Please select your home edition
Edition
Carey Olsen Jersey Regatta 2024
Product Feature
Harken 29mm T2 - 2146
Harken 29mm T2 - 2146

Top ten finish for Finn Lynch in the 2024 ILCA 7 Men World Championship

by Irish Sailing Team 5 Feb 09:53 GMT
Finn Lynch - 2024 ILCA 7 Men World Championship © Irish Sailing Team

Day 6

With just six months left to the Paris 2024 Olympics, Ireland's Finn Lynch has ended his ILCA7 class world championships in ninth overall earlier today, his third top ten result at this level in four years.

The Carlow sailor was one of ten boats to compete in a short medal race final to decide the event that was won by defending champion Matt Wearn of Australia.

Lynch once again earned his place in the top ten medal race final after a series that saw consistently serve mostly single-digit individual race results with just one major slip which he was able to discard.

The Rio 2016 Olympian has already qualified Ireland for Paris 2024 and this world championship is the first of a three event selection trials series to decide the Irish Sailing nomination to the Olympic Federation of Ireland for the national team.

"Finn fought to the end and ninth overall is a good result," commented Irish Sailing's Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar. "It's another solid performance and we are getting closer and closer to the top guys in strong winds so that's good news."

In contrast to the previous five days of racing, the medal race course is much shorter and less like the physical demands placed on the athletes over the past ten fleet races. Just a few weeks remain for recovery ahead of the next event which is the European Championships in Greece.

"A third top ten in four years shows remarkable consistency in one of the toughest Olympic disciplines," commented James O'Callaghan, Irish Sailing's Performance Director. "He sailed a nearly flawless series and his response to the Black flag disqualification showed maturity and mental resilience."

"There's plenty to work on in the coming months but a very strong foundation has been laid."

Ireland's second contender in the Gold fleet, Ewan McMahon closed out his regatta with a 29th place in the single final fleet race leaving him 41st overall.

The Dublin sailor is campaigning independently to challenge Lynch for the Paris 2024 Team Ireland place in the Men's single-handed event and regain his previous place in the Irish Sailing Senior squad.

Day 5 - Lynch secures place at world championship medal race in Australia

In the biggest wind conditions of the week so far, Ireland's Finn Lynch has secured his place in tomorrow's medal race final at the ILCA7 class world championships, one of the Olympic events for Paris 2024.

The Carlow sailor improved his overnight position to eighth place though the best outcome he can aim for in the event is sixth overall as the top three boats are already certain of podium places after the single medal race final.

Conditions on the final day were the most spectacular of the week with winds gusting to 30 knots resulting in big waves and very physical conditions.

Although Lynch started the opening race of the day well, he capsized midway through the race and while he quickly recovered, he was more than 30 places behind the leaders. In the end, he managed to recover ground to 21st and limit the damage to his overall position.

In the second race, with the wind at its strongest the Rio 2016 veteran returned to his more usual form serving up a ninth place, his seventh top ten result of the ten races sailed since last Friday.

Even without the result of his capsize race, his overall standing would not have done much to eat into the commanding lead held by the leading trio of Australian Matt Wearn, Norway's Hermann Tomasgaard and Britain's Michael Beckett.

Nevertheless, Lynch is on course to secure his third top ten result at world championship level in four years.

"Obviously, we're quite happy to be in the medal race for sure - top ten at a world championship is always good!," commented Irish Sailing's Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar. "Practicing the medal race at this event is the best way looking towards the Olympics."

The triple Olympic Slovenian medallist and Irish Sailing coach noted that the courses being set in Adelaide are the longest he has seen at an ILCA class event in many years and very physically demanding.

After Lynch's 'Black Flag' disqualification earlier in the week for early starting that used his single discard, no further slips were affordable and his starting strategy has seen him still hold leading group places in the races since.

"He knew that he couldn't make a mistake because of the black flag so his concentration and focus is spot on," said Zbogar. "I'm happy to see that and a big improvement there, his biggest of this event."

"Obviously we'd prefer not to have a black flag as he would have a bigger chance to be in front but that's Sailing and BFD (Black flag) is all part of the event."

So far, in the Gold fleet of 51 boats, there have been 16 Black Flag disqualifications and many more across the entire 153-strong championship.

The conditions took their toll on Ireland's second contender in the Gold fleet, Ewan McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) who now lies 41st overall and will sail a single fleet race final on Wednesday to complete his event.

The Dublin sailor is campaigning independently to challenge Lynch for the Paris 2024 Team Ireland place in the Men's single-handed event and regain his previous place in the Irish Sailing Senior squad.

Day 4 - Lynch plays joker card as World Championships down to the wire down under

Ireland's Finn Lynch has moved into the top ten of the ILCA7 class world championships in a nail-biting start to the finals series of this Olympic sailing class event.

Having sailed a flawless qualifying series over the three previous days, the Rio 2016 Olympian pushed his luck at the start of the first finals round race and was one of nine boats disqualified for early starting.

The series permits one worst score discard which allowed him to drop the result and he followed this with a 12th place in the second race of the day.

"Unfortunately Finn was black-flagged in the first race, an absolute mistake on his part but in the finals you need to push," commented Irish Sailing's Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar. "We knew that we had a little joker (card) on our side because of the really good qualifying but we've used that now and there isn't room to make mistakes."

Overall, Lynch improved his standing to ninth place out the 153 entries that started the regatta last Friday and Zbogar, himself a triple Olympic medallist declared satisfaction with the quality of Lynch's performance so far.

Having used his discard, the Irish sailor will need a big day of his previous form though the podium already looks like a three-horse race between Australian Matt Wearn, Britain's Michael Beckett and Norway's Hermann Tomasgaard.

"It was a fantastic day for sailing - again tricky with very long races but I'm quite happy with the sailing and tomorrow (Tuesday is another important day so - we'll see if he gets into the medal race or the last fleet race."

Just Tuesday's scheduled two races remain to decide Wednesday's medal race line-up for the top ten sailing athletes to decide the podium. The remaining 40 sailors of the Gold fleet will sail a single race together on Wednesday.

Ireland's second contender Ewan McMahon had two 36th places in the Gold fleet having played a conservative strategy of sailing up the centre of the courses with chancing going too far to either side in the highly unstable wind conditions.

The Dublin sailor is campaigning independently to challenge Lynch for the Paris 2024 Team Ireland place in the Men's single-handed event and regain his previous place in the Irish Sailing Senior squad.

Day 3 - Irish sailors through to Gold fleet at World Championship halfway mark

After a third day of racing at the ILCA7 class world championships both Irish sailors in the 153-boat event have successfully qualified for the Gold fleet finals series.

Rio 2016 Olympic Finn Lynch continued his impeccable form of the opening round serving up fifth and sixth places for the day and is ideally poised for the remaining four races that will decide the line-up for the shot at podium on Wednesday.

Crucially for Lynch, he hasn't had a bad race so far so retains the ace card of his worst score discard if needed.

Ireland's second contender Ewan McMahon posted his worst score of the regatta to date with a 33rd place in his 51-strong qualifying group. However, he drops this with the single discard system and went on to place 17th in the second race of the day so he finished inside the criteria for Gold fleet.

"Finn had a really good day again with two solid races and in a good position going into the finals," commented Irish Sailing's Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar. "Even for the best sailors, a small mistake can be really painful but even when he slips back he's recovering well."

While Lynch's score leaves him well placed for the remainder of the event, McMahon's prospects are to improve from his 38th overall standing to inside the top 20.

The pair have started a trials series to decide which sailor will take Ireland's single place for the men's single-handed event at the Paris 2024 Olympics in Marseilles in the Summer.

Nevertheless, the conditions are placing considerable demands on all the athletes and the coming days will also be a fitness test, especially on Monday when the forecast suggests the strongest wind of the week.

There was a hint of this on Sunday as the competition started off with light winds but steadily increased in strength the afternoon wore on though with plenty of shifting directions in a classic sea breeze versus gradient wind situation.

The event schedule has two races each on Monday and Tuesday for the final round with the top ten boats in Gold fleet then going into a short, high-scoring Olympic style medal race final on Wednesday while the remaining competitors battle to decide the other overall standings.

Day 2 - Both Irish sailors deliver top ten progress at World Championship down under

Both Irish sailors contesting the 153-boat ILCA7 class world championships counted top ten results in Saturday's tricky conditions as the event prepares to end its qualification phase.

Finn Lynch, a Rio 2016 Olympic veteran saw his sixth and eighth places for the day almost perfectly matched by Ewan McMahon with a ninth and a sixth in each of their 51-boat qualification fleets.

Both Lynch and McMahon are contesting a trials series of three regattas over the coming months to decide the single place for the men's single-handed event at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing regatta in Marseilles later this year and each only needs to focus on achieving the best possible results at these events rather than race specifically against one another.

Lynch is part of the official Irish Sailing senior team while McMahon is campaigning independently hoping to both regain a place in the senior programme and displace Lynch as the candidate for Paris 2024.

Saturday's weather off the South Australian coast proved tricky for race organisers that first sent the fleet to sea expecting wind to build, then returned to shore when the sea breeze failed to materialise. After a delay of three hours, racing gradually got under way though it was close to sunset when the sailors eventually finished for the day but with the event still on schedule.

Just Sunday's programme of a further two races - weather permitting - will decide how the full fleet of 153 entries are split into the Gold, Silver and Bronze divisions with both Irish sailors currently well-placed to achieve the top tier series that begins on Monday.

"Both sailors had a really good day and Ewan managed to have a good average which is what we want, definitely and Finn also had two top tens which is also what we want at this stage," commented Irish Sailing's Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar. "What we want are low scores and no bad results in the qualifying round because there is only one discard in the whole regatta."

For both, their event goal means at least Gold fleet but ideally top ten by the end of the finals round to contest the Medal Race on Wednesday to decide the podium.

"It was a really, really long day with very complex wind that was tricky and unpredictable, At the same time, it was very exciting to watch because of the small changes every minute."

Across both qualification and final rounds, each sailor will compete in at least ten races which has been estimated to equate to a week of back to back daily half-marathons in physical performance terms.

Racing is scheduled to continue in the early hours (Irish time) on Sunday 28th with the conclusion of the qualification series.

Day 1 - Irish sailors make solid start to World Championships as Olympic selection contest begins

Both Irish sailors competing in the ILCA7 world championships in Adelaide todaymade good starts to their six-day series with Finn Lynch scoring two top ten results in the 153-strong field.

The Carlow Olympian (Rio 2016) who qualified Ireland for the Paris 2024 Olympics last August is facing a selection challenge from Ewan McMahon for the single place in the men's single-handed event at Paris 2024.

While Lynch scored an eighth and a fourth in the opening day's two races, his Dublin rival had a 24th place before bouncing back with a ninth place in race two.

"Finn did a decent day and the goal is to have top tens in the qualifying races especially as there's just one discard for the whole event," commented Irish Sailing's Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar. "Ewan had one good race and one average but he proved that he can be in front - he just needs a little more consistency in the coming races."

While Lynch is the sole member of the current official Irish Sailing senior squad competing this week, McMahon last year mounted an independent campaign to regain his place in the team and win the selection trial for Paris 2024.

Maximising points at this early stage of the regatta is essential as the 153 competitors are split across three qualifying fleets to determine the Gold fleet line-up for the finals series that begins on Monday.

"We had beautiful wind for the first day but very challenging and physically demanding long races - hard for the sailors," said Zbogar. "Definitely everyone is taking as little risk as possible as the first three days are the most important for qualifying."

Securing a Gold fleet position is vital for both Irish boats though a top ten overall finishing place is essential for a place in the medal race final to decide the podium outcome when the event ends on Wednesday.

See full event results here.

Related Articles

Eve McMahon to carry Olympic Flame
Irish sailor selected to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay in Marseille Celebrations are about to get under way in Marseille, France today as the city prepares for the arrival of the Olympic flame to French soil. Posted on 9 May
Double bronze for Ireland in Youth Sailing Worlds
The most successful year ever for the Irish Sailing's Performance programme Irish sailors have secured two bronze medals at the conclusion of the Youth Sailing World Championships rounding off the most successful year ever for the Irish Sailing's Performance programme with a total of 12 medals. Posted on 17 Dec 2023
49er FX one year in!
In September 2022 Irish Sailing created a new development team in the Female 49er FX In September 2022 Irish Sailing created a new development team in the Female 49er FX Olympic class. Posted on 4 Dec 2023
Irish Match Racing takes the international stage
In full swing especially as we head into December Irish Match Racing is in full swing especially as we head into December. Posted on 4 Dec 2023
49er Europeans update
Dickson and Waddilove secure qualification for Ireland at Paris 2024 After six days battling light winds off Portugal's Algarve coast, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove have won the single nation place for the Paris 2024 Olympics at this year's 49er European Championship. Posted on 13 Nov 2023
Dickson and Waddilove holding in top ten
Irish pair in top ten as 49er European Championships reaches finale Ireland's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove are holding a top ten place as the 49er European Championships (Vilamoura, Portugal Sunday 12th November 2023) enters its grand finale on Monday with an Paris 2024 place at stake. Posted on 12 Nov 2023
Irish crew move up to sixth in Gold fleet
Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove shoot up the leaderboard at 49er Europeans Ireland's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove shot up the leaderboard at the 49er European Championships (Vilamoura, Portugal Saturday 11th November 2023) as the Paris 2024 hopefuls improved from 13th to sixth place overnight. Posted on 12 Nov 2023
Irish Sailing Legend set for the Independence Cup
John Twomey will compete in Burnham Harbor, Chicago This weekend, not only will Twomey compete in the Independence Cup for sailors with disabilities taking place July 27-30 at Burnham Harbor, he will also serve as Guest Speaker at the 33rd Annual Independence Gala on July 28. Posted on 26 Jul 2023
Marseilles test event marking the countdown
Ireland will have an entry in three classes, ahead of the Olympics With just over one year before the Sailing events of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games get under way, the Marseilles venue is preparing to stage a full rehearsal regatta for all involved next week (7th-16th July 2023). Posted on 4 Jul 2023
Watersports Inclusion Games with Irish Sailing
More than 1100 trips were made on the water this weekend More than 1100 trips were made on the water this weekend in Wexford Harbour by people of varying abilities and disabilities. Posted on 27 Jun 2023