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Ups & Downs for Irish Crews in Gold Fleet at 49er Worlds in Oman

19th November 2021
The Royal Cork’s Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan made gains as racing continued into sunset at Oman on Day 5
Royal Cork’s Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan made gains as racing continued into sunset at Oman on Day 5 Credit: Sailing Energy

The opening three races of the Gold fleet series proved exceptionally challenging for the Irish crews at the Olympic 49er World Championship in Mussanah, Oman today (Friday 19 November).

Although the late start to the series saw slightly more breeze than previous days, racing continued until just after sunset, adding an extra factor for the 25-strong fleet.

Paris 2024 campaigners Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove (Howth Yacht Club and Skerries Sailing Club respectively) dropped from fourth overall going into the series and out of the top 10 after an uncharacteristically poor day for the pair.

A 17th in the opening race initially dropped the pair to ninth place. However, they won the start of the second race and placed third which allowed them to recover to eighth place.

However, the final race saw them end in 22nd place to leave them 11th overall with two days remaining in the series.

Meanwhile, the new Royal Cork pairing of Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan were the better of the two Irish boats for the day, counting a fourth place behind Dickson and Waddilove and their first day of Gold fleet racing has already seen an improvement to their standing in the event.

Their score moves them up to 19th overall on their first foray together at a senior world championship regatta.

Three races are scheduled for tomorrow, followed by two races on Sunday to decide the top 10 boats overall for the medal race.

Afloat.ie Team

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Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove, Tokyo Olympic 49er Sailors 

Dublin dinghy sailors Robert Dickson of Howth Yacht Club and Sean Waddilove of Skerries Sailing Club achieved their goal of representing Ireland in the 49er class, almost six years to the day after first setting foot in a 49er skiff at their home club of Howth Yacht Club in County Dublin in 2015.

The voyage was a magnificent one becoming U23 World champions in 2018 before out sailing rivals double Olympian Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle in some style for selection in Lanzarote in March 2021 to win the last European Olympic place for Tokyo.

Follow their progress here.

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