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Lough Derg's Aisling Keller Leads Irish Hopes for Olympic Berth at Radial Worlds Japan

19th July 2019
The Laser Radial World Championship is being held at Sakaiminato, Japan The Laser Radial World Championship is being held at Sakaiminato, Japan

Aisling Keller of Lough Derg Yacht Club leads Irish hopes in chasing one of ten Olympic places at the Laser Radial World Championship at Sakaiminato, Japan today.

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.

Results here

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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