Olympics: Dream start for sailors Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson

The duo won the first race of the 49er skiff event
Olympics: Dream start for sailors Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson

Ireland's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove with their coach Matt McGovern. Picture: Dave Branigan

A better start to an Olympic regatta could hardly have been scripted for Ireland’s Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove on Tuesday as their debut appearance at an Olympic Games delivered a race win.

Their 49er skiff event is packed with proven talent for an atypical class where medallists take several games appearances to reach the podium.

But a long series still lies ahead now that the first of 12 races is done and dusted.

Without a doubt, crews like Blair Tuke and Peter Burling will reestablish themselves quickly to follow up on their Gold from Rio in 2016 plus multiple world championship wins with two America’s Cup wins for good measure.

The Kiwi crew placed 12th for their opening race.

In a measure of how tight the racing is, Dickson and Waddilove crossed the finishing with a fraction of a second difference between them and second placed Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stuart Bithell from Britain.

Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove in action Picture: Dave Branigan
Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove in action Picture: Dave Branigan

"We can't ask for anything better by winning the first race," Robert Dickson said after coming ashore where he had to have the result confirmed by coach Matt McGovern.

The Irish crew had also done well in the actual first race that was started but subsequently abandoned just as the leading boats reached the first mark.

Dickson and Waddilove were with the leading group of boats and continued to the mark as the race committee signalled abandonment due to a massive shift in wind direction.

"The abandoned race was much tougher and we didn't get a great start but we managed to pull up to the top mark in a pretty good place," Dickson said.

Meanwhile, on her third day of racing in the women’s single-handed event, Annalise Murphy had her best day scoring a ninth and a 10th. The result moved her from 32nd to 20th place overnight.

Ireland's Annalise Murphy in action during race 6 of the laser radial.   Picture: Dave Branigan
Ireland's Annalise Murphy in action during race 6 of the laser radial.   Picture: Dave Branigan

Her event takes a rest day on Wednesday with four races remaining to decide the medal race final line-up.

Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom, who placed third behind Murphy at Rio 2016 is leading the event with the podium currently 55 points distant from the Irish sailor.

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