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Seaton launches Olympic funding bid

By Robert Jones

Olympic sailor Ryan Seaton has started a crowd-funding campaign to raise £5,000 towards his quest to win gold at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Seaton, from Carrickfergus, and Ireland team-mate Seafra Guilfoyle are aiming to become the first Irish sailors to win gold at the Olympics.

Seaton (28) is a double Olympian in the 49er class and has had multiple world top 10 rankings since he started sailing full-time in 2009.

He was partnered in Rio 2016 and London 2012 by Ballyholme’s Matt McGovern.

Guilfoyle (20), from Cork, is regarded as a hugely talented prospect.

Forced to pull out of qualification for Rio 2016 through injury, Guilfoyle has worked hard to return to full fitness as he works towards Tokyo.

The pair compete in the double-handed high performance skiff called the 49er.

This class of racing is perhaps the most attractive and best for spectators as boats reach speeds of up to 50 kilometres per hour.

Their first international race of 2017 is in Majorca.

Prior to this they will spend January to April training with other Olympic teams and coaches in Cadiz and Majorca, in preparation for what they hope will be a great 2017 season.

Despite their determination and dedication, they require support to help them raise the money they need to compete.

In light of this, the sailors have joined forces with PledgeSports, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to helping athletes, teams and clubs raise money and attract sponsorship.

The team are aiming to raise £5,000 with PledgeSports.

This would cover the cost of entering their first competition of the season, as well as flights, accommodation and ferries.

To support them, go to www.pledgesports.org/projects/going-for-gold-tokyo-2020/

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