Breaking News: Irish Sailing Team qualifies for the Tokyo Olympics
In a thrilling final fleet race at the 49er Olympic Qualifier in Lanzarote, Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) with Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) have qualified Ireland for the Tokyo Olympics with a race to spare.
The Belgian crew were a threat but their sixth place was enough to assure the Irish boat of a higher overall standing and they are now unbeatable for the final nation place at Tokyo. The event medal race will be sailed this afternoon at 1.30pm where Dickson and Waddilove could regain their third overall placing in the regatta though their primary objective has been achieved.
Ireland's other team of double Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton (Ballyholme YC) and Seafra Guilfoyle (Royal Cork YC) placed 15th this morning and were unable to qualify the medal race along with three Italian contenders.
James O’Callaghan, Irish Sailing Performance Directed commented: "The whole team have all worked really hard preparing for the Tokyo Olympics and qualifying today is a really important step, and a milestone for Rob and Sean. It’s a bitter sweet feeling for Ryan and Seafra, as they had hoped to win the nomination, but without these two boats working as a team Ireland would have had no chance securing the last available Olympic place. The result is proof positive of our sailing programme supported by Sport Ireland - today demonstrates what is possible when you invest and plan long-term. In addition, the Irish Sailing Foundation funded the Performance HQ which played a vital role in preparing the team for today. Qualification has given the whole team a lift and it's some good news for our fantastic support base at home in Ireland".