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The 15 sailors already named to represent Team GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will remain the same for the rescheduled Games in 2021, the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) have confirmed. The squad includes the Royal Irish Yacht Club's Saskia Tidey, crewing in the British 49erFX.

The announcement follows the decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of the postponement, the BOA asked the RYA to consider and confirm its position regarding the selection of athletes for Team GB.

A meeting held by the RYA Olympic Selection Committee (OSC) unanimously agreed that the selections previously agreed should stand for the rearranged Tokyo Olympic Games, which will take place from July 23 to August 8 next year.

It was the OSC’s view that the sailors selected in all ten Olympic classes remain the best choices to maximise Team GB’s medal-winning potential in Enoshima, the sailing competition venue.

Team GB’s sailors were the first to be announced back in October 2019, with an initial 12 sailors selected including Olympic champions Hannah Mills (470 Women) and Giles Scott (Finn).

Partnering Mills will be her world championship-winning crew Eilidh McIntyre, while in the men’s 470, Luke Patience and Chris Grube were selected. In the men’s 49er class, Stuart Bithell teams up with Dylan Fletcher, while Charlotte Dobson returns in the 49erFX alongside Saskia Tidey. Alison Young will make her third Olympic appearance in the Laser Radial discipline. Both representatives in the RS:X windsurfer class are newcomers to the Olympic Games: Tom Squires and Emma Wilson.

The 12 selections were followed by a further three in February of this year. John Gimson and Anna Burnet were selected for the Nacra 17 class, while Elliot Hanson (Laser) completed the 15-strong line-up in late February in the Laser. All three will be making their Olympic debuts at the re-arranged Games.

Mark Robinson, RYA Olympic Performance Manager and Team GB Sailing Team Leader, said: “I am delighted to re-confirm the 15 athletes already selected for Team GB will stay the same for the rescheduled Games.

The postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games has brought mixed feelings for sailing champion Hannah Mills, who will delay retirement to compete in Tokyo, according to the BBC.

For Mills, who was going to retire after the Games, there is relief at the new date, despite having another year of sailing at the highest level.

“It’s all consuming, an Olympic campaign, so it really is a big deal to add another year to it,” she says.

“I just know what it takes to deliver your best performance. It really does take everything you’ve got,” she says.

“But ultimately, I’ve come on such an incredible journey with Eilidh McIntyre, my crew – it’s going to be her first Olympics which is such a cool, special, amazing thing to be a part of.

“I really believe our team has something great to offer. So, when you weigh it up logically and take the emotion out, it’s a really easy answer.

“We know now exactly when the Olympics is going to be, so we just need to figure out the best possible training plan between now and then.

“It would be a massive mistake for us to just carry on as we have been for the last four to six months – head down, smashing every single day – because we’d certainly burn out at some point.

“So, it’s about re-assessing and looking at how we approach the next 14 to 16 months.”

“Selection was only just sinking in and then it was partly taken away with the ambiguity as to what was going on with our trials process,” says Elliot Hanson, who is set for an Olympic debut in the Laser.

Hanson is pleased he has an extra year to prepare after coming close to a medal at the World Championships.

“To have the extra bit of time is a confidence boost. I’m lucky in many ways. I feel like I’m on an upward trajectory,” he says, according to the BBC.

“There’s another World Championships between now and the Olympics to hopefully get that medal.”

Olympic performance manager, Mark Robinson, said British Sailing “strongly believe” the squad remains the right athletes to represent the nation in 2021.

“The global pandemic has caused much uncertainty but, combined with release of the new dates for the Olympic Games, this decision will give our sailors the confidence, clarity and motivation to charge towards Tokyo 2020 and the goal of bringing home medals for Team GB,” he says.

GB sailing squad for Tokyo 2020:

  • Giles Scott (Finn)
  • Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre (470 women)
  • Luke Patience and Chris Grube (470 men)
  • Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (49erFX)
  • Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell (49er)
  • Alison Young (Laser radial)
  • Emma Wilson (RS:X women)
  • Tom Squires (RS:X men)
  • John Gimson and Anna Burnet (Nacra 17)
  • Elliot Hanson (Laser)
Published in Scottish Waters
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This weekend's RYA Dinghy Show was opened by members of the British Olympic Sailing Team including Dun Laoghaire's Saskia Tidey of the Royal Irish Yacht Club who will be competing in the 2020 Tokyo Games this summer.

Alexandra Palace, London, has transformed into a dinghy sailing paradise and the theme is ‘World of opportunity-see where dinghy sailing can take you’.

Tidey, who sailed for Ireland in Rio but switched to Team GB for Tokyo because of lack of opportunity in Ireland, recently finished second at the 49erFX World Championships with partner Charlotte Dobson from Scotland.

Tidey's fellow Olympian Sarah Ayton commented on the show: “We’re really excited to officially launch the 2020 show - the atmosphere is already fantastic! It always amazes me the range of boats here, all the things you can buy. We’ve also got a whole line up of brilliant speakers so this weekend, come and escape the rain and enjoy a day out here at the Dinghy Show!”

Dinghy ShowThe Dinghy Show in full swing

Visitors of all ages are able to enjoy family-friendly show favourites including the 360° ‘On the Water’ VR experience, sailing simulators and the model boat pool. You’ll also find a brand new line up of expert speakers across three stages

If you haven’t already got your ticket, weekend (£24) tickets are available to buy on the door. The show is open from 10:00 - 18:00 10:00 - 17:00 on Sunday 01 March.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

It was so close yet so far for Scottish-Irish combination Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey who narrowly missed out on winning the World 49erFX championships in Australia today.

The pair, who have qualified for Team GB's Tokyo team, had a stand out week of competition leading the championships at Geelong for most of the week.

Spanish sailors Tamara Echegoyen, a world match racing champion and the 2016 49erFX world champion with a different crew, with Barcelo (ESP) and Dobson with Tidey (GBR) locked horns throughout the medal race. Each team was well clear of any competition and only had to beat the other to secure the gold medal.

“We are so so happy,” Echegoyen said on-water once the world championship result was clear. “You know this kind, of course, is shifting all the time, you have to think about what is the best plan. We tried just to be close to her (GBR); you have to be calm and keep going. If you do a split, you can lose control.

“Because of the Volvo Race, Paula and I started this campaign a little late; it’s a short time to try and get to the high level of this fleet. At the last worlds in Auckland, we had to abandon [due to an injury to Paula]. Here we just tried to focus every day,” the beaming skipper added.

“Every moment it was so close and so stressful and finally we get the gold,” Barcelo said as the pair enjoyed some celebratory champagne, having beaten Dobson/Tidey.

On the second upwind beat of the medal race, the British team made significant gains on the Spanish before tacking underneath. Echegoyen, the 2012 match racing world champion, tacked immediately on their line and Dobson/Tidey reacted. The Brits were locked in and made gains, but the layline forced both to tack back with the Spanish directly ahead into the windward mark.

Saskia tidey 49erFX

The British looked to have a slightly better hoist going but capsized when their kite filled with water halfway up. The Spanish sped away, only looking back moments later to realize the pressure valve had been released.

The eventual silver medallists will be replaying the capsize in their heads for some time. “Our first reaction is we are a little disappointed,” Dobson admitted. “We could have taken it to the Spanish a little better in the medal race, but on the whole we have sailed a really good regatta.”

Published in Scottish Waters
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In the women’s 49erFX World Championships at Geelong, Australia, the Royal Irish Yacht Club's Saskia Tidey from Dun Laoghaire sailing with Charlotte Dobson keeping up their winning moves to be lead boat as the top 25 teams also split off to gold fleet,

Dobson and Tidey have been selected to sail for Team GB at Tokyo so if a World Championship victory in Olympic year could be achieved this week, it would greatly assist the Scottish-Irish pairings chances of success in Tokyo, as already predicted by RYA team boss, Ian Walker.

“Today was a great day; It was about being as consistent as possible,” Dobson said. “We went super low risk and let our pace do the talking. The real racing is starting tomorrow though with gold, so it’s now rest recover and go again. There will be less space now and mistakes will be punished so we need to avoid them.”

Second in the FX is Tamara Echegoyen/Paula Barcelo (ESP) and third is Anne-Julie Schutt/Iben Nielsby (DEN).

A surprise package is the current world championship team of Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Deutz (NED) finding themselves 14th overall.

Published in Scottish Waters
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Charlotte Dobson teamed with Dublin Bay's Saskia Tidey (who will sail for GBR in Tokyo) won World Championship races one and two in the FXs in Geelong, Australia today then just bailed out of the top 10 to finish fifth overall.

“We’ve had a pretty long day on the water today. We spend all year trying to maximise time in all different types of conditions and this venue is throwing us all sides of the dice. We’ve had a challenging day, everyone has, but I think we have come out of it pretty well,” Tidey of the Royal Irish Yacht Club said.

Published in Scottish Waters
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British Sailing’s performance director Ian Walker has predicted a five-medal haul for Team GB at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

In a recent sports podcast conversation, as reported on Sailweb, the boss of the UK’s Olympic sailing squad would not be drawn on what medals they would take home, nor in which class.

But the former Irish Green Dragon skipper, and RYA racing director, did indicate that the team were capable of greater things provided the conditions were more windy than light.

Irish 49erFX sailor Saskia Tidey is among those who will be in contention with Team GB at this summer’s Olympic Games.

She and her sailing partner Charlotte Dobson were selected last October and head to Enoshima as serious medal contenders.

This follows a string of successes since forming their partnership in 2017 when Tidey switched from Team Ireland due to a lack of opportunity here.

Published in Tokyo 2020

The Royal Irish Yacht Club's Saskia Tidey has won bronze with Charlotte Dobson at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic test event and must now wait to see if the stand out results achieved this week is enough to satisfy selectors and secure the British 49erFX berth at next year's Olympics.

The double-points medal race was brought in to Olympic sailing to add excitement, drama and spectacle to the end of a sailing regatta. And at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic test event, it delivered!

Regatta leaders from race one, Great Britain’s Dobson and Tidey, held a slender one-point lead over Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze. With four boats capable of winning overall, the mathematically game of chess was set for fireworks.

In a steady sea breeze off Enoshima, the 2016 Rio Gold medallists Grael & Kunze sailed smart and safe to finish third in the medal race, three places ahead of Dobson & Tidey. This was enough to secure another win for their already impressive trophy cabinet, having won the Open European Championship & Pan American Games, and numerous World Cup's in 2019.

Norway’s Helene Næss and Marie Rønningen took the medal race win to claim second on the podium on countback ahead of Dobson & Tidey. Norwegians are one of the few teams to emerge this cycle to become contenders in the elite field. After missing out on Rio selection, they trained continuously while many teams took a break, and now have a Silver medal here Ready Steady Tokyo, along with consecutive bronze medals at the 2018 and 2019 European Championships. Training partners with the Brazilian and Kiwi teams, they are well placed to keep improving prior to Tokyo 2020.

Dobson & Tidey found themselves crossing the line in sixth place, and with the double points factored in, dropped to third overall. In some ways, this might have been a somewhat disappointing end after leading for the entire regatta, but a medal at the Olympic Test Event is likely to have secured their nomination to Tokyo in the British system, which, if confirmed, would mask any sort of disappointment.

The Ready Steady Tokyo teams will now be joined by the remainder of the 49erFX fleet for the Sailing World Cup, which begins on Sunday. This will be the last major hit out on the Olympic waters before the games in August 2020. Next up on the calendar is the 2019 World Championships to be sailed in Auckland, New Zealand. With Olympic qualification spots up for grabs and teams looking to secure their countries nomination for Tokyo 2020, the summer down under will be one to watch.

Results
1st Martine Grael / Kahena Kunze (BRA) 57pts
2nd Helene Næss / Marie Rønningen (NOR) 62pts
3rd Charlotte Dobson / Saskia Tidey (RIYC) (GBR) 62pts

Published in Tokyo 2020
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In the 49erFX class, Great Britain’s Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey from the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire  have lead the 49erFX fleet since the opening race of the Ready Steady Tokyo, the official test event for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games hosted by the Japanese capital. At the midway point, the duo has built a solid 10 point lead after 9 races with only one finish outside of the top five. Brazilian superstars Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze head into the penultimate day of racing in second position and are yet to finish a race outside of the top eight.

“It was pretty hot today.” says Tidey. “The team has done a great job to help us conquer that but I must admit I went for a bit of a swim between races – intentional of course – to cool down. I’m sure everyone is feeling it out there and it’s about trying to focus and not let it take over all your thoughts.”

"If they can finish on the top of the podium in Enoshima, that could secure their Olympic berth for Great Britain"

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech from New Zealand won the day and currently sit in third position. With only a single result out of the top ten the Rio silver medallists are within striking distance of the leaders. Norway’s Helene Næss and Marie Rønningon dropped to fourth after their 1st and 5th results were not good enough to balance out two results outside of the top ten.

The leading British duo has performed intermittently at the elite level but is on the verge of peaking at just the right moment. After the 2018 Europeans and World Championships, it was their national rivals Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth who took the bronze medal at both regattas ahead of Dobson and Tidey and looked like the leading team for the British Sailing Team’s selection to Tokyo. Ainsworth suffered an off-water knee injury just days prior to the 2019 European Championship, hindering their performance and opening the door for Dobson and Tidey to compete at Ready Steady Tokyo. If they can finish on the top of the podium in Enoshima, that could secure their Olympic berth for Great Britain.

After teething problems all the results are here. Other Irish results here

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club
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The Royal Irish Yacht Club’s Saskia Tidey and her Team GB sailing partner Charlotte Dobson have launched a crowdfunding campaign to support their efforts to qualify for the 49erFX class in next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The pair, who finished seventh among a strong field of contender at the 49erFX Europeans last month, say they have reached a “hurdle” in their present fundraising efforts.

“The level of financial backing we have needed to maintain podium positions has now exceeded beyond what our campaign budget is capable of.”

But with additional backing, they say, “we absolutely believe we can complete and deliver the training programme we have planned to bring home a medal”.

Saskia and Charlotte have set a £5,000 of which they have raised nearly a quarter in less than a week.

For more on the pair’s campaign, see their GoFundMe page HERE.

Read the pair’s full appeal below:

We are Olympians Saskia Tidey & Charlotte Dobson. Team mates onboard our 49er FX Olympic class skiff dinghy representing Great Britain on the British Sailing team. We need your help!

After the Rio 2016 Olympic games concluded we left with fire in our bellies and our eyes and hearts set on the goal to medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

For three years we have battled on the International World Sailing circuit to bring home medal winning performances for Great Britain. It has been a honour to fly the flag and and a privilege to be under the pressure of striving for greatness.

Unfortunately we have reached a hurdle in our campaign which we are finding increasingly difficult to jump. The level of financial backing we have needed to maintain podium positions has now exceeded beyond what our campaign budget is capable of. With additional funds we absolutely believe we can complete and deliver the training programme we have planned to bring home a medal.

This summer we will represent Great Britain at the 2019 Olympic Test event in Japan. Please follow our journey and donate before August 2019 to help us reach the gold standard program we need to continue to succeed!

With Tokyo 2020 just around the corner we are seeking help and support from anyone would would like to join our journey and help us keep on the podium for Great Britain in 2020!

Sailing is a sport that can be overlooked and misunderstood but it is an exhilarating sport which is accessible to everyone and we would love to entice more viewers to enjoy it too!

Please help us on on our journey!

Follow our story on Instagram @gbr_44fx

Help Spread the word! 

Charlotte & Saskia xox

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club

Dun Laoghaire's Saskia Tidey of the Royal Irish Yacht Club sailing with Charlotte Dobson for Team GB finished the qualifying stages of the 49erFX Europeans in second place overall and very much in the frame for Euopean honours this weekend.

Lighter winds in Portland Harbour led to closer racing in the 49erFX fleet for day 3 of the Europeans. The top three boats all had a below-average race out of the three they contested today. The problem for the rest of the fleet is that for the Brazilians, Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze, their ‘below-average’ score was a 6th, which they are now dropping from their results. With nine races of qualifying now complete, the reigning Olympic Champions are counting four race wins, three seconds and one third place.

However, with the top 25 moving through to the gold fleet racing for the coming days, a four-point lead over the second-placed Brits, Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey, really doesn’t amount to much of a buffer. Dobson had a wobble in the middle race, finishing 13th, but she can drop this from her scores. The reigning World Champions, Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz, got better by the race, scoring 6,3,1 and are just one point behind the second-placed Brits.

The Dutch girls are always smiling, despite the pressure of knowing that this is a must-win regatta as the concluding part of their Olympic trials. Their closest rivals for Tokyo 2020, Odile van Aanholt and Marieke Jongens, may have been struggling in the stronger winds of Weymouth (they sit in 18th overall), but their gold medal from last month’s Hempel Sailing World Cup regatta in Genoa puts them in a strong position over the World Champions. Bekkering, while fully aware of the wider implications of success or failure in Weymouth, smiled and said simply: “We are enjoying the racing here, we’re just doing the best we can each day, and we hope to win the European Championships.”

The Olympic silver medallists, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech, had one of the best days on the water with 1,5,2 putting the Kiwis in fourth overall and still well in contention for the overall title. Then it’s a 13-point gap back to the young Swedes - Vilma Bobeck and Malin Tengstrom - who have been tearing up the track in the stronger winds, but who struggled a bit more today. “I think the other crews were still fully stretched, but we were bending the legs a bit today,” said Bobeck, one of the tallest girls in the boat park. “We’d love to have more of the big breeze, but we need to improve in the lighter winds too.” The forecast for Thursday looks like more moderate breeze for Bobeck to stretch her legs, but then it looks set to drop lighter and flukier for the weekend.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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