Near-calm conditions made for a tricky opening day where Ireland has two sailors aiming to qualify for the women’s single-handed event at the Tokyo Olympics next year.
Only one of two races was held and a big shift in wind direction eventually saw the course shortened after three legs.
The first three days of the event are qualification rounds with the 111 entries split into Blue and Green flights. Both Aisling Keller (Nenagh, Co. Tipperary) and Aoife Hopkins (Howth, Co. Dublin) are currently sailing in the Blue group.
National Radial Champion, Keller sailed well in the shortened race, reaching as high as tenth place with the leaders and consistently held a top 20 position to eventually place 16th for the first day.
The 40-degree wind-shift caught Hopkins on the wrong side of the course and she ended in 34th place with no opportunity to recover places when the race ended.
“Both our sailors are sailing well considering the conditions,” commented Rory Fitzpatrick, Irish Sailing’s Head Coach. “Aisling’s result is definitely a ‘counter’ but Aoife was unlucky that the race was shortened.”
Although the opening-day of racing faced light conditions, forecasts for Saturday suggest an improvement with around ten knots of breeze expected.
Ten nation places for Tokyo are available at the end of this event following the 20 places already allocated out of a total of 44 berths in the women’s event at the next Olympics.