Tipperary sailor makes Gold Fleet in world championships

Tipperary sailor makes Gold Fleet in world championships

Nenagh’s Aisling Keller has qualified for the Gold fleet final round at the Laser Radial World Championship at Sakaiminato, Japan.

The event is a qualification regatta for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the women’s single-handed event sailed in the Laser Radial dinghy.

After two days of light winds that put the championship behind schedule, the fleet had a protracted third day afloat for eight hours as the organisers staged three races to catch-up on most of the event schedule.

She will be joined by Aoife Hopkins  of Howth, County Dublin.

Both Keller and Hopkins had two good results apiece with an eighth and an eleventh respectively that leaves them 29th and 37th overall at the end of the qualification series for the 111-boat event.

A six-race Gold fleet series begins on Monday with two races scheduled daily before concluding the world championship on Wednesday.

A total of 10 nation places are available from the world championship for Tokyo with 14 countries in the Gold fleet all seeking one of the quota.

Both Keller and Hopkins are currently inside the qualification standings

Aisling, a former national champion, came to sailing on Lough Derg through the schools sailing programme, started by Liam Maloney, then headmaster of Carrig NS, and rose through the ranks very quickly, as did her brother Eoin who also won the national Laser championships event in 2011 in LDYC.

She is the daughter of Nenagh businessman Pat Keller and his wife Josephine.

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