Aoife Hopkins scores her best result to stay in Olympic contention

Irish sailors tested in brisk conditions at Laser Radial World Championship in Japan

Aoife Hopkins: the Howth sailor recovered from a disqualification in the Tuesday first race by scoring a 25th, her best result of the Gold fleet series to date. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Aoife Hopkins: the Howth sailor recovered from a disqualification in the Tuesday first race by scoring a 25th, her best result of the Gold fleet series to date. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Brisk conditions delivered a further test to sore bodies on the penultimate day of the Laser Radial World Championship in Japan that will also decide the next 10 nations for the Tokyo Olympic Sailing regatta.

While Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom moved into the overall lead of the 55-strong Gold fleet, both of Ireland’s sailors remain in contention to achieve qualification on Wednesday’s final day.

Howth sailor Aoife Hopkins recovered from a disqualification in the Tuesday first race by scoring a 25th, her best result of the Gold fleet series to date.

That boosted her to 41st place overall and fifth of the 10 nations seeking an Olympic berth.

By contrast, although sailing well upwind, Lough Derg’s Aisling Keller slipped down the fleet during the downwind stages of both races and lies 49th overall but effectively in the 10th nation spot were it not for Hopkins’s placing.

This raises the prospect of both Irish sailors finishing inside the qualification criteria and setting up a close selection trial next year.

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