Tokyo 2020: When Irish eyes are sailing

Published on October 2nd, 2019

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
I remember thinking, “Don’t look straight into her eyes.” But of course I did upon meeting Saskia Tidey, who was representing Ireland at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Tidey has Irish eyes, that sparkly blue common in Ireland but hypnotic to me. That she was 6-foot and striking didn’t help.

Tidey was with Andrea Brewster, finishing 12th in the 49erFX Women’s Skiff. Not much had been expected of them, but afterwards Tidey traded in the tricolor of green, white, and orange for the Union Jack, and now will be competing in Tokyo 2020 with Team Great Britain.

Tidey joined the British Sailing Team in early 2017, eligible to compete through her father Don, and teamed up with Charlotte Dobson for a crack at Tokyo 2020. Dobson had finished 8th in Rio with Sophie Ainsworth, but her partnership with Tidey now has the duo in the spotlight.

After several podium finishes in 2019, including nearly a win at the recent test event for the 2020 Olympics, Royal Irish Yacht Club’s Tidey has had quick a ride these past 10 years. Now 25, she was a relative latecomer to sailing, taking up the sport aged 15 after watching coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

“It seems like a long journey to get to this point but it’s flown by. I’m so excited for the next stage …I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about pulling on a Team GB tracksuit. I could not be more proud to be representing Team GB, and to do it with Charlotte at the helm.”

Although Team Ireland hopes were dashed when Rio Laser Radial silver medalist Annalise Murphy recently quit the 49erFX for a Radial return, there is consolation in fledgling skiff circles that Dun Laoghaire will still have their Tidey to cheer for.

Source: Afloat, Team GB

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