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13th is Personal Best for Finn Lynch at Laser European Championships in Gdansk

13th October 2020
Finn Lynch took a well earned 13th at the Laser Europeans in Gdansk Finn Lynch took a well earned 13th at the Laser Europeans in Gdansk

Finn Lynch showed the depth of his Olympic ambitions when he continued up the scoresheet in Poland today to finish with a personal best of 13th from a fleet of 126 at the Laser European Championships.

It's a remarkable comeback from the National Yacht Club sailor who sailed a strong final series to close out the six-day championships in his highest position of the week.

The result easily trumps his 27th scored at the May 2019 Euros in Porto and also the 55th overall scored at the 2018 La Rochelle Euros.

As Afloat reported this week, Lynch went from 37th on day one before moving up to 25th after two races sailed in the opening qualifiers. He then dropped to 42nd overall after four races sailed but by Saturday, the Rio 2016 rep was back up into the thirties and yesterday he had recovered to 18th. It was clear he was on a comeback, sealing his best ever Euro result today just three tantalizing places outside the coveted top ten.

The result, of course, shows the real potential of the County Carlow native if he can iron out some troubling inconsistencies. However, the overall scoresheet also provides a snapshot of the size of the challenge Lynch faces if he is to secure one of the final berths for Tokyo 2021. Rivals for the last Euro Olympic berth, Spain and Italy, finished just ahead of him and Belgium and Greece just behind, so the battle ahead is clear. 

Confidence boost

While there is no doubt just how tight the margins are for the last Olympic qualification event next year, this Polish result at least will give Lynch the confidence to continue pushing forward for what amounts to his last chance at becoming a double Olympian in this quadrennial.

Belfast Lough's Liam Glynn Photo: Thom TouwBelfast Lough's Liam Glynn Photo: Thom Touw

Belfast Lough's Liam Glynn’s result (43rd place) and qualification for the gold fleet sets him up well for the coming season. Ewan McMahon (43rd in the silver fleet) will be disappointed given the fact that he qualified for the gold fleet at the 2019 World Championships but at only 20 years of age, McMahon is gaining valuable experience at this level.

British podium lock-out

The British squad confirmed they wanted the whole podium for them on the Laser Men’s championship, but with a little surprise in the end, with their next Olympic representative Elliot Hanson GBR (11-5) overcoming Michael Beckett GBR (17-14) in this last two races and conquering the Gold medal. Silver for Mickey and Bronze for the 2019 European champion Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR (10-19).

"I wouldn’t have cared which one of us won today. To lockout, the podium with 2 of your best mates since I was 11 years old is something special in the laser fleet and something I’ll hold on to for a long time" – Elliot Hanson GBR

“Very very happy! With only 6 days sailing pre-event, I definitely wasn’t expecting this result! A big thanks to Nick Thompson who kept me on the right track! I enjoyed every moment of this event. Over the moon to come away with a medal alongside the Brit Lads”, emphasized Lorenzo.

Almost there on the podium was Croatian Filip Jurisic CRO (16-3), finally fourth with same points than third.

A good championship for Russian Sergey Komissarov RUS (2-8), wrapping the event with nice results and climbing to the fifth place overall.

A second discard today allowed the 2020 World champion Philipp Buhl GER (1-7) to drop his two Black flags from the score and jump to the Top 10 for the first time in the event, conquering the 6th European place.

Joel Rodriguez ESP, Tonci Stipanovic CRO, Jonatan Vadnai HUN and Jean Baptiste Bernaz FRA completed the European Top 10.

Charlie Buckingham USA (7-54) finished 6th overall in the Open European Trophy.

Tom Higgins sixth in Radial

Royal St. George's Tom Higgins finished in sixth position in the Men’s Laser Radial, just missed out on a U21 podium finish.

Results here

Published in Laser
Afloat.ie Team

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At A Glance – Laser Dinghy Specifications

Designer Bruce Kirby & Ian Bruce

Year 1969

Crew 1
Draft 0.787 m (2 ft 7.0 in)
Hull weight 58.97 kg (130.0 lb)
LOA 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in)
LWL 3.81 m (12 ft 6 in)
Beam 1.39 m (4 ft 7 in)
Mainsail area 7.06 m2 (76.0 sq ft)

Racing D-PN 91.1 RYA PN 1088 PHRF 217

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