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Both Irish crews competing at the 49er European Championships in Denmark were unable to qualify for the Gold fleet (top third) final series on Thursday (7th July 2022).

After a strong start to their Paris 2024 campaign, and their first world cup medal at the Allianz regatta in June, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove were expected to perform well in Aarhus this week but even with scoring fifth, 14th and third places on the final day of the qualification series, Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) were unable to make it into the top 25 boats in the 92-strong fleet.

The pair placed 31st overall and will start the finals series in the Silver fleet on Friday.

New Royal Cork pairing, Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan will also be racing in Silver fleet as they ended the qualification round in 34th overall.

The 49er Italian team of Anessi Pe/Gamba won a tie breaker to edge out countrymen Crivelli/Visconti for the last Gold Fleet spot. The top of the fleet, however, seemed to stabilize on this final qualifying day with Lambriex/Werken (NED) letting Peters/Sterritt (GBR) move within one point and the Fantella brothers of Croatia still banging out top ten finishes to sit in third.

Locals Rask/ Precht Jensen had a 6, 1, 4 to keep Denmark's medal hopes alive.

A massive shift to the East disrupted the local weather pattern for the afternoon 49er fleets which saw flatter conditions but big gusts and lulls. First, a downwind leg in race two of the day saw a 90-degree shift and in the final race on course A, a building left breeze and another shift launched Moffat/Bonin (CAN) into an unassailable lead. Though they were already locked into the silver fleet in 35th position, the pair nailed their last jibe to the finish with huge smiles. "It was the easiest race of our lives," the said.

Both Irish crews will turn their efforts towards the 49er World Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the start of September.

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With three remaining qualification races planned both of Ireland's 49er crews will need to move up a gear to secure a top 25 place for the gold fleet in Denmark on Thursday.

Tokyo 2020 reps Robert Dickson (Howth YC) with Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) looked to put a shaky start to the Aarhus Championships on Tuesday behind them when they were disqualified from the first race. The pair had a second and fifth place but a jammed cleat proved costly in Wednesday's opening race meant they lost 15 minutes from the race and again incurred maximum points and are 37th in the 89-boat fleet.

One place ahead, team-mates Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan from the Royal Cork YC had a 17th and two 18th places for the day.

Mihovil Fantella of Croatia bolted the port wing back onto his 49er early this morning after a starting line crash in Tuesday’s last race wrecked his boat, sails and rig. After some late-night epoxy work and hours of rigging they hammered out a 1, 10, 2 today which dropped them in a group of six teams looking to break the stronghold on first held by Lambriex/Werken (NED) who are four points clear of the Croatians in second.

“Luckily the accident was the last race of the day,” said Mihovil as he and his brother pulled their mast down to re-calibrate settings after today’s racing. “Sime was in a protest to 10, I was there fixing and preparing for the new day. You can’t do much about that you just have to go straight on fixing and try to be as prepared as you can.”

The FX fleets were free of accidents and drama, and the consistency of the top four, six points separating them all, is a fine preview of the tension that will build when the gold fleet races begin Friday.

The Schmidt sisters of Denmark have been going from strength to strength this week, rounding the top mark of race 6 in second behind Maloney/Hobbs (NZL). They slipped to third in that race but still hold a two-point lead over Bobeck/Netzler (SWE) and Roble/Shea (USA) who is another one point behind in third.

Aleh/Meech (NZL) had a blinder of a day with a 5, 2, 1 and the pair is finally settling into a form they they both know from precious sailing in the Olympic Games, albeit with different partners.

“It’s just nice to go sailing again,” said Aleh this morning as she dropped shroud pins in new settings. Since her gold in London and silver in Rio, both in women’s 470, she has been a national coach and is a vice President at world Sailing. Meech was Maloney’s partner in Tokyo last summer.

A steady 15 knots was pressing down on the two FX fleets in the afternoon on the Bay of Aarhus, but the three 49er race circles saw solid white caps and gusts well into the 20s for their morning races.

While Lambriex/Werken (NED) had a hiccup in race six sailing their throwout (9th), standouts Colley/Connor (AUS) have been consistently stringing together a beautiful scoreline to leave them in a three-way tie for third that includes Peters/Sterritt (GBR) and McHardie/McKenzie (NZL). The latter’s teammates Dunning Beck/Gunn (NZL) have also been finding their wheels after a disastrous Kiel Week result of 47th.

“We just really had to go back to basics,” said Dunning Beck who came tantalizingly close to unseating Olympic gold medalists Burling/Tuke (NZL) for the Tokyo 49er berth. “We watched videos and just are slowly finding our way back.”

Gunn said the pair are humble, not thinking this week’s string of solid races means they are back in business. Dunning Beck added carefully, “We are putting it in our pocket, but it’s not all the way in yet.”

Results here

With gusts above 30 knots and spinning rain squalls, the 2022 49er and FX European Championships kicked off in Aarhus with all the top teams taking lessons from some new crews; including Ireland.

In an exciting start, both the Irish boats, who are each aiming to represent Ireland in the single place at the Paris 2024 Olympics, led their opening races in their respective flights. 

Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork YC) went on to win the first race of the championship but Tokyo 2020 reps Robert Dickson (Howth YC) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) counted a UFD score for a premature start.

Overall after three races, the Royal Cork Pair are lying 24th in the 88-boat fleet counting 1, 14, and 11 from the first three races. Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove counted UFD, 11 and 13 to be 53rd.

2021 World Champions, Bart Lambriex with Floris van der Werken (NED), set the standard with a 3, 2, 1 including a comeback from a bad start, and a comeback from a mid-pack first lap to show they can move through the fleet when necessary. Each of their comebacks came by jumping into shifts to pass packs and they had enough speed to make the boat-on-boat encounters fall in their favour.

Two further days of qualification racing will decide the split for Gold fleet racing that begins on Friday ahead of a medal race on Sunday afternoon for the best ten crews.

Results here

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Ireland's top-ranked skiff pair Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove fought off French competition to win today's 49er medal race and win a World Cup silver medal at the Allianz Regatta in the Netherlands.

Training partners with the Irish duo, the home pair of Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken grabbed gold without needing to compete in the medal race but the Howth and Skerries Combination made no mistake about silver at the end of a strong week for the Irish Tokyo 2020 reps.

As Afloat reported earlier, Dickson and Waddilove and Lucas Rual/Emile Amoros (FRA) held second and third respectively, but many teams in the 40-boat fleet were breathing down their neck and ready to knock the Irish and French off the podium.

Dickson and Waddilove put the hammer down at the start and led all the way to the finish.

The battle for bronze swung this way then another as four different crews moved into podium contention throughout the two-lap contest. However, at the finish it was Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl (AUT) who hauled their way to second across the line behind the Irish.

By a single point, the Austrians had bagged the bronze and relegated Rual and Amoros to fourth place.

The Dutch round of the World Cup saw ten Olympic classes compete in Almere in the southern part of the Ijsselmeer, east of Amsterdam.

Seán Waddilove and Robert Dickson (last two on right) on the podium in HollandSeán Waddilove and Robert Dickson (right) on the podium in Holland Photo: Sailing Energy

The medal couldn't come at a better time for the Irish pair who are aiming for a top result at next month's key European Championships in Denmark. Next up for the North Dublin pairing is June's Kiel Week Regatta in Germany

Full results here

While the 49er World Champions may have grabbed an early gold at the Allianz Regatta in the Netherlands yesterday, Ireland's Tokyo 2020 reps Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove are very much in the fight for a silver medal in the medal race on Saturday.

Dutch 49er sailors Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werken have secured the gold medal on day four of the Hempel World Cup Series at the Allianz Regatta.

As Afloat reported earlier, Dickson and Waddilove, from Howth Yacht Club and Skerries respectively and Lucas Rual/Emile Amoros (FRA) hold second and third currently, but many teams are breathing down their neck and ready to knock the Irish and French off the podium.

Sitting on 54 points Ireland has a five-point margin over the French but only 12 points separate second to fifth place overall in the 40-boat fleet.

With temperatures reaching to 25 degrees and winds picking up from 12 to 19 knots by the end of the balmy afternoon, the Markermeer waters between Amsterdam and Almere delivered stunning sailing conditions for all 10 fleets.

The perfect wind enabled race committees across all courses to make up most of the races lost to lighter and more fickle breezes earlier in the week.

In the 49er, Lambriex and van der Werken reminded their rivals why they won the world title in Oman at the end of last year. Winning five of the last six races, the Dutch go into Saturday’s Medal Race with an unassailable 29 point advantage. The gold medal is theirs.

Dutch 49er sailor Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werk (NED) secured the gold medal Photo: Sailing Energy/Hempel World Cup Series Allianz RegattaDutch 49er sailor Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werk (NED) secured the gold medal Photo: Sailing Energy/Hempel World Cup Series Allianz Regatta

Floris van der Werken explained their winning approach: "It was quite a strong field. A few of the worlds best are missing, but not many. We didn't really focus on the results this week, though, we never do. The focus was on communication onboard. We try to sail as one brain but with the capacity of two. Four eyes see more than two, but we have to think the same. That went very well this week. If the communication is good, if we give each other the right information, then we make the right decisions and we win."

Results in all classes are here

Irish Tokyo 2020 skiff duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove are in a three-way tie for second place in the 49er class of Holland's Allianz Regatta after eight races sailed at the Hempel World Cup Series at the Allianz Regatta.

The 49er World Champions have extended their lead on home waters. Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werken (NED) won both of Thursday’s Gold Fleet races to move to a 16-point lead. Second place is held jointly with teams from France, Ireland and the Netherlands all on 30 points in the 39-boat fleet.

A windless morning picked up to a sunny and moderate breeze of 7 to 13 knots in the afternoon and more of the same is expected on Friday.

Howth's Aoife Hopkins is lying 32nd in the ILCA 6/Laser Radial fleet while Emma Plasschaert (BEL) shot up the ILCA 6 fleet rankings on day three.

Howth's Aoife Hopkins competing in the ILCA 6 in the Allianz Regatta Photo: Sailing EnergyHowth's Aoife Hopkins competing in the ILCA 6 in the Allianz Regatta Photo: Sailing Energy

Like many of the favourites in the 57-strong women’s single-hander dinghy class, the reigning World Champion from Belgium had a tough start to the regatta with two scores in the 20s, but she bounced back today with a 2nd and then a race win.

This puts Plasschaert in third overall, a point behind Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE), but still some distance behind the overall leader, France’s Louise Cervera who has read the conditions like no one else. Cervera scored 3,2 and sits on just 12 points overall, and even her current discard of 16th is superior to that of her closest rivals.

Results in all classes are here

No Irish representation in the medal races at the Semaine Olympique Francaise (French Olympic Classes Week) in Hyères is a disappointment for Irish Olympic sailing efforts but there is consolation in the two top 15 finishes achieved in what is the second biggest regatta since Tokyo.


Carlow sailor Finn Lynch finished 13th overall in the ILCA 7 (Laser) after coming fifth in both races yesterday demonstrating he has the speed even if nursing an arm injury, missing the medal race by just 12 points.

His 21-year-old rival for Paris 2024 Ewan McMahon (Howth YC) moved up again in the fleet to finish 23rd overall, a result that confirms he is an exciting prospect and Ireland's second most successful full rig sailor since Mark Lyttle, Ireland's inaugural Laser helmsman at Atlanta 1996. 

The pair are now in preparation for the World Championships, a highlight of the year where Lynch will defend his 2021 silver medal in Mexico in May.


With less wind than on previous days, Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove (Howth YC and Skerries SC) finished in 15th place in the 49er class after the day’s three races. Rivals Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork YC) finished in 30th place overall.

Full results here

The regatta concludes today Saturday 30 April.

Dublin 49er skiff duo Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove are within striking distance of the top ten – and an important medal race place –  at the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma, Mallorca.

Lying in 13th place (but on the same 72 points as 12th placed Poles Lukasz Przybytek and Jacek Piasecki), the Howth and Skerries pair are just two points out of the top ten after a four-race day off S'Arenal east of Palma after day four of the week-long event.

As Afloat reported earlier, the Tokyo Olympians found themselves disqualified from a race on Wednesday in the 76-boat fleet when they were amongst a group of three boats (which included both Irish 49ers) that infringed an Italian entry on the starting line. Read the findings of the protest committee below.

The ruling meant they had to use their discard to drop that penalty maximum score.

Thursday's racing saw the pair place 22nd then 15th before delivering two sixth places in the high-speed conditions. They now lie 12th overall and tantalizingly close to the medal race cut off point.

Overall, the 49er class looks set to go to the wire with the top five teams going into the final day of gold fleet racing with only four points between them. Leaders are Poland’s European Champions Mikolai Staniul and Jakub Sztorch.

Spain’s Diego Botin, poised in fourth said, “We did not burn our discard yet and today we just focused on consistency. The third race we made mistakes and it was not so good. The new rig is quite different. I think it is stiffer and that makes it harder to sail. The old rigs probably have a small edge in these conditions but it is nice to have the change in the class.”

In one of their first European regattas together, the Royal Cork's Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan lie in 38th place.

Irish interest in the women's 49erFX class centres on sixth-placed Saskia Tidey of the Royal Irish Yacht Club who is in a new Team GB campaign with Freya Black.

Racing in all ten events continues on Friday to complete the fleet series with the top ten crews in each class going forward to Saturday's medal race finals.

Results here

Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Seán Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) qualified for the Gold fleet of the 49er skiff event today (Wednesday 6th April 2022) at the Princess Sofia regatta in Palma, Mallorca.

After a three-hour delay ashore waiting for wind to fill in, racing got underway across the Bay of Palma but it wasn't until late afternoon when the 49er event got underway on the eastern shore.

Dickson and Waddilove played the windshifts well in the opening race and scored sixth. However, in the race that followed a starting-line incident involving two other countries saw them place tenth for that race, their worst score of the series to date which they discard.

That starting-line incident was the subject of a protest committee hearing and could yet make their discarded score much higher depending on the outcome. The pair have, however, qualified for the Gold fleet regardless.

Royal Cork sailors Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan had their worst result of the series so far with an 18th place but followed it with an eighth but were unable to make the cut-off for the Gold fleet on this, only their second major regatta together as a new pairing.

France's Erwan Fischer and Clément Pequin continue to lead the Men’s 49er fleet despite messing up the first race of yellow group before bouncing back with a second place in the next. “It was lighter today, so more tactical,” said Fischer. “We missed some opportunities in the first race but overall we’re very happy with how it’s going. The forecast looks good for tomorrow and it looks a bit stronger which is always fun. To be honest we are just happy to be back out racing again.”

Results here

Saskia Tidey in the 49er FX 

Saskia Tidey, of this parish, and her new teammate Freya Black, continue a consistent showing at their first event in a new campaign for Team GB. The duo are seventh from 53 in the 49er Fx

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Tralee Bay Sailing Club in County Kerry is gearing up for a weekend of sailing on the west coast over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

The weekend will start with the club's yearly "Spring Regatta". Four races are scheduled on Saturday, the 3rd of April for the Optimist and dinghy fleets of the club.

The regatta is however open to visitors and last year saw the addition of 29er sailors from Dublin, GP14s from Cullaun and sailors from neighbouring club Foynes.

The weekend will then carry on with the combined 29er westerns and the first-ever "Open Skiff West" event.

The return of a regular season at home has been long awaited for the 29er fleet and the Westerns will launch a great summer of sailing and racing for the fleet. It will be the opportunity for the seasoned partnerships who have raced abroad over the winter to chase home waters honours and for the new partnerships to get finally introduced to racing. Who will add their name under 2019 champions Atlee Kohl and Jonathan O'Shaugnessy?

Skiff sailing is fun and there are many sailors around the country who have enjoyed the thrills of fast downwinds in their local club races. TBSC is offering the opportunity to gather all these speed addicts in a single venue for two days giving the opportunity to share tricks and stories with the more experienced sailors helping out the less experienced to get the most out of their boat. 49er and 49erFX should provide the bulk of the fleet yet we are also expecting a few of the trapezing RS (600, 700 and 800), Musto skiffs and some of the older skiff designs which still line up in various club boat parks around the country.

The event will be run under PY.

Details and entry form are on the Tralee Bay Sailing Club website, download the two NORs below. 

Published in 29er
Page 1 of 17

About the 29er Skiff Dinghy

The 29er is a one-design double-handed, single trapeze skiff for youth sailors.

There is an active class in Ireland, just one of the 38-countries from across all continents now racing the high-performance skiff.

The 29er is one of the latest dinghy classes to arrive in Ireland and has a 50/50 split between boys and girls.

The class like to describe the boat as "The most popular skiff for sailors who want to go fast!".

Derived from the Olympic class 49er class and designed by Julian Bethwaite the 29er was first produced in 1998.

Two sailors sail the 29er, one on trapeze.

The class is targeted at youth sailors aiming at sailing the larger 49er which is an Olympic class.

The 6.25-metre high rig features a fractional asymmetrical spinnaker; a self-tacking jib decreases the workload of the crew, making manoeuvres more efficient and freeing the crew to take the mainsheet upwind and on two-sail reaches.

The 15.00 m2 spinnaker rigging set-up challenges crews to be fit and coordinated, and manoeuvres in the boat require athleticism due to its lack of inherent stability and the high speed with which the fully battened mainsail and jib power up.

The 74kg weight hull is constructed of fibreglass-reinforced polyester in a foam sandwich layout.

The fully battened mainsail and jib are made from a transparent Mylar laminate with orange or red Dacron trimming, while the spinnaker is manufactured from ripstop Nylon.

The mast is in three parts - an aluminium bottom and middle section, with a polyester-fibreglass composite tip to increase mast bend and decrease both overall weights, and the capsizing moment a heavy mast tip can generate. Foils are aluminium or fibreglass.

29er skiff technical specs

  • Hull weight 74kg (163lb)
  • LOA 4.45m (14.4ft)
  • Beam 1.77m (5ft 7in)
  • Crew 2 (single trapeze) 
  • Spinnaker area 15.00 m2 (181.2sq.ft)
  • Upwind sail area 12.5 m2 (142.0 sq.ft)
  • Mast length 6.25m (20.5ft)

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