Disqualification for Lynch mars a day of rich promise

Rio Olympian had earlier claimed victory in a 58-strong fleet in first race in Laser class

Ireland’s Finn Lynch on his way to winning the first race in the Gold fleet for the Laser event at the Hempel Sailing World Championships 2018 at Aarhus, Denmark.Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Ireland’s Finn Lynch on his way to winning the first race in the Gold fleet for the Laser event at the Hempel Sailing World Championships 2018 at Aarhus, Denmark.Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

 

In a thrilling opening to the Gold fleet series for the Laser class at the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Denmark, Ireland’s Finn Lynch served up a solid race win in a 58-strong fleet.

Light winds dogged the event for most of the day and an earlier race had to be abandoned after the first leg when the light breeze faded. Lynch had been lying around 20th place when the race was stopped.

At the restart hours later, the light breeze just held long enough to complete the race that saw Lynch make perfect tactical calls for the favoured side of the course.

While dropping to second place at the first mark, he already held a 12-second advantage over the third placed boat. On the downwind leg, he overtook the American leader and extended his lead to 40 metres.

On the second lap of the course, the chasing pack closed marginally but he protected his first place all the way to the finish.

However, in terms of joy he gave little away and with good reason. The race win boosted his overall place for the complete regatta that includes the qualification round to 18th overall. And he was inside the Tokyo 2020 qualification criteria.

However, the fickle conditions persisted and with a second race remaining for the day plus two further races planned for Wednesday, he was far from complacent. As if to make that point, he went on in the second race to be scored as disqualified under the ‘Black Flag’ rule for boats that infringe the starting-line before the starting-signal.

This instant disqualification is used by race officers after previous attempts at race starts have failed to keep order on the fleet. The disqualification is being appealed and if successful, Lynch could only manage a 32nd place for the race that he continued to sail in.

The Rio 2016 Olympian is the only remaining hope for this year’s Tokyo qualification round of the 14 Irish sailors including development academy athletes in Aarhus.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.