As this strange year draws to a close, we look back at the achievements of the Irish Sailing Team in our last Performance Quarterly of 2020. Since late summer performance sailing has been back in regatta mode with the team competing across Europe.
Back to competition
After training from the Irish Sailing Performance HQ in Dun Laoghaire all summer, once restrictions lifted the Lasers and Laser Radials headed to Lake Garda in Italy for training, and then on to the Italian National Championships – the first time the team had competed since Covid restrictions began. Performances were great for both classes with Annalise Murphy winning the competition overall.
From there the team headed to the European Championships in Gdansk, Poland. Finn Lynch had a great regatta finishing in 13th position. Eve McMahon at only 16 years old had her first senior European championships, qualifying for the Gold Fleet and finishing in 45th - a great marker of future potential.
After training in Denmark, the 49ers headed to Germany with some good racing at Kiel Week. Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove finished in 14th place, and Ryan Seaton and Séafra Guilfoyle finished in 27th. The European Championships then took place in Lake Attersee in Austria with Rob and Sean finishing in 18th - a personal best performance and a strong indicator of their rising star.
The Team is currently training in Villamoura, Portugal.
What next ?
As you know, the Laser Radials have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2021 and Annalise Murphy will be representing Ireland in this class.
The 49er’s Olympic qualifier has been confirmed as the Princesa Sofia regatta which takes place 26 March – 3 April 2021 in Palma, Spain. There are four nations in contention for just one place. We are up against Sweden, Italy and Belgium.
The Olympic qualifier for the Lasers has been confirmed for France in April 2021 (French Olympic Week, April 17-24 in Hyeres) and will be the European qualifier for the Laser class. There are still two nation places up for grabs. We are up against Italy, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. We are definitely in contention, but it is likely to go right down to the wire before we know who ultimately claims the place.
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