Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove sail to second Olympic race win but miss out on medal race

Their final race win matches Race 1 on Tuesday when they beat Britain in a photo finish
Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove sail to second Olympic race win but miss out on medal race

Ireland's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove celebrate winning their final race. Picture: Oceansport/Dave Branigan

In a result that matched their opening race of their first Olympic Regatta, Robert Dickson (Howth YC) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries SC) convincingly won Race 12 of the Men's 49er Skiff event.

Although racing was delayed for several hours due to light winds, the pair were clearly on form from the start of racing by scoring a third place.

Another strong score was looking likely as they also held third place during Race 11 until they miscalculated the effect of current in the race area and dropped to 17th place. But their form and nerve held for the last race when they won with an impressive 24-second lead.

Their final race win matches Race 1 on Tuesday when they won in a photo finish, beating Britain's Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell in a major upset to the fleet form guide.

However, the Race 11 result left the Dublin crew in 13th place overall, just shy of qualification for the Medal Race Final on Monday by eight points so their first Olympic regatta has ended.

"I'm pretty proud of the way we sailed, it's really good to finish on a high with the last race and pretty amazing that we got two race wins," said Dickson after racing ended. "We've learnt a lot from these games and we're going to bring that forward to (Paris) 2024."

The next Olympic Games had originally been Dickson and Waddilove’s goal in the campaign plan until the Covid pandemic delayed the Tokyo Games by 12 months. The added time allowed them train further and qualify Ireland in March of this year.

"My biggest takeaway from this week is that we were very much capable of competing against these guys that have done multiple Olympics and have medals under their belts and there's no reason why we can't get to 2024 and be medal contenders," said Waddilove.

"As expected, it was a very different Olympics," said James O'Callaghan, Performance Director with Irish Sailing. "We've seen what our sailing athletes are capable of with some incredible individual results - we can look ahead to building on this."

The Irish team will spend the coming days packing boats and gear before departing Japan towards the end of next week.

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