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Annalise Murphy –4th in Melbourne

29th December 2009
Annalise Murphy –4th in Melbourne

Ireland's Annalise Murphy finished 4th in the Women's Olympic Laser Radial class at Sail Melbourne, the first event of the 2009-2010 Sailing World Cup series. Click 'read more' for her account of Sail Melbourne race by race:

Having already competed in Sail Brisbane and Sail Sydney Regattas I was looking forward to Competing in Sail Melbourne the first ISAF World cup event of the 2010 season and the chance to compete against the high standard of sailors who would be traveling to compete in Sandringham.

The first day started with ideal and typical Melbourne conditions, a south easterly 15 to 20 knot breeze and a big swell. I had a good start to the event leading the first race till the end when I was passed by the USA sailor Paige Railey. The second race didn’t go quite to plan having to complete a penalty turn at the windward mark, I spent the rest of the rest flighting back to the front of the fleet.

Day 2 saw completely different conditions light 5 knot breezes and a choppy sea. I had a 3rd and a 5th so was happy with how my day had gone.

Day 3 brought shifty northerly winds and 43 degrees, it was a hard day out on the water never knowing where the next gust was going to come from and one side of the course having 5 knots while the other side would be in a 20 knot squall. I had many frustrating moments out on the water that day but I had 2 ok races while some of my close competitors had bad races.

On our fourth day of racing we were held on shore due to lightning storms but once these had cleared we headed out for normal racing, when I arrived on the race course the wind had died then while the race committee were trying to lay a course 35 knots of wind came in so we were sent back in for the day!

On day 5 I headed out to what looked like ideal conditions but when I got out I realised that the wind had died, I tied on to the Dutch coach boat and we anchored and waited, and waited for 4 hours until a sea breeze came in, we started a race and half way through the race the wind changed direction to put me from 3rd place to 10th. The race committee tried to start another race at 8pm, nearly 7 hours after I had launched before calling it a day when the wind finally died.

I was really looking forward to the medal race on day 6 as this was my first medal race, I knew I had to have 1 boat between Franziska Goltz of Germany and myself to beat her and also not let Sara Winther of NZL beat me or she would beat me overall, as I went out for my last race the conditions became better and better with 15 knots, big waves and blue skies for the medal race. I started on the committee boat end and covered the fleet to the top mark once I have got in front from there I gained on the downwind and went to the left and covered the fleet as the left had been the favoured side before, Sara Winther went right and got some new pressure and came in just in front of me into the final windward mark, I worked hard to try and pass her on the final downwind as I knew I had to beat her to get the bronze medal, 5 meters from the finish line I nearly got past her but she beat me by half a meter and therefore overall on countback.

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