Now ranked 17th in the world Belfast pair Ryan Seaton (23) and Matthew McGovern (25) shot to prominence at the ISAF World Championships in Perth last December sailing to a level some never expected in this high speed dinghy class.
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Sailing together since 2009 Carrickgfergus based Seaton, a former top Laser youth helm, teamed up with Bangor man McGovern with the aim of 2012 selection but got off to a slow start in the worlds in the Bahamas finishing in the 40s.
Their steady rise into the higher echelons of the international class culminated with an eighth in the Perth medal race last December to give them a 10th overall at the ISAF World championships, a personal best result for the Ballyholme Sailing Club pair and a London Olympic ticket to boot.
They are Ireland's first Olympic representatives in the 49er class since Tom Fitzpatrick and Fraser Browne finished 16th at the Athens games in 2004.