Dún Laoghaire duo miss out on Olympic chance

Near miss with Canadian team robs Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey of berth in Rio

A stand-out final day performance by Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey in the gold fleet in Buenos Aires included some of their best individual race results of the week-long regatta. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

A stand-out final day performance by Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey in the gold fleet in Buenos Aires included some of their best individual race results of the week-long regatta. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

 

Failing to keep clear of Canadian rivals at the 49erfxWorld Championships in Argentina on Saturday has cost Dún Laoghaire’s Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey a place at the Rio Olympics.

Disqualification by an International Jury from race 13 dropped the Irish pair from 16th to 19th overall. Crucially, it also pushed them out of contention for one of three Olympic berths on offer.

Earlier on Saturday, a stand-out final day performance by Brewster and Tidey in the gold fleet in Buenos Aires included some of their best individual race results of the week-long regatta.

The Royal Irish Yacht Club duo rose seven places from 23rd on Friday to finish 16th overall, moving them up from sixth to third nation seeking Olympic qualification.

They took a fifth and a third in the final races: enough, it seemed, to dislodge Norway and take the final Olympic spot until news of the Canadian protest surfaced.

A jury established that the Irish skiff had gybed on to port on a downwind leg, putting them on a collision course with Canada’s Erin Rafuse and Danielle Boyd on starboard.

Cruel twist

The Canadians protested they had to take evasive action and it resulted in Ireland’s disqualification under rule 10, a result that in a cruel twist of fate handed Canada the third Olympic spot.

The disappointing conclusion puts the Irish debutantes among six European nations chasing one final Olympic slot that becomes available next spring.

There is also a much talked about possibility that two more Rio berths may become available if African or Oceanic nations do not take up their quota, but this remains very much up in the air.

For the moment, Brewster and Tidey must turn their focus to what must seem an equally slim prospect of the single European place available in Palma next April.

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