49er World Championships: Dublin Sailors ‘weren’t ruthless enough’

by Gazette Reporter
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Following last week’s disappointing outcome to the 49er World Championship in Nova Scotia where both crews missed Gold fleet qualification, the team is looking to debrief the event and remedy their performance gaps. 

Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) with Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) finished seventh in the Silver fleet (32nd overall) while team-mates Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork YC) were 18th in (42nd overall) and included a race win on the final day.

Rest and recovery protocols, performance analysis and personal time will comprise the coming weeks before the final event of the season. Both boats will compete in the test event at The Hague at the end of the month in preparation for next Summer’s combined World Sailing Championships, the most intensive regatta in their programme apart from the Olympic Games.

However, rather than treat the forthcoming series as a ‘peak’ regatta, the emphasis will be on familiarisation especially given the significant tides in the area.

“Part of the debrief will be about knowing what the game-plan is and sticking to it (once) on the water, “ commented Matt McGovern, 49er coach with Irish Sailing.  “I don’t think we were quite ruthless enough on a couple of the days.” 

There were also boat speed issues with Dickson and Waddilove that McGovern described as “quite unusual” and there’ll be a comprehensive analysis of the data that each competitor produces during the regatta to find the likely cause.

McGovern paid tribute to their training partners and overall winners, Bart Lambriex with Floris Van de Werken of The Netherlands who retained their world title.

“Every day that they’ve been on the water, we’ve been there too and have been a part of that,” he said.  “I have to say that my guys have been as good and at times better.  But when it comes to the racing, executing a plan and staying consistent, the Dutch guys have done an absolutely fantastic job of it.”

Consistency is a point echoed by Guilfoyle in his look-back over the week.

“We’re quite happy with how we improved throughout the week but in future we need to make sure that happens at the start of the event.”

After the familiarisation event in the Hague, both teams will undergo intensive winter training camps before the first major competition of the 2023 season at the Princess Sofia World Cup of Sailing regatta in Mallorca in March.

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

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