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Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 21 September, 2019
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Sailing round-up: Steady as she goes for star and 49er boats

Burrows/O’Leary and Seaton/McGovern are both in ninth place overall after Thursday’s racing in Weymouth.

Image: Chris Ison/PA Wire/Press Association Images

IRELAND’S STAR AND 49er sailors kept a steady course in Weymouth on Thursday to consolidate their positions in the top 10 of their respective classes.

With laser radial leader Annalise Murphy enjoying a rest day, focus returned to the star pairing of Peter O’Leary and David Burrows who were back on the water after their own day off on Wednesday.

The Irish boat started race seven strongly and were fourth at the second mark before slipping back to finish ninth. It was a similar story in race eighth as O’Leary and Burrows started off in fifth before finishing seventh.

The pair stay ninth overall on 51 points, with the top 10 boats after tomorrow’s final races progressing to Sunday’s double-points medal race. Team GB’s Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson lead the way on 13 points, nine ahead of second-placed Brazil.

“It was incredibly close racing within the fleet today,” ISA Performance Director James O’Callaghan said. “In race seven there was only 80 seconds between the first nine boats on the finish line and two minutes between them in race eight.”

In the 49er class, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern placed 11th and ninth. The pair are ninth overall as the fleet passes the half-way mark of their 15-race programme.

“Ryan and Matt have been sailing flat out for four days and they’ve remained within the top 10 every day. They’re sailing really well and are intent on keeping it that way,” remarked O’Callaghan.

Meanwhile, Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan launched their Olympic campaign as the 470 class got underway. It was far from plain sailing though as the duo could only manage 18th and 25th place in their opening two races, finishing day one in 23rd overall.

Racing continues tomorrow for all classes with a total of 11 races being sailed by Irish competitors. Sailing action starts at 12 noon in Weymouth.

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Niall Kelly

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