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Displaying items by tag: Annalise Murphy

Four Irish women will be on the start line of the first race of 2020 Laser Radial World Championships this Sunday. 

As Afloat previously reported, this is the first of three Irish trial regattas for the Olympic place and each sailor will be seeking to carry the minimum number of points into the next round at Palma in March. The final event is in Hyeres, France in April. The selection regattas were changed late last year by mutual agreement, dropping the World Cup in Genoa in favour of the World Championship in Melbourne.

In part of the buid up to Sunday's first races, the girls were joined at their Melbourne training camp by local resident and Irish athletics great Sonia O’Sullivan who reported on the trials in her weekly Irish Times column.

Aoife Hopkins

Aoife Hopkins sailingAoife Hopkins (left)

Highest ranked (39th) is Aoife Hopkins (21) of Howth Yacht Club who has campaigned consistently over the last two years, and will be targeting a second successive World Championship gold fleet result to maintain her selection hopes. Hopkins finished 25th in last month’s Sail Melbourne against quality opposition.

Aisling Keller

aisling KellerAisling Keller

Lough Derg Yacht Club’s Aisling Keller (23), ranked 63rd, finished 3 places behind Hopkins in Melbourne, but two places ahead at last year’s Worlds, qualifying the country in the process. These pair were locked in a battle for the Olympic berth, but the return of Annalise Murphy to the fray has created a new challenge where they will need to look beyond their own private battle.

Annalise Murphy

Annalise Murphy Sail MelbourneAnnalise Murphy

2016 Rio silver medallist Murphy (30), has a lowly ranking of 136th due to her late return to the class. The National Yacht Club sailor has directed her talent elsewhere since her medal performance, crewing in the Volvo Ocean Race and attempting to develop a 49erfx challenge. She took up where she left off, in battle with Rio Gold Medallist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) for honours in Sail Melbourne, once again taking the runner-up spot.

Eve McMahon

Eve McMahon Sailing xEve McMahon

Eve McMahon (15), Howth Yacht Club, is the current under 17 Laser Class World Champion. Ranked 144th in the world, she has displayed her considerable potential by finishing 46th in Sail Melbourne and poses an interesting question as to whether her upward trajectory can put her in the mix for selection.

The weather will play a significant part in determining the outcome of this first trial. Sail Melbourne, with the exception of the final race, was a windy regatta, playing to Murphy’s strength. The forecast for the first three days of the World Championship, predicts mixed strengths, but perhaps closer to 10 knots than 15 knots.

First race reports on Afloat are expected on Sunday morning, Irish time.

All three medallists from the Rio Olympics will take to the water off Sandringham Yacht Club on Sunday. They head a star-studded field of 106 competitors from 40 countries, many of whom will be trying to qualify as their country's representative at Tokyo 2020.

Leading the charge will be Marit Bouwmeester from the Netherlands, the 2016 gold and 2012 silver medallist at the Olympics and a six-times world champion in the event. Marit has been training in Melbourne since December and won the Australian Championship in early January. Although she has already been selected for the Olympics by the Dutch Federation, she will still have a battle on her hands during the Worlds from countrywomen Mirthe Akkerman, Maxim Jonker and Daphne van der Vaart, who all pushed her during the Australian Championship.

Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) is ranked number one in the world at present and is the defending world champion, having also won the title in 2015. She was 13th at the London Olympics and won the bronze medal in Rio.

Annalise Murphy (IRL) was part of an epic Laser Radial medal race at the London Olympics, where she missed out on the bronze by the barest of margins. She made up for that at Rio, taking silver behind Marit Bouwmeester.

Another former world champion, Alison Young of Great Britain, is currently ranked second in the world while Emma Plasschart of Belgium is ranked third.

Among those competing for a place at the Olympics are two Finn sailors, Tuula Tenkinen and Monika Mikkola. Ranked ninth and 14th respectively, they present a welcome challenge to the Finn selectors.

Even more intense will be the rivalry for Kim and Lin Pletikos of Slovenia, who are not only competing for an Olympic spot, but for bragging rights around the family dinner table.

The home crowd is also hoping to see a sailor selected for Tokyo.

There are 19 Australians in the field for the Worlds. Assuming there are no upsets, either Thomson or Stransky will need to finish in the top 10 to secure a seat on the plane to Tokyo

Published in Tokyo 2020

In her latest column for The Irish Times, athletics great Sonia O’Sullivan meets the four women in contention for Ireland’s sole Laser Radial spot at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

After frustrations in her attempt to qualify in the two-handed 49erFX class, Annalise Murphy is back in the boat with which she won silver at the 2016 Olympics — Ireland’s strongest Olympic sailing result to date.

But this time there is tough competition from three women who were still coming up when she was racing for that medal in Rio — namely Aisling Keller, Aoife Hopkins and 15-year-old Eve McMahon.

All four have been training together in Melbourne, Australia since the start of the year, ahead of the Laser Radial World Championship (starting tomorrow, Friday 21 February) which will be the first of three chances between now and April for one of them to secure that coveted spot.

“Think about how that must be for them,” writes Sonia. “They know that only one of them will go to Tokyo so they wouldn’t be human if they didn’t have some sort of selfish instinct in them. It would be only natural for them to keep little bits and pieces that they’re learning back for themselves to give them a better chance of being the one who gets the spot on the boat.

“But they also know that the more they push each other, the better they make each other. And the better they make each other, the greater chance of a medal for Ireland and a better all round result for Irish sailing.”

Sonia also gets out on the water with Annalise to experience first-hand the speed and excitement of the Laser Radial — and the rush Annalise and her fellow challengers will be feeling when the training is done and the race is on.

The Irish Times has more HERE.

Published in ISA

The Irish Olympic Sailing team start competing in Australia at two separate World Championships next week.

The 49er World Championships

First off are the 49er World Championships in Geelong, Victoria. Ireland will be represented by two teams, Olympian Ryan Seaton (Ballyholme Yacht Club) and Seafra Guilfoyle (Royal Cork Yacht Club), and Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club). Racing starts on Monday 10 February and concludes 15 February.

Hosted by the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, the 49er World Championships will see 77 boats compete from 26 countries.

The ILCA Laser World Championships

The following day, Tuesday 11 February will see the start of the Laser men’s races at the ILCA Laser World Championships, taking place in Melbourne (Sandringham Yacht Club). Competing are Olympian and Carlow native Finn Lynch (National Yacht Club), Liam Glynn (Ballyholme Yacht Club) and Ewan McMahon (Howth Yacht Club). There are 131 competitors from 45 countries.

A Mix of Youth & Experience

Both 49er and Laser classes have a mix of youth and experience. In the 49er two-time Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton will be hoping to regain some of the form that saw him make the medal race final in the 2016 Olympic Games. He now sails with Seafra Guilfoyle. Hot on their heels are the U23 Bronze medallists Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove. They are still learning the ropes on the senior circuit but had an impressive World Championships at the end of last year, making Gold fleet.

In the Laser, Olympian Finn Lynch is competing alongside Liam Glynn, and Ewan McMahon who is relatively new to the senior circuit. This is only Ewan’s second World Championships and he will be hoping to repeat his impressive Gold Fleet performance at his debut Worlds.

Laser Radial Women compete for Ireland’s spot at the Olympics

With Ireland having secured a boat in the Laser Radial at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, four Irish women now begin their battle for that spot. The women’s races at the ILCA Laser World Championships start a week after the men on 23 February. This is the first event of three to decide who will represent Ireland (the other two being the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma, March, and the Hyeres Regatta, France in April).

In the mix is Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy (National Yacht Club) fresh from her silver medal at Sail Melbourne in January, Aoife Hopkins (Howth Yacht Club), Aisling Keller (Lough Derg Yacht Club) and Eve McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) who won the U17 Gold Medal at Sail Melbourne.

111 competitors will compete from 41 countries.

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy has shown she has lost none of her spark in Laser Radial racing by taking second overall in the women’s division in the Laser Radials in the major Sail Melbourne 2020 regatta which has concluded on Port Phillip Bay, a venue which served up some extremes of conditions to test both competitors and race organisers alike

Despite light winds and just one race on the final day when two had been planned, Murphy’s scoreline of 4, 11, 5, 2, 1, 2, 2 and (24) showed an underlying performance curve shaping up in the right direction, though at the end she was six-point astern of winner Merit Bouwmeester of The Netherlands. But then Bouwmeester was a leading contender for Rolex Woman Woman World Sailor of the Year thanks to her constant devotion and all-beating success in international Laser Radial racing. Aoife Hopkins was the only other Irish helm in the Gold Fleet, she placed 24th overall.

Reflecting on this important stage of her progression towards contention for Ireland’s already-secured Women’s Laser Radial place at the Tokyo Olympics in July, Murphy has spoken of her sheer enjoyment in racing a boat she loves among top competitors, many of whom are longtime friends. The Irish campaign in Melbourne involving four helms has been helped by home and local support, and Annalise is effusive in her thanks to her many supporters and sponsors in Ireland, and also to Ken and Colettte Clotworthy who provided her with a home-from-home in Melbourne.

Published in National YC
Tagged under

Annalise Murphy's heavy air prowess is to the fore at Sail Melbourne this week where the Rio Olympic silver medalist is enjoying her second regatta since her return to the Radial for a Tokyo 2020 bid.

The National Yacht Club's Murphy won the one and only race today and moved up into fifth place overall and third-ranked female.

Despite a huge storm front battering Port Phillip in the early afternoon, most classes were able to complete a full slate of racing on day three of the 2020 Sail Melbourne International Regatta today.

The thick squall carried a sheet of small hailstones and hit the bay just as most of the racing was wrapping up with the Laser, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7s the only fleets restricted to one race. Two days remain in most of the fleets with only the Tasar fleet deciding the winners today.

Rio Olympic champion Marit Bouwmeester continues to lead the female rankings after an eighth-place today with Italy’s Rio Olympian Silvia Zennaro following in second after posting a second.

“It was a nice day, but it took a bit long to get started. I think it took them an hour and 15 minutes to get the guys on the way, and then even the 4.7s had a general recall so it was a long day on the water for only one race and that was a shame. But it was good and it’s nice to be here and get some racing in,” Bouwmeester said.

Ireland's three other competitors in Melbourne are Aoife Hopkins 22nd, Aisling Keller 39 and Eve McMahon 56. Results are here

Published in Annalise Murphy
Tagged under

Rio Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy marked her return to the Laser Radial with some reliable performances at the Australian National Championships in Melbourne this week. Her scoresheet included a race win as David O'Brien reports in this morning's Irish Times Sailing column here.

Next up for four Irish sailors, including Murphy, in the only Irish boat qualified so far for Tokyo 2020, is an Olympic trial series starting in March.

Much more in the Irish Times here.

Published in Annalise Murphy

Rio Silver Medalist Annalise Murphy is recording some encouraging results at the Australian Laser National Championships this weekend.

In one of her first major regattas since returning to the Laser last September, in a bid for the Irish Tokyo slot, the National Yacht club star is the top Irish woman from four contesting the championships at the Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne.

Murphy has counted a race win but also a black flag penalty to be placed 19th overall so far in the championships that have featured strong and light winds and some 'chilly' conditions.

The Men's and Women's Laser Radial classes are sailing together, split into Yellow and Purple fleets.

With the Australian selection for Tokyo 2020 still to be decided, Queenslander Mara Stransky struck an early blow with two wins in Purple fleet. Yumiko Tombe of Japan was second and Marie Burrue (FRA) was third in the first race. All three were pleased to have beaten Rio 2016 gold medallist, Marit Bouwmeester, who finished fifth overall and fourth woman.

Murphy's rivals for the Tokyo berth (that will be decided in selection trials later this year) are all sailing in the gold fleet and currently placed as follows: Aoife Hopkins 32nd, Aisling Keller 37th and Eve McMahon 60th.

The championships were subject to a protest by a competitor under 'Air quality' but the complaint was dismissed.

Results here

Published in Annalise Murphy

Annalise Murphy faces a three-way trial for Irish selection before she can race for gold at Tokyo 2020.  Ireland's Olympic Silver Medallist confirmed her return to the Laser Radial class tonight with 300 days to go to the Olympic Regatta. 

The widely expected decision follows last week's announcement that she had quit her 49erFX campaign with Katie Tingle.

Murphy’s return to the class will meet domestic competition from Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller who have already qualified Ireland for a place in the Radial discipline as described by Irish Times Sailing Correspondent David O'Brien here.

The three female solo sailors will race in an open trial using a number of international regattas to determine which candidate is nominated to represent the nation in Tokyo.

"I've already been sailing the Radial and feel fresh in the boat and I'm really excited to be back"

The do-or-die series will start in the Spring of 2020 and will use the combined scores from each of three European regattas; Palma in March, the World Cup in Genoa in April and Hyeres Regatta in late April to decide the nomination.

Murphy acknowledged the challenge ahead saying "with trials starting early next year there is a lot of work to get through, however, I've already been sailing the Radial and feel fresh in the boat and I'm really excited to be back"

Irish Sailing Head Coach Rory Fitzpatrick added “Having coached Annalise up to the Rio Olympics it makes her transition into the Laser Radial squad pretty easy. Having Annalise back in the class will raise the standard for everyone”.

Published in Annalise Murphy
Tagged under

Olympic Silver medalist Annalise Murphy is expected to return to the Laser Radial dinghy immediately after abandoning hopes of a final qualification chance in the 49erfX dinghy she has been campaigning with Katie Tingle for Tokyo 2020.

After a 'hugely challenging' fourteen months for Murphy and Tingle in the 49erFX class, it was decided after the summer that their 'Olympic medal goal' was no longer realistic, and the campaign has now come to an end.

While Murphy's plans have ended in the 49erFX, all is not lost for Irish Skiff fans, however, who can be certain that Royal Irish sailor Saskia Tidey of Dun Laoghaire will make the British team for Tokyo having won a Bronze medal in September's Pre-Olympics.

Annalise Murphy, a two time Olympian (finishing fourth and second respectively), reflected on the summer performances and in 'consultation with stakeholders' decided against continuing in the 49erFX. Katie Tingle, who has given '100% to the campaign' understands Annalise’s viewpoint but is nevertheless disappointed that the campaign is ending. Commenting on the situation Katie Tingle said “of course I’m disappointed. I’ve had a roller coaster fourteen months having jumped straight in at the deep end of high-performance sport. It’s been incredible seeing how hard everyone works for their goal and the support that goes around it, I’ll miss my teammates and all the support staff.”

49erfXAnnalise Murphy and Katie Tingle in training on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

After a long period of training that was prefaced by injury in September 2018 when Tingle broke her arm in training on Dublin Bay, the duo first raced in April 2019 at the World Cup in Genoa and immediately admitted a steep learning curve, finishing in the silver fleet. A month later they retired from two races at the Europeans Championships in Weymouth. There appeared to be some progress in June at Kiel Week but by August and a trip to Tokyo for the pre-Olympics, and more mid-fleet results, it appears the writing was on the wall.

"I guess the World Cup in Japan was a bit of a wakeup call for me"

In a statement released this afternoon, Irish Sailing team managers say 'Annalise and Katie are lifelong friends and the decision was not made lightly'.

Murphy said “I guess the World Cup in Japan was a bit of a wakeup call for me, I was unable to see a medal in less than twelve months and that was always the goal. Katie has been incredibly understanding in what is clearly a difficult situation. I’ve learned so much from her over the last fourteen months and am glad our friendship has grown from this shared experience.”

The statement says Murphy is now going to take some time to consider her next steps. With the Laser Radial qualified for an Irish place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, it would seem very likely that she will be back on the water soon.

Irish Sailing Performance Director James O’Callaghan commented, “the Irish Sailing 49erFX project has benefitted the whole team, to have people as positive as Annalise and Katie in the programme has inspired the other teams. We now have a second FX campaign in its infancy so their legacy will continue. Katie took the opportunity to explore her potential to follow her dream, she made the most of the chance and I hope can look back fondly on the experience.”

Published in Annalise Murphy

A five and a three scored in today's 49erFX races at Kiel Week, Germany represents a significant performance improvement for Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle who had been languishing in 41st place from 53 after day one.

The result moves the pair –who are four regattas into a 2020 Olympic campaign – up a dozen places overnight and into the top thirty overall in 29th.

The National Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club combination are using Kiel as part of their overall bid for Tokyo Olympic qualification later this year.

Results are here

Published in Annalise Murphy
Tagged under
Page 2 of 36

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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