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Displaying items by tag: Aoife Hopkins

Britain's Alison Young leads the Women's Laser Radial Worlds on its penultimate day on Banderas Bay in Mexico. Ireland's Annalise Murphy from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire leads the silver fleet after a race win yesterday afternoon. Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins is ninth in the silver fleet.

It took five attempts, but Race eight, the first race of the Finals Series, started just before 1430h under clear skies on Banderas Bay. The first attempt led to a general recall, but the three subsequent attempts faltered when Race Committee postponed during the starting sequence as the wind shifted left, then right, finally settling in from the southwest.

After a clean start for the Gold fleet, the Silver fleet had clean start on the inner loop of the trapezoid course. The wind direction remained mostly steady, and built as the afternoon progressed. Both fleets started cleanly in Race 9 and the sailors were headed to the harbor before 1700h.

The course layout didn’t change during the afternoon’s racing, but oscillations around the average led to gains and losses for the sailors. Several of the top ten competitors ended up using Race 9 as their single discard. When Race 10 is completed, a second discard becomes available.

At the end of the day, Alison Young (GBR) leads the pack, followed by Marit Bouwmeester (NED), Paige Railey (USA), Gintare Scheidt (LTU), and Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN). Only ten points separate the top five competitors, and the places will likely shuffle after tomorrow’s races, especially when the second discard becomes available. As of now, Boumeester stands to gain to the most from the second discard.

A great day of racing, and hopefully more to come in the remaining two days of the Championship.

Results are here

Published in Olympic

Both Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins will complete the 71–boat Women's Laser Radial World Championship in the Silver fleet following the conclusion of the fourth and final day of qualifying races in difficult conditions yesterday. The Irish Olympic class trialists finished 40th and 46th respectively missing the top 35 cut for Gold fleet participation. The final rounds begin today and run over the remaining three days of competition on Banderas Bay, Mexico.

Looking very much like an Olympic regatta dress rehearsal, currently the top 12 places are filled by 12 different countries with some familiar names at the top of the star–studded fleet. First is Marit Bouwmeester (NED), second Paige Railey (USA) and third Alison Young (GBR).  The Olympic Gold Medallist Lijia Xu (CHN) is tenth overall.

Yesterday, the starting sequence for the first race (R7 for Yellow) began at 1400h, but a shift to the right led to a postponement.  After settling in at about 10 knots from WSW, this fleet started cleanly, but a general recall for the Blue Fleet gave time for the wind to shift back to the left. The Race committee adjusted the course and the Blue Fleet started under a black flag restriction in 12-14 knots of building breeze and clearing skies. 

But the wind oscillations in that first hour foretold the challenges to race committee for the afternoon. A general recall for R8-Yellow led to further postponements as the race committee adjusted marks and the line as the wind continued to oscillate, and lessen.  That fleet started, but the race was abandoned on the first beat as the winds became less stable, with variability in strength and direction across the course.  The Blue Fleet never started, and all competitors were sent in for the day.
 
This closes the Qualifying Series.  The scores in all races still count to a sailor’s final score, but now the Gold Fleet will contain the top sailors, based on the Qualifying races.  These sailors will be competing for the Championship. Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Paige Railey (USA) still hold the top two places.  Alison Young (GBR) has moved into third place, followed by Erika Reinecke (USA), and Gintare Scheidt (LTU).
 
Top 12 before Gold fleet racing
 
1st 206333 Marit Bouwmeester  NED (17.0) 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 3.0 2.0 26.0 9.0
2nd 197111 Paige Railey  USA (9.0) 3.0 4.0 3.0 1.0 1.0 7.0 28.0 19.0
3rd 202411 Alison Young  GBR (11.0) 1.0 7.0 6.0 2.0 4.0 3.0 34.0 23.0
4th 184454 Erika Reineke  USA 3.0 2.0 3.0 3.0 7.0 (37.0 BFD) 5.0 60.0 23.0
5th 202750 Gintare Volungeviciute Scheidt  LTU 8.0 2.0 4.0 2.0 6.0 (9.0) 2.0 33.0 24.0
6th 207194 Anne-Marie Rindom  DEN (27.0) 6.0 3.0 5.0 4.0 2.0 8.0 55.0 28.0
7th 199066 Manami Doi  JPN (13.0) 10.0 5.0 11.0 4.0 4.0 1.0 48.0 35.0
8th 204468 Brenda Bowskill  CAN 8.0 (25.0) 9.0 10.0 2.0 2.0 4.0 60.0 35.0
9th 205491 Luca Falasca  ARG 4.0 12.0 2.0 7.0 11.0 1.0 (21.0) 58.0 37.0
10th 177117 Lijia Xu  CHN 1.0 8.0 (19.0) 4.0 7.0 17.0 1.0 57.0 38.0
11th 204452 Dolores Moreira Fraschini  URU 2.0 15.0 10.0 2.0 14.0 3.0 (19.0) 65.0 46.0
12th 202441 Sara Winther

 

Full results here

Published in Olympic

Nine countries in the top ten overall at the Laser Radial Women's World Championships in Mexico yesterday indicates the events close proximity to August's Rio Olympics. Ireland is not yet represented in this ultra competitive line up but at least two top ten results yesterday for Dublin's Annalise Murphy put the National Yacht Club sailor up into 30th overall.

2014 World Champion and 2012 Olympic Silver medalist, Marit Bouwmeester is leading the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds being sailed in Mexico, with two US sailors in hot pursuit. Bouwmeester has won four of her six races in the qualifying rounds so far in the 71–boat fleet.

A 25 in race four for Annalise followed by five and eight scored in races five and six saw the 2013 European champion move up 17 places from 47th after a discard in the pointscore.

Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins, the 17–year–old who is competing at her first senior world championships is now 47th after scoring 26, 22 and 28 yesterday.

Qualifying rounds for Monday's all–important gold fleet continue today.  Results here.

 

 

Published in Olympic

Howth Yacht Club teen Aoife Hopkins has taken a lead over Dun Laoghaire's Annalise Murphy (25) after the second day of the Laser World Championships in Mexico. The 17–year–old took a sixth in race three yesterday to put her in 38th overall, eight places ahead of Annalise Murphy in 46th in the 71–boat fleet. The Banderas Bay event is the third trial for Ireland's Rio berth, a series that London 2012's Annalise leads overall. 

Racing was postponed until the wind filled in yesterday, but organisers report there was a clean first start before 2pm. The Yellow qualifying fleet completed two races in 8-10 knots of breeze, but the second race of the Blue fleet was abandoned on the second beat in a dying breeze and will be re-sailed today.

CH Marine–backed Hopkins was elated with the result in the star–studded fleet, 'I'm absolutely thrilled, I got a 6th today in the first race. I was coming top 10 in the second race when I capsized at the leeward mark'. 

Annalise Murphy scored 26 in race three. A lot of sailing still lies ahead at these championships. Qualifying races for Monday's important gold fleet cut continue with two more rounds today.

After an untypically poor start (17), top Dutch helmswoman Marit Boumeester moved back up the rankings to fifth overall scoring her second win of the series in race three yesterday. 

Results after race three (presented in ascending in sail number order but editable online) are here 

Published in Olympic

Racing in winds up to 15–knots, the opening race of the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds in Mexico produced some untypical results yesterday with top seed Marit Boumeester of Holland in an untypical 17th position in the 71–boat fleet. Both of Ireland's campaigners finished just outside of the top half of the fleet with Aoife Hopkins of Howth Yacht Club one place ahead of Annalise Murphy of the National Yacht Club in 33rd and 34th respectively. Download full results below as a PDF file.

In yesterday's second qualifier, both Irish competitors recovered form with Annalise taking a seventh and Aoife 16th to put Annalise 43rd and Aoife 52nd overall. Qualifying continues today with two more rounds. The race to make the gold fleet cut at the end of the 32-nation qualifying series by Monday is well and truly on.

The event doubles as the final of three Irish Olympic trials to decide who Ireland will send to the Rio Olympics, a series that London 2012 veteran Annalise currently leads.

Wind conditions at Vallarta Yacht Club on Banderas Bay on Mexico's Pacific coast are expected to continue in the 15–knot range.

Event website is here

 

 

 

 

Published in Olympic

Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins are the two Irish entries in a 72–boat fleet drawn from 32 countries for the 2016 Laser Radial Women's World Championships this Thursday. As well as an important build–up to the Olympics in Rio the championship is the last of three Irish Olympic selection trials for the Irish place. 

Of the 72 sailors competing, ten finished in the top 20 at the 2012 Olympics in London, including Ireland's Annalise who finished fourth.

The National Yacht Club's Annalise (25) leads the 2016 trials with some comfort from 17–year–old Aoife of Howth Yacht Club after an expensive series of regattas, first in December at the 2015 Copa Brasil de Vela and then January's 2016 ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami, USA. 

 

I've had three days training here in Mexico so far and it has been absolutely amazing!!! I reckon this is the definition of champagne sailing ;) I'm loving the conditions and can't wait to start racing on Thursday. I may have gotten a little bit of sunburn bare arm sailing though...You can follow the event at http://www.laserworlds2016.org/ Howth Yacht Club CH Marine ISA Performance 2016 Laser World Championships

Posted by Aoife Hopkins Sailing on Monday, 11 April 2016

The championship is taking place on the Pacific Coast of Mexico on the waters of Banderas Bay which Hopkins believes is the definition of 'champagne sailing' after three days of training on the race area.

Thanks to the shape of the bay and surrounding land area, Banderas Bay is fortunate to have a very predictable daily thermal wind. Locals say they enjoy about 5 hours of good winds per day, from 13:00 to 18:00. The direction of the thermal is generally 220-240 degrees, and speed varies between 4kts at the beginning and end of the thermal period, up to approximately 18 knots at during peak periods.

 

Published in Olympic

Annalise Murphy from the National Yacht Club has dropped back to 28th overall after nine races sailed in the gold fleet of the Laser European Championships at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria this morning. The Irish sailing star was seventh at the beginning of the week. 

14 out of the World's top 20 female Laser Radial sailors are competing in the 50 boat gold fleet. Conditions for the second last day of the championship ranged between 5-6 knots and 10, with less waves than previous days. The final three races will be sailed today. Time limit for the last race is 16:00.

11 male and female Laser sailors from around the Irish coast are competing in the important regatta. Nicole Hemeryck from the National Yacht Club is 72nd, Aoife Hopkins from Howth Yacht Club is 73rd and Aisling Keller 76th in a total fleet of 99.

The female leader board is headed by Dutch girl Marit Bouwmeester followed by Swedish Josefin Olsson.

267 sailors from 47 countries participate in this Championship, organised by the Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria, the European Laser Association (Eurilca) and the Real Federacion Española de Vela (RFEV).

In the mens division after nine races sailed, Ireland's only gold fleet competitor Finn Lynch is 32nd from 63. In the silver fleet, Belfast's James Espey is 69th, Baltimore Finn Lyden is 77th and Kinsale's Darragh O'Sullivan is 115th. Seafra Guilfyole did not compete.

Although sailors with Rio Sailing Olympic ambitions are competing in Gran Canaria, Ireland is also represented in the mens Radial where after eight races sailed Ewan McMahon from Howth Yacht Club posted is sixth. Former Topper World Champion Liam Glynn from Ballyholme Yacht Club is seventth. Conor O'Beirne from the Royal St. George YC is 14th

Results are here.

 

Published in Olympic

After nine races sailed in the Laser Radial class of the Miami Sailing World Cup, the National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy has put a further 28 points between herself and her rival for the Rio berth, Aoife Hopkins of Howth. The plucky Howth Yacht Club teen was neck and neck in the silver fleet with Murphy (25) until the final races yesterday. Murphy finished 48th overall and Hopkins 64th in the 81–boat fleet.

Most sailors here are full time atheletes but I'm not so have to try and keep up with the schoolwork whenever I can.

Posted by Aoife Hopkins Sailing on Friday, 29 January 2016

Murphy has now won two of three Irish trials, the first being December's Copa Brazil regatta with some unexpected implications. The third trial is at the World Championships in Mexico in April.

At the top of the Radial fleet Marit Bouwmeester's string of firsts was broken. But the Dutch champion still sailed well enough to assure herself of at least a silver medal in the regatta in today's Medal race for the top ten. She will start the medal race with a 6-point lead over Evi van Acker (BEL), who has also locked up at least a silver medal. To claim the championship van Acker will need to put two boats between herself and Bouwmeester in tomorrow's medal race. A tough ask, but certainly not impossible, especially considering the caliber of the fleet. Sarah Gunni Toftedal (DEN) is currently third, with an eight-point advantage over Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) in fourth. Alison Young (GBR) and Emma Plasschaert (BEL) both have an outside chance at the bronze medal. In 10th place is Paige Railey (USA), who moved into the medal race after her best day of the regatta. This gives Railey at least 7-place advantage over Erika Reineke (USA), her primary rival for the U.S. Olympic Team. She has the enviable position of entering the medal race with nothing to lose. Any places she gains will add to her advantage in the selection series. But she cannot finish any worse than 10th.

Belfast's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern were 37th from 61 in the 49er.

Seven medal races will be broadcast live from the northern racing area on Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida, USA today. You can view them on Afloat.ie above on this story. The schedule in EST (add five hours for Ireland) is: 

NORTH COURSE - LIVE
11:10 - Nacra 17
11:45 - Laser Radial (4.45pm Irish Time)
12:30 - Finn
13:10 - 470 Men
13:50 - Laser
14:30 - 49er
15:05 - 49erFX

SOUTH COURSE
11:40 - 470 Women
12:20 - RS:X Women
12:55 - RS:X Men

Published in Olympic

Torrential rainfall and a chill in the air, Miami isn't usually like this, but competition for World Cup honours and Rio 2016 Olympic spots are keeping the temperatures on Biscayne Bay hot. Ireland's crews are not in the running for medals this week but Belfast's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern took a race win in the silver fleet yesterday leaving them 38th overall in their 61–boat fleet. Irish rivals for the Rio berth Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins are placed 59th and 60th respectively overall in what is the second round of the Irish selection trial.

Competitiveness from the front to the back of each fleet has been evident and every sailor has something to fight for. Whether it's the coveted Rio spot, a Sailing World Cup honour, internal qualification for Rio 2016 or even striving to perfect their game, it's all on in Miami.

Sailors were made to wait for racing on Thursday as torrential downpours killed off the breeze and produced large quantities of surface water. When the breeze materialised it enabled the sailors to commence racing at 15:20 local time in building conditions that ranged from 12-17 knots from the south east.

49er IT

Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern took a race win in Miami yesterday and made the headlines in this morning's Irish Times Newspaper. 

49er and 49erFX

A single race in the 49er Gold, 49er Silver and 49erFX was completed.

Diego Botin and Iago Lopez (ESP) and New Zealand's Alex Maloney and Molly Meech held on to top spot in the 49er and 49erFX respectively. Race wins went the way of John Pink and Stu Bithell (GBR) in 49er Gold, Ryan Seaton and Matthew McGovern (IRL) in 49er Silver and Ida Marie Nielsen and Marie Olsen (DEN) in the 49erFX.

On the Rio 2016 Olympic qualification front, there is plenty happening in all three fleets.

Chilean brothers Benjamin and Cristóbal Grez Ahrens haven't made things easy on themselves in their battle against Uruguay's Santiago Silveira and Philipp Umpierre for the South American 49er Rio spot. A disastrous start and up and down results gave the Uruguayans the advantage after two days.

The Uruguayans were positioned to make the gold fleet with the Chileans back in silver ahead of Wednesday's so they had it all to do. Match racing was the name of the game and the Chileans forced the Uruguayans hand with an OCS and BFD to squeeze them back into silver fleet.

Thursday was an opportunity for both teams to reset and from a single 49er Silver race, the Grez Ahrens brothers grabbed the initiative, leapfrogging the Uruguayans. A Chilean ninth compared to the Uruguayans 18th ensures they go into the final day of fleet racing with a six point advantage.

In the north, gold fleet racing will decide the spot. USA in the driving seat with Thomas Barrows, III and Joseph Morris seventh on 71 points. Canada follow with David Mori and Justin Barnes 29th on 104 points and British Virgin Islanders Alec Anderson and Christopher Brockbank are down in 31st.

American sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt as well as Emily Dellenbaugh and Elizabeth Barry have put their nation in a strong position to qualify in the 49erFX. Henken and Scutt are 18th on 142 points and their compatriots, 21st on 161. Their nearest rivals are U.S. Virgin Islanders Mayumi Roller and Agustina Barbuto who trail on 181 in 23rd. Aruba's Odile and Philipine Van Aanholt hold 226 points in 32nd.

Chile's Arantza Gumucio and Begoña Gumucio are the only South American entrants who have not yet qualified for Rio 2016 so will qualify this week.

Laser and Laser Radial

A very fluid weather pattern (in more ways than one) made for a challenging, albeit short, day on the water for the Laser and Laser Radial fleets. The threat of thunderstorms kept the fleet ashore through the early afternoon. Once the sailors launched, the compressed time left the sailors with little time to properly research the breeze. Adding to the confusion, the weather changed just as the Radials were halfway up the first leg.

"In the beginning it was quite light,” said Evi van Acker (BEL). "But then the rain came and along came the wind. So it was quite windy in the race, which was nice to have a little bit of difference compared to the first three days.”

It was also quite shifty and, with the visibility reduced, tough for the sailors to formulate a plan of attack. As is often the case in difficult conditions, the cream rose to the top, with Marit Bouwmeester (NED) nipping Sarah Gunni Toftedal (DEN) by just two seconds and adding to her impressive string of four first-place finishes in the qualifying races. But Bouwmeester was hard-pressed to describe how she won the race.

"I don't really know,” she said with a laugh. "The weather was quite tricky with the rain so I think I was just a bit lucky being on the right side of the wind shifts.”

Bouwmeester, who won the silver medal at the 2012 Olympics and the 2015 Laser Radial World Championships, is probably being modest. But her day did have one significant, and totally unexpected, hurdle that she handled with a veteran's poise.

"A 470 trailer, they didn't put it up right after the 470 went into the water and it fell down and it fell straight through my sail,” she said. "So just before [launching] I had a hole in the sail. But thank God it didn't influence the racing too much

"I didn't like it. I was like, 'Bloody 470s.' But there's not much I can do about it. This guy gave me some sail tape and I tried to cover it up as good as I can.”

In third in the race, and sitting solidly in second overall was van Acker, who was a little more expansive when asked about the path to success in Race 6.

"I think play the shifts on the first beat and the first reach and the downwind,” she said. "But I could've done a bit better. So not super happy with today, but plenty to play for tomorrow.”

Van Acker is the defending Olympic bronze medalist, but there's a lot of Laser Radial talent in Belgium and she won't know until late spring whether she'll return to the Olympics.

"We have a selection committee that will decide at the end of May or the beginning of June,” she said. "But as I said, I'm not really busy with the selection, just trying to do my best in every race.”

Currently sitting third in the overall standings is defending Olympic gold medalist Lilja Xu (CHN) who finished 35th, by far her worst race of the regatta. After discarding that finish she is just two points out of second and eight points off the lead.

Paloma Schmidt was the only South American sailor, who had not yet qualified for Rio 2016, to make the Laser Radial gold fleet. As a result, she has qualified Peru in the Laser Radial.

North American sailors from the Cayman Islands, Cuba, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago missed out on the gold fleet as Bermuda's Cecillia Wollman and Mexico's Natalia Montemayor advanced.

Nine points separated them before Thursday's racing but they ended up even on 95 points apiece after the single race. Wollman finished 39th and Montemayor, 40th. Results would lead to suggest some strong tactics coming in to play with three races on Friday to determine who will go to Rio de Janeiro this August.

After sailing a nearly flawless qualifying series, Rutger van Schaardenburg (NED) had his first significant bobble of the regatta when he was caught over the line before the gun and didn't return to start correctly, recording a 50-point OCS. As he's able to discard that score, he retains the overall lead, but the margin has narrowed. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) is currently second overall after getting a fourth today.

While the Radials started in light breeze, the wind had picked up substantially by the time the Lasers started sailing. Still, the weather was difficult to read.

"I didn't have [a really solid plan for the first beat],” said Bernaz. "I just say, 'OK, let's sail and watch; what you see is what you get.' I was on the right, but when I saw the left gaining, I just go on the left side of the fleet. I was losing a lot and I re-gained what I lost. I was fourth at the top mark, third, then fourth again. It's good to sail in front.”

Bernaz has been on a tear of late, with top-five finishes in his four of his last five major regattas. The lone blip, a 54th at the 2015 Laser World Championships, has knocked his world ranking down to 22nd, but he's sailing like a medal contender at this event.

"It's the year of the Games, some [Olympic selection series] for different countries, so everyone is 100 percent, maybe 110,” he said. "It's a really hard fleet and it's really hard to be consistent. Now we start the finals, so it's the top 49, so it's really hard, really compact.”

Sailing to his fourth second in the last four races, five-time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt (BRA) moved into third in the overall standings.

"The first few races I had bad starts and it was difficult conditions, it was shifty and light, and I just made bad decisions at the beginning of the race,” he said. "I knew I had the speed to do better and the ability to do better. From the third day I started to sail more with the fleet, more consistent, better starts.

"Today was a full-on race, it started to blow very hard just a few minutes before the start and we knew we'd have to be out of trouble, have a clean start, and use the speed and hike hard. It was a tough race. The breeze kept increasing throughout the race. I just sailed clean, sailed a solid race. I'm really happy about that.”

Scheidt won three medals in the Laser class, gold in 1996 and 2004 and silver in 2000 before switching to the Star, where he won silver in 2008 and bronze in 2012. With the Star eliminated from the Olympic roster, he was forced to choose between missing the Rio Olympics or returning to the grueling 14-foot dinghy,

"The goal is to try to do the Olympic Games in my home country,” he said. "Unfortunately the Star is not anymore an Olympic class. I wish it was. It's not easy to come back to the Laser after a certain age. But I'm enjoying it. I'm still having fun out there. I'm still competing at a high level. Of course, it's not easy because physically it's a quite a demanding boat. Right now I'm in a good moment, free of injuries and really looking forward to the next six months.”

He hasn't been as dominant as he was at his peak, when he won eight world championships, but Scheidt is a serious medal threat, and anyone who thinks the pressure of competing in his home country will compromise his performance should check Scheidt's track record. Among other accomplishments, his final Laser world championship was won on Brazilian waters. He knows what to expect, and how to handle it.

"It's going to be a different Olympics with the crowd the expectations, competing in Rio, a place I've sailed all my life, for an Olympic medal,” he said. "It's going to be very special. That's why I'm still doing it. That's the reason why I'm still training hard, pushing hard. To be able to join the Olympics one last time would be a great thing for me.”
Mexico's Yanic Gentry made the gold fleet in the cut and with none of his rivals from Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico making it, he has qualified his nation in the Laser.

All of the South American sailors aiming for Rio 2016 are in the silver fleet and no racing was possible on Thursday. As it stands, Venezuela's Jose Gutierrez is 65th on 139 points, Uruguay's Federico Yandian 66th on 140, Ecuador's Matias Dyck on 145 and Colombia's Andrey Quintero 84th on 180.

Published in Olympic

Tricky conditions have got 2016 off to an inauspicious start for Ireland's Rio Olympic sailing team with neither Laser or 49er making the gold fleet cut of the World Sailing Cup in Miami, the first major event of the Olympic year. 

The 49erfx crew of Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey was not able to start due to injury. The Irish Paralympic Sonar crew of John Twomey, Austin O'Caroll and Ian Costelloe are lying seventh from nine.

In the second round of the Irish Laser Radial trial being sailed as part of the Florida–based regatta, the 2020 prospect Aoife Hopkins from Howth Yacht Club lies 60th, just one place behind the National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy in the 81–boat fleet. Results after five races indicate both will race in the silver fleet for the balance of the regatta that concludes on Saturday. Murphy will be disappointed at scoring two penalties in the early stages but also with the fact that she was unable to make the top ten in any race, just seventh months out from the Games itself.

A premature start in race nine added to a black flag penalty scored in race two puts Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern from Belfast Lough in 39th overall from 61 in the mens 49er class. Nine races have been sailed.

Full results are here.

The regatta got off to a flukey start on Monday and Tuesday and although the breeze blew stronger yesterday, Irish boats had a mountain to climb in order to get back into any sort of gold fleet contention. Unfortunately for Team IRL, however, Rio rivals appear to be able to knock in top results in any weather. A case in point is the unstoppable performance of Murphy's London 2012 rival, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) who has won all five of her remaining qualifying races to open up a four-point lead. Evi van Acker (BEL) another veteran and fellow Olympic medalist, has won a pair of races herself and was able to discard a black flag disqualification from today to sit second. Defending Olympic gold medalist Lilja Xu (CHN) in third, a point further back.

Had a tough day on the water. Two more days left so will refocus and do my best. On wards & Upwards!Aoife x

Posted by Aoife Hopkins Sailing on Wednesday, 27 January 2016

With qualification completed, the fleet will be split into a gold and silver grouping and winning the races will be that much tougher over the final two days.

The top American in the fleet is Paige Railey, who is currently 17th with 36 points. That's good enough for a 9-point cushion over Ericka Reineke (USA), who is Railey's chief rival for the 2016 Olympic berth in the Radial class. That battle will be an interesting one to watch during the next few days. This event is Part 1 of the two-stage selection series for that class.

The Laser class, one of only two to start the Day three on schedule, sailed a pair of afternoon races. Rutger van Schaardenburg (NED) won his final race of the day—as with the Radial fleet, the 98-strong Laser fleet has been sailing in two groups for qualification—and has built himself an impressive 16-point lead heading into the gold and silver fleet split. Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) sits second with 27 points, but there is a pack of four sailors all within 5 points of the silver-medal position. At the back end of this group is 5-time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt (BRA), who has rebounded from a tough start with three straight second place finishes.

Charlie Buckingam (USA) is the top American in 11th. While he has his sights focused on the top 10—only the top 10 in each class qualify for Saturday's medal race, which will be carried lived on ESPN3—Buckingham has to be comforted by the knowledge that the next American sailor is 20 points behind. As with many of the other classes, this regatta serves as the first part of the selection trails for the U.S. Laser berth in the Rio Olympics.

49er and 49erFX

The 49er qualifying series concluded with three further races on Wednesday ahead of the fleets separating into Gold and Silver for the duration of the World Cup.

Diego Botin and Iago Lopez (ESP) advanced to top spot in the 49er, recording an 8-4-3 to leave them on 45 points. The Spanish duo tend to excel in the qualifying series and more times than not, come out at the top of the leaderboard.

When push comes to shove and they race in a top quality Gold fleet they fall down the pack. Six Gold races are ahead of them now to see if they can buck the trend. Carl P Sylvan and Marcus Anjemark of Sweden follow in second and Jorge Lima and Jose Costa (POR) are third.

Defending 49erFX champions Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) moved up to first after four good races. A pair of seconds, a seventh and a sixth hand them a ten-point advantage over Jena Mai Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN).

Published in Olympic
Page 4 of 6

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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Featured Chandleries

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Featured Sailmakers

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Featured Marinas

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Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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