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Recent Lanzarote International Regatta winners James Peters and Fynn Sterritt will speak about Life as full-time sailors versus life and work in the 'real world'... in a 'Road To Gold' interview on Thursday, 23 February, 1900 hours UTC.

The No.1 GBR 49er team aiming for Paris 2024 will also give a Q&A session and discuss how it has been a difficult time for the 49er class transitioning to new masts and new sails, so James and Fynn will be asked for their tips on how best to spend your time when there's too much to do and what they've learned from the setbacks over the years.

The Road To Gold is a free Zoom call and a 60-minute Q&A session.

Road To Gold's Andy Rice and Hamish Willcox will be fielding live questions throughout each 60-minute session.

Join Zoom Meeting with James Peters & Fynn Sterritt

Meeting ID: 846 6777 2126
Passcode: 221537

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A medal race finish for Paris 2024 skiff campaigners did nothing to improve the overall score of Dubliners Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove on the final day of a weather-hit Lanzarote International Regatta. 

The Canary Island regatta reached its climax with three enthralling medal races in the 470 Mixed, 49erFX and 49er fleets. The thick dust of the Calima wind from the Saharan Desert limited visibility, but it failed to limit the drama.

The Irish Tokyo reps were as high as third after the opening races this week but dropped back at Playa Blanca to finish eighth overall.

While there will be disappointment with their day two performance, especially in the context of previous success in Lanzarote in March 2021, there will also be a consolation that some individual scores this week is a marked improvement on Nova Scotia in September 2022, where the team failed to make the world championships gold fleet

The other Irish competing in Lanzarote, Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan of Royal Cork Yacht Club, finished 25th in the 29-boat fleet.

James Peters and Fynn Sterritt (GBR) have been strong all week in the 49er, and a fourth place in the Medal Race was good enough for another skiff gold for Great Britain. After getting a knot in their gennaker retrieval line at the leeward mark and losing valuable ground against their rivals, Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn held on for a New Zealand silver while young Austrians Keanu Prettner and Jakob Flachberger took the bronze. 

"It's been really difficult conditions this week, big waves and quite challenging at times," said Sterritt. "So it's fantastic to come away with the win." Suffering burnout after missing out on a ticket to the Tokyo Games, Peters and Sterritt took a two-year sabbatical away from Olympic campaigning to get some experience in the corporate world.

© Sailing Energy/ Lanzarote Sailing Center: The Kiwis overcome this mishap to hold on to 49er silver

Victory in Lanzarote is a sign that the British duo are getting their campaign back on track as they aim for Paris 2024. "It's a good time to be putting in this kind of performance," said Peters. "We've got to keep plugging away, and hopefully, we'll get the rewards. It's great for Britain to win in the boys' and girls' fleets.

Results here

Big winds and Saharan dust meant no racing for the Olympic skiff classes at Lanzarote International Regatta today. 

The two British teams continue to hold the top spot in the 49er and 49erFX fleets, respectively, James Peters & Fynn Sterritt (GBR) and Freya Black and Dun Laoghaire's Saskia Tidey (GBR).

As Afloat reported earlier, Paris 2024 campaigners Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove of Dublin are eighth in the 49er fleet, and Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan of Royal Cork Yacht Club are in 25th in the 29-boat fleet.

This afternoon, even flights in and out of Lanzarote were delayed due to the effects of the 'calima'. If the Saharan dust dissipates overnight and visibility improves, then the plan is for one final fleet race for each of the three fleets and then to hold medal races for the top 10 in the 470, 49er and 49erFX.

Results here

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Ireland's Olympic skiff campaigners Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove are now eighth in the 49er fleet after a breezy second day of racing at Lanzarote International Regatta in the Canary Islands. 

The Howth and Skerries duo have dropped back five places in heavy weather conditions that were at the limit of sailing competition due to sea state.

The Dubliners scored (24), 17 and 21 and finished the day with a more optimistic second place in the 29-boat fleet.

After seven races sailed and one discard, it keeps them well ahead of Irish rivals for the single Paris 2024 berth, Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan, of Royal Cork Yacht Club, who are in 25th position after scoring 19, and three Did Not Compete (30) results.

Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan, of Royal Cork Yacht Club (pictured right), are in 25th position after scoring 19, and three Did Not Compete (30) results on day two of Lanzarote International Regatta in the Canary Islands Photo: Sailing EnergySeafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan, of Royal Cork Yacht Club (pictured right), are in 25th position after scoring 19, and three Did Not Compete (30) results on day two of Lanzarote International Regatta in the Canary Islands Photo: Sailing Energy

James Peters & Fynn Sterritt (GBR) move to the top of the 49ers after the British team scored 2,3,23,3 from the day. Sterritt sounded a little surprised that things had worked out so well for them. “It was hard to get the boat into any kind of a groove,” he said. “It felt like we left a lot out there [that we could have done better]. But we executed pretty well on our game plan, which was to go right up the course because we thought it was a bit stronger out there.”

Best performers of the four-race session were Logan Dunning Beck & Oscar Gunn (NZL), who improved throughout the afternoon with very solid scores of 8,7,2,1. This moves the Kiwis up to second overall, even if they’re a pretty big 16 points off the British lead. Up to third overall are Lukasz Przybytek & Jacek Piasecki (POL). Slipping down from 2nd to 6th overall are Diego Botin & Florian Trittel (ESP), who won the second race but saw their mast tip snap during the final race of the afternoon, forcing the Spanish to retire and head home early.

The forecast for Sunday and the coming days is looking very good. Racing starts at 1100 hours on Sunday morning.

Results here

With 318 days to go, Ireland's battle for the single place in the 49er Olympic men's skiff class for Paris 2024 resumes this weekend at Lanzarote International Regatta. 

Both of Ireland's 49er skiff campaigns are on the Canary Island from 9 to 17 February in the first Olympic test of 2023 in a 29-boat fleet.

Robert Dickson (HYC) and Sean Waddilove (SSC) are keen to go to a second Games, but new Royal Cork campaigners Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan are just as eager to represent Ireland at Paris 2024, so the fight is on for a place on the Marseille start line.

Most Irish sailors, however, will recall the stand-out performance of Howth/Skerries pair Robert Dickson (HYC) and Sean Waddilove (SSC) at this venue in 2020. With Ireland's Olympic place secured in Tokyo in fleet racing and putting rivals Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle to the sword, the then greenhorns showed a clean pair of heels to the 10-boat fleet. They put themselves back onto the podium with a medal race win to give them bronze medals in the Canarian sunshine, as Afloat reported here.

This year, Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken (NED) has won the past two 49er World Championships, making the Dutch duo the favourites this week in Lanzarote. However, last year's World Championship silver medallists Diego Botín and Florian Trittel (ESP) have done a lot of training on these waters, which could prove an advantage to the Spaniards. Plenty of others to pick out from a strong line-up in the men's skiff, including the 2018 49er World Champions, the speedy siblings from Croatia, Sime and Mihovil Fantela (CRO).

Regatta starts with competition in 470 Mixed, 49er and 49erFX skiffsThe Lanzarote regatta starts with competition in 470 Mixed, 49er and 49erFX skiffs

While the form book suggests the Dutch are the team to beat, van der Werken doesn't see it that way. "It's a few months since we won the Worlds in Canada, and everyone has been training hard," he said. "You're only as good as you are in the moment, and we still have plenty of things we need to improve on."

The double World Champions love to start on port tack when the opportunity offers itself, but this week they want to try something different. "We want to work on our mid-line starting and see how we can do from there. It's an important skill for us to add to our toolbox to be more complete sailors in every kind of sailing condition.

"People think of Lanzarote as only strong winds, but actually you can everything - flat water, swell, light winds, strong wind. A lot of different conditions and beautiful wildlife as well. You see turtles, flying fish, there are so many beautiful things around you all the time."

No Irish 49erfx

The 49erfx fleet is also in action in Lanzarote this weekend. Despite efforts (and expense) after Annalise Muphy's aborted campaign for Tokyo, and Saskia Tidey quitting to sail for GB after Rio, there is, unfortunately, no forthcoming Irish women's campaign for Paris. There are, however, some North-South green shoots for Los Angeles 2028 as Afloat reported previously here 

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The Royal Cork Yacht Club will host an evening of fine dining on Saturday 19 November with all proceeds going to support the club’s Paris 2024 Olympic 49er campaigners Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan.

Enjoy a six-course meal prepared by renowned chefs including Victor Franca, head chef at Nua Asador; Nascimento Nunes, head chef at Paladar Restaurant and recently The Barn Restaurant; Shauan Murphy, pastry chef at the Michelin-star The Oak Room at Adare Manor; and Leticia Miranda, chef at the Michelin-star Mae Restaurant.

Dinner is at 8pm on the night with a drinks reception from 7pm. The dress code is smart. Places at €300 per person can be booked on the Royal Cork YC website HERE.

Published in Royal Cork YC

In a disappointing outcome at the 49er World Championships in Nova Scotia, Canada on Friday, both of Ireland's crews failed to make the Gold fleet at the event's halfway stage.

Tokyo Olympians Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) with Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) ended the eight-race series in 29th place overall. A second place, their best of the series in the final qualification race put them within ten points of making the Gold fleet.

Seafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork YC) also had their best result with 12th place in the same race. While they kept their consistency of top 20 finishes, they otherwise counted mostly high teen results which were insufficient to make the breakthrough and they placed 37th overall.

The Irish crews will continue in the Silver fleet.

Kiwis leapfrog ahead as Umpierre & Did Claim Last Gold Fleet Spot 

Hanging onto a top position in the overall standings in the 49er fleet today was like gripping a sapling on an eroding cliff as double-digit scores plagued some top ten sailors who slid in the rankings.

“We struggled a lot with the starts,” said Diego Botin of Spain who kept second place overall, five points behind overnight leaders Lambriex/van der Werken. “Flo [Florien Trittel Paul] did a real nice trigger pull on the last start. It made us have a more relaxed race, but the first three races were all about finding lanes inside the fleet and positioning the boat.”

It was a luxury for the Spaniards to have a 30-point gap on the more than 20 teams struggling in today’s four races to qualify for the Gold fleet. The cut was made at 25th where the Uruguayan pair of Umpierre/Diz claimed the last spot. Protests are pending.

A notable team sneaking into the Gold fleet was Australians Burton/Hoffman in 20th. New 49er campaigner, Burton is an Olympic gold medalist in the men’s singlehanded Laser.

Immune from the tenuous holes and shifts today were the two Kiwi teams of Dunning Beck/Gunn and McHardie/McKenzie who rose to third and sixth respectively. Dunning Beck/Gunn won the day with a miraculous 6, 1, 8, 1.

Racing continues in both Gold and Silver fleets with three races daily over the weekend before the final on Monday.

Both Irish skiff crews face a stiff challenge on Friday for the final day of the qualification round that decides the top 25 places in Gold fleet at the 49er World Championships in Nova Scotia. 

Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) with Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) are in 34th place, while Seafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork Yacht Club) are four places behind in 38th.

The cut-off of 25th place remains in reach with four back-to-back races on Friday to decide the Gold fleet.

Following Wednesday's stormy start to the series, perfect conditions graced St. Margaret's Bay in Nova Scotia as three more races in the 49er World Championship qualification round were sailed with mixed results for the two Irish crews.

Dickson and Waddilove had their best result so far in the event with eighth place in the second race of the day while also scoring 13th and 16th places in their Blue flight of 30 boats.

Rivals Guilfoyle and Durcan have sailed a consistent series so far, counting a 14th and 15th for Wednesday plus their 16th from the breezy opening day.

Bart Lambriex & Floris van der Werken (NED)Bart Lambriex & Floris van der Werken (NED) in the lead Photo: Sailing Energy

Bart Lambriex & Floris van der Werken (NED) launched into the lead with a sensational scoreline of 2,1,1 on their side of the qualifying draw in today’s three 49er heats. All the Dutch starts were good, but particularly in race 3 when the reigning World Champions risked a port tack start and fired across the front of the blue fleet into the lead.

“Our starts were good which made it very easy for us,” said van der Werken. “Free lanes were very important today and you needed a good start to be able to get a good lane. Bart and I are working on making sure we’re synced with our time and distance judgement and today we were on the same page.”

Almost as good in the other qualifying group, the yellow fleet, were the 2018 World Champions from Croatia, Sime and Miho Fantela. Again, the starts were the key moment to get right, according to Sime. “The committee boat was a bit favoured and we managed to pull out three good starts and keep a clear lane all the way out to the left hand side of the course.”

Keeping your eyes out of the boat was also key, both for spotting changes in the tide and current flows across the course, as well as the presence of speed-sapping weed patches. “There were some areas where you could see two waters fighting each other,” said Sime. “So it was trying to work out what the current was doing there, as well as sailing to avoid the weed. When the boat speed feels a bit off, you can never quite tell if there’s a real speed problem or if it’s a strand of weed on the daggerboard.”

The Fantela brothers’ scores of 2,1,5 in yellow group place them second overall, just two points behind the Dutch leaders as the 65 men’s teams head into the final day of qualifying before the gold/silver fleet split at the end of Friday.  

For others in the fleet, the Worlds is an opportunity to reconnect with the 49er after a few years out. The Brazilian team of Dante Bianchi and Thomas Low-Beer have reunited in the boat for a bit of a holiday, with Bianchi taking time away from his duties as a doctor in Brazil while Low-Beer is working for a tech company in New York. “We’re enjoying being back in the boat again,” said Low-Beer, “and when the Worlds were in Nova Scotia, Canada, we thought, why not!”

With the PanAm Games due to take place in Chile, the brothers Benjamin & Exequiel Grez have teamed up again as the sole Chilean representatives in the 49er fleet. “We dropped out of Olympic campaigning for a few years when the politics in Chile went bad, but it’s good to be back,” said Benjamin who campaigned in the lead-up to Rio 2016. “It's always an honour to represent Chile outside the country,” added Exequiel. “We don't have a huge budget, no coaches or anything like that, so we have to do everything ourselves.”

That self-reliance was put fully to the test on day one in the windy race, as Benjamin explained. “On the bearaway our rudder snapped, which is when we realised just how windy it was getting. We had to lower the mainsail and make our own way back to the beach with the jib and what was left of the rudder, and we managed it. Today with a new rudder we sailed pretty well, the speed was coming back and we’re having a good time here,” said Benjamin.

With the 49ers behind schedule on the races, the plan is for four back-to-back races on Friday.

Results here

Five Irish sailors will be looking to make a big impression at the 49er Worlds 2022 in the frigid waters of Nova Scotia, which get under way this coming Wednesday 31 August.

In the 49er division, the experienced skiff duo of Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove (Howth Yacht Club/Skerries Sailing Club) will be up against the new Royal Cork pairing of Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan within a challenging field.

Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny DurcanSéafra Guilfoyle (left) and Johnny Durcan

Meanwhile, in the 49erFX, Dun Laoghaire’s Saskia Tidey and new Team GB skiff partner Freya Black will be looking to improve upon their 24th-place finish in last month’s Europeans and make a bigger splash at Hubbards on St Margaret’s Bay, some 50km west of Halifax.

Robert Dickson and Sean WaddiloveRobert Dickson (left) and Sean Waddilove

The village’s community waterfront on the site of a former fish processing plant has been completely transformed in preparation for the championships hosting the cream of 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 racers the world over.

Racing at the 2022 World Championship runs from Wednesday 31 August to Monday 5 September with daily live streams from Day 3 (Friday 2 September). 

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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