World Under 23 bronze medallists Robert Dickson (Howth YC) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) unlocked their potential at the 49er World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand with three top ten race results in the event Gold fleet today.
The pair counted a seventh and a tenth, and were heading for a win in the third race when they were pipped into second place by New Zealand's multiple world and Olympic champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who now lead the regatta.
Dickson and Waddilove move from 25th overall to 19th after the day with just two races remaining to consolidate their standing.
"This has been a hugely rewarding day and phenomenal result considering Rob and Sean are racing at Senior level Gold fleet for the first time this week," commented James O'Callaghan, Irish Sailing's Performance Director.
"Olympic qualification should not over shadow their performance but today is a good indicator for the future, possibly even the near future."
Racing in the Silver fleet, double-Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton (Ballyholme Yacht Club) with crew Séafra Guilfoyle (Royal Cork YC) overcame their disappointment from Thursday, counting two top ten places and a 16th for the day.
Racing concludes on Sunday with two races expected in Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets while the top ten boats will sail a medal race to decide the podium.