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Ireland's Olympic representation grows as Tidey and Brewster secure Rio berths

Ireland has now qualified in four sailing events for this summer’s Olympics in Brazil.

Saskia Tidey and Andrea Brewster.
Saskia Tidey and Andrea Brewster.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

AFTER FOUR MONTHS of uncertainty, World Sailing has announced that Irish duo Saskia Tidey and Andrea Brewster have sealed qualification for the 49erFX skiff event at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It was confirmed today that Africa would not be entering the 49erFX skiff event, which released another European place. As the next in line based on last year’s World Championships, Providence Team IRL’s Brewster and Tidey have reaped the benefits.

The pair delivered a strong final-day performance at the 2015 World Championships in Argentina and appeared to secure a berth thanks to an overall finish of 14th, until a rules protest determined that they would have to compete for the final European spot in Rio via next week’s Princess Sofia Regatta in Mallorca.

However, the pair will now be nominated as part of the Irish Sailing Association Performance squad to the Olympic Council of Ireland for inclusion in the team competing in Rio 2016.

“This is a hugely significant development for Andrea and Saskia who earned qualification by fighting to deliver a strong finish to last year’s World Championships.

“It’s a very emotional day for them and they can now concentrate fully on building toward their Rio goals,” said James O’Callaghan, the ISA’s Performance Manager.

Ireland has now qualified for representation in four sailing events at the Rio 2016 Olympics — the Men’s 49er skiff (via Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern), Laser Standard (via James Espey), Laser Radial (via Annalise Murphy) as well as the 49erFX (via Andrea Brewster & Saskia Tidey) women’s event .

Trials are ongoing to determine which sailors will represent Ireland at the 2016 Games.

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Paul Dollery

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