Dickson and Waddilove in dream start to world champs as they target Olympic place

Up-and-coming Olympic hopefuls Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove delivered a dream start to the 49er World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand when the Dublin pair won the opening race of their series.

The 90-boat event is split into three groups for the qualifying round with the top third to progress into the Gold fleet later in the week.

Along with double Olympian Ryan Seaton – now sailing with Séafra Guilfoyle, both boats will be hoping to qualify Ireland for next year’s Olympic Games in Japan.

Just four nation places will be decided by Sunday’s medal race final.

Seaton, from Bangor, Co Down, competed in London and Rio with Matt McGovern who is now a squad coach, so Guilfoyle, from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, has taken up the crew role.

As the ‘senior’ crew, expectations would normally be that the experienced Olympian will be the lead performer.

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Seaton and Guilfoyle also had an 11th and seventh place yesterday with another eight qualifying races to go.

Dubliners Dickson and Waddilove won the U-23 World Championship bronze medal earlier this year and are regarded as prospects for Paris 2024.

However, either boat could qualify Ireland for Tokyo 2024 and a selection trial series would begin in 2020.

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