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Irish Olympic Sailing Team In Search of Two Tokyo 2020 Berths

21st November 2019
Rio rep Finn Lynch is one of three Irish sailors chasing the final two Tokyo Olympic places on offer next April in Genoa against stiff competition Rio rep Finn Lynch is one of three Irish sailors chasing the final two Tokyo Olympic places on offer next April in Genoa against stiff competition Photo: World Sailing

The Irish Olympic Sailing Team have shown the depth of their ambition with the publication of a world-girdling events calendar as they go in search of final Olympic berths for Tokyo 2020.

Ireland is contesting three of ten classes in next Summer's Olympics but after four-year campaigns with some solid results, the sailors have so far only booked a single Tokyo place in the Laser Radial (Women) division.

The team are now close to the last chance saloon and chasing a nation berth in the Laser Standard (Men), and the 49er (Men) and will be on a non-stop tour next season according to the 2020 team calendar (downloadable below). The Worlds in Auckland is the 49er teams second chance to qualify to Tokyo. The event is Genoa is their last chance should they not qualify in Auckland.


Four women will contest a three regatta trials series for the Radial slot next season to see who will be representing Ireland in Tokyo including 2016 Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy, Aoife Hopkins, Aisling Keller, and Eve McMahon. The do or die trials series rules here state when a trial is held the recommendations [for Olympic Nomination] made by Irish Sailing's Olympic Sailing Group 'shall be based solely on the results of the Trial Series'.


The 49ers have their work cut out to qualify a boat for the nation at the 49er World Championships in Auckland next month. Racing starts on 3 December and two Irish teams Ryan Seaton with Seafra Guilfoyle and Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove are predicted to need at least a top-eight finish to take one of four Olympic berths on offer in the 100-boat fleet. 14 nations in the fleet are seeking those four Tokyo slots. If unsuccessful, then the last chance for Olympic Qualification is next April in Genoa where one single European berth is left.


Likewise for the Laser Standard men, who missed qualification last year at the Worlds in Japan.  Finn Lynch, Ewan McMahon and Liam Glynn have their last chance to qualify for the Olympics at the World Sailing World Cup in Genoa next April but they will be chasing two final places on offer.

The following five European countries, (who have still not qualified their country) all finished ahead of Ireland in Japan so Ireland will have to overhaul all but one of these to win a Tokyo berth in Genoa. 

  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Spain
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium

It'll be a tough nut to crack especially as both Belgium and Spain beat Ireland at the 2018 World Championships too yet the Italian venue is where Lynch performed so well earlier this season.

The calendar (downloadable below) is provisional and dates may change.

Published in Tokyo 2020 Team

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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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