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Finn Lynch Knocking on the Door of Top Ten at Tokyo Test Event

20th August 2019
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Finn Lynch is lying 11th Finn Lynch is lying 11th Photo: World Sailing

The National Yacht Club's Olympic Laser sailor Finn Lynch continues to sail consistently at the midway point of Ready Steady Tokyo, the official test event for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games hosted by the Japanese capital and is 11th overall, edging closer to medal race participation by the end of the week.

it is becoming growingly apparent that versatility and consistency will determine  Olympic champions in a years time and with that Lynch is proving his worth in Enoshima this week, if only he (or Ewan McMahon or Liam Glynn) can manage to qualify Ireland at next year's do-or-die final test in March.

After Day 3 of the Olympic Test event Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle in the 49erFX had four races, with two 4th places pushing them up to 16th place.

In the 49ers, they also completed four races, with Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove getting an 8th place and a 6th.

And in the Laser Radials where they've now completed six races, Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller are in 26th and 29th places respectively. 

At Ready Steady Tokyo – it’s fair to say that all 353 athletes here have been put through their paces so far.

Day 3 produced a different bout of weather to the previous two days, with shifting winds and tricky conditions shaking up the standings somewhat.

The variety of racing scenarios faced by the sailors will provide them with plenty of experience for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in one year’s time; the old regatta adage of "consistency is key" certainly applies here.

One team who have demonstrated this with a typically professional performance so far are reigning Nacra 17 Olympic champions, Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG).

They won two of today’s four races to move up into second place, also picking up a fourth and a 12th (discarded). 

And though Lange was disappointed to finish the day with their worst result of the week, he believes they have both taken a lot out of a varied three days of racing.

"It was a really difficult day – really tiring for an old man!" he said.

"It’s a shame we ruined the day a bit in the last race, but overall we are happy; we sailed well with some really good racing.

"It seems like sailing in Japan is about getting used to difficult conditions and performing.

"Today we were expecting the wind to die to a sea breeze, but actually the last race was in some of the strongest winds.

"We need to be really focused to understand what the wind does every day, so we learn something for next year."

Ruggero Tita & Caterina Banti (ITA) remain in front, despite also picking up their worst result of the week today (ninth). John Gimson & Anna Burnet (GBR) move into the top three with a race win, while Iker Martinez & Olga Maslivets (ESP) took the fourth win of the day.

There’s a new leader in the Laser fleet; Jesper Stalheim (SWE) has risen to the top with a string of consistent results.

Picking up two seconds and a third today, and with his discard a 15th from earlier in the week, he’s knocked Sam Meech (NZL) off top spot.

Assessing the week’s mixed conditions, and up against a strong fleet, Stalheim knows it will be difficult to maintain his good form so far.

"Apart from a bit of a shocker in the second race, I’ve had a really good week," he said.

"We’ve had a bit of everything. Today we had a shifty offshore wind, whereas on the first day we had epic southwest winds and big waves.

"It looks like there will be two more light wind days coming up, so we’ll see what they get!

"Both of the Aussies and Sam [Meech] have been quite consistent so far. They’re really strong – they’ve been the strongest throughout this season.

"It will be hard to keep them behind me, but I’ll try my best!"

The Swede has a nine-point lead over Meech, who won one of today’s three races, with Matt Wearn (AUS) in third.

William De Smet (BEL) and Chris Barnard (USA) won the other two races of the day.

In the Laser Radial fleet, a 32nd-placed finish for Maria Erdi (HUN) sees her lose her lead, as she already has a discard of 35th from yesterday.

Emma Plasschaert (BEL) now leads the way, ahead of Sarah Douglas (CAN), who won one of today’s races to move up into second.

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Svenja Weger (GER) picked up the other race wins.

The 49ers got four races in, and Kiwis Peter Burling & Blair Tuke have regained top spot with two second places and a third.

Lukasz Przybytek & Pawel Kolodzinski (POL) move down into second, despite winning a race, while Benjamin Bildstein & David Hussl (AUT) keep third after picking up two wins today.

Mathieu Frei & Noe Delpech (FRA) bagged today’s other race win.

The 49erFX fleet now have nine races under their belt after also completing another four today, and Charlotte Dobson & Saskia Tidey (GBR) keep their lead, topping off with a win to build a 10-point advantage.

Martine Grael & Kahena Kunze (BRA) stay second, with Alexandra Maloney & Molly Meech moving into the top three having collected a race win today.

The day’s other two victories were taken by Helene Nass & Marie Ronningen (NOR) and Tamara Echegoyen & Paula Barcelo (ESP).

Elsewhere, Mat Belcher & Will Ryan (AUS) have taken top spot off Jordi Xammar & Nicolas Rodriguez (ESP) in the 470 Men, who took a win apiece today.

Anton Dahlberg & Fredrik Bergström (SWE) stay third, with the top three 16-points clear of the rest of the pack.

Paul Snow-Hansen & Daniel Willcox (NZL) claimed the day’s other race win.

It’s tight between the top two in the 470 Women’s fleet, with just a point separating Ai Kondo Yoshida & Miho Yoshioka (JPN), who won the final race of the day, and Hannah Mills & Eilidh McIntyre (GBR).

Camille Lecointre & Aloise Retornaz (FRA) are nine points behind the Brits in third, with Linda Fahrni & Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) and Haiyan Gao & Mengxi Wei (CHN) claiming the day’s other two victories.

In the RS:X Men’s fleet, Mengfan Gao (CHN) went from third to first, collecting a race win along the way.

Thomas Goyard (FRA) and Mattia Camboni (ITA) follow, with Piotr Myszka (POL) & Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI) also winning races today.

Yunxiu Lu (CHN) continues to dominate in the RS:X Women, with a 12-point lead over second-placed Katy Spychakov (ISR), who won the last of three races.

Charline Picon (FRA) moves down into third, while Stefania Elfutina (RUS) took two victories today to move within a point of her in fourth.

And on Day 3 of racing in the Finn fleet, Zsombor Berecz (HUN) is back in front ahead of Giles Scott (GBR), with a race win taking him nine points clear of the Brit.

Andy Maloney (NZL) triumphed in the day’s other two races and he is now within two points of third-placed Nicholas Heiner (NED).

Racing continues tomorrow at around 12:00 for all fleets, apart from the Laser Radial, 470 Men and 49er who begin at 14:00.

After teething problems all the results are here

Published in Tokyo 2020, Laser
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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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