Tokyo Team Update
The Irish Sailing 49er team prepare for the Olympic Qualifier in Lanzarote next week
As soon as the new venue for the Olympic Qualifier was announced the 49er team mobilised and relocated from Villamoura to Lanzarote. Robert Dickson joined the truckers on the 29 hour ferry ride from Cadiz to Lanzarote and got all the team kit on site. His teammates had a quick visit home and returned on February 22nd and will be on the island until March 27th. It is a really long stint abroad but this is what’s necessary to reduce COVID risk and ensure we are the best prepared team possible. The Olympic slots are elusive but we’ve given ourselves a big advantage by being one of the first teams to the new venue.
Laser Men – a bump in the road
(UPDATE 11/3/21: The Lasers now have a venue and date see https://www.sailing.ie/News/id/3605/laser-olympic-qualifier)
The Laser Men were all geared up for their Olympic Qualifier in France (Hyeres) which was unfortunately cancelled. While this is not ideal it is no more than a bump in the road, and we do expect a new venue to be announced shortly for roughly the same date period. The Irish Team have been in Croatia training and will remain in situ until we get details of the next Qualifier venue and date.
The Laser Radial Team have been training on Lanzarote since January. That gives the 49er teams the bonus of learning from their experience on what the conditions are like for sailing, so they can get up to speed as soon as they hit the ground.
Irish Sailing Foundation
The Irish Sailing Team’s efforts have not gone unnoticed and they continue to grow their support network through the Irish Sailing Foundation. The support makes a real difference and we were able to show our gratitude by offering a behind-the-scenes look at our Team’s preparations over a Zoom call.
We have ongoing talks with the Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) who are in regular contact with the Tokyo organisers. Plans are very much in motion as to how the games will operate. Yes, it will be different but we will still be able to enjoy those magical sporting moments our athletes produce. The COVID protocols are really strict to ensure a safe event for all but the organisers’ motto is “Not If, But How”.
Picture: Laser Men Training in Malta January 2021