Irish Sailor Finn Lynch Battles Challenging Conditions on Day One of French Olympic Sailing Week
On the opening day of the French Olympic Sailing Week in Hyerés, Cote d’Azur, Finn Lynch, the sole Irish sailor in action, braved the challenging offshore wind that was gusting to near gale force. The weather conditions proved difficult for Lynch as he competed in the ILCA 7 event.
Shifty Wind Proves Difficult for Competitors
The race course was close to Cap de L’Esteral, where the offshore wind proved very shifty and challenging for the competitors. Racing for the 49er skiff fleet was canceled entirely, without venturing afloat, due to the strong winds.
Lynch Struggles with Upwind Speed and Starting-Line Strategy
Lynch, who hails from the National Yacht Club, struggled to get his upwind speed right for the conditions and to pick the correct end of the starting-line, which was essential. Despite the challenging conditions, he finished around 12th, which was still inside qualifying and acceptable for the day.
Lynch Confident of Improvement in the Coming Races
“I didn’t feel super-good to be honest, I was struggling a lot, the conditions were very, very hard, but hopefully better performance by me in the next few days,” Lynch said afterward. He added, “I need to prioritize starting as I found myself in bad lanes on the upwind (stage).”
Lynch’s Coach Remains Optimistic Despite Initial Struggle
According to Vasilij Zbogar, Irish Sailing’s Laser coach, Lynch struggled with upwind speed and was around 25th in the first upwind leg, but he recovered in the downwind leg, which is his strong point for the day. Zbogar is confident that Lynch will make gains in the next races, saying, “Considering he didn’t have the pace and still finished around 12th, that’s okay and it’s still inside qualifying, so okay for the day.”
Expectation of Two More Races on Tuesday
Assuming conditions permit, two further races will be sailed on Tuesday to complete the qualification round for Gold fleet in the ILCA7 men’s single-handed event.
49er Skiff Racing Depends on Favorable Conditions
Racing for the 49er skiff event that includes Ireland’s Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) with Seán Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) and Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan (Royal Cork Yacht Club) will depend on conditions easing considerably from the opening day to avoid gear breakage.