Carlow sailor Finn Lynch has qualified for the Olympics in Rio became the youngest ever Irish sailing helmsman to do so.
The 20 year old Bennekerry man got the result he needed at the laser class world championships in Mexico last night.
The event was the third and final trial in the selection series for three contenders including London 2012 veteran James Espey along with up and coming Baltimore sailor Fionn Lyden. James Espey led by 6 points going into the final trial but finished 24 places behind Finn. Fionn Lyden narrowed the gap on James by finishing 11 places ahead of him at the Worlds but still finished the trial third.
“This is a particularly welcome result for Finn who has been on a promising trajectory since he first won silver for Ireland at Topper Worlds seven years ago,” commented James O’Callaghan, ISA Performance Director. “Winning the place for Rio is massive and the experience should serve to propel his career even further” The result moves Lynch overnight from ISA Development sailor to full senior Providence Team Ireland status.
Sailing for the National Yacht Club, Lynch emerged from the four day preliminary round of the world championship as the only Irish sailor to reach the Gold fleet for the top 56 competitors in the 112-strong event. That result helped secure an advantage over Espey and Lyden who sailed the finals in the separate Silver fleet, overall they finished 67th and 78th respectively. Lynch placed 54th in the Gold and overall.
Competing in the Men’s single-handed event, Lynch will now join newcomers Andrew Brewster and Saskia Tidey (Women’s skiff) along with London 2012 veteran Annalise Murphy (Women’s single-handed) and Ryan Seaton with Matt McGovern (Men’s skiff) to be nominated by the board of the Irish Sailing Association to the Olympic Council of Ireland for inclusion in the Irish team at Rio 2016.