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#annalisemurphy – Despite picking up a 21st place finish Irish sailing super star Annalise Murphy moved into pole position in the Laser Radial yesterday at the Olympic test event in Rio, Brazil. Racing on the big Copacabana race course waves, the National Yacht Club sailor from Dun Laoghaire had a poor opening race but hit back in the second of the day, picking up a third. 

Tuesday's rain was replaced with sunshine and a cool 15 knot breeze across the five race areas. The waves remained on the outside courses whilst shifty conditions on the inside courses was present, ensuring firm tests of tactical nous.

On her day Murphy said, "I messed up the first race. I wasn't feeling so good in that big swell. I hit a mark and went for a swim as well so that was pretty frustrating but I came back good in the second race. I fought back to second by last reach but then I got a bit high and Anne Marie [Rindom (DEN)] got by me but it was really fun out there. The waves were really big, sun was shining and the wind was in so it was good."

Like Burton in the mens Laser class, Murphy was quick to echo his point on Rio's conditions, "I think the last two days the waves are probably the biggest I've ever raced in. It's not what you'd be expecting when coming to Rio as people have been saying it's a light wind venue. We've had quite a good breeze over the last two days and huge waves and it's difficult but it's something we're all going to have to learn and get used to."

Marit Bouwmeester was the standout performer in the 25-boat Laser Radial fleet and notched up double bullets. Her opening three races were not quite up to the high standard she sets herself but she bounced back and is fifth overall.

Rindom is three points behind Murphy on 13 points with Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) in third.

The leaderboards across the ten events on show at the Aquece Rio - International Sailing Regatta 2014 are starting to take shape following four days of competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Medal Race places have been decided in the Men's and Women's RS:X fleets whilst the top batch of Olympic sailors have cemented their spots in the top places of the remaining fleets.

Racing continues today.

Published in Olympic

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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