After four days of racing at the Laser World Championships in Germany, Irish sailor James Espey from Ballyholme Yacht Club in Belfast Lough achieved Olympic qualification when he made the Gold fleet on day four of the event.
Light winds were again prevailing today of the Laser Standard Worlds at the Baltic Sea. In abating winds, two races were sailed, and Tom Slingsby AUS extended his lead with another race win to 9 points.
Espey scored 7, (29), 3, 20, 18, 17 ,22,19 to make the gold fleet.
He now lies in 30th position overall and is second from nations who have not already qualified. By virtue of the fact there are only six unqualified nations in Gold fleet and there are 12 places on offer at this event Espey can be satisfied with a job well done.
Espey is the fourth Irish sailing campaign to qualify for Ireland.
The other three teams Annalise Murphy (Laser Radial), Peter O’Leary & David Burrows (Star) and Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern (49er) qualified at the World Championships in Perth, Australia in December 2011.
Commenting on Espey’s qualification ISA Performance Director James O’Callaghan stated: “I am delighted for James to achieve Olympic qualification. He has worked hard as an independent athlete to achieve his goal and we look forward to working together as part of the Providence Resources Olympic Sailing Team to achieve further success at London 2012.”
May is a busy month for the Olympic sailing team with all campaigns competing at world championships events and a further two campaigns Gerbil Owens & Scot Flanigan (470) and Ross Hamilton (Finn) also targeting Olympic qualification.
Meanwhile at the Star Worlds in Hyeres, France O’Leary & Burrows are lying in third place after three days. In Zadar, Croatia Seaton & McGovern are in 50th in the 49er World Championships.