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Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton are on the crest of a wave to Rio Olympics

By Jim Gracey

Published 18/02/2016

Buoyed for Brazil: Ryan Seaton (left) and Matt McGovern in action off Clearwater, Florida
Buoyed for Brazil: Ryan Seaton (left) and Matt McGovern in action off Clearwater, Florida

A study in concentration on the high seas as Northern Ireland sailing duo Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton chart a course for this year's Olympics after clinching a top 10 finish in the 49er class World championships off the Florida coast

Ballyholme yachtsman Matt, and Ryan, from Carrick, will compete for Ireland at the Olympics in Rio this summer, buoyed by four years of intense competition and preparation since their Games debut at London 2012.

A long way from their Belfast Lough base, the pair were 10th overall in the 68-boat fleet competing at Clearwater and their results included an impressive seven top 8s, of which one was a 1st and another a 2nd.

Speaking after their race, Matt McGovern said: "It's been a great week for us and we have made some really big improvements. We have lots of learning still to do but we are really happy with our results and are looking forward to Rio."

Both are part of the Royal Yachting Association's Northern Ireland High Performance programme whose manager, Richard Honeyford, said: "This is a really positive result for Matt and Ryan. They have been training hard and their dedication is paying off. We are looking forward to continuing the hard work and getting prepared for Rio this summer."

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