After a promising conclusion to the qualification round of the Princess Sofia World Cup of Sailing Regatta in Palma, Ireland’s Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove donned their yellow leaders’ bibs to begin the Gold Fleet final round in the 49er class on Thursday.
But in the four races that followed, error after error piled up and the Dublin duo slipped first to third overall, then ninth and finally 19th place in their 25-boat division.
Starting-line issues appeared to be the main difficulty, including hooking the pin-end mark that obliged the Irish sailors to take a penalty and then catch up on the fleet already pulling away.
Also in the mix for their event debrief was the lighter wind strength compared to Wednesday when they won two races and placed fourth in another.
Friday’s racing may have somewhat fresher winds again to offer them some hope, but another stellar day would be needed to overcome a 22-point gap to the top 10 and give them a place in Saturday’s medal race final.
However, in the space of 24 hours, their podium prospects have completely evaporated in the Mallorcan sunshine.
Among the single-handers, Finn Lynch overtook his team-mate Ewan McMahon to reach 20th overall after a mixed day but no breakthrough top-10 results that he needs for a medal-race position.
In the second race of the day, Lynch was at the back of the 62-boat class, but over the next two stages quickly overtook boat after boat to recover to an impressive 14th place.
Meanwhile, Eve McMahon was in 34th overall and noted her starts as an area to work on in light conditions. The 19-year-old Howth sailor is competing this week at her first World Cup of Sailing event.