Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove qualify Irish boat for Olympics

Sixth place was enough to ensure the Irish boat of a high enough overall standing

With a somewhat bittersweet feeling Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove have qualified Ireland for the Tokyo Olympics with a race to spare at the 49er Olympic Qualifier in Lanzarote.

The Dublin pairing of Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) with Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) sealed their place ahead of the final medal race later on Friday. The Belgian crew were a threat but their sixth place was enough to assure the Irish boat of a higher overall standing and they are now unbeatable for the final nation place at Tokyo.

Dickson and Waddilove could yet regain their third overall placing in the regatta, though their primary objective has been achieved.

However Ireland’s other team of double Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton (Ballyholme YC) and Seafra Guilfoyle (Royal Cork YC) placed 15th this morning, and were unable to qualify the medal race, missing out along with three Italian contenders.


“The whole team have all worked really hard preparing for the Tokyo Olympics and qualifying today is a really important step, and a milestone for Rob and Sean,” said James O’Callaghan, Irish Sailing performance director.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling for Ryan and Seafra, as they had hoped to win the nomination, but without these two boats working as a team Ireland would have had no chance securing the last available Olympic place.

“The result is proof positive of our sailing programme supported by Sport Ireland - today demonstrates what is possible when you invest and plan long-term. Qualification has given the whole team a lift and it’s some good news for our fantastic support base at home in Ireland.”

These two latest qualifications join the current status of Team Ireland for the Tokyo Olympics, with 54 guaranteed athletes travelling to the Games and many more sitting within qualification.