Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle were best of the Irish at the first round of the World Sailing Cup in Enoshima, Japan last week. The Belfast-cork partnership, who still seek the Olympic qualification standard for Tokyo 2020, made the medal race cut and finished in sixth place in that finale to 10th place overall.
In a big improvement for the pair, they had been as high as fifth overall during the heavy weather series, so in the context of their campaign to reach the Olympic standard later this year, they will rue race four in which they did not finish and race seven where they were disqualified.
Watch the duo in action in the medal race below (you can skip to 2:49:00)
With the World Cup in Enoshima now finished, it brings to a close what officials say was 'a really productive summer of sailing' for Ireland and one where Olympic qualification was achieved by Lough Derg's Asiling Keller in the Radial class.
Ireland will seek to qualify for Tokyo 2020 at the last opportunity later this year in the 49er and 49erFX skiff classes and next March in the men's Laser class.
Australia’s Mat Belcher and Will Ryan won their third consecutive Men’s 470 gold medal on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic waters as the Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima event in Japan concluded.
Belcher and Ryan won the 470 World Championship title on 9 August and followed up with Ready Steady Tokyo, the Olympic test event, success on 22 August.
After five weeks of hard racing in Enoshima, they will head home, take stock of their success during a period of rest and move into 2020, the Olympic year, full of confidence.
The Men’s 470 Medal Race was one of two that was completed on a light wind final day on Sagami Bay. The Women’s 470 sailed the second and Spain’s Silvia Mas and Patricia Cantero came from behind to grab gold.
Light winds saw the postponement of the Laser, Laser Radial and Finn Medal Races which meant the results overnight stand. Nicholas Heiner (NED) and Pavlos Kontides (CYP) had already confirmed gold before the Medal Race in the Finn and Laser.
Emma Plasschaert (BEL) was prepared to fight Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) and Alison Young (GBR) for gold in the Laser Radial. The cancellation confirmed Plasschaert as victor in Enoshima for the second time in ten days after she won Ready Steady Tokyo.
The Hempel World Cup Series will head to Miami, USA in January 2020 as the countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games continues. -- Daniel Smith - World Sailing
Final podium positions:
1. Mathew Belcher / William Ryan, AUS, 27
2. Jordi Xammar Hernandez / Nicolás Rodriguez Garcia-Paz, ESP, 37
3. Kazuto Doi / Naoya Kimura, JPN, 47
1. Silvia Mas Depares / Patricia Cantero Reina, ESP, 44
2. Nia Jerwood / Monique de Vries, AUS, 45
3. Frederike Loewe / Anna Markfort, GER, 58
1. James Peters / Fynn Sterritt, GBR, 49
2. Benjamin Bildstein / David Hussl, AUT, 49
3. Tim Fischer / Fabian Graf, GER, 52
1. Annemiek Bekkering / Annette Duetz, NED, 27
2. Alexandra Maloney / Molly Meech, NZL, 36
3. Julie Bossard / Aude Compan, FRA, 37
1. Nicholas Heiner, NED, 19
2. Josip Olujic, CRO, 44
3. Ioannis Mitakis, GRE, 47
1. Pavlos Kontides, CYP, 36
2. Matthew Wearn, AUS, 57
3. Jean Baptiste Bernaz, FRA, 62
Laser Radial Women
1. Emma Plasschaert, BEL, 54
2. Anne-Marie Rindom, DEN, 57
3. Alison Young, GBR, 64
1. Quentin Delapierre / Manon Audinet, FRA, 21
2. Ben Saxton / Nicola Boniface, GBR, 22
3. Ruggero Tita / Caterina Marianna Banti, ITA, 23
1. Louis Giard, FRA, 48
2. Kun Bi, CHN, 49
3. Pierre Le Coq, FRA, 53
1. Yunxiu Lu, CHN, 37
2. Katy Spychakov, ISR, 42
3. Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, POL, 49
Full results including Irish places here