Finn Lynch, Ireland's only medal race contender at the Princess Sofia Trophy this week, has finished fourth overall, narrowly missing out on a bronze medal position in an exciting Laser dinghy finale in a breezy Bay of Palma today.
The Rio 2016 Olympian had been in second overall earlier in the series and qualified for the top ten medal race final on Saturday morning in seventh place beating, among others, former Olympic champion Robert Scheidt of Brazil.
High winds and big seas delayed the final race but it still went ahead in the challenging waves.
“If I was offered fourth at the start of this regatta I’d have taken it without thinking”
“I think if I was offered fourth at the start of this regatta I’d have taken it without thinking,” he said after the medal race ended. “I sailed really well and I’m super happy with fourth overall.”
There were 187 competitors in his event that included multiple Olympic and world champions and Lynch’s consistent form continues to mark his progress after also making the medal race final in Miami two months ago.
“When I came out of the harbour, I had a big smile on my face that I saw the big waves; I was really excited. I know a lot of people think I can’t perform in those conditions so I hope I’ve proved some people wrong and others right that no matter what the conditions I can still do well.”
The fleet also included Howth’s Ewan McMahon who ended the Gold fleet series on Friday in 29th place overall and is the top Under 21-year old as a result.
Passing one boat on the final leg of the medal showdown was enough to secure a first major regatta title for the USA’s Christopher Barnard. The sailor from Newport Beach, Calif. lead into the medal race which was won by GBR’s Eliot Hanson who finished runner up ahead of his two times World Champion compatriot Nick Thompson.
Barnard misses out on US selection to the test event to fifth placed Charlie Buckingham – their selection is aggregated over Miami and Palma - but was pleased to round out his regatta win.
“I'm extremely happy, relieved and emotionally exhausted.” Grinned Barnard, “This is by far the biggest regatta I've won. I've been happy with the way I've sailed all week and today I showed a really good fight. That's probably what I'm most proud of.”
“All week I sailed really consistently to put myself in a strong position going into another race and it definintely didn't start according to plan. Big breeze like today has never been my strongest condition but it's been a work in progress.”
“Charlie will go to the test event. For myself I'm disappointed with Miami, I didn't finish very well. I did everything I needed to do here to have a good result, but Charlie earned that spot, He sailed two really consistent events. So I will work hard to keep on improving and focus on our Olympic Trials.”