Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern have qualified Ireland for the 2012 Olympics, in the 49er sailing discipline. It will be the first time since Athens 2004 that Ireland have been represented in the 49er class.
The duo currently lie in 10th place overall at the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Perth. The 67 boat fleet now splits into Gold and Silver fleets with the top 25 boats entering the Gold fleet. With only 14 nations in the Gold fleet it is now impossible for Seaton and McGovern to fall outside the top 14 nations thus securing Ireland’s place on the start line in London.
Seaton and McGovern had their best day so far on the water today, placing 5th in both races. Racing will continue through to Saturday with the top 10 teams then continuing on to the medal race on Sunday.
ISA Performance Director, James O’Callaghan remarked “It’s a brilliant result for the guys, to be in 6th nation position and to have secure Olympic qualification at this stage is something special”.
In the Star, Peter O’Leary and David Burrows had a 16th and a 24th from the fleet of 41. They now slip one place to 15th overall and continue their fight to secure Olympic qualification with only one day of racing left before the medal race on Saturday. The Star class have a rest day tomorrow with their final day of fleet racing taking place on Friday. The top 11 nations will qualify for the Olympics and the Irish pair have maintained their position as the 11th nation.
O’Callaghan went on to say “The Star pair are in control of their own destiny but this is one that will go right down to the wire”.
James Espey in the Laser also had his best day on the water with a 3rd and a 20th from the fleet of 147. He now lies 63rd overall, having jumped up the leader board from 100th yesterday.
The 49er and Laser fleets will be racing tomorrow but the Star will be on a rest day. Racing will resume for them on Friday.