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Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins Takes Laser Race Win at Sailing World Championships

8th August 2018
Aoife Hopkins took a Laser Radial World Championships race win today in Aarhus Aoife Hopkins took a Laser Radial World Championships race win today in Aarhus Photo: Sailing Energy

Aoife Hopkins from Howth Yacht Club won today’s only race in the Laser Radial event at the Sailing World Championships. It repeated Finn Lynch’s win on Tuesday in the men's Laser class to give both Irish front-runners some fine individual performances on their scoresheets but overall it will not hide the disappointment of the missed Irish qualification chance for Tokyo 2020 in Aarhus, Denmark this week.

Hopkins, the 19-year old Trinity Scholarship student, who is still a part-time sailor, had already delivered on her own 'event goal' by achieving a place in the Gold fleet and a race win against Olympic medallists and world champions will be a significant boost to her hopes for the Tokyo 2020 games.

Aoife Hopkins RadialAoife Hopkins -won today's race with a minute to spare Photo: Sailing Energy

The race took place in light conditions following a long delay ashore waiting for wind. Hopkins started at the committee boat end of the line and enjoyed clear wind that allowed her to maintain a good position on the favoured side of the course.

"Hopkins lead at every mark on the course to win with more than a minute to spare"

While under pressure at times from Italy's Silvia Zennaro, Hopkins was able to establish a controlling position and held the lead at every mark on the course to win with more than a minute to spare.

The result moves her into 44th place overall with the possibility of a further two races to complete the Gold fleet series. However, a heavy thunderstorm at Aarhus saw racing postponed for the day.

Tokyo Laser Place Proves Elusive

Meanwhile, Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club had a 46th place in the only Laser class race for the day before further racing was abandoned. His Black Flag disqualification from Tuesday's second race was also upheld so his overall standing in his Gold fleet is now 36th. A tenth race may yet be sailed but qualification for Tokyo 2020 is not a prospect for the Rio veteran who will have to wait for another opportunity to qualify Ireland.

Seaton & Guilfoyle Win Silver Fleet Race 

The full Irish line-up was in action at various stages during the day despite the patchy conditions and competed in various Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets. Ryan Seaton of Ballyholme Yacht Club with Séafra Guilfoyle of the Royal Cork Yacht Club won the opening race of the 49er skiff class Silver fleet.

Due to the weather conditions, the racing schedule for Thursday is being extended to include Laser and Laser Radial Gold fleets for their remaining series races while the 49er skiff is already scheduled due to have three more races.

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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