Tuesday 20 February 2018

Irish skiff duo earn their passport to Rio

Andrea Brewster, left, and Saskia Tidey (SPORTSFILE
Andrea Brewster, left, and Saskia Tidey (SPORTSFILE

Thomas Hall

Ireland's Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey will start the Olympic classes at the Princess Sophia Regatta on Monday safe in the knowledge that their place in the Rio Olympics is secure.

News yesterday that Africa would not be entering the women's 49erFX skiff class event in Rio released another place to Europe and, as the next in line based on the World Championships in Argentina, Brewster and Tidey have secured qualification for Ireland.

The pair delivered a strong final day performance at the championships in Argentina and appeared to secure an Olympic berth when they finished 14th overall.

However, a rules protest left them having to compete for the final European place in Mallorca next week.

Brewster, who has recovered from a bout of tendonitis that has impacted on their training, and Tidey will be among 13 Irish sailors competing in the Princess Sofia Regatta, which runs for six days. A record entry of 775 and more than 1,000 athletes will compete in ten Olympic disciplines.

Ireland has now qualified for four sailing events in Rio and the Irish Sailing Association will nominate the sailors to the Olympic Council of Ireland for inclusion in the national squad.

Like Brewster and Tidey, London 2012 veterans Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern don't need to face trials to be nominated as they are the only ones to have qualified from their class. However, the Laser single-handers in both the men's and women's events are a different matter with trials ongoing to decide who will be selected.

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