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Seaton, McGovern's gold rush

By Ali Gordon

Published 04/04/2016

Making waves: Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton clinched gold in the 49er skiff event at the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma
Making waves: Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton clinched gold in the 49er skiff event at the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma

Northern Ireland's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern struck gold in Palma. The RYA NI sailors took the top spot in the 49er skiff event at the Princess Sofia Regatta in the Mallorcan capital after an exciting week's racing.

The Providence Team IRL pair from Ballyholme Yacht/Carrickfergus Sailing Club had initially completed the 15-race series on Friday night with a lead that was believed to have secured gold.

But London 2012 Olympic Gold medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen had an earlier race disqualification reinstated that changed the score.

Knowing that they had to finish in the top eight yesterday to win gold, the duo worked their way steadily up the fleet to finish sixth, clinching an overall victory in spectacular style.

Fellow Providence Team IRL member James Espey (Ballyholme Yacht Club/Royal Ulster Yacht Club) is competing for the last remaining place in the Laser Class for Ireland at the Rio Olympics.

He faced a trial with three other Irish Laser sailors in one of the largest Olympic classes, and finished the day ahead of his rivals in 53rd place.

After making waves at the recent Finn Europeans, where he made his debut as a hopeful for Tokyo 2020, Donaghadee Sailing Club/Ballyholme Yacht Club's Oisin McClelland showed solid progress by finishing 46th in Palma.

RYA NI's Performance Manager Richard Honeyford said: "It is hugely exciting and rewarding to see all of our sailors compete with success on a world stage, especially in this Olympic year.

"We know the dedication and hard work all of our sailors put in throughout the entire year."

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