Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove had their first taste of senior level Gold fleet competition at the 49er World Championship and Olympic qualifier in New Zealand.

The pair counted two 20th places for Friday's racing to sit in 24th overall with two full days of racing to go.

"After a great qualifying series, the lads have been fully immersed with the world's best sailors and are learning loads," commented James O'Callaghan, Irish Sailing's Performance Director. 

"It was an enjoyable first day in the senior Gold fleet and hopefully they can build on this over the weekend."

After narrowly missing out on a Gold fleet place, double-Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton with crew Séafra Guilfoyle, continue the series in the Silver fleet where they count two top 20 results from day four of the competition.

Racing continues on Saturday and Sunday with the final series in Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets. Five races remain leading to a medal race final for the top ten boats.

Eleven nations are already qualified for Tokyo with four further berths to be decided this week.