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Displaying items by tag: 49erfx

#49erfx – Saskia Tidey and Andrea Brewster's Olympic skiff campaign has been boosted by support from Club commodore James Horan of the Royal Irish Yacht Club

The RIYC duo are currently seeking Olympic selection in the 49er FX Skiff Class for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016, when, for the first time, the all-female Skiff Class will be included in the Games.

The pair have been training in Australia and in Florida and competing internationally in order to acquire the appropriate ranking to represent Ireland at the Olympics.

Despite joining the ranking process later than others, they are now ranked as the 14th Nation and the 24th Boat in the world. There are many more competitions yet to take place before the selection for an Olympic place, but this place is now within their grasp.

In an open letter to members, Commodore Horan explains that the Royal Irish Yacht Club is planning to host a fundraising event to assist them in the considerable expense involved in renewing and updating their equipment and continuing their training.

Upcoming events in Palma de Mallorca, France, Italy, Holland, the UK and Portugal will lead to the World Championships in Argentina in October/November of this year and ultimately the aim is the Olympic Games in 2016.

'Apart from the fact that the Olympic Games take place only every four years, it is an even rarer event to have young Members of the Royal Irish Yacht Club attempting to compete in them. I therefore urge the membership to get solidly behind this initiative and support the efforts of these two young ladies, of whom we are immensely proud' Horan says. 

 

Published in Olympic

The final day format for the 49er and the 49erFX Olympic regatta was a hotly discussed topic at the ISAF conference in Mallorca that drew to a close today. ISAF Council voted for one double points Medal Race without boundaries and a target time of 20 minutes.

It was also decided that all supplied equipment at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition should be distributed after a public draw, ensuring transparency.

As part of the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition Qualification System, ISAF included Continental Qualification Events in the pathway to help develop sailing around the world. Reflecting the IOC Qualification System Principles the key requirements are to ensure participation of the best athletes and ensure universality through continental representation.

ISAF Council agreed on the recommendation from the Events Committee on the regattas that will be held in 2015 and 2016.

African qualification events will be held at the 2016 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta in Mallorca, Spain as well as events in Cape Town, South Africa and Algeria. The 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Asia and 2015 ASAF Cup in UAE will see the Asian qualification spots picked up. European spots will be available at the 2016 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta with 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne providing the Oceanic qualifiers. The 2015 Pan-American Games will decide one quota place each in the Laser and Laser Radial for North and South America. The additional places will be up for grabs at the 2016 edition of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami.

Published in Olympic
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#irl49er – A capsize avoiding a boat in the five minute starting sequence was an unfortunate conclusion to the 2014 European championships for Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey in Helsinki yesterday but overall a 19th scored from 28 in the gold fleet and 16th girls and 13th in the European Trophy are results the Royal Irish pair can bank on for important Sports Council funding in 2015. (See results downloadable below in pdf format).

In the men's 49er division, Ireland's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern finished 13th from 28 in the gold fleet. 

The defending European 49er Champions held on to their crowns in both the men's and women's fleets at the Seiko 49er & 49erFX European Championship, which reached a thrilling conclusion yesterday in Helsinki.

Ida Marie Nielsen and Marie Olsen went into today's three Grand Final races just a point behind the New Zealanders Alex Maloney and Molly Meech. The Danes looked relaxed but determined and sailed a very solid three races, waiting for the others to make mistakes. With the Theatre Style racing format, principal race officer David Campbell-James set a short course for the top ten 49erFX crews of just 750m from top to bottom, and just 450m wide, each edge of the course limited by boundary lane ropes similar to those seen at a swimming gala.

With the fleet forced into multiple tacks and gybes on the two-lap course, and the wind blowing a shifty, gusty 14 to 18 knots, crisp boathandling and fast decision-making were critical. The Kiwi team reached the top mark of the first race in good shape, in 2nd place behind Jena Mai Hansen and Katia Iversen of Denmark. However Maloney and Meech were unable to bear away, and continued further upwind. "There was a big gust as we arrived at the top mark," explained Maloney, "and we didn't feel we could turn the boat away, so we held on a few moments." It was a critical few seconds that allowed other boats to overtake, and it set the tone for the reigning World Champions who just couldn't quite make things go their way today.

Meanwhile Nielsen and Olsen recovered from a shaky moment to finish 6th in the first race, and then put the hammer down to win the final two races, securing Championship victory. The Brazilian team Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze also finished strongly with two 3rd places, putting them on equal points with the Kiwis. The Brazilians' better finish in the final race gave them the silver medal on countback, relegating the World Champions to the bronze medal position. The top three – Denmark, Brazil, New Zealand – are an exact replica of the medal winners at the 2013 European Championships a year earlier in Aarhus, Denmark.

Asked which European title they had most enjoyed winning, Olsen commented: "It was great winning on home waters last year in Denmark, but the battle was much closer this year, so we're very happy to have defended our title."

Attention then turned to the 49er men, with the reigning World Champions from New Zealand going into the final three races with an 11-point margin over the 2012 Olympic Champions from Australia. Pete Burling and Blair Tuke were fast out of the blocks, taking the lead in the first race. Meanwhile, behind them carnage ensued for Nathan Outteridge and Iain 'Goobs' Jensen. "We had a port-starboard incident with John Pink up the first leg," said Outteridge. "Then down the run Goobs's trapeze wire snapped, we reckon from Pinky's boom nicking the rope earlier." With Jensen in the drink, Outteridge tried to drop the gennaker singlehanded. "My plan was to drop the kite, sail round the leeward gate and pick Goobs up on the way back up the next leg. But I capsized, and all I managed to do was give Goobs 200 metres more of swimming to do." By the time Jensen was back on board with the boat upright, the fleet was long gone. Last place for the Aussies.

The capsize put the Australians into a tight battle for the silver or bronze with the Germans, Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel, and Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign from Great Britain. Then it went bad for Outteridge again, this time at the windward mark of race 2 as he went round in traffic and with wind shadow from another boat, found himself waterskiing off the back of the boat as Jensen tried to hoist the gennaker. The Australian boat narrowly avoided a capsize but once again was at the back of the fleet. Incredibly the Aussies salvaged a 7th from the race, but a 3rd place for the Kiwis proved sufficient to give them overall victory with a race in hand.

With the gold medal already decided, spectators turned their attention to the three-way fight between Great Britain, Germany and Australia. Once again the Kiwis led the way, winning the race by a big margin. Outteridge sailed a solid race for 2nd place, but the Germans had been too consistent with 3,2,3 – taking the silver medal by just over 2 points from the British, who sneaked the bronze by just 0.6 points from the Australians. The Olympic Champions would leave Helsinki empty-handed. "Oh well, you can't have things go your way all time," said Jensen. "I guess we'll have to do some practice." And practice is what they will need if they're to reclaim the mantle of invincibility from the New Zealanders who have gone unbeaten since taking the Olympic silver medal two years ago at London 2012.

"We're stoked to win," said Tuke. "We loved the racing here, especially the theatre-style racing we did today. It was just awesome sailing." Next stop for the Kiwis and many of the other top teams in the 49er and 49erFX is Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic test regatta next month.

Published in Olympic

#49erfx – A promising mid–fleet performance for Ireland's newest Olympic sailing duo came to a dramatic halt on Lake Garda, Italy yesterday when a race course crash put paid to a stronger performance for  49erFX pair, Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey in the ladies skiff class. 

Luckily a suspected broken arm for crew Saskia Tidey has turned out to be only heavy bruising following a crash in yesterday's high winds at the climax of the Italian Olympic regatta.

The team tweet as below:

Published in Olympic

#annalisemurphy – Annalise Murphy has won Eurosaf Gold again on Lake Garda this afternoon in a commanding display of heavy air sailing with five race wins in the past week. Twice in a fortnight the Irish Olympic Sailing team is returning home from an international regatta with a medal, a sign of good progress after some early 'rusty' performances this season.

Two weeks ago in France it was the 49er duo Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern but this afternoon it's was reigning European Laser Radial Champion Annalise Murphy's chance to shine.

Some on Lake Garda had come to an early decision about the winner in the Laser Radial fleet with Annalise winning twice on Saturday to give her a 16–point lead on Silvia Zennaro ITA going into today's final. In the end the National Yacht Club sailor easily defended her 2013 Italian Eurosaf crown, taking out Zennaro in a pre–start manoeuvre at the medal race. Later she would tweet: 'Medal race went to plan!'

Murphy shrugged off a first race 33rd result on Tuesday to overhaul her 39–boat fleet with a sizeable overall lead.The Dubliner won five of the eight races, admittedly in a fleet devoid of some of her fiercest Olympic rivals, but nevertheless a convincing performance that concluded with a sixth in today's final.

Unfortunately, the Irish 49er (Afloat's Sailors of the month for April) duo were unable to make amends for a boat handling error yesterday as the 49er medal race was cancelled today leaving them in fourth overall at Italian Olympic week. 

Full results for all classes here

The next round of action for the Irish Olympic sailing team (and another medal?) is in a fortnight's time at Holland's Delta Lloyd regatta.

Published in Olympic
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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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