Irish crews remain in strong position to make gold division in Auckland

Thursday’s races will decide the make-up of the leading group for Olympic qualifier

Séafra Guilfoyle (left) and Ryan Seaton are competing in the 49er World Championship in Auckland,. Photograph: David O’Brien

Séafra Guilfoyle (left) and Ryan Seaton are competing in the 49er World Championship in Auckland,. Photograph: David O’Brien

 

Four races remain in the qualifying series of the 49er World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand where two Irish boats are vying to qualify the nation for one of four places available for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

The outcome of Thursday’s schedule will see the 88-boat fleet from 30 countries split into gold, silver and bronze divisions. The top 25 boats will form the leading group.

Wednesday’s racing saw double Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton (Ballyholme Yacht Club) with crew Séafra Guilfoyle (Royal Cork YC) score three top 10 results while they discarded a 14th place.

They are placed inside the top 20 boats with less than 10 points to the top 10.

World under-23 bronze medallists Robert Dickson (Howth YC) and Seán Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) had a third place to sit alongside their opening race win and they stand 25th overall.

The Dublin duo are competing in their first standalone 49er world championship at senior cycle. In 2018, the pair competed at the World Sailing Championships at Aarhus, Denmark.

On completion of the qualification series, the three different fleets will continue to race until Sunday afternoon when the top 10 boats overall will compete for the medal race final.

Eleven countries have already qualified for Tokyo, including an automatic place for the host nation. Four more nations will qualify this week with the remaining four places for the Olympics awarded at regional competitions next year.

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