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Irish Sailing Team qualifies for the Tokyo Olympics

Irish Sailing

“It’s some good news for our fantastic support.”

The Irish sailing contingent have qualified another boat for the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

In what turned out to be an exciting final fleet race for the 49er Olympic Qualifier in Lanzarote, Robert Dickson with the Howth Yacht Club and Sean Waddilove with the Skerries Sailing Club have managed to secure an Olympics spot for Ireland with a race to spare.

Tokyo Olympics.

A competing Belgium crew posed a threat to the Irish teams’ but their sixth-placed finish ensured that the Ireland boat finished with a higher overall standing. As such, they are also unbeatable for the final nation spot in Tokyo.

Ireland’s other team of double Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton with the Ballyholme YC and Seafra Guilfoyle with the Royal Cork YC were ranked 15th this morning and were unable to qualify for the medal race along with three other Italian teams.

Irish sailing
49er Spring Sailing Championship Olympic Qualifier, Lanzarote, Spain 25/3/2021. Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Oceansport/Dave Branigan

James O’Callaghan, Irish Sailing Performance Director shared his thoughts on the team’s achievements.

“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,” O’Callaghan said.

“It’s a bittersweet 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.

Irish sailing
49er Spring Sailing Championship Olympic Qualifier, Lanzarote, Spain 25/3/2021. Ryan Seaton with crew Séafra Guilfoyle. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Oceansport/Dave Branigan

“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.

“(The) qualification has given the whole team a lift and it’s some good news for our fantastic support base at home in Ireland.”

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