With two more days of racing at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta at Palma, the large Irish team there will be keen to make the most of the experience in the heat of strong competition given the countdown is on for the World Sailing Championships in August, where 40% of all Tokyo 2020 Olympic berths are up for grabs.
Irish Sailing Performance Director James O’Callaghan predicted last month two Olympic berths can be secured for Ireland at the World Championships in Aarhus but if Palma is anything to go by this week, then it still looks like a work in progress for Team Ireland.
'At the midway point in Palma, it's clear the Irish teams still have a lot of work to do before August', O'Callaghan admitted on social media. Still, there were also some positives coming from back from Mallorca.
Perhaps the most encouraging sign came from Rio rep Finn Lynch in the qualifying stages for the gold fleet of the Mens Laser class. Lynch is now working with a new coach, Olympic medalist Vasilij Žbogar has joined Irish Sailing’s High Performance Squad as Laser coach.
All four Irish 49er skiffs had some good individual races but ultimately too many starting penalties cost dearly and meant none of the Irish progressed to the gold fleet, leaving double Olympian Ryan Seaton to conclude "It’s been a difficult two days for us and it’s so easy to make excuses or to simply judge how we are sailing based on looking at some results".
Results from Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta at Palma can be found here