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What are Irish Chances for Last 49er Olympic Place at Tokyo 2020?

9th December 2019
Ireland is in the fight for the last Euro 49er spot next Easter Ireland is in the fight for the last Euro 49er spot next Easter Photo: Sailing Energy

Ireland face an uphill battle to qualify the 49er for the 2020 Olympics at the Genoa World Cup event next Easter. That’s if the form over the last 12 months is the yardstick by which to judge Ireland’s chances at the last opportunity, the European qualifier for Tokyo 2020.

The remaining European contenders were done a huge favour through European countries taking the four places on offer at the just concluded World Championship in Auckland.

Form indicates that Genoa will be a four-way battle for the one remaining spot between Ireland, Belgium, Sweden and Italy. Adding to the difficulty of predicting the outcome is the fact that, like Ireland, there is more than one contending crew from two of the other countries.

Ryan seatonRyan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle - silver fleet in Auckland

Last year in Genoa, the Belgium team of LeFebvre/Pelsmaekers were one place ahead of Italians Visconti/Togni, with Howth Yacht Club's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove 11 places further back. The top placing of a nation in contention was by the Russian team of Chekh/Zotov, but they could only manage 56th in this year’s worlds.

Perhaps the most consistent performers are the Swedes, Hedstrom/Hamel, but it is the two Irish teams that are currently enjoying upward results trajectories.

rob and seanRobert Dickson and Sean Waddilove - gold fleet in Auckland

There is another World Championship in just two months time in Australia, but perhaps the Princesa Sofia regatta in Palma at the end of March will be the best indicator of form entering the decisive event. After all, that is a venue where Ryan Seaton has enjoyed one of his skiff career highs, winning the 2016 Trofeo Princesa event outright.

Read all Afloat's Olympic sailing coverage in one handy link 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

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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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