Two Dublin Laser sailors are into the gold fleet of their respective fleets at the World Championships at Aarhus, Denmark but Finn Lynch and Aoife Hopkins will both will need to up their game if Olympic nation qualification is to be achieved next week.
Gusting winds at the Hempel Sailing World Championships at Aarhus, Denmark today saw the sailors deliver qualification into their respective Gold fleets. The progress keeps alive the promise that Ireland can deliver at least two nation places at this championships.
After six races over the past three days in the 165-boat Men’s Laser event, Rio 2016 veteran Lynch, who is a full-time sailor, comfortably reached the Gold fleet after posting 18th and 13th places for the day.
Howth Yacht Club’s Hopkins, who is a Trinity College Maths Student, matched her opening day form which was also enough to qualify for the Gold fleet.
Over 1,500 athletes are competing in all 10 Olympic classes for the first opportunity to qualify their nations for Tokyo 2020.
The top 14 by nation is proving elusive however for Lynch and the National Yacht Club single-hander will need a step-up in form when racing resumes on Tuesday and Wednesday following a well-earned rest day.
World U21 Bronze medallist Liam Glynn from Ballyholme Yacht Club was unlucky to miss the cut for Gold fleet after posting his best day of the series with a 12th a 17th. He was just five places off the cut and will now start in the Silver fleet on Tuesday.
In the Womens’ Laser Radial event Hopkins matched her opening day form with a 33rd and 35th for the day which was enough to qualify for the Gold fleet. Lough Derg Yacht Club’s Aisling Keller was unlucky in the second race of the day when she was disqualified after starting early and she slips to the Silver fleet at 105th overall.
The Mens’ 49er skiff event will be the only Irish-interest qualification series continuing on Monday for the final three races of the round. London and Rio veteran Ryan Seaton from Ballyholme, now paired with Séafra Guilfoyle of the Royal Cork Yacht Club posted their best day today when they scored top results for the two races. Three races remain on Monday with an improvement from their current 41st overall to 29th or better needed to make the Gold fleet.