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Irish Sailing Announce Tokyo 2020 Selection Criteria as Olympic Sailors Seek Country Qualification

18th January 2019
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Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle competing in the 49er dinghy. Their campaign has been set back by injury Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle competing in the 49er dinghy. Their campaign has been set back by injury Photo: Facebook

Selection criteria for the Tokyo Olympics have been announced by Irish Sailing this week in the knowledge that with 553 days to Tokyo, Ireland has yet to reach country qualification in any class.

Ireland still has to qualify in the men’s single-handed (Laser Standard rig) women’s single-handed (Laser Radial rig), women’s two-person skiff (49er FX) and men’s two-person skiff (49er).

The failure to qualify at the first attempt last year has been attributed in part to a youth component among the current trialists event though veterans Annalise Murphy, Ryan Seaton and Finn Lynch are part of its number. 

The Tokyo Olympic trialists are:

  • Laser Standard – Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn, Ewan McMahon
  • Laser Radial – Aoife Hopkins, Aisling Keller
  • Men’s 49er skiff – Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, Sean Donnelly and Tadgh Donnelly
  • Women’s 49erFX – Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle.
  • Two campaigns (Fionn Lyden and Oisin McClelland) in the men’s heavyweight single-handed event operate independently of Irish Sailing

Injury

Currently, in a training camp in Cadiz, double Olympian Ryan Seaton in the 49er skiff is without his crew following Seafra Guilfoyle's ankle injury sustained in training last November after his trapeze wire broke. It is understood Seaton has been training with both Annalise's own 49erfx crew Katie Tingle (who has returned from injury) and multi-talented Royal St. George Yacht Club stand-in crew Adam Hyland. 

"Is the jump up from Under–23 World championship winners too big to secure 49er nomination?"

In theory, all this bodes well for the Howth Yacht Club duo of Robert Dixon and Sean Waddilove with the question now being asked; is the jump up from under–23 World championship winners too big to secure 49er nomination?

Meanwhile, Annalise Murphy's bid in Cadiz is reported to be progressing well with Tingle now back in the boat but the pair have yet to race internationally and time is ticking in an ultra-competitive fleet that is only getting faster the closer we get to Tokyo.

"Could this mean Ireland is looking at possibly one or two Lasers at the Games only?"

Could this mean Ireland is looking at possibly one or two Lasers at the Games only?  Even then, the men’s fleet size is much reduced putting extra pressure on both Finn Lynch and Ewan McMahon.

Finn Lynch Laser SailorIreland’s best hope for qualifying for Tokyo at Aarhus was Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club competing in the Men’s Laser event. Lynch had three top ten results in his score sheet. Photo: Sailing Energy

The World Sailing Championships at Aarhus, Denmark, last August was the first opportunity to qualify for Tokyo, but Irish crews in three events did not pass the test.

The next qualification opportunity is in July in Japan (Laser classes) and the end of the year for the skiffs in New Zealand, at a cost of over €10,000 to attend.

2020 Olympic Sailing Trials

Once the nation is qualified, Irish selection criteria will apply provided the minimum standard required to justify a trial is reached.

Irish sailing's initial criteria is two candidates finishing top half of one of the 2019 qualifying regattas held at:

  • Palma; March 29th-April 6th, 2019,
  • Genoa; World Cup Round: April 15th-21st, 2019,
  • Hyéres Regatta: April 27th-May 4th, 2019,
  • Marseille World Cup Final: June 2nd-9th, 2019,
  • Enoshima Test Event: August 15th-22nd, 2019,
  • Enoshima World Cup Round: August 25th-September 1st, 2019,
  • Event European Championships 2019,
  • Event World Championships 2019.

If only one candidate achieves the criteria, the nomination is automatic provided Ireland has been qualified in that event for Tokyo.

If a trial series is required, the combined scores from each of the following trial regattas will be used to decide the nomination:

  • Palma: March 28th-April 4th,2020,
  • Genoa WC Round and final European Nation Qualifier: April 13th-19th, 2020
  • Hyéres Regatta: April 25th-May 2nd, 2020

Download the full IS criteria below

Published in Tokyo 2020
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