Ireland’s sailors ended the Tokyo Olympics at the weekend with no medal race qualifications despite several impressive results over the seven days of racing.
Finishing as they started, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove delivered an impressive race win in the Men’s Skiff event that brought them 13th overall.
The Dublin pair had a mixed final day that also counted a third place but, crucially a weighty 17th place in the penultimate qualifying race.
Given their more regular form, they might well be appearing in Monday’s Medal Race final which they narrowly missed the top ten cut for.
“There was a lot of current out there and it was pushing us down the course so we overlaid the top mark,” Dickson explained afterwards. “But we didn't overlay enough and the current pulled us down and then a few boats tacked on us with these boats coming in with speed from the sides.
"Going from top three to pretty much last was a tough lesson.” The pair had been on course for a top finish in that race which, given the calibre of the leaders in the class would have been another scalp, whatever about the podium.
Rio 2016 Gold medalists and multiple world championship winners Peter Buring and Blair Tuke from New Zealand repeated their form from five years ago, building steadily throughout the 12-race series to win overall.
Tokyo will be no different though with five boats in contention for the Gold, Monday’s brief final will be a tense affair.
Meanwhile, Annalise Murphy’s disappointment at not reaching the podium or even the final at her third Olympics will be offset by two wins at the weekend that hold deep personal significance for her.
Her training partner of eight years standing as well as her friend, Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom won Gold in their Women’s single-handed event on Sunday after coming close to winning it without a final race on Friday.
Rindom was penalised in a race that was then restarted but didn’t know whether the penalty carried forward into the restarted race so she retired.
However, while she was erring on the side of caution to avoid a non-discardable penalty, she was wrong about the rule and could in fact have sailed.
Meanwhile, Ireland can celebrate a future Olympic prospect as Howth’s Eve McMahon won the Junior Laser Radial World Championship on Lake Garda at the weekend having dominated the event all week.
Murphy and Rindom included McMahon in their training camps and coached her in the build-up to the games and the junior world championships that coincided for the past week.
Murphy has effectively announced her retirement from Olympic sailing in an interview with RTÉ. She plans to return to college in September for an MBA programme after two decades of campaigning.