Olympic Places Up For Grabs

Olympic Places Up For Grabs

Sailors Compete for Olympic Places at the World Sailing Championships

The World Sailing Championships start this thursday in Aarhus, Denmark and we have a team of 14 athletes representing Ireland. This event is the first chance for any sport to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and there are 40% of the places up for grabs. The competition is fierce – there are nearly 1,500 sailors from 90 nations all vying for their chance to get their country to the Olympics.

The men's 49er skiff class features two-time Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton from Belfast who is teamed with Cork's Seafra Guilfoyle. Three other teams from the Irish Sailing Development Squad include Dun Laoghaire's Sean and Tadgh Donnelly; Howth's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove; and Mark Hassett with Oisin O’Driscoll from West Cork.  Annalise Murphy, who is currently training with her new 49erFX partner Katie Tingle, leaves two rising stars in the Laser Radial as Howth's Aoife Hopkins and Lough Derg's Aisling Keller contest the single-handed class. Over in the men’s events, the Laser Standard rig features Rio 2016 Olympian Finn Lynch from Carlow and Belfast Lough sailor Liam Glynn, fresh from his bronze at the U21 Laser World Championships competing in this demanding event. Irish Sailing concentrates its support on four of the ten Olympic sailing disciplines but other sailors may compete independently such as in the heavyweight Finn dinghy where Baltimore's Fionn Lyden and Ulster sailor Oisin Mcclelland will both be seeking to qualify Ireland for Tokyo.

"This will be a huge indicator of form and the likely prospects over the next two years for all the sailors," commented James O'Callaghan, Irish Sailing's Performance Director.  "The profile of the 2020 squad is that of fresh talent emerging from the Pathway system that currently has dozens of younger sailors actively competing to follow in future cycles."

We’ll be posting updates from the World Championships on Facebook and Instagram, or you can check the results via


The Teams

49er skiff
Ryan Seaton & Seafra Guilfoyle
Sean & Tadgh Donnelly
Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove
Mark Hassett & Oisin O’Driscoll

Laser Standard - single-hander
Liam Glynn
Finn Lynch

Laser Radial - single-hander
Aoife Hopkins
Aisling Keller

Finn - heavyweight single-hander
Fionn Lyden
Oisin Mcclelland