Princess Sofia regatta: Finn Lynch finishes off with fourth place overall

‘Obviously I would have liked to have got a medal but it’s a good start to the season’

Rio Olympian Finn Lynch finished off the Princess Sofia regatta in Mallorca where he last left off in 2019 with fourth overall after a near faultless series in mostly breezy conditions.

After qualifying for Saturday’s medal race final for the top 10 boats in his 163-strong event, the best he could hope for was fourth overall with the podium just out of reach of his points standing.

Since missing out on a place at Tokyo 2020 a year ago, he put that disappointment behind him by taking silver at last year's ILCA7 World championships in Barcelona in Catalunya.

Now, his sights are set, in the short-term at least on this year's worlds in May in Mexico.


Sailing a near-faultless regatta in Palma, in the words of his coach Slovenian Vasilij Zbogar, himself a triple Olympic medalist, Lynch executed their plan exactly as required.

Only a tiny lack of boatspeed - possibly due to Covid stalling his winter training - prevented a better result in Mallorca though the Carlow sailor declared himself pleased with the outcome.

“I’m happy - obviously I would have liked to have got a medal but it’s a good start to the season and fourth is pretty good,” he said after coming ashore in Ca’n Pastilla port.

There’s little he would have changed if starting the regatta afresh.

“I think I was sailing well. We haven’t trained too much for this regatta and I was a little bit slower than the top three guys so the only thing we can really change is do more training. But we’re focussing on the regattas later in the season so its okay for now.”

For the next while, Lynch will have 10 days off before preparing for the Hyeres Olympic classes regatta in France and then he'll prepare for Mexico which will require special measures.

“It’s going to be very hot so a pasty Irishman will need to do some special preparation for that on heater bikes and try and sweat as much as possible,” he said.

Already, even without the extreme heat, the Irish sailing’s team’s physios have estimated that a typical regatta roughly equates to a daily half-marathon with a 20-minute break mid-way through.

Similar preparations were needed ahead of Tokyo's notorious conditions so Lynch may yet get to sample that experience at Puerto Vallarta in May.

Meanwhile, Britain's Michael Beckett placed seventh in the ILCA7 medal race and took the gold medal ahead of Australia's Matt Wearn who took silver while Germany's Philippe Buhl was last in the race and placed third overall.

The overall winner of the Princess Sophia trophy was confirmed as Italians Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti in the Mixed Nacra 17 foiling catamaran class.

David Branigan

David Branigan

David Branigan is a contributor on sailing to The Irish Times