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Olympic Sailing Qualification Opportunity for Irish Sailors in Denmark

26th June 2018
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Laser sailor Finn Lynch is one of 14 Irish sailors competing at the Sailing World Championships in August Laser sailor Finn Lynch is one of 14 Irish sailors competing at the Sailing World Championships in August Photo: World Sailing/Sailing Energy

With the prospect of the Tokyo Olympic Regatta just two years away, the first qualification opportunity for Irish sailors takes place in Denmark at the start of August. A total of 14 Irish sailors will be competing and the bulk of them were in Dublin this morning for a pre-event briefing and media opportunity but the Olympic Silver Medalist Annalise Murphy was absent due to Volvo Ocean Race duties. 

As Afloat.ie previously reported, The Sailing World Championships will be staged in Aarhus, Denmark from 30th July to 10th of August 2018 and 1,500 competitors from 100 countries are expected.

Importantly, the World Championships are the first of three opportunities for each country to win a single place at each of 10 sailing events for the Olympics. Once qualified, selection and nomination of athletes will follow.

Ireland has sailors competing in four classes of boats: 49er, Laser Standard, Laser Radial, and Finn.

Olympic silver medallist Murphy, currently competing in the closing stages of the Volvo Ocean Race will not attend Aarhus but recently announced that she will switch discipline from the single-handed Laser Radial to the double-handed women's 49erFX skiff event. She has paired up with Katie Tingle and they will begin training together in July.

Murphy's switch to the skiff event leaves two rising stars in the Laser Radial as Howth's Aoife Hopkins and Lough Derg's Aisling Keller contest the single-handed class.

Over in the men’s events, the Laser Standard rig features Rio 2016 Olympian Finn Lynch from Carlow and Belfast Lough sailor Liam Glynn competing in this demanding event.

The men's 49er skiff class features two-time Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton from Belfast who is teamed with Cork's Seafra Guilfoyle. Three other teams from the Irish Sailing Development Squad will also head to Denmark, including Dun Laoghaire's Sean and Tadgh Donnelly; Howth's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove; and Mark Hassett with Oisin O’Driscoll from West Cork.

Irish Sailing concentrates its support on four of the ten Olympic sailing disciplines but other sailors may compete independently such as in the heavyweight Finn dinghy where Baltimore's Fionn Lyden and Ulster sailor Oisin McCclelland will both be seeking to qualify Ireland for Tokyo.

"This will be a huge indicator of form and the likely prospects over the next two years for all the sailors," commented James O'Callaghan, Irish Sailing's Performance Director. "The profile of the 2020 squad is that of fresh talent emerging from the Pathway system that currently has dozens of younger sailors actively competing to follow in future cycles."

Irish Sailing Team for the Sailing World Championships, Aarhus, Denmark 

49er skiff
Ryan Seaton & Seafra Guilfoyle
Sean & Tadgh Donnelly
Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove
Mark Hassett & Oisin O’Driscoll

Laser Standard - single-hander
Liam Glynn
Finn Lynch

Laser Radial - single-hander
Aoife Hopkins
Aisling Keller

Finn - heavyweight single-hander
Fionn Lyden
Oisin Mcclelland

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Olympic Sailing features a variety of craft, from dinghies and keelboats to windsurfing boards. The programme at Tokyo 2020 will include two events for both men and women, three for men only, two for women only and one for mixed crews:

Event Programme

RS:X - Windsurfer (Men/Women)
Laser - One Person Dinghy (Men)
Laser Radial - One Person Dinghy (Women)
Finn - One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) (Men)
470 - Two Person Dinghy (Men/Women)
49er - Skiff (Men)
49er FX - Skiff (Women)
Nacra 17 Foiling - Mixed Multihull

The mixed Nacra 17 Foiling - Mixed Multihull and women-only 49er FX - Skiff, events were first staged at Rio 2016.

Each event consists of a series of races. Points in each race are awarded according to position: the winner gets one point, the second-placed finisher scores two, and so on. The final race is called the medal race, for which points are doubled. Following the medal race, the individual or crew with the fewest total points is declared the winner.

During races, boats navigate a course shaped like an enormous triangle, heading for the finish line after they contend with the wind from all three directions. They must pass marker buoys a certain number of times and in a predetermined order.

Sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from 27 July to 6 August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. 

Venues: Enoshima Yacht Harbor

No. of events: 10

Dates: 27 July – 6 August

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Dates

Sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from 27 July to 6 August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. 

Venue: Enoshima Yacht Harbour

No. of events: 10

Dates: 27 July – 6 August

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