Paralympics London 2012 - Day 1 and 2 for Irish sailors

by ISA 
Irish Paralympic sailors
Competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games continued today for the Irish sailors. John Twomey, Anthony Hegarty and Ian Costello placed eighth and 11th in the two races of the day for the three-person Sonar keelboat class. They finish day two in 10th overall with a further seven races left to sail.

Conditions remained consistent across the Portland Harbour course with west south westerly winds of between 10-12 knots and gusts of up to 15 knots. The trio got off to a solid start in Race 3 maintaining their position towards the top of the fleet throughout the race. They had climbed to third by the final leg but exasperatingly slipped five places at the last minute to finish in eighth. They had a more difficult start to Race 4 rounding the first mark in 11th. Fluctuating between 12th and 10th for the duration of the race, the Irish sailors finished in 11th overall. 

John Twomey commented 'It was a very frustrating day on the water. We were positioned in the top three and lost five places on the last leg to the finish. We sailed much better than our results show today and we’re determined to improve tomorrow'.

Day 1

Racing began today for the Irish sailors in Weymouth at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The trio, consisting of John Twomey, Anthony Hegarty and Ian Costello, placed 11th and seventh in the three-person Sonar keelboat class. They finish day one in ninth overall with a further nine races left to sail.

A moderate south westerly breeze saw the team get off to a solid start in Race 1. They began in the middle of the fleet but slipped back to 13th only to climb back up the fleet to 10th but ultimately finishing in 11th. Race 2 saw team back in 13th rounding the first mark but they fought hard challenging their opponents to claim six places to finish in seventh. 

John Twomey commented 'It was very shifty conditions especially in Race 1. It’s early days and we’re hoping to improve on our performance today'.

The 2012 Paralympics are John Twomey’s 10th Paralympics, a record for any Irish person competing at either the Olympics or Paralympics. Having competed initially in the discus where he won bronze in 1984 and gold at Seoul 1988, John progressed to table tennis and finally to sailing which has been his sport of choice since 1996. Anthony Hegarty has been involved in sailing since 2005 but this is his first time competing at the Games. This is also Ian Costello’s Paralympic debut.

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