SAILING: Northern Ireland pair all set for Rio after world success

Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern.
Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern.

RYA NI High Performance Sailors, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern, are on course for this year’s Olympics after clinching a top ten finish at the 49er Worlds in America this week.

The Belfast Lough duo, who will compete for Ireland at the Olympics in Rio this summer in the 49er class, sailed through the World Championships at Clearwater USA. They were 10th overall in the 68-boat fleet and their results included an impressive seven top eights, of which one was a first and another a second.

New Zealand’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke went on to win the Championships, wrapping up their fourth world title.

Speaking after their race, 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.

“Congratulations to Pete and Blair for winning again, it was nice to take at least one race off you!”

The pair are members of the Irish Olympic Squad and RYA NI High Performance athletes.

They are both funded by the Irish Sports Council and Sport NI’s Athlete Support Programme.

RYA NI’s High Performance Manager, Richard Honeyford, added: “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.”