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Mercedes-Benz has added further wind to the sail of Irish sailing star Annalise Murphy as she ramps up her preparations for the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics, due to take place later this year.

Radial helmswoman Murphy, who won Olympic silver in Rio, is the only Irish nominated sailor for Tokyo so far. 

In a move that sees Mercedes-Benz retain its status as the only vehicle manufacturer supporting Annalise’s bid for further Olympic glory, the company has renewed their backing for the 31-year old Rathfarnham native who will continue to drive a top-of-the-range X-Class pickup for use in transporting her Laser Radial, her team and her equipment to events, here in Ireland and overseas.

Annalise Murphy competing at her winter training base in LanzaroteAnnalise Murphy competing at her winter training base in Lanzarote

Finished in the now familiar yet eye-catching Kabara black, silver and grey livery, her 190hp X-Class is festooned with features fit for a sailing star. Amongst them are 4MATIC 4x4 automatic transmission, chrome style bar, reversing camera, cruise control power, rear sliding window and a style pack that includes roof rails and side steps.

Wishing the Olympic silver medal winner of the National Yacht Club every success on her road to Tokyo, Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles sales manager, Fergus Conheady says: “Mercedes-Benz is proud to extend its support to one of Ireland’s leading medal contenders in her quest to achieve further success.”

Published in Annalise Murphy
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A massive breaking wave capsized Ireland's Olympic silver medalist sailor Annalise Murphy yesterday during training in Lanzarote.

As Ireland's only sailor so far nominated for Tokyo, Murphy continues to train with some of her rivals in the Canary Island's this week. The training camp has certainly been getting conditions they can expect in Japan this July at the Tokyo Olympic venue.

Of course, the National Yacht Club ace is well used to such big seas on her own Dublin Bay but she declared on social media that yesterday's Canary capsize was her first-ever experience of a 'backflip' in a Laser.

The footage is certainly dramatic (below).

Murphy, dropped back to fifth overall at the end of the ten race Lanzarote Winter Series Regatta in January, having held second overall in the ILCA 6 fleet until the penultimate day. It was a result that led to an honest review of her first regatta since the Euros in Poland last October.

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Irish Olympic Sailing boss James O’Callaghan was in climes sunnier than the team’s Dun Laoghaire Harbour Olympic Sailing HQ when he reported back to the Olympic Federation of Ireland last week on successful results achieved at January's training regatta in the Canary Islands.

As Afloat reported previously, Annalise Murphy took fifth overall in the ILCA Six class and Finn Lynch seventh in the ILCA Seven class at the Lanzarote Winter Series, a regatta that grew in significance in the pandemic. As the international calendar is disrupted for a second year, the January event gave Murphy, Lynch and other Irish campaigners the chance to be back on the race course for the first time since October's European Championships in Poland.

It is reported that conditions in Lanzarote are very similar to those the sailors will face in Hiroshima, Tokyo, where the sailing events of the next Olympic Games will be held in late July. So much so, that even Japanese teams have decided to change their home for the Canary Islands to prepare for the big event. "Lanzarote is very similar to Hiroshima, with a lot of wind and big waves. Moreover, here we have sun, good weather every day and a lot of activities that allow us to prepare ourselves outside of the water as well. That is why we decided to come to the Canary Islands," says Eri Hatayama, a Japanese Nacra 17 sailor.

The Team Ireland Performance Director for Sailing said it was a ‘great opportunity to continue the training’ and to 'keep the sailors busy and focussed on the job'.

O’Callaghan said there was some ‘uncertainty in the air’, as the Olympic circuit was curtailed by COVID. It's a situation made even more uncertain by the fact that Ireland has only one boat qualified (Laser Radial/ILCA Six) for Tokyo so far. The two other berths Ireland still seeks are totally reliant on Euro qualification regattas, one of which was postponed last week.

Having missed earlier qualification chances as far back as 2018 Ireland’s chances are now tied to the onset of the pandemic across Europe and the hope that the remaining places can be settled by racing rather than historical results as the staging of the Games itself comes under scrutiny.

For the moment, O'Callaghan says he is 'ploughing ahead' with team plans. 

See the youtube clip below.

Annalise Murphy's Lanzarote Winter Regatta

Meanwhile, the National Yacht Club's Murphy has given her own candid assessment of her Canary Island performance on social media.

In an honest review, uncomplicated by coach-speak, the Rio medalist declared "I am very happy with some aspects of my sailing but somehow I can still be a total idiot when racing, even though I feel that at 30 years of age I should be making less stupid mistakes!"

She signed off the Instagram self-appraisal by thanking the host club and congratulating Denmark's Anne Marie Rindom on her Lanzarote victory, a sailor Murphy beat in Rio to win Olympic silver four years ago.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Annalise Murphy, Ireland's only sailor qualified for Tokyo so far, dropped back to fifth overall at the end of the ten race Lanzarote Winter Series Regatta today, having held second overall in the ILCA 6 fleet until the penultimate day. 

Lighter conditions did not suit the Dun Laoghaire Olympic silver medalist who had an ultra-consistent opening seven-race results of 3, 2, 2, 2, 1, 6, 4 before counting a 33, 17, 19 and 20.

Counting six race wins in her tally, Anne Marie Rindom of Denmark topped the training regatta and was followed home by 2017 Under-21 world champion Maria Erdi of Hungary. Third was Vasileia Karachaliou of Greece. 

Murphy's training partner, 16-year-old Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club was 24th in the 40-boat fleet.

Results here.

Published in Annalise Murphy

Annalise Murphy has dropped to fourth overall in the ILCA 6 class after a penultimate day of lighter wind conditions at the Olympic classes Lanzarote Winter Series in the Canary Islands.

The 2016 Irish Olympic silver medalist had overhauled regatta leader Anne Marie Rindom of Denmark by a single point after race eight today and moved briefly into the overall lead but after a 17 scored in race nine this afternoon, the National Yacht Club solo sailor was back in fourth overall with a scoresheet so far of  3,2,2,2,1,6,4,33 and 17.

Conditions were much lighter today than the first two days of rig busting weather in the Canaries competition with easterly winds from six to 13-knots.

Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon is lying in 25th place in the 40-boat fleet.

Finn Lynch drops back to ninth

The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch has dropped back from sixth to ninth overall in the ILCA 7 fleet of 31 boats.

A win for Lynch in race eight provided his best result of the series so far but otherwise, a 21 and 22 scored in today's other two races put the Rio Olympian back three places overall with 76 points overall and a scoreline to date of 14, 2, 6, 7, 22, 3, 21, 1 and 22.

Ewan McMahon returned to the fleet today after an eye injury sustained on Tuesday kept him out of three races. The Howth sailor is lying 23rd overall. Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George Yacht Club did not compete.

The final races of the series including a medal race will be held on Thursday.

Results here.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy marked her return to competition after a three-month break with a second overall after the first day of competition in the ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) at the Lanzarote Winter Series in the Canary Islands yesterday.

The National Yacht Club ace is on seven points after three races sailed, four points behind Denmark's Anne Marie Rindom who took three straight wins in the perfect sailing conditions that prevailed off the Arrecife coast.

As Afloat reported yesterday, a 39-boat fleet drawn from 25 countries is contesting the 14-race regatta that runs until Thursday as part of its winter training schedule.

The only Irish sailor so far qualified for Tokyo 2021 scored 3, 2, 2 in her boat named 'Ricky Bobby'.

Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon counted a 'Did Not Compete (DNC) in race two and is placed 30th. 

Finn Lynch lying sixth

In the men's ILCA 7 (Laser) class, Murphy's club mate Finn Lynch lies sixth overall in a 30-boat men's Laser (ILCA 7) fleet from 14 countries.

The fleet includes Robert Scheidt but the Brazilian legend, who is the holder of two gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze from five Olympic Games, is not having things his own way with France's Jean Baptiste Bernaz leading by four points and Lynch beating Scheidt in race two. 

Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon lies 11th and Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George Yacht Club is in 30th.

Results here.

Published in National YC

Ireland's Olympic silver medalist sailor Annalise Murphy returns to action in the Canary Islands this morning, her first regatta since the European Championships in Poland last October.

The only Irish sailor so far qualified for Tokyo 2021 will compete for 14 races (including a medal race) in her boat 'Ricky Bobby'  in the Lanzarote Winter Series til Thursday.

With 25 weeks to Tokyo, the Canarian regatta has attracted a fleet of 45-boats including one or two of Murphy's main rivals for July's Olympic Regatta. The presence of Denmark's 2015 World Champion Anne Marie Rindom, for example, means it is unlikely the National Yacht Club ace will have things entirely her own way.

Murphy is not the only Irish Radial sailor in action on the Spanish archipelago either with Howth Yacht Club teen Eve McMahon entered for the series that sees four races scheduled today.

Irish Laser men in Lanzarote

Some of Ireland's Olympic men's Laser team including the National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch, Howth's Ewan McMahon and Royal St. George's Tom Higgins are also entered but there is no entry in the 48-boat fleet for Ballyholme's Liam Glyn who posted a personal best last October in the Laser Europeans in Poland.

As regular Afloat readers know, the Irish men are in a scramble for one of the last Laser berths for Tokyo that will be decided in Hyeres in April. Ireland is close to the standard required to qualify the nation but at the same time with rivals Spain, Italy, Belgium and Greece all neck and neck, the challenge is clear.

Afloat understands other IRL sailors are on the Spanish Island this week and may yet decide on a last-minute entry, boosting the Irish presence.

No doubt this morning's dinghy park chat will be around the recent denial of the reports that the Tokyo Games are to be cancelled due to COVID. 

As Afloat reported previously, the Irish sailors have not been based at their Dun Laoghaire performance HQ but instead on the continent, winter training in the warmer climes of Portugal and Malta.

All sailors were required to sign a covid declaration for this week's regatta.

The schedule for the ILCA 6 (Radial) & ILCA 7 (Laser) event is: 

  • 4 races (Monday)
  • 4 Races Tuesday
  • 4 Races Wednesday
  • 2 races on Thursday including a medal race
Published in Laser
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Annalise Murphy, (30), the only Irish sailor nominated so far for the 2021 Olympic Regatta, has spoken of the difficulties presented by COVID-19 in attempting to train at the Tokyo Regatta venue.

The fact that the Olympics is going ahead at all is positive news for the Irish star but after a year of continuous training at home, and little in the way of competition, it has been a frustrating scenario for the National Yacht Club sailor in her bid for Olympic gold next year. 

She told a special presentation of the Irish Laser class at its recent AGM that she 'obviously would love to train in Tokyo before the Olympics but the reality is that it might be very difficult to do that'.

Firstly, Murphy says, there is the question about whether international athletes will be allowed into Japan at all during the current lockdown, then there is the level of quarantining required once in Tokyo. "If we have to spend two weeks quarantining in a hotel room in order to just do a two-week training camp then the reward may not really be worth the loss of all that time".

Rio Silver medalist Annalise Murphy was crowned 2020 Italian Olympic Week week champion in October, just one of a few international Radial regattas held in 2020Rio Silver medalist Annalise Murphy was crowned 2020 Italian Olympic Week champion in September, just one of a few international Radial regattas held in 2020

As a result, the Rio silver medalist says, in reality, she 'doesn't really know what is going to happen'.

'We just have to be happy to take it one step at a time. If the opportunity presents itself to go out to Japan beforehand, that's brilliant but if not I can’t worry about it too much because no one else can go out there either'. 

Her plan is to stay positive over the winter and 'roll with whatever happens', she concludes.

Published in Laser

The Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) say in an update that Irish athletes across most sports are still on the qualification journey for the Tokyo Olympic Games which now take place next year from 23 July to 8 August 2021. Sailing is no different with only one of a possible three confirmed so far.

To date, there are 52 confirmed athlete spots for Tokyo, with many more athletes and teams sitting inside qualification status.

Eleven sports to date will enjoy Irish representation in Tokyo, and the current tracking of the team could see Team Ireland travelling next summer to Tokyo with the largest Olympic team to date.

In sailing, Ireland has already qualified one boat for Tokyo – the Women’s Laser Radial, which was achieved via Aisling Keller at the World Championships in 2019 – this position is set to be filled by Annalise Murphy, who has been nominated by Irish Sailing after a cut-short trial that left both Keller and Howth rival Aoife Hopkins 'devastated'. 

'Selection', say the OFI, will be made once the process has been completed.

Seafra Guilfyole (left) and Ryan Seaton are one of two Irish 49er campaigns looking for the last nation berth for Tokyo 2021Seafra Guilfoyle (left) and Ryan Seaton are one of two Irish 49er campaigns looking for the last nation berth for Tokyo 2021

There are still limited opportunities for Ireland to qualify another boat – the 49er can still qualify at the planned European Sailing Cup where one spot is available. As Afloat reported earlier, Ireland is vying with Belgium, Sweden and Italy for the one remaining European place. Form at the 2020 Worlds suggested that Irish sailors would be favourites having finished ahead of the other three candidates.

Laser sailor Finn Lynch, one of three Irish helmsmen seeking one of two final nation berths for Tokyo 2021Laser sailor Finn Lynch, one of three Irish helmsmen seeking a final nation berth for Tokyo 2021

In the Men’s Laser, there are two spots available at the planned European Sailing Cup. Up to six countries are in the running – Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands and Belgium and Ireland with Ireland finishing behind all of these at the latest World Championships.

In both of these events, the majority of spots were available at the World Championships in 2019 but unfortunately, Ireland missed out.

As Afloat reported in back in March the IOC, in their determination to maintain normality – or to return to normality as soon as possible – have issued a position update on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the potential changes to the qualification process disrupted by the spread of Covid-19.

Many sports, including sailing, have had to cancel qualifying events and the IOC has asked International Federations to consider revising the qualification process which may include ranking or historical results. More on this here.

Published in Tokyo 2020

The process of intense training, endlessly learning, and continually practising in the hope and expectation of improving your game does not come easily to many Irish sailors. The fact of our being an island nation, and having a very long history of sailing with a strong family tradition within it, gives us a vague but inescapable feeling that getting the best from a sailing boat comes naturally to us, as we reckon we're provided with this genetically inbuilt talent which only needs some occasional tweaking to keep us at the sharp end of the fleet.

Yet as Ireland's top international sailing performers have been learning – and telling us too – for very many decades now, it is only by being open-minded to learning and training and practising and competing again and again at the highest level abroad that you begin to come anywhere near the standard required.

Thus far from being at an advantage as maritime dwellers on an island of relatively low population, we actually face into the top international competitions at a treble disadvantage. Firstly, by having this inherited disposition of feeling that we know most of it already means that, instead of starting from scratch, we actually have to un-learn many of our bad sailing habits before we can begin to progress in the true path.

Annalise Murphy, Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove at a fund-raiser for the Dickson-Waddilove 49er CampaignSeekers of the true performance path……Annalise Murphy, Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove at a fund-raiser for the Dickson-Waddilove 49er Campaign. Photo: W M Nixon

Secondly, we've to get where the real competition is - which is nearer the main centres of population and definitely not on our little island - so logistics are almost always a real challenge. And thirdly, always in the background is the limitation of resources in a national economy which is already smaller than that of some major cities.

Oh sure, some figures seem to show that – were the times normal - we'd be awash with dough. We may indeed be awash with money. But much of it is already spoken for, as we're a nation of mortgage slaves on the inexplicably highest interest rate in Europe, and with many ridiculously expensive utility services to pay for as well. So always, in hoping to promote Irish sailing to the top international performance levels, the Irish sailing community's leading young contenders are up against the shortage of resources in addition to this underlying feeling that trying too hard is somehow un-Irish.

Graceful and seemingly effortless amateur success - done in an atmosphere of quiet modesty rather than noisy air-punching self-aggrandisement – is still a widely-shared Irish sailing ideal.

It was an attitude which was in retreat, but it now may well be holding its own, as the larger world increasingly questions whether or not the approach needed to achieve international sporting success at the top level is really a way of life which is conducive to producing well-balanced socially-positive individuals, rather than one-dimensional sports achievement monomaniacs with no hinterland of other normal interests.

Rob Dickson and Sean WaddiloveWhen it all becomes perfect – Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove at one with their challenging 49er

But there's another way of looking at this. The ancient Greeks, who have some skin in the game in the matter of the Olympic sports ideal, regarded sport and its highest possible achievement as being central to their culture. So those modern cultural gurus who dominate thinking in the arts of all kinds, while at the same looking down disdainfully on sport, are themselves as blinkered as the totally single-minded sportsperson who thinks only of his or her competitive life to the virtual exclusion of everything else.

And fortunately for the general good of society, for many able athletes, the period of total absorption in their sport at the highest level is within a defined period of peak achievement potential. The better national sports authorities are becoming more adept at easing their stars back into a fulfilling "civilian" life once their days at the sharp end of performance are drawing to a close.

Certainly, we can think of former stars who were somehow never subsequently comfortable in the outside world. But there are now far more stars of yesterday who have aged gracefully into useful and highly-respected members of their community as people with a wide range of interests.

Finn Lynch and Annalise Murphy racing former Olympian Cathy Mac Aleavey's Water WagEngaging with another world. Finn Lynch and Annalise Murphy racing former Olympian Cathy Mac Aleavey's Water Wag in Dun Laoghaire when the 2020 sailing season finally got properly underway on July 15th. They won. Photo: Con Murphy

But instead of spouting vague sociological theories and examples, it is surely better to catch up with some of our most promising young sailing stars as they take stock of the situation now after a frustratingly limited international season. It may have started in some style on the other side of the planet in January and February with Worlds in Melbourne, Australia, but has since made uneven progress with a postponed and restricted Kiel Week in Germany in September, and most recently with majors at Attersee in Austria and the Laser Europeans in Gdansk in Poland.

Download the background details on Ireland's current Performance Squad below.

Not surprisingly, the extremely uneven nature of the year's programme produced uneven results for Ireland's sailors, such that it was reckoned good going to get into single figures in the final leaderboard, and 2016 Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy of the National YC nearly achieved that with 12th in the Women's Laser Radial Worlds in Melbourne on a scorecard which included a race win, while she'd the additional intriguing experience of taking fellow Olympic Silver Medallist Sonia O'Sullivan – who won her medal in the 5000 metres in the 2000 Games - for a sail in the Murphy boat.

That Laser gathering Down Under included the remarkable campaign by 15-year-old Eve McMahon from Howth, who'd come to added prominence in July 2019 with her win in the U17 Laser Radial Worlds in Canada, and now - six months later - was on a solo run in Australia as a taster and tester towards a challenge for 2024, with a Melbourne campaign so solo that she was in effect her own shore manager, accommodated with a family she'd never met before.

Eve McMahon won't be entitled to a full driving licence until March 2021Youthful determination. Although Eve McMahon won't be entitled to a full driving licence until March 2021, she has already successfully experienced International Laser racing at the top level.

If anything it increased her already considerable enthusiasm, but as she said this week, it was a vertical curve in learning what's involved at the stratospheric heights to which the Irish Sailing Academy is aiming.

"It's such a different world, totally remote from club sailing or even regional or national championships. If you respond to it, you find the atmosphere is electric, and I'm very keen to progress to make the most of it in every way. And yes, it will be a great help to qualify for a driving licence when I turn 17 in March 2021…..."

Sailing Performance HQ at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

This mixture of dealing with the mundane demands of logistics ashore while aspiring to athletic genius afloat is something which immediately separates the trainee stars from other sailors, so much so that they often find their most congenial company within their own circle of international campaigners. Thus the creation last year of the modestly-scaled Irish Sailing Performance HQ – usually known as the Olympic Sailing HQ - within the Irish Lights compound in Dun Laoghaire, utilising a €300,000 grant from the Irish Sailing Foundation, has provided a remarkable sense of cohesion and camaraderie among the top tier.

Finn Lynch and Annalise MurphyBack to business. Finn Lynch and Annalise Murphy preparing their Lasers in the Irish Sailing Performance HQ in Dun Laoghaire. Photo: Rachel Fallon LangdonRob Dickson and Sean Waddilove sorting the knitting on their 49er Boys-o-buoys…..Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove sorting the knitting on their 49er in the Performance HQ beside the Irish Lights nav aids. Photo: Rachel Fallon Langdon

International 49er campaigners Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove – from Howth and Skerries respectively – have to co-ordinate central aspects of their training with the other 49er challengers Ryan Seaton from Belfast Lough and Seafra Guilfoyle from Cork, and the Performance HQ provides the focus for this.

Between them, they have four home clubs, so whichever one was selected as a temporary base inevitably saw them differentiated as "the Olympic squad", their presence sometimes at variance with the much more easy-going mood which can prevail in club sailing. But with the Performance HQ, there's no doubt about what's going on, this is their own bubble, their own base, and they all understand and encourage each other's motivation in a mutual support group.

Getting ready for lift-off with Cracklin' RosieGetting ready for lift-off with Cracklin' Rosie. The provision of a dedicated base at the performance HQ with its workshop facilities has proven a real benefit. Photo: Rachel Fallon Langdon

Maybe so, but ultimately it's all about crews being on their own and completely for themselves in competition afloat, and in the Irish context the introduction of the International Laser as an Olympic class in 1996 in two categories has been a Godsend. While the 49er is the undoubtedly spectacular eye-catcher and a boat of character – Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove have gone so far as to name their primary boat Cracklin' Rosie after Rob's late grandfather Roy's legendarily successful offshore racer – the 49er is an expensive bit of kit and needs a crew of two. But the sublimely simple solo-sailed Laser provides remarkable value for money at every level of competition.

So although there's still a chance that Ireland could secure a place in the 2021 Olympics for a 49er if enough selection events can be held as (hopefully) the pandemic recedes internationally, there's perhaps a better chance that Finn Lynch (who took a personal best of 13th, the same as his World Ranking, at the Euros) can pull it out of the hat for a place in the Laser men's, as outlined in Afloat back in March here. But already firmly in place with nomination officially made is Annalise Murphy. Yet even with the security of that assured place, she and her coach Rory Fitzpatrick have to get through a late Autumn and probably a winter of suspended animation.

Of course, there are all sorts of alternative training options, with the 49er teams into weights at home while everyone on the squad is an avid cyclist - so much so that at various stages in the past both Annalise Murphy and Finn Lynch have had their planned sailing programmes interrupted by cycling accidents.

A very young Finn Lynch takes his first sail as an absolute beginner with a Topper at BlessingtonA very young Finn Lynch takes his first sail as an absolute beginner with a Topper at Blessington.

Finn Lynch in control in the LaserA new world – Finn Lynch in control in the Laser

But in the end, it's time afloat - with competition or co-training at the highest possible level available – which is essential, and the hope is that lockdowns may have lifted enough for Vilamoura in Portugal to become it usual inventive self early in the year with pop-up championships, while much hope is being pinned on the possibility of the Princess Sofia championship in Mallorca early in April.

Certainly, the recent big-fleet Laser Europeans in Gdansk impressed everyone with the social-distancing and other health standards which were rigorously maintained while proper racing was being provided afloat, but whether that can be done in the more easy-going mood of southern Europe is another matter.

Meanwhile, Ireland's potential sailing Olympians maintain their fitness and attitude as best they can, and allow other aspects of their lives to play a larger role for the next six weeks, with Aoife Hopkins at UCD concentrating on exam preparation, Eve McMahon at the pressure-cooker Institute of Education focusing on studies and test levels which are of Olympic standards in themselves, while Rob Dickson, having found that it was simply impossible to balance his sailing programme with the demands of personal attendance at DCU to further his studies in Sports Science and Health, has transferred to an online course at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Like everyone else, our Olympic sailing hopefuls have to get through this Winter of Frustration as best they can with the support of family and friends. But as with everything to do with the Olympics, it all seems to be accentuated, emphasised and multiplied many times over.

Read all the latest Irish Olympic Sailing News in the build-up to Tokyo 2021 here

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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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