Seaton and McGovern look good for medals at ISAF World Cup

With three races today, barring disasters, place in three medal finals in Hyeres looks assured

Finn Lynch, who has qualified for September’s ISAF Worlds in Santander, took Munster Laser honours at Baltimore last Sunday.

Finn Lynch, who has qualified for September’s ISAF Worlds in Santander, took Munster Laser honours at Baltimore last Sunday.

Fri, Apr 25, 2014, 01:00

A stand-out performance by Irish skiff sailors Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern at this week’s concluding International Sailing Federation (ISAF) World Cup in France holds out the prospect of a medal for the Belfast pair in tomorrow’s three medal race finals in Hyeres.

After a disappointing 35th overall in Mallorca three weeks ago, the London 2012 pairing counted a string of consistent top 10 results (3rd, 7th, 7th, 6th, 2nd, 8th, 10th, 3rd, 3rd) over nine races to Wednesday in the 80-boat fleet.

With three races to sail today, barring disasters, Ireland’s place in the medal races looks assured.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) are in the gold medal spot and lead the Irish by 22 points.

The Ballyholme partnership slipped a little yesterday with an 18th, 15th and 8th scored but consistency keeps them second overall by a point from a second Kiwi pair, Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski.

Solid results
In the Laser Radial, Annalise Murphy has also recovered from the disappointment of missing the gold fleet cut in Mallorca with solid results, including two race wins up to the midpoint of the regatta.

Yesterday afternoon Murphy scored a ninth in race eight to move up to 11th with an eye now on a top 10 medal race participation come tomorrow.

Belfast’s James Espey lies 71st in his 123-boat men’s Laser fleet after seven races.

Ireland’s new women’s skiff combination, Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey, lie 16th from 42 after 10 races in the 49erfx .

In a signal of intent from the Irish Commodore’s Cup team later this summer, captain Anthony O’Leary’s Antix won RORC’s Easter Challenge regatta on the Solent last weekend.

The Royal Cork team on the Ker 39 posted a 1st-2nd-1st-1st, to finish 9.5 points ahead in Cowes.

In the Caribbean, a second cup boat, Quokka, skippered by Royal Irish duo Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling, had straight wins at Les Voiles De Saint Barth regatta, a prominent event on the Caribbean circuit.

In offshore news, and in a move that has drawn the international support of ISAF, Irish sailors will navigate with iPhones for the first ISORA race of the season tomorrow and depending on what winds blow, “virtual marks” may be used to adjust the Irish Sea courses.

Last night’s first Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) race of the year marked the 130th anniversary. With over 300 boats, the club is one of the biggest yacht racing organisations in Europe.

DBSC plans to mark the anniversary with a special edition of its cruiser challenge in September that includes a 130th celebration dinner.

Tomorrow’s DBSC racing will incorporate the Royal Irish Yacht Club’s (RIYC) spring coaching regatta. A number of sailmakers will provide on-the-water training, an exercise designed to “clear the cobwebs” for the season ahead, including the ICRA Nationals at the RIYC from June 13th-15th.

Munster Laser honours
No sooner had youth sailor Finn Lynch secured his place on the Santander start line for September’s Laser World Championships at Split, Croatia, a week ago, than the 17-year-old was back on home waters, winning Munster Laser honours at Baltimore, west Cork on Sunday.

The Croatian result doubles Irish chances for Rio selection, with both Carlow’s Lynch and Belfast’s James Espey now bidding for country qualification this autumn.

Over 250 juniors are competing at Howth Yacht Club in the annual youth sailing championships this morning. The four- day event, which started yesterday, includes an important Irish Optimist team trial in advance of the class European Championship at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire in July. Almost 250 sailors from 43 countries are already signed up.

Eight youngsters who survived the sinking of the Tall Ship Astrid last July are on board one of the vessels that rescued the crew of the stricken Dutch ship off Kinsale. The youngsters are on a five-day voyage on the Cork coast on the Irish Sail training vessel Spirit of Oysterhaven, a 70ft schooner based in Cork. The voyage is part of an EU Youth Initiative project and overseen by Sail Training Ireland.

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