‘Frustrated’ Finn Lynch finishes sixth overall in Mexico, Ireland’s second Top 10 result at Laser Worlds
Ten points from a medal, Finn Lynch leaves the Laser/ILCA 7 Worlds in Mexico disappointed not to be on the podium, but he nevertheless confirms the National Yacht Club ace as one of the ten best Laser sailors in the world. to the fight for a single place in Paris 2024 intensifies.
After his week-long dominance at the front of the 126 boat championship, Jean Baptiste Bernaz of France emerged with the gold. However, his lead narrowed in the penultimate race after a disqualification for an early start.
Lynch entered the final day in fifth position, but the overhaul of Croatian Tonci Stipanovic or 2017 Laser World Champion Pavlos Kontides proved too difficult. Two solid races on the final day were needed to reach the podium and sit with his silver medal from the last world championships in November 2021.
Lynch had a 21st place finish in the penultimate race, which he couldn’t shake off, having already used up his discard due to a gear failure (a broken downhaul rope in the last qualifying on Wednesday that he might well regret).
As Ireland’s number one contender, Lynch is trying to rebuild after his disappointment at failing to qualify for Tokyo 2020. All credit to him for being on the right track at the earliest opportunity.
A catalog of quality results achieved since last November shows the depth of ambitions of a new, improved Irish number one.
Ever since the Laser/ILCA 7 dinghy made its Olympic debut 25 years ago, Ireland has sought a top-30 finish at the annual World Championships.
Lynch’s best performance at Worlds before Barcelona and Mexico was 31, scored in Melbourne in 2020, a position he also achieved in Aarhus, Denmark, in 2018. 31st is also a result achieved by his predecessor James Espey in Oman in 2013.
It’s not popular to air in some quarters, but despite 25 years of trying, Ireland have never finished in the top 30 of the world championships. You have to go back to the 1980s to find higher Irish results. In 1983, Lyttle finished 19th and Bill O’Hara 13th, a record, although set in pre-Olympic times, which stood until Lynch changed all that dramatically.
A short break ensues for Lynch before returning to competition in the Netherlands for the Allianz Regatta and preparation for the 2023 World Championships, which will be the first qualifying opportunity for Paris 2024.