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Irish 49ers Battling for Olympic Qualification on Day Two of World Championships in Auckland

4th December 2019
Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle in Auckland Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle in Auckland Photo: Facebook

Some consistent scoring from Ireland's two 49er skiff teams on day two of the 49er World Championships in Auckland harbour sees Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle lead the Irish quest for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Regatta qualification.

Day two saw lighter winds than the breezy opening races on Monday. 

Counting 12, 7, 16, 4, 8 and 7 after six races sailed so far, the Belfast Lough-Royal Cork pairing is lying 21st overall in the 88-boat fleet. 

Likewise, Howth Yacht Club duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, who notched up their first world championship race win in the opening rounds yesterday added a third-place to their scoresheet today to be 26th overall with results of 1, 13, 13, 12, 20 and 3. They lie just outside the gold fleet cut but with more racing to follow.

Full results are here. Organisers have indicated countries seeking Olympic berths with a blue bar. 

The Irish teams sailed in separate flights of 30 boats each in these qualifying rounds.

Three races remain on Thursday to decide the Gold, Silver and Bronze fleet splits for the 88 crews representing 30 countries.

As Afloat previously reported, this week's Championships is the most important regatta for sailors outside of the Olympic Games and four Olympic berths are up for grabs but Ireland must finish in the top eight overall to be in with a realistic chance of securing one of these prized places.

After six races from a possible 20 in six days, both Irish teams are still some way off the predicted top eight cut but the early consistent form shown in a fleet with such a depth of talent is a promising sign. 

Racing continues on Thursday with three more qualifying races to decide Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets.  A further nine races are then scheduled including Sunday leading to a medal race final for the top ten boats.  

Watch a blue fleet start below:

49erFX - Tidey is Eighth

Royal Irish Yacht Club sailor Saskia Tidey who sailed for Ireland in Rio in the 49erFX but will represent Team GB in Tokyo 2020 with Charlotte Dobson is lying eighth overall after four sailed. The Dun Laoghaire sailor is discarding a 16th scored in the opening race. Results are here.

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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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