DAY 6: Rob and Sean end 49er Sailing World Championships in eighth overall
Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Seán Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) ended in eighth overall at the 49er skiff World Championships in Mussanah, Oman today (Sunday 21st November 2021).
The Dublin pair who competed at Tokyo 2020 were unable to repeat some of their earlier form from the series on the final day, placing 12th in the last Gold fleet race before ending the medal race in eighth to secure the same overall standing.
Bart Lambriex with Floris van de Werken of the Netherlands are the deserving new 49er World Champions having dominated the series to win even after disqualification from the final fleet race.
Although Dickson and Waddilove secured seven top three results, including two race wins during the 16 race championship, their overall score was hindered by some mid-fleet results in the tricky, light-wind conditions experienced at the venue.
In the medal race final, their boat-speed was hampered when the mainsail hoist loosened, forcing them to re-hoist that effectively ended their hopes of a podium result.
"They created an opportunity to medal going into the last race which is where we want our sailors to be, so getting into that position is testament to how well they sailed during the week," commented James O'Callaghan, Performance Director with Irish Sailing. "Today, that opportunity was not converted which leaves all of us feeling a bit deflated but we've still just had a top eight finish at a world championship."
Meanwhile, a 15th place in the final race of the series for the new Royal Cork pairing of Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan landed them in 20th overall, marking a strong debut performance with some notable individual race results.
Event page HERE.
DAY 5: Rob and Seán back in contention going into final day of 49er World Championships
Two third places for Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Seán Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) at the 49er World Championships in Mussanah, Oman today (Saturday 20th November 2021) have boosted their chances ahead of Sunday's final.
After a challenging day on Friday when the Dublin pair slipped to eleventh overall, they opened Saturday's round with a 16th place before coming back strongly with two third places.
Dickson and Waddilove now stand fifth overall and within reach of a podium finish with Sunday morning's single race to decide the top ten boats for the high-scoring medal race final.
"Rob and Seán did well to get back to 16th in the opening race as the conditions were very tricky," commented James O'Callaghan, Performance Director with Irish Sailing. "But they grew into the day, backed their decisions and improved on them in the two races that followed."
Few of the leading boats escaped the conditions entirely with big scores across the fleet leading to a close championship series.
Meanwhile, the new Royal Cork pairing of Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan counted a tenth place as their best result for the day. The Crosshaven crew slipped back a little in the standings to 21st place but still count achieving Gold fleet as their successful debut regatta together.
"I'm really happy with the way they're sailing and putting themselves in good position - you can't expect more considering they're a new partnership," said O'Callaghan. "With a little bit more time, those mistakes will be eliminated."
Sunday's schedule will feature a final fleet race to end the main series with the top ten boats going into a single final race that counts for double-points to determine the championship and podium places.
Event page HERE.
Image: Oman Sail / Sailing Energy
Day 4: Losses and gains for Irish 49er teams at World Championships
The opening three races of the Gold fleet series proved exceptionally challenging for the Irish teams at the 49er World Championships in Mussanah, Oman today (Friday 19th November 2021).
Although the late start to the series saw slightly more breeze than previous days, racing continued until just after sunset, adding an extra factor for the 25-strong fleet.
Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Seán Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) dropped from fourth overall going into the series and out of the top ten after an uncharacteristically poor day for the pair.
A 17th in the opening race initially dropped the pair to ninth place. However, they won the start of the second race and placed third which allowed them to recover to eighth place.
However, the final race saw them end in 22nd place to leave them eleventh overall with two days remaining in the series.
"That was certainly a tough day for the lads though few crews escaped without a bad result," commented James O'Callaghan, Performance Director with Irish Sailing. "But the scores remain quite tight and recovery by Sunday's medal race is still open."
Meanwhile, the new Royal Cork pairing of Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan were the better of the two Irish boats for the day, counting a fourth place behind Dickson and Waddilove and their first day of Gold fleet racing has already seen an improvement to their standing in the event.
Their score moves them up to 19th overall on their first foray together at a senior world championship regatta.
Three races are scheduled for Saturday followed by two races on Sunday to decide the top ten boats overall for the medal race.
Day 3: Both Irish 49er crews qualify for Gold fleet at World Championships
After the third day of qualification racing, both Irish crews have reached the Gold fleet in the 49er World Championships in Mussanah, Oman today (Thursday 18th November 2021).
Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Seán Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) had a mixed day, slipping back from third overall to fourth place after scoring a 14th plus two top six results for the day.
"The series effectively begins again tomorrow " said James O'Callaghan, Performance Director with Irish Sailing. "Conditions are very hard but at least we will get a clearer view of the opposition all in the same fleet for the finals."
The new Royal Cork pairing of Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan saw three 14th places land them inside the top 25 boats that will now contest the Gold fleet from Friday onwards.
Conditions were once again on the very light end of the wind range, averaging eight knots and delivering wind-shifts of 20-25 degrees.
Eight more races are scheduled over the coming three days with the top ten finalists due to end the series with a medal race on Sunday afternoon.
Day 2 UPDATE ... Due to a protest Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove gained a first place on race 3 today and have moved up to 3rd place overall and Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan gained 3rd place and now in 16th place overall.
Day 2 Update, Wednesday 17 November 2021
Irish teams make advances at 49er World Championships in Oman
Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Seán Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) made further gains at the 49er World Championships in Mussanah, Oman today (Wednesday 17th November 2021).
The Dublin crew had third and sixth places before once again ending the day with a race win.
The pair now lie fourth overall with another day of qualification racing planned on Thursday to decide the Gold fleet line-up for the series that ends on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork YC) had a good day, counting 12th and tenth places before ending with a third place.
"Even though it's their first senior level regatta sailing as a new pairing, it's great to see Séafra and Johnny put in the results even at this early stage of their campaign," said James O'Callaghan, Performance Director with Irish Sailing. "Banking these results now will be invaluable motivation as they head into a hard winter’s training to get to grips with this demanding boat."
Forecast conditions of medium winds didn't fully materialise at Mussanah and a sea breeze proved highly tricky and challenging across the fleets in action.
Dickson and Waddilove's second race had been set for a top three finish on the final leg into the finishing-line when they were caught by a 25 degree wind-shift that dropped them to sixth place.
Just four points separate the 2018 junior world champions from the overall lead of the event.
Day 1 Update: Irish race wins bookend opening of 49er World Championships in Oman
The world championships for the Olympic 49er skiff class got underway in Mussanah, Oman earlier today (Tuesday 16th November 2021) with a day of mixed fortunes for the two Irish crews competing.
Cork newcomer Johnny Durcan got a taste of senior level sailing along with seasoned campaigner but first time helm Séafra Guilfoyle when the Crosshaven pair won their championship opening race in their flight.
A ninth and an 18th followed leaving the pair in 18th, a mid-fleet overall standing at this early stage of the series.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic debutants Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Seán Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) had a steadily improving day, building their form as the light breeze strengthened.
The North Dublin pair had a 14th then a tenth place before winning the third race of the day to finish 14th overall.
The qualification round continues for another two days to determine the Gold and Silver fleet splits for the final round that concludes the event on Sunday (21st November 2021).
The venue has experienced light airs for the past two weeks though a sea breeze on Wednesday has been forecast.
"Although the fleet is smaller than usual at 36 boats due to travel complications, there are a lot of top crews in action this week," commented James O'Callaghan, Performance Director for Irish Sailing. "This regatta will be a key benchmark for both boats - Rob and Seán coming from their Olympic debut while Séafra and Johnny are competing at their first world championships as a team."
Séafra Guilfoyle had campaigned extensively with double Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton before Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove ultimately won the single place for Ireland at Tokyo 2020 earlier this year. Fellow Royal Cork YC sailor Johnny Durcan joined as crew with Séafra moving to a new role as helm.
The event is currently being led by Britain's Jack Hawkins with Chris Tomas who are established campaigners with Team GBR for the past Olympic cycle.
Irish 49ers compete at the World Championships, Oman
Two Irish Sailing Teams will compete at the 49er World Championships starting tomorrow (Tuesday 16 November) in Oman.
Representing Ireland are Olympians Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove (of Howth YC and Skerries Sailing Club respectively); and Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan, both of Royal Cork Yacht Club.
The teams are supported by Irish Sailing coach and Olympian, Matt McGovern.
Racing for the Irish team starts tomorrow, Tuesday 16 November at 11.00am local time (7.00am GMT). There will qualifying races on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with the fleet splitting into Gold and Silver on Friday for the final series. Racing concludes on Sunday 21 November.
The 49er World Championships are the first on the shortened Paris 2024 Olympic campaign for these athletes as the campaign trail has been condensed by one year due to the COVID pandemic. The event is hosted by the Barcelo Mussanah Resort in Oman – they’re expecting balmy temperatures averaging 23 degrees Celsius at this time of year and gentle winds.
The championships will see a fiercely competitive fleet which includes Olympians Łukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski of Poland, Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl of Austria, and former 49er world champions James Peters and Fynn Sterritt of Great Britain.
Event page HERE.
Top picture:. Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove at Europeans 2021. David Branigan : Oceansport
Bottom picture: Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan training in Cork Harbour. Claire Keogh