Howth’s Ewan McMahon and Finn Lynch from Co. Carlow have both progressed to the Gold fleet for the top 52 competitors at the Laser World Championship in Japan, a qualification event for Tokyo 2020.
Six races over the coming three days will decide the finals standings and the next five nations to be included for Japan next year.
Though Finn Lynch took two top 20 places to stand 50th overall in the 156-strong fleet, it is McMahon who has the best overall Irish placing in 41st place following a 14th and 13th for the day in his first senior World Championship in the class.
Liam Glynn from Bangor was unable to find his opening day form and lies mid-fleet in 77th overall.
“It definitely depends on the wind; with lighter wind anything is possible as the (overall) points are actually quite close,” commented Vasilij Zbogar, Irish Sailing’s head Laser coach. “Many good sailors didn’t make the Gold fleet and now we have nothing to lose. For now, it’s not about the (final) result, it’s about sailing freely and having fun.”