Ballyholme’s James Espey qualifies for Olympics 2012
After four days of racing at the Laser World Championships in Germany, Ballyholme Yacht Club sailor James Espey achieved Olympic qualification for the Irish team when he made the Gold fleet in Day 4 of the event.
Espey scored 7, (29), 3, 20, 18, 17, 22 and 19 to make the Gold division. He now lies in 30th position in the 168 strong fleet. By virtue of the fact there are only six unqualified nations in the Gold fleet and there are 12 places on offer at this event Espey can be satisfied with a job well done.
Espey is the fourth Irish sailing campaign to qualify for Ireland. The other three teams Annalise Murphy (Laser Radial), Peter O’Leary & David Burrows (Star) and Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern (49er), also from Ballyholme, qualified at the World Championships in Perth, Australia in December 2011.
Commenting on Espey’s qualification the Royal Yachting Association’s Performance Manager in Northern Ireland, Richard Honeyford, said “James’s put in an excellent performance at this regatta and we are very pleased with his achievement in qualifying for the Olympics. He is now focusing on the final six races of the series over the next three days to consolidate his results”.
Commenting on Espey's qualification ISA Performance Director James O'Callaghan stated: "I am delighted for James to achieve Olympic qualification. He has worked hard as an independent athlete to achieve his goal and we look forward to working together as part of the Providence Resources Olympic Sailing Team to achieve further success at London 2012."
Ballyholme Yacht Club’s Rear Commodore Sailing Mark Mackey said “We would like to congratulate James for qualifying Ireland to race in the Laser class at the London Olympics. The whole club and many of the Irish sailing fraternity have been watching avidly his recent campaign. It was great to see James qualify at the Laser World Championships yesterday. Results on the first two days with a 7th and a 3rd show what potential he has always had. We are also very grateful to Richard Honeyford from RYANI for coaching James in his last three events which has born fruit with three Gold fleet finishes in the most widely sailed competitive dinghy in the world”.
Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton began their Worlds Campaign yesterday and have just won race 6.
(Photo courtesy of Dave Branigan/Oceansport)