Dickson and Waddilove enjoy dream winning start in Auckland
49er duo take opening race of World Championship on debut at top level
Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove won the opening race of the 49er World Championship in Auckland on Tuesday.
A wind-shift error by a rival German crew featuring two Olympic medallists gave the Irish pair of Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove their dream start to senior level world championship racing in Auckland on Tuesday.
The Howth and Skerries duo edged ahead of the Rio Olympians and held off a downwind battle to the finishing line and first place in the opening race of the 49er world championship. Dickson and Waddilove then placed 12th in the second race of the day.
Four nation places at the Tokyo 2020 Games will be decided this week with double Olympian Ryan Seaton paired with Séafra Guilfoyle as the second Irish boat in action.
The Bangor/Crosshaven pair placed 11th and seventh in their heats before racing ended for the day. The 89 crews from 30 countries had already been kept ashore for six hours waiting for a gale to pass over the area.
Racing continues on Wednesday and Thursday in the qualification round to decide the gold, silver and bronze fleet before the finals series begins.
Either or both Irish boats will need to achieve gold fleet qualification while qualifying Ireland will probably require a top 10 finish and a place in the medal race final on Sunday.