On the penultimate day of Gold fleet racing for Irish sailors competing at the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Denmark, elation for a race win by Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club in the Laser event was later matched by disappointment for his disqualification in the race that followed.
Overall, it means Lynch will need top results in the remaining two races if he is to secure a berth for Ireland in Tokyo. Lynch now lies 33rd overall and 22nd by nation. Only 14 Tokyo 'nation spots' are up for grabs and this is currently filled by the top 18 places, so Lynch must deliver in both races if a jump of 15 places is to be achieved.
The Rio 2016 Olympian led for most of his opening race of the Gold fleet series, working his way into a controlling 40-metre lead over the 58-boat fleet. Light winds made for tricky tactical calls but Lynch continued to earn a win that moved him into 18th place overall but it was, unfortunately, a short-lived moved up the leaderboard. In the race that followed, the National Yacht Club sailor suffered a starting-line infringement under the ‘Black Flag’ rule along with an Australian competitor and both were disqualified. A request to recheck the scoring was later submitted but the result stands this evening.
Lynch said on social media: "A mixed day out on the water! Delighted with finishing 1st in Race 1 of the Gold Fleet, my first win at a Worlds! Unfortunately, I got Black Flagged in the 2nd Race, but we have put in a scoring enquiry and are waiting to hear the result. All in all, a solid start to the Gold Fleet Racing!"
The Laser and Laser Radial have the biggest fleets in Aarhus with 284 sailors from 71 nations competing.
The top ten finishers will sail a medal race final to determine the podium places and 2018 Laser World champion on Friday.
Full results are here
Aoife Hopkins in World Championship Gold Fleet
Meanwhile, Ireland’s other Gold fleet sailor saw equally testing conditions on the same course area when Howth Yacht Club’s Aoife Hopkins had her first taste of world championship Gold fleet standard. She had a 44th place in the first race while the second race was abandoned when the breeze died and she lies 56th overall.
In the Silver fleets that managed two races for the day, Liam Glynn of Ballyholme Yacht Club had a 47th and 27th in the Laser class while Lough Derg’s Aisling Keller scored a second place followed by a 17th in the Laser Radial event.
There were strong Irish performances in the Finn Silver fleet where Baltimore Sailing Club’s Fionn Lyden had fifth and third places while Oisin McClelland from Donaghadee Sailing Club had an eleventh and a fifth.
Racing continues on Wednesday with final races for Gold and Silver fleets in the Laser, Laser Radial and Finn classes. Racing also continues in the 49er fleet which concludes its final series on Thursday - subject to weather.