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PARALYMPIC REGATTA COMMENCES AT QINGDAO

A record 80 athletes sailing in 41 boats from 25 nations are competing for medals in Qingdao.

Irish sailors have completed a full schedule of races for day one at the Paralympic Games at Qingdao in China.

In the Skud 18 two person keelboat class, Amy Kelehan (helm) and John Twomey are 10th overall after day one of racing.  They placed 9th in race one and 10th in race two.  Mick Sandone and Maureen McKinnon Tucker of the USA are leading the fleet on 3 points.

In the Sonar three person keelboat class, Ireland’s Paul McCarthy, helm, Paul Ryan and Richard Whealey took 7th and 11th in races one and two respectively and lie 9th overall.  France is in first place with 5 points.

Competitors had to endure long postponements before racing commenced.  Conditions were up and down and with the sea breeze fighting the land breeze race officials sent the fleet ashore to wait it out. The wait was worth it as a perfect 7-9knot south easterly breeze greeted the sailors when they hit the water.

In total 11 races are scheduled for the competition for both classes.  Two have now been sailed and three races are scheduled for to-morrow (Tuesday).  There will not be any medal races for the Paralympics.  Four races are needed to constitute a series and there will be one discard if 5  to 8 races are sailed and two discards if 9 to 11 races are completed.

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