Testing time in Italy


THE first two European qualifying events for the Olympic yachting event at Savannah in July got underway at two venues in Italy yesterday with the two Irish crews ending the first race inside their required target positions.

The Soling class trio of Marshall King, Dan O'Grady and Garrett Connolly had an 11th place result out of 19 boats at San Remo where victory on the first day went to the German crew of Schuemann/Flach/Jaekel.

In the other keelboat event sailed at Lake Garda. Ireland's Star crew of Mark Mansfield and David Burrows were 13th out of 9 entries, lower than expected but still within the qualifying criteria.

Meanwhile, Ireland's other Olympic hopefuls are preparing to start their qualification event at Mercia, Spain, on Friday when the Finn, Europe and women's 470 representatives will he decided. Only the Laser class, represented by Mark Lyttle for Ireland, and men's 470 have no qualifiers.