2 August 2018
Light winds rule the Aarhus waves as Mcclelland and Lyden open Sailing World Championships in Denmark
In a foretaste of the competition ahead, the Hempel Sailing World Championships opened in Denmark today with tough conditions afloat in spite of the glorious sunshine of the continental heatwave.
Irish interest centred on the single-handed Finn class where two sailors are both hoping to qualify Ireland for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by finishing in the top 40 per cent of their class by nation over the coming week.
Fionn Lyden from Baltimore Sailing Club and Oisin Mcclelland from Donaghadee Sailing Club were amongst 90 competitors that spent up to eight hours afloat as the sea breeze fought to become established.
Racing eventually got under way at 4pm local time and saw Mcclelland place 16th while his West Cork counterpart did well to recover ground and finish 21st in their 45-boat flight. A total of 90 sailors are competing in the Finn class.
Both Mcclelland and Lyden are aiming to become part of Irish Sailing’s Performance squad if either can qualify Ireland for Tokyo. A total of 19 nations can be represented in Japan and the 40 per cent quota to be allocated in Aarhus means either sailor must finish in the top eight nations by next week’s final.
Meanwhile, as the youngest squad-member, Howth Yacht Club’s Aoife Hopkins carried the Irish flag in tonight’s opening ceremony for the 90 nations represented at the event. Along with Aisling Keller from Lough Derg YC, she will begin competing tomorrow in the Laser Radial single-handed class.
The Mens’ Laser event also begins tomorrow so Finn Lynch from the National YC and Liam Glynn from Ballyholme YC will start their world championship series. However, with a similar light airs forecast for Friday, a long day afloat may also be on the cards.
Photographs: David Branigan Oceansport