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Displaying items by tag: Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove

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

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

Ireland's Olympic campaigners Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove are lying third after the first day of racing at Lanzarote International Regatta in the Canary Islands. 

The Howth and Skerries duo opened their account with a race win and followed it with two solid six places in the 29-boat fleet. In the early stages of this regatta, it puts them well ahead of Irish rivals for the single Paris 2024 berth, Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan, of Royal Cork Yacht Club, who are lying mid-fleet in 14th position after day one.

A young Austrian team, Keanu Prettner & Jakob Flachberger (AUT), made their mark on a world-class 49er fleet after winning the last two races of the three-race session in tricky conditions, westerly breeze of about 7 to 12 knots and big ocean swell. 

49er trialists - Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan, of Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Sailing Energy49er trialists - Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan, of Royal Cork Yacht Club Photo: Sailing Energy

“We managed to be fast out of the start line and we had good speed with some new sails,” said Prettner who has been sailing with Flachberger for three years. “Winning two races today, feels quite amazing, I hope we can keep it up this week. It feels good to have the reassurance that you’re going fast in these difficult conditions against such a high quality fleet.”

James Peters & Fynn Sterritt (GBR) sit in second place, 3 points behind the Austrians. “It’s really good to feel that pressure of racing again, after such a long time training,” said Peters. “That was good racing today and you can really see that Marina Rubicón and the organisers are working hard to turn this into a top-end competition.”

Fluky breezes and big seas

As for the challenges of the day, Peters said they were many, but highlighted three in particular. “Big swell, big shifts, and flaky breeze, and some or all of them came into play at different times. There were times when we were surfing upwind on waves, and you were underpowered trying to climb up a wave then overpowered as your surfed down the face of the wave. So there were times when we felt we weren’t on the right settings but we didn’t let it worry us, you just work with what you have.”

Behind the third-placed Irish team of Dickson & Waddilove winners of the opening race, are Diego Botin & Florian Trittel (ESP) “We’ve been training in Marina Rubicón for two months now, over the winter,” said Trittel. “You can sail pretty much every day here, you hardly lose a day of sailing and that’s what it was like today. We had a very untypical day, normally we have north-easterly breeze but today it was more from the south which made us have to wait but then the skies cleared and we ended up with three really good races. Our day was a keeper with a 5,2,5, which in such a strong fleet is a very good thing.”

Following last week's disappointing outcome to the 49er World Championship in Nova Scotia where both Irish crews missed Gold fleet qualification, the final results were Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) with Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) finishing seventh in the Silver fleet (32nd overall) while team-mates Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork YC) were 18th in (42nd overall) and included a race win on the final day.

Both Irish skiffs will next compete in the test event at The Hague at the end of the month in preparation for next Summer's combined World Sailing Championships, an important qualification regatta for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Bart Lambriex with Floris Van de Werken of The Netherlands, who are training partners with Dickson and Waddilove, retained their world title in Canada.

After The Hague, the first major competition of the 2023 season is at the Princess Sofia World Cup of Sailing regatta in Mallorca in March.

Meanwhile, Dun Laoghaire's Saskia Tidey from the Royal Irish Yacht Club finished in the top ten of the women's 49er FX division, sailing with Freya Black for Team GB. The new combination had a race win in their 16-race scoresheet to be ninth overall in a fleet of 36.

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

A capsize in the first race of the 49er World Championships in Canada spoiled an otherwise excellent start for Dubliners Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove when strong winds swept through the course in St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia. 

Ireland's two boats had made good starts to the first race in the qualification round of the Blue fleet.

Conditions for the opening race kicked up to 27 knots with waves of 1.5 metres for the 56-boats competing.

Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) with Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) rounded the first mark in second place.

Team-mates Seafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork YC) were also well placed and close behind in fifth place just as the wind increased in strength.

With gusts of 27 knots, it was the top end of the wind range for racing 49ers Photo: Sailing EnergyWith gusts of 27 knots, it was the top end of the wind range for racing 49ers Photo: Sailing Energy

Dickson and Waddilove hoisted their spinnaker but 'pitch-poled' and capsize when they buried the bow of their boat into a wave.

Despite many capsizes in the fleet, Guilfoyle and Durcan held their nerve for the two rounds of the course until their final leg to the finishing line, when they too capsized in the short, steep waves only metres from the finish.

The pair did well to recover their boat and sail backwards across the finishing line just as the race committee signalled an end to racing for the day.

The Cork crew placed 16th while the Dublin duo were one place behind.

A sign at the 49er World Championships in Nova ScotiaA prophetic sign at the 49er World Championships in Nova Scotia that competitors needed to heed on the opening day of the event

"I've been getting beaten-up all last winter so managed to escape injury today," commented Durcan. "It was pretty full-on and fun but definitely at the upper limit of what 49ers can sail in."

The 49er sailors in this world championships are no strangers to big breeze and solid waves, but only one race was sailed on this first day as the fleet sometimes struggled through the choppy and gusty downwind legs.

“We made it through all of our bear aways, it was the gybes that got us,” said Japanese crew Tim Morishima. He explained that the steep chop made it nearly impossible to avoid stuffing the bow in the middle of a turn. In one of the 49er fleets, all but about eight boats capsized in the single race of the day.

Erwan Fischer & Clement Pequin of France were first in Blue fleet and British sailors Chris Taylor & Rhos Hawes won the Yellow fleet race.

With the last two Olympic Champions absent from this quadrennium, that leaves double bronze medalists Erik Heil & Thomas Ploessel of Germany as one of the teams to watch this week along with current world champs Bart Lambriex & Florian van der Werken of the Netherlands. Both teams finished outside the top ten today.

Conditions were expected to ease overnight, and extra races are planned for Thursday to catch up the schedule.

Results here

A seventh in the Kiel Week medal race leaving Dubliners Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove in ninth overall represents another creditable result on the road to Paris 2024 for the Tokyo 2020 49er reps and another confidence boost before this week's toughest test of this triennial so far; the European Championships that start on Tuesday, (July 5th).

Buoyed by their top ten in Kiel and second in June's Allianz Regatta (not to mention an Irish Sailor of the Month award), the 90-boat Euros is the biggest event of the 2022 season so far, and with Paris just two years away will prove a crucial benchmark across the international fleet.

Also competing for Ireland are Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan from the Royal Cork YC.

The 2022 European Championships run until the 10th of July at Aarhus, Denmark. 

Saskia Tidey

Meanwhile, Dun Laoghaire's Saskia Tidey who is competing for Team GB due to 'a lack of opportunities at home' will compete in the 74-boat 49erFX fleet.

In fact, Tidey is part of five British crews contesting the title. 

Rio 2016 (for Team Ireland) and Tokyo 2020 Olympian for GB) Saskia Tidey and new teammate Freya Black will be looking to make an impression on the fleet, although their lead-up to the regatta was disrupted by Covid. 

“Our lead into the Europeans has been challenging and not quite as planned,” Black said. “We will push through and hope to be fit and fighting on day one. We are buzzing to make a debut as a team at our first Europeans together and we are ready to give it the best shot we can.” 

To follow the results, click here.

With the almost melancholy passing of Mid-Summer’s Day, the sailing season is taking on a different look, a distinctly-changed mood and flavour. For in normal times – if anyone can remember when you could talk of such things – there is a tendency to pack events into late May and throughout June for at least two reasons.

One of these is the feeling that it’s a good idea to tick as many event boxes as possible early in the season, for fear that even odder and more awful weather than usual might turn up on the day, meaning that in the case of a weekend happening, there’s still the possibility for a complete re-scheduling before the summer is over.

Challenging weather during Wave Regatta at Howth with First 50 Checkmate XX (Nigel Biggs & Dave Culllen) and Sunfast 3600 Searcher (Pete Smyth) in a dicing match. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyChallenging weather during Wave Regatta at Howth with First 50 Checkmate XX (Nigel Biggs & Dave Culllen) and Sunfast 3600 Searcher (Pete Smyth) in a dicing match. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

The other reason is the changing mood of the sailing community with the swing of the seasons. People are full of vim and vigour in May and June and early July. But then with August approaching, there’s a natural slowing down of the mood in what Patrick Kavanagh so effectively captured as “the tremendous silence of mid-July”.

It hasn’t got to us yet in this, the busy first weekend of July. Dromineer is a-buzz with the Lough Derg end of the Shannon One Designs’ Two-part Centenary Regatta, Dublin Bay is alive with the Frank Keane BMW RStGYC Regatta, somewhere between Dublin Bay and Cork Harbour sundry boats are re-racing an offshore race originally sailed in 1860 (repeat, 1860) in order to be on station for Volvo Cork Week in six days’ time. And throughout the land on lake, sea and river, club events are being staged in the hope that next week’s expected good weather will arrive a little earlier than anticipated.

Summertime on Lough Derg – the 1874-vintage iron-built Phoenix (John & Sandra Lefroy) off Dromineer with a selection of Water Wags (1900) and Shannon One Designs (1922).Summertime on Lough Derg – the 1874-vintage iron-built Phoenix (John & Sandra Lefroy) off Dromineer with a selection of Water Wags (1900) and Shannon One Designs (1922).

For there’s no doubt that, taken overall, June’s weather was a decidedly mixed bag. Yet although there were major happenings that saw rough days on which the smaller classes weren’t allowed to race, the fact is that skilled race officers frequently managed to get comprehensive results in a more-than-satisfactory way.

Thus within Irish sailing there were many successful crews and skippers who merited inclusion in the long list for the “Sailor of the Month” title, and when we add in achievements abroad, it’s impossible to reduce it below this short list of four top achievements.

Rob Dickson & Sean Waddilove are Sailors of the Month (Olympic) for June

The 2022 Hempel World Cup Allianz Regatta at the beginning of June in Almere on the Ijsselmeer in The Netherlands saw Ireland’s Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove racing their 49er to victory in the final medal race. But by that stage, the top Dutch crew were so well positioned that overall they took the Gold, but the Irish team secured Silver to continue their progress through a demanding selection programme aimed at the 2024 Olympics.

Rush to the top….Pat Kelly (centre) and his all-conquering crew from the J/109 Storm at RUYC in Bangor.Rush to the top….Pat Kelly (centre) and his all-conquering crew from the J/109 Storm at RUYC in Bangor.

The Kelly family of Rush are Sailors of the Month (Regatta) for June

Sailing is often promoted as a family sport for all ages. But if anyone doubts that this can be happily achieved with racing success thrown in, then they only have to consider the Kelly clan of Rush SC with their J/109 Storm. Aboard Storm, the patriarch Pat Kelly heads a multi-talented crew which includes three generations of his family, and they clearly demonstrated they’d lost none of the successful touch shown in previous years by winning overall in the four day Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough.

Mike & Richie Evans J/99 Snapshot was top Irish boat in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022, missing first overall by just five minutes. Photo: Afloat.ieMike & Richie Evans J/99 Snapshot was top Irish boat in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race 2022, missing first overall by just five minutes. Photo:

Mike & Richie Evans are Sailors of the Month (Offshore) for June

June saw the staging of a truly vintage SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow. But for those who think that success in events like this 704-mile marathon is only for seasoned sailors with many comparable races logged, the fact that the top Irish boat was the J/99 Snapshot (Mike & Richie Evans, Howth YC) was an eye-opener, as this was their first offshore major. And they almost won it, pacing just five minutes behind the overall winner after out-performing many comparable boats in the final very difficult miles. 

Dermot Skehan is Sailor of the Month (Regatta) for June

The Howth Wave Regatta created some sort of record for the mixture of weather it packed into its three day format, and how anyone found the energy for the legendary Saturday night party suggests superhuman stamina. With a rugged Lambay Race in its midst, Wave was for heroes, and it was the heroic Dermot Skehan - racing as ever with a crew of longtime friends and shipmates on his MG34 Toughnut - who emerged as overall winner and a worthy Sailor of the Month for June.

HYC Commodore Paddy Judge and Wave Regatta overall winner Dermot Skehan at centre of the crew of the victorious ToughnutHYC Commodore Paddy Judge and Wave Regatta overall winner Dermot Skehan at centre of the crew of the victorious Toughnut

Published in W M Nixon

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

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