gold medal looks to be beyond the rest of the fleet as the ever-dominant New Zealanders Burling and Tuke look set to justify their pre-regatta favourites tag by securing the top honours before the medal race.
Ireland's Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey will likely need three single-digit results today if they are to feature in Thursday’s medal race.
Lying 12th, but 21 points behind 10th place, the Royal Irish team have shown potential with a third and a couple of sixths in previous races.
The top of the fleet here is very close: only five point separate the top three, with hometown favourites Martina Grael and Kahena Kunze in the bronze position.