Ireland Qualifies in Four Olympic Events

Published on March 24th, 2016

(March 24, 2016) – Following a four month delay, World Sailing (formerly ISAF) has confirmed that Ireland’s Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey have qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the 49erFX skiff event.

News today that Africa would not enter the 49erFX skiff event released another European place and as the next in line based on the world championships in Argentina, Providence Team IRL’s Brewster and Tidey have secured qualification for Ireland.

The pair delivered a strong final day performance at the 2015 World Championships in Argentina and appeared to secure a berth when they finished 14th overall. However, a rules protest ashore meant they would have to compete for the final European place at the games in next week’s Princess Sofia Regatta in Mallorca.

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

It was ISA’s plan to seek qualification in only four events, and with today’s announcement the program has reached its goal of competing at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Men’s 49er skiff, Laser Standard, Laser Radial, and Women’s 49erFX skiff. Trials are ongoing to determine which sailors will represent Ireland at the 2016 Games.

Brewster and Tidey will be among 13 Irish sailors competing at the Princess Sofia Regatta that begins on the Bay of Palma on Monday March 28th and runs for six days. A record entry of 775 and more than 1,000 athletes will compete in ten Olympic disciplines.

Report by Rachel Solon.

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