Displaying items by tag: Laser Radial
Annalise Murphy, Ireland's only entry in the medal races at the Miami Olypmic Classes Regatta on Saturday finished fourth overall, missing out on bronze to Evi Van Ascker of Belgium. The Dun Laoghaire sailors overall result will be siginificant boost in her bid to represent Ireland at the London Olympic regatta next year. Other Irish results HERE.
More from Miami Regatta organisers below:
It was "do or die" today for sailors in the final medal races of US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR. Reserved for top-ten fleet racing finishers in Finn, 49er, Men's 470, Women's 470, Laser, Laser Radial, Men's RS:X, Women's RS:X and Star classes, the medal races also included "knock-out" Finals and Petit Finals, with two boats each, from the Elliott 6m (women's match racing) class. The racing formats replicate those that will be used at the Olympic Sailing Regatta in the 2012 Games, and as so designed, they did not fail to deliver a final punch of excitement to six days of racing here for 716 sailors from 53 nations.
"In the final medal count, 14 different countries won 39 medals, with eight different countries sharing Gold," said US SAILING's Olympic Sailing Committee Chair Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.) at the final Rolex Prizegiving, held at Coral Reef Yacht Club. He explained that while 10 Olympic classes determined podium positions today, three Paralympic classes completed racing yesterday to determine medalists.
With finishes counting double points today in the fleet racing, Sweden's Rasmus Myrgren finished third in the 104-boat Laser class, the largest here, and added six points to his score line, putting him three points out in front of Argentina's Julio Alsogaray for the Gold. Taking Bronze after Alsogaray's Silver was yesterday's leader Paul Goodison (GBR), the 2008 Laser Olympic Gold Medalist.
"Among us three, plus Nick Thompson (GBR), it was who-beat-whom to take the Gold today," said Myrgren. "When Paul and Julio started messing around with each other on the first downwind leg, it made it possible for me to catch up and by the last downwind leg the three of us were each a half boat length apart in a race to the finish, with two others ahead of us (who were not in contention)." Myrgren's break came when he surfed ahead of Alsogaray on "the last couple of waves" at the finish to take third, leaving Alsogaray to fourth and Goodison to sixth.
It was sweet redemption for Myrgren, who was second behind Goodison going into the medal races at the 2008 Olympics and the only one with a mathematical chance at beating him for Gold. "In that race, Paul made sure to cover me, and we were both two minutes behind the rest of the fleet at the finish, because all he had to do was beat me. I was dead last, and so I fell to sixth overall. It is indicative of the pressures of a medal race on your final score."
In the 58-boat Laser Radial class US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics member and ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla., USA) had a Gold Medal sewn up today as long as she didn't get disqualified. "I didn't push it at all today," said Railey, noting that her throw-out race for her lead-up series was a 59-pointer acquired from a black flag in race two. "I rounded the first mark fourth or fifth and just stayed relaxed, then rounded the next mark in first! The others were battling for the other medals, so I felt almost like I was watching it from the outside." Railey said Sarah Steyaert (FRA) passed her on the last leg to win and take the Silver Medal. "It was down to one boat for her, so she was sailing hard," said Railey. Evi van Acker (BEL), who had topped the scoreboard for several days this week, finished fourth today for eight points and the Bronze Medal, based on a tie-breaker in scoring that had her showing the same overall points as van Acker.
It was a triple-play for Great Britain in the 37-boat Finn class, with Giles Scott winning the Gold Medal; Ben Ainslie taking the Silver; and Andrew Mills the Bronze. Winning over half of his races in the leadup series, Scott said getting good starts gave him a half-boat length jump on the fleet to "enable me to tack off when I wanted." Nevertheless, he had gold to lose today if he had finished even one spot farther back than he did (fifth). That was because Ainslie won the race today, with Mills finishing sixth. Ainslie is a four-time (three-time Gold) Olympic medalist and three-time ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year.
"Today's medal race was pretty tricky," said Scott. "I was trying to go after Andrew and Ben just to kind of ruffle them a bit, and I managed to give Ben a penalty turn (before the start). Unfortunately that penalty turn forced him out to the right, which was favored, and he won the race, which kind of made things a bit difficult for me. But holding on to fifth was what I needed to do, and that's what I did, so I'm massively happy!"
In Men's 470, the battle between two British teams has been intense all week long, but today Nic Asher/Elliot Willis turned in the Gold Medal performance, pushing British teammates Luke Patience/Stuart Bithell (yesterday's leaders) to third overall for the Bronze. Australia's Mathew Belcher/Malcolm Page, 470 class world champions who are ranked #1 in the world, took the Silver slot between them.
By winning today's medal race in the 24-boat Women's 470 class, Argentina's 2008 Olympians Maria Fernanda Sesto/Consuelo Monsegur moved themselves past Camille Lecointre/Mathilde Geron (FRA) to snag the bronze, showing how critical the medal race can be in securing a podium finish. "We had it in mind to win, but if the French had come in second we would not have made the medal. We had to beat them and put one boat between us."
Skipper Fernanda Sesto added, "It was not an easy, this medal race; you need to be mentally fast, focusing not just on what is happening but what will happen."
Yesterdays' leaders Ingrid Petijean/ Nadege Douroux (FRA) took the gold on merit of a fourth-place finish today while Penny Clark/ Katrina Hughes (GBR), in second overall yesterday, maintained that position for the Silver Medal after turning in a second-place finish.
In the 57-boat Star class, Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA), who together won the Star Olympic Silver Medal in 2008, clinched their 10-race series and the Gold Medal here, winning today's race and leaving the battle for the Silver Medal to Sweden, Canada and France. When Sweden's Fredrik Loof/Max Salminen finished third today, they assured themselves the second spot on the podium, knocking Xavier Rohart/Pierre Alexis Ponsot (FRA) out of contention and leaving Richard Clark/Tyler Bjorn (CAN) to collect the Bronze.
Top-three positions from yesterday were maintained in the 29-boat 49er class when GBR's John Pink/ Rick Peacock finished third today to claim the Gold and lead, by a whopping 19 points, fellow teammates Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith (GBR) in the overall standings. Brotherton and Asquith won today's race, securing the Silver over yet another British team, Dave Evans/Edward Powys, who took home Bronze.
In the 30-strong RS:X Women's (windsurfing) fleet, Spain's Marina Alabau seemed untouchable here. With eight races in her lead-up series, she had six of those counting as victories. Today she finished 7th, which was good enough for Gold and a five-point spread over Silver Medalist Bryony Shaw (GBR) and another six over Bronze medalist Laura Linares (ITA). Alabau has won the last three Rolex Miami OCRs and says the competition this year has been the toughest. "It is closer to the Olympics and the level is higher. Everybody is more prepared."
In RS: X Men's, with 37 boards, Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) kept his early regatta lead to finish fifth today and take the Gold Medal. Only two points behind him was Nick Dempsey (GBR) for Silver. Julien Bontemps (FRA) surged past Nimrod Mashiah (ISR) on the scoreboard today to take the Bronze. He was second to Mashiah's sixth today and shared the same overall points, but the tiebreaker favored Mashiah.
Match Racing started early this morning, with Claire Leroy/ Elodie Bertrand/Marie Riou (FRA) meeting Anna Tunnicliffe/Molly Vandemoer/Debbie Capozzi (Plantation, Fla., USA/Redwood City, Calif./Bayport, N.Y., USA) in a first-to-three points "knockout" Finals match. Serious sailing went down as Leroy's team took the first two matches and Tunnicliffe came back to win the third. A fourth and final match went to Leroy, giving her the Gold and Tunicliffe the Silver.
"It is what it is," said Tunnicliffe, the three-time (consecutive and current) Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year and a member of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. "If you lose, you want to lose in a good race, and it was a really good race...very entertaining for the spectators, with lots of lead changes. Claire is one of the most experienced match racers on the circuit, and sometimes I beat her and sometimes she beats me; it was going to be who was on their game today."
Leroy is the 2008 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship and is ranked second to Tunnicliffe's fourth on the women's world match racing circuit. They both are ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year.
In the Petit Finals for Bronze (a first-to-two points knockout match), US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics member Sally Barkow/Alana O'Reilly/Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Nashotah, WI.,/Charleston SC, Miami Beach FL, USA) posted a win-loss score of 2-1 to win over Lucy Macgregor/Mary Rook/ Kate Macgregor (GBR).
Golden Torch Award
US SAILING's Golden Torch Trophy, awarded to the U.S. sailor with the best overall performance at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, this year went to Laser Radial Gold Medalist Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.). The torch, from the 1980 Moscow Olympics, was presented by the Russian Olympic Committee to Andrew Kostanecki – United States Olympic Sailing Committee from 1985 to 1988. Mr. Kostanecki gave the torch to US SAILING as an award for aspiring Olympians and Paralympians. Railey also received the award last year.
US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR 2012 started Monday and has returned to Biscayne Bay annually since 1990. The event is the second of seven stops on the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup circuit. The USA had the largest contingent of sailors with 198, followed by Canada (97), Great Britain (39), then Italy (36).
US SAILING has partnered with the city of Miami to provide world-class venues for competition. Additional hosts for the event include Coral Reef Yacht Club, Key Biscayne Yacht Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Miami Rowing Club and Shake-a-Leg Miami. These sailing organizations host classes onshore, as well as help run the on-the-water racing. The Coral Reef Yacht Club also hosts the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
In addition to title sponsor Rolex Watch U.S.A., US SAILING's 2011 Rolex Miami OCR is also sponsored by AlphaGraphics, Gowrie Group, Chubb Insurance, Sperry Top-Sider, Harken McLube, Trinity Yachts, University of Miami Hospital and Kattack.
A complete roster of competitors can be viewed at the event website, RMOCR.ussailing.org, where real-time racecourse blogging, commentary and fan interaction, regatta results, photos and news updates will be integrated into a live coverage platform once racing begins. Video highlights produced by Gary Jobson and presented by Rolex air daily and are available on-demand on the event website. Fans can also follow the event on Facebook/RolexMiamOCR and Twitter/ RolexMiamOCR.
For full results, go to http://rmocr.ussailing.org/2011/Results.htm
(top-three results follow)
US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR 2011
470 WOMEN (9 RACES)
1. Ingrid Petijean/ Nadege Douroux (FRA) 1-2-3-4-12-5-1--8- (36)
2. Penny Clark/ Katrina Hughes (GBR) 4-4-2-6-1-[25/BFD]-6-10-4 (37)
3. Maria Fernanda Sesto/ Consuelo Monsegur (ARG) 6-3-7-1--12-3-7-2-(41)
470 MEN (10 RACES)
1. Nic Asher/Elliot Willis (GBR) 1-3-5-2-6-10-10--2-6 (45)
2. Matthew Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS) 2-8-10-3-3--2-3-10-10 (51)
3. Luke Patience/Stuart Bithell (GBR) 3/RDG-2-2-5-1-8-1--9-20 (51)
LASER (11 RACES)
1. Rasmus Myrgren (SWE) 7-3-1-1-1-3-4-12--6 (38)
2. Julio Alsogaray (ARG) 5-1-3-5-2--1-5-11-8 (41)
3. Paul Goodison (GBR) 1-2-8-1-[53/DSQ]-1-2-1-15-12 (43)
LASER RADIAL (11 RACES)
1. Paige Railey (USA) 1-[59/BFD]-4-6-2-5-1-4-2-4-4 (33)
2. Sarah Steyaert (FRA) 10-6-6-4-1-3--7-14-3-2 (56)
3. Evi Van Acker (BEL) 2/RDG-2-1-1-7-16-3--15-1-8 (56)
FINN (10 RACES)
1. Giles Scott (GBR) 1-1-1-1-[38/OCS]-7-4-1-3-10 (29)
2. Ben Ainslie (GBR) 5-2-5-2-8-[38/RAF]-1-3-2-2 (30)
3. Andrew Mills (GBR) 7-6-2-3--4-2-2-1-6 (33)
Star (11 Races)
1. Robert Scheidt/Bruno Robert (BRA) 1-2-9-1-9-7--11-1-5-2 (48)
2. Fredrik Loof (SWE) 5-3-7-3-15-6--36-3-13-6-6 (97)
3. Richard Clarke (CAN)6-6-6-9-6-16-5-7-18--20 (99)
RS: X WOMEN 9 RACES
1. Marina Alabau (ESP) -1-1-1-1-1--6-14 (26)
2. Bryony Shaw (GBR) -2-2-2-2-6-4-5-8 (31)
3. Laura Linares (ITA) 5-5-6--5-5-2-7-2 (37)
RS: X MEN (9 RACES)
1. Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) 1-4-1-1-2-4--10 (24)
2. Nick Dempsey (GBR) 2-2-4-4-3-1-2--8 (26)
3. Julien Bontemps (FRA) 5--6-6-8-2-1-4-4 (36)
49ER (15 RACES)
1. John Pink/ Rick Peacock (GBR) 4-1-5-1-1-1-4--1-1-2-1-4-4-3-6 (39)
2. Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith (GBR) 1-3-2-5-2-10-2-10-5-3-5-3-2-3-[30/DNS]-2 (58)
3. Dave Evans/Edward Powys (GBR) 2-6-1-3-3-2-5-1-2-2-6-10-[30/OCS]-11-10-10 (74)
Elliott 6m (Women's Match Racing)
1. Claire Leroy/Elodie Bertrand/Marie Riou (FRA)
2. Anna Tunnicliffe/Molly Vandemoer/Debbie Capozzi (Plantation, Fla., USA/Redwood City, Calif., USA/(Bayport, N.Y., USA)
3. Sally Barkow/ Alana O'Reilly/Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Nashotah, WI./Charleston SC/Miami Beach FL, USA)
SKUD-18 (6 RACES)
1. Daniel Fitzgibbon/ Liesl Tesch (AUS) 1-1-4-1-[8/OCS]-1-1-1-2 (12)
2. Scott Whitman/ Julia Dorsett (USA) [8/DNF]-2-2-3-3-2-3-2-1 (18)
3. Alexandra Rickham/Niki Birrell (GBR) 2-4-3--1-4-2-3-3 (22)
2.4Mr (6 RACES)
1. Damien Seguin (FRA) 2--1-1-5-4-1-2-2 (18)
2. Thierry Schmitter (NED) 1-1-4-4--6-4-1-1 (22)
3. Allan Leibel (CAN) 3-2-2-2--5-6-4-5 (29)
SONAR ( 7 RACES)
1. John Roberston/ Hannah Stodel/ Steve Thomas (GBR) 3-2-1-7-2-5-[13/DSQ]-5-2-3 (30)
2. Bruno Jourdren/Eric Flageul/Nicolas Vimont Vicary (FRA) 8-7-2--3-4-2-1-7-2 (36)
3. Udo Hessels/ Mischa Rossen/Marcel van de Veen (NED) 2-1-4--6-3-5-2-1-13 (37)
The strong Dun Laoghaire girl relished the prospects of the big winds that blew at times on Biscayne Bay this week. Consistent results of 5, 15, 2, 2, 5, 6 11,9, (21) and 5 never saw her out of the top five.
Tuesday saw her bag two second places in a fleet of 58. It was a turning point in a regatta that she crashed out of last year only to return wth grit to be Ireland's only medal hope today.
Last night's move up to fourth overall on the scoreboard is another confidence boost, heightening the prospect of a place on this evening's podium. Conditions in Miami today are forcast to be light, probably not the conditions the National Yacht club girl would have hoped for.
In the Star Peter O'Leary and his crew for his London 2012 bid David Burrows finished with a strong fifth place yesterday but it was not enough to make today's final. They finished 13th overall after counting a black flag disqualification on day two of the event. See all results HERE.
Rival to Annalise, Tiffany Brien from Belfast Lough finished 21st overall.
Her club mate Jame Espey was 49th out of 52 after 7 races in the Laser gold fleet.
More from Miami organisers below:
Waking to a brisk northwesterly breeze, sailors at US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR yesterday made up for races lost to light air Wednesday. The conditions, though chilly by Florida standards, played out perfectly for medals to be determined in three Paralympic classes, while 10 Olympic classes fought their final battles for the right to compete in tomorrow’s medal races, which are comprised of top-ten “sail-offs” for Finn, 49er, Men’s 470, Women’s 470, Laser, Laser Radial, Men’s RS:X, Women’s RS:X and Star classes, and Finals and Petit Finals for Elliott 6m (women’s match racing). The regatta, which began Monday for 716 sailors from 53 nations, prepares Olympic and Paralympic sailing aspirants for the 2012 Games and is the second of seven stops on the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup circuit.
For France’s Damien Seguin, a two-time 2.4mR IFDS World Champion who is currently ranked #1 in the world, winning gold in the Paralympic 2.4mR class was looking good from day two when he assumed the lead over his 30-boat fleet. Clinching today, however, was not as straightforward as today’s scores seemed to reflect. Following seven boat lengths behind leader USA’s John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.) at the finish in race one, Seguin was determined the actual winner when Ruf was disqualified for starting the race prematurely and neglecting to exonerate himself. “After that, for my next two races, my score was such that I needed only to loosely cover Thierry Schmitter (NED),” said Seguin, further explaining that only if he finished worse than sixth would he foil his own plot. Schmitter, another IFDS World Champion, took the Silver Medal, finishing fourth in the first race and winning the next two, each time with Seguin behind in second.
“There were many different winds here,” said Damien about the practice this provides for his run for a spot on the French national team. “We started in strong wind, then there was light wind and today medium-strong. I am very happy for that and for the competition.”
Taking bronze was Canada’s Allan Leibel, who is able-bodied and allowed to compete here, since the class is declared “open” for this event.
The Gold Medal taking in the Paralympic Sonar class by GBR’s John Robertson/Hannah Stodel/Steve Thomas came with an intriguing twist today. With two races completed, the Dutch team of Udo Hessels/Mischa Rossen/Marcel van de Veen were in the lead, and surprisingly, they did not sail the third and final race.
“There were two points between us and the Dutch, so no one will ever know how it would have played out on the water,” said Robertson, explaining that he understands Hessel’s middle crew Rossen, a single-arm amputee, had been having problems with his opposite shoulder and the team had decided beforehand to race no more than two races today.
Robertson’s team, which took the Silver here last year, posted a final score of 30 to the 36 points posted by silver medalists Bruon Jourdren/Eric Flageul/Nicolas Vimont Vicary (FRA). The Dutch team, with 37 points, is going home with the Bronze.
As for his team’s overall strategy here, Robertson said, “We tried to sail our own race and not get hung up with the other guys. Hanna did a fantastic job calling tactics, especially today, as the wind was up and down and all over the place, with 40-50 degree shifts.”
The Australian Paralympic SKUD 18 team of Daniel Fitzgibbon/Liesl Tesch has led their fleet since day one and boasted six victories in their nine-race score line to take the Gold medal. Today they finished 1-1-2.
“We didn’t walk away with it, really, but we were comfortably ahead,” said Fitzgibbon, who won a Paralympic Silver Medal (with a different crew) in Qingdao. "We didn’t expect to have done so well with such a new combination,” he added, noting that he and Tesch, who gave up Paralympic basketball (she is a two-time medalist) for her new-found love of sailing, have only been together on the SKUD 18 for a few weeks. “It’s a new challenge for her and a breath of fresh air for everybody.”
Taking Silver was US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics’ Scott Whitman/Julia Dorsett (USA), with Alexandra Rickham/Niki Birrell (GBR) taking the Bronze.
Medal Races Tomorrow
Top-ten finishers from today in each of nine Olympic classes will get only one chance--a 30- to 40-minute race—to make or break their claim to a podium position. Emulating the Olympic format, the medal race counts double points and cannot be counted as the one allowed discard race when it is added to a sailor’s score line from the rest of the series.
In women’s match racing, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members Anna Tunnicliffe(/Molly Vandemoer/Debbie Capozzi (Plantation, Fla., USA/Redwood City, Calif./Bayport, N.Y., USA) will meet Claire Leroy/ Elodie Bertrand/Marie Riou (FRA) in a first-to-three points Finals match tomorrow to determine Gold and Silver medalists. Lucy Macgregor/Mary Rook/ Kate Macgregor (GBR) and Sally Barkow (Nashotah, WI., USA)/ Alana O’Reilly (Charleston SC, USA)/ Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Miami Beach FL, USA) will be fighting for bronze in the Petit Finals.
Match racing starts on its own course at 9:30 tomorrow, with fleet racing starting at 11:00 am on two additional courses. Fleet races are planned to be approximately 30 minutes in length and started 40 minutes apart. No racing will start after 1:40 p.m., so it will be an early day.
US SAILING has partnered with the city of Miami to provide world-class venues for competition. Additional hosts for the event include Coral Reef Yacht Club, Key Biscayne Yacht Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Miami Rowing Club and Shake-a-Leg Miami. These sailing organizations host classes onshore, as well as help run the on-the-water racing. The Coral Reef Yacht Club also hosts the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
In addition to title sponsor Rolex Watch U.S.A., US SAILING’s 2011 Rolex Miami OCR is also sponsored by AlphaGraphics, Gowrie Group, Chubb Insurance, Sperry Top-Sider, Harken McLube, Trinity Yachts, University of Miami Hospital and Kattack.
A complete roster of competitors can be viewed at the event website, RMOCR.ussailing.org, where real-time racecourse blogging, commentary and fan interaction, regatta results, photos and news updates will be integrated into a live coverage platform once racing begins. Video highlights produced by Gary Jobson and presented by Rolex air daily and are available on-demand on the event website. Fans can also follow the event on Facebook/RolexMiamiOCR and Twitter/RolexMiamiOCR.
More in our Olympics 2012 category HERE
The Irish Times reports that Ireland's sailing team have encamped to Fremantle in western Australia for some invaluable training ahead of the ISAF World Championships in Perth next year.
Though the Irish contingent is a much smaller one than that at Weymouth in August - the scheduled venue for sailing at the 2012 Olympics - and reports of shark sightings and attacks in the area are apparently on the rise, those who did make the trip were determined not to waste the opportunity.
“Between the breeze and the nice temperature our training is much more effective than back at home,” said 49er skiff crewer Matt McGovern.
He joins fellow 49er Ryan Seaton and Laser Radial sailor Annalise Murphy at the Perth International Regatta this week. Single-hander Ross Hamilton is also competing but outside the auspices of the Irish Sailing Association’s Olympic group.
The National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy (Laser Radial) travelled to Australia last weekend for the Perth International Regatta http://www.perth2011.com/ which starts on the 16th of this month. The aim is to gain valuable experience at the venue which will host the December 2011 ISAF World Championships and which will be a vital qualifying event for the the 2012 London Olympic games.
Also heading for Perth is the Royal St. George's Ben Lynch in the high speed 49er dinghy.
After Perth, Annalise travels to Melbourne for the season's first ISAF World Cup event which will be run from Sandringham Yacht Club from 12-19th December. Annalise is currently ranked 20th Womens Laser Radial sailor and 1st under 21 in the World and is campaigning full time to represent Ireland in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Top youth Laser Radial Sailor Ross Vaughan from the Royal North of Ireland YC has gone down as a training partner for Annalise together with her coach Rory Fitzpatrick.
Also taking part in the Perth Regatta are Irish 49er team of Ryan Seaton and Matt Mc Govern (Ballyholme YC) and Ross Hamilton from the RIYC, Dun Laoghaire.
The Council are going to be asked to confirm six core events and these it is understood will most likely will be Men and Women Boards, Laser and Laser Radial and Men and Women Skiff.
Once these are selected the other four events will be considered and the Olympic Commission has suggested that 4 of the following 6 be picked:
Men's Heavyweight (Finn)
Women's other weight division in singlehanded
With the commission recommending equal gender balance, the Finn is unlikely to stay on its own and would need another women's singlehander to be selected.
The multihull is almost certain to get in, and there probably will be strong support for men and women's keelboat leaving it to be fought out between the Finn, the 470(mixed) and a Women's single handed dinghy.
Many believe the second decision will be deferred until May, but as one ISAF insider told Afloat.ie "I would be selling my Finn now if I had one".
Meanwhile the Finn class association don't see it that way at all. Under the threat of possible deselection the heavyweight men have been mobilising for a fight. Below are details of its recent campaign to stay an Olympic boat. Scroll down for nice Video too.
International Finn Association Press Release
The Finn - an outstanding display of sailing skills and athleticism
The Olympic Commission set up by ISAF delivered its preliminary report at the ISAF Conference in May 2010. Based largely on the Olympic Commission report, the ISAF Executive has since published two submissions which outline an exciting new future for the selection and decision making process for Olympic sailing events and equipment. The Finn is positioning itself to be part of that future.
Among the submissions are proposals for two sets of single-handed dinghies for both male and female sailors, to represent the weight and size distribution of modern youth of both genders in the most popular and low-cost type of dinghy sailing. The Finn class supports this idea.
Here are some of the arguments why Finn sailors think the Finn should remain part of the Olympic sailing equipment.
The Finn is widely regarded as one of the toughest physical challenges in sailing. Sailors have to be tough, strong, fit, agile and athletic, while managing the mental aspects of racing at the highest level. The current world champion has a VOR max comparable with marathon runners and cross country skiers. Winning takes dedication, commitment and performing at the limits of fitness and endurance.
Appealing racing visuals
Modern looking rigs and hulls. Beautiful boat to sail with athletic, fit, muscular sailors. Requires extreme physical effort to sail well. Golden sail insignia for former world champions from 2011. Continuing research into sailor identification and country flags on sails. The free pumping rule has transformed downwind sailing into an absorbing display of skill, strength and athleticism.
Finns can be bought 'off-the-shelf' and be winning the next day. Hulls, masts and sails have all evolved into a level plateau of standardisation that means boats can compete on a level playing field. The strict class rules limits any experimentation into 'super' boats. Boats that are sold year after year are identical within reasonable limits and do not change perceivably over time.
The Finn has one of the lowest running costs of any Olympic equipment. Average campaign costs from 35 sailors was just EUR 7,500 a year. One boat can last at least two Olympic cycles. Gear standardisation has meant reduced development costs. Gear is fast and ready to sail 'out of the box'. Increasing IHC and building control is reducing regatta measurement requirements, while 99% of checks at regattas pass first time.
Today's Finns are the most consistent, accurate and reliable Finns ever built. A modern Finn can be expected to be competitive for 6-8 years. The Finn is one of the most consistent hulls made today, thanks to very professional builders and strict measurement rules. Modern materials and new technologies means that boats supplied all over the world are as alike as possible in almost every way.
A proposal was passed at the 2010 AGM to lower the free pumping limit to 10 knots. This was aimed to make Rule 42 enforcement easier for judges and sailors. Under 10 knots there are much less opportunities for pumping and surfing. Identifying illegal activity is much easier, so less emphasis on judging decisions. Sailors are educated in Rule 42 – frequent clinics with the active involvement of judges and website coverage.
Local builders are producing low cost Finns for regional competition. Having been on the Olympic Programme since 1952, the Finn has the deepest culture and traditions of any dinghy class. Semi-professional class organisation oversees all activities. All levels of competition from Juniors (U21) to Masters (40+) and everything in between. Many countries are developing Junior programmes to fast track talented sailors.
Finns are now built in the UK, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Brazil, USA and South Africa, and there are other countries to come. Elsewhere, suppliers and dealers feed local fleets with new and used equipment. There are National Finn associations in more than 50 countries, while between 35 and 40 countries have internationally active sailors. Sailors from six continents attend major regattas. It is truly a global fleet.
The Finn is the pinnacle of singlehanded dinghy sailing for men, and the Olympics is the pinnacle event for the Finn. It provides a single step pathway from Optimist to Laser to Finn as the sailor's weight increases, but also allows the development of similar technical and physical skills in the sailor through a natural progression of similar equipment.
What the sailors say:
Jonas Høgh Christensen (DEN), 2006, 2009 World Champion, "The Finn is the most fun, challenging boat for strong, athletic sailors."
Giorgio Poggi (ITA), 2008 Finn Olympian, "The Finn is the class where the sailor must be complete."
Zach Railey (USA), Silver medalist, 2008 Olympics: "For single handed sailing the Finn is my only option given my weight and height to pursue my Olympic sailing dreams. With the technical and physical demands of the boat, the Finn is a pure test of a sailor's ability to react to the changing conditions on the race course under intense physical exertion."
Rob McMillan (AUS), "There is no other boat like it. The advent of free pumping brings a level of athleticism that is unique to the Finn."
Daniel Birgmark (SWE), 4th 2008 Olympics, "Sailing the Finn puts very high demands on the sailors athletic capacity as well as tactical and strategic skills. It's the perfect singlehander for sailors over 85kg."
Tomas Vika (CZE), one of many Finn sailors in their early 20s, "If you are more than 180cm tall and you want to work on your physical condition in a gym you will always weigh more than 85kg and that is the reason why Finn has to stay as an Olympic dinghy in future years."
Gus Miller (USA), Finn legend: "It's a very powerful demanding boat and you need a lot of initiative and attitude that you're going to do it yourself. Everyone realises the challenges is yourself not the other guys. The challenge is the boat and that understanding is the old idea "I love my competitor because he makes me better". The guys here have enormous respect because the challenge of sailing the boat is so great. If one guy figures it out then the others guys are glad for him that he's been able to do it."
Caleb Paine (USA), first Junior, 2010 Finn Gold Cup: "The Finn is the best class I have sailed in. There isn't I class I know of that has such a great sense of camaraderie. After my first international regatta I knew all the best Finn sailors in the world on a first name basis because they were open, friendly and supportive of the new kid. I think that this coherence of the class stems from the fact that the sailors often train together. This builds friendships as well as making everyone better."
Tapio Nirkko (FIN), 2008 Finn Olympian: "The Finn is already well developed in many areas. We're now in a situation when all the Finn equipment (hull, mast, boom, rudders, centreboards) are good quality and last a long time. When the market is competitive, the price of the equipment is also fair and resale value is good. That's an important factor to make a competitive Olympic project from a small country with a small budget. Now the actions made in the class to make equipment issues more transparent is important to keep Finn as a class where it's possible to make it to the top without having a monster budget."
Ed Wright (GBR), 2010 World Champion, on what makes the Finn class special for him: "For a start it's visually pleasant. The cost is low. I still use my first mast and it's still fast after five years. .... You can gain little advantages everywhere, but you have to treat the Finn with finesse, respect and grunt to keep it up to speed. The people in the class are great people and all hard competitors. Also there is so much history in the class, and never forget the many legends coming from the Finn."
Read more from these interviews and more about the Finn in the latest issue of FINNFARE out now
Twenty-year old sailor Tiffany Brien from Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club presented an £18,000 Paralympic sailing boat to local disabled charity Belfast Lough Sailability in Belfast Harbour today – the culmination of two years of fundraising by the 2012 Olympic hopeful.
The boat was officially launched today at Abercorn Basin, Titanic Quarter Belfast and was formally named 'Will Power' by Tiffany and Len O'Hagan, Chairman of Belfast Harbour. The significance of the name relates to a very close friend of Tiffany's, Will Doggart, who was paralysed last year following an accident. Will attended the launch today and has sailed in the new boat alongside Tiffany.
The 'Skud 18' sailing boat took two years to build in Australia and is the most high tech paralympic boat available. 'Will Power' is the first of its kind to arrive in Ireland and has already been committed to the goal of qualifying for the Irish Paralympic sailing team for the 2012 Paralympic Games - with local athlete Steve Frecknell hoping to compete for a medal. The boat will be the responsibility of Carrick based sailing charity Belfast Lough Sailability who will also use the boat to help disabled sailors to sail competitively in Northern Ireland.
Tiffany Brien began her fundraising campaign two years ago when she sailed 30 miles single-handedly across the Irish Sea from Portpatrick in Scotland to Belfast Lough raising a total of £18,400. Before launching the boat today she commented: "I am so excited to be sailing the new boat in Belfast Harbour today. It feels like I have been waiting for a long time for it to arrive. It is even more exciting that the Irish Paralympic sailing team has committed to using the new boat in their campaign for the 2012 Paralympic Games - fingers crossed it helps to bring a medal back."
Tiffany will also be hoping to bring an Olympic medal back to Northern Ireland as she is currently competing to represent Ireland in the Laser Radial Class at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Nigel Thompson, Chairman of Belfast Lough Sailability comments: "Everyone at Sailability is totally overcome with the sheer determination and generosity Tiffany has shown in her fundraising campaign. The arrival of the boat today is the culmination of the dedication and resolve demonstrated by this young lady when she sailed singled handedly across the Irish Sea. Not only will our Paralympic hopefuls benefit from this but many other disabled sailors in Northern Ireland will get to enjoy this exceptional boat - including Tiffany's friend Will, who hopes to become an active member of Sailability and a keen sailor. We would like to thank Tiffany sincerely and wish her the best of luck in her own Olympic campaign."
Belfast Lough Sailability is a "not for profit", volunteer-based charity which, through the activity of sailing, enriches the lives of people with any type of disability, the elderly, the financially and socially disadvantaged.
Belfast Harbour has been the principal sponsor of Tiffany's Sailability campaign. BTWCairns, Airtricity, Stena Line, Belfast Telegraph and Ulster Bank and Brook House Art & Design are associate sponsors.
In the Standard Rig, Ronan Wallace (Wexford B & TC) took the title from Robert Espey (Ballyholme YC) and Stpehen Mc Lernon (Cushedall SC).
Annalise Murphy (National YC) won the Radial Championships from Philip Doran (Courtown SC) and Tiffany Brien (Ballyholme YC).
Annalise won 4 of the 8 races sailed including all three in the 16-20 knot breeze on Saturday. The National YC sailor becomes the first female sailor to take the Laser Radial Irish National title.
The 4.7 rig was won by John Flynn (Dungarvan SC) from Colm O Regan (Kinsale YC) and Stephen Duke (Courtown SC). The first girl in the 4.7 was Georgina Corbett (LDYC/NYC).
Ireland races in two medal races tomorrow at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta following strong performances by its Olympic squad across dinghy and keelboat classes. Annalise Murphy is ninth and on her way to a convincing overall performance but by far and away the stand out story in Weymouth this week has come from Royal Cork's Peter O'Leary whose speed in the Star class has beaten the very best in the world bar none. He lies at the top of the leaderboard tonight seven points clear, an achievement made all the more remarkable because he sailed with a standby crew, German sailor Fritjof Kleen, without any pre event practice.
Today we saw the gold fleets split off. The majority of the sailors were dispatched to silver and bronze fleets – with no more chance at the podium. But if that was a deep cut, then the next will hurt even more, as many top seeds have just one more day to rescue themselves. Tomorrow night the top ten will be decided for Saturday's medal races, and if you have to be in it to win it.
The leaderboard tonight at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta showing Ireland in the hunt for two medals
The 470 Women have been brutally competitive all week, as we highlighted yesterday. No less so today, where the Dutch World Champions and overnight leaders Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout dropped to third - the Spanish team of Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos are now taking the top spot. The situation is even worse for the Danish team that was third overall in the ISAF Sailing World Cup going into this regatta - Henriette Koch and Lene Sommer are currently lying 12th - over the edge for the medal race if they can't pick up a couple of places tomorrow.
There's another big name in trouble in the 470 Women and that's double Yngling gold medallist Sarah Ayton and her crew Saskia Clark, now in 18th and 31 points adrift of the medal race. But e can't leave the 470s without some good news, and a mention for an outstanding performance today from Americans Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving, who scored two bullets. The 470 Men were a little more predictable, with World Champions Matt Belcher and Malcom Page ascending to the top of the leaderboard, and none of the top seeds looking like missing the cut.
In the Stars, there were some very familiar names around the medal race cut - Szabo and Strube in 10th, Mendelblatt and von Schwarz in 11th (they were looking for a podium in the ISAF SWC going into this regatta), Marazzi and de Maria in 12th (second placed at the 2010 Worlds), Negri and Voltolini in 13th, Rohart and Ponsot in 14th, Campbell and Funk in 16th, Horton and Lynne (also looking for a podium in the ISAF SWC) - and on it goes, but I guess that's the Star fleet for you... O'Leary and Frithjof Kleen still control the fleet with a seven point lead. O'Leary's rivals Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks who were 25th overall did not compete in either race today.
I guess the most worried man in the Finn fleet right now would be Rafael Trujillo. The Spanish silver medalist (Athens, 2004) was on form at the Europeans with a fourth, but is currently lying in 14th and staring the cut for the medal race in the face. The outstanding performer in that fleet today was the Brit... no, not Ben Ainslie, but Giles Scott. Scott scored a second and a third to go to the top of the scoreboard, pushing aside the long-time leader, Frenchman Jonathan Lobert.
In the 49er the Brits, John Pink and Rick Peacock, were second at the Worlds in 2009, but are struggling just below the cut in 11th - a good day tomorrow should get them through. Also in trouble are the top guys in the ISAF Sailing Cup, so we could see that settled early. Leading the SWC into this regatta was Nico Luca Marc Delle Karth and Nikolaus Leopold Resch, who look safe in eighth place tonight. But chasing them was Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang who may not make it into the medal race, currently 12th. That would play into the hands of SWC third placed Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis – the Frenchmen are still leading Skandia Sail for Gold.
In the RS:X MEN, the Beijing gold medallist and 2008 World Champion, New Zealander, Tom Ashley is close to the drop, in ninth place after an eighth and an eleventh today. Otherwise it was service as usual, with the top seeds in good shape. Britain's Athens Bronze medallist, Nick Dempsey still leads overall by four points. Things are all also going according to plan in the RS:X Women, where none of the seeds are in danger. The Spanish sailor and last year's Skandia Sail for Gold Champion, Blanca Manchon, retains her lead.
In the Laser Radials it's Tatiana Drozdovskaya from Belarus who's in trouble - fifth at the worlds and currently lying 15th. The top American sailor, Page Railey is also in a bit of trouble in eighth, but she helped her cause no end with a second this afternoon. Another Radial sailor that got themselves out of danger was today's outstanding performer, Sari Multala – the 2010 World Champion and last years Skandia Sail for Gold winner sailed beautifully to get a fourth and a first and move up to fifth.
The Laser Men were last on the water, and full results were not published when we went to press (as they used to say in the good old days). But names to watch that are near the drop zone for the medal race cut are the UK's Nick Thompson, second in the ISAF Sailing World Cup going into this regatta. And from Chile, Matias Del Solar, France's Jean Baptiste Bernaz, Spain's Javier Hernandez and Austria's Andreas Gertizer were all struggling. Australia's Tom Slingsby, winner here last year, was leading overall – by a long way.
There are four fleets that are unconcerned by the threat of the cut for the medal race, and one of them is the Women's Match Racing, now at the quarter final stage. It got exciting very quickly when the round robin produced a QF between the ISAF Sailing World Cup's overall leader, Great Britain's Lucy and Katie MacGregor and Annie Lush, and the US team just one point behind them – Anna Tunicliffe, Molly Vandemer and Debbie Capozzi. Victory for either would put the other out of the running for the ISAF SWC title. And it was the Americans that held the advantage at the end of play – 2 – 0 up, and with Macgregor receiving a -0.75 penalty for damage done in a collision.
We talked to Lucy Macgregor afterwards, "I'm pretty gutted really [that the two Quarter Final matches out there didn't go to plan]... The next match is really crucial; it's the first to three points so we will be having a good night's rest, coming back fighting in the morning and putting everything into it. They didn't let us get away with anything out there - positionally they were good, but we felt pretty strong against them around the course, so really gutted to come away with a 2- 0 defeat."
And Anna Tunnicliffe had this to say afterwards, "Lucy's a great competitor and we still have plenty of racing ahead of us. We put ourselves in a good position [for a Semifinal spot] and tomorrow's a new day, so hopefully we will continue. It was very tricky sailing out there, very shifty, very puffy, the boat behind downwind had very powerful control of the race and Lucy always ran behind us and made it really hard on us."
Three other classes finish their regatta tomorrow without the complication of a medal race. So we really are at the business end of the regatta for the Skud-18s, where the Australian pair of Daniel Fitzgibbon and Rachael Cox have been battling with GBR's Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrel. The pair had traded first and second places until the final race of today, when Rickham and Birrel had a rudder problem and were forced to retire. It's given the Aussies a four point advantage going into the final day.
In the Sonar class, the Dutch high-fliers, Udo Hessels and Mischa Rossen once again had their wings clipped by the British team of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stevie Thomas. The Brits had a great day with two thirds and a win, and are now just one point off the lead. Hannah Stodel said afterwards, "Today has not been too bad we had a second and a first, which has made the points very interesting, as we were four behind the Dutch but it looks like they had an average day. I am not sure if we are first, but it will be tight, the conditions were shifty and pretty exciting today, luckily it's our favourite condition... random!"
In the 2.4mR, France's Damien Seguin and the Netherlands Thierry Schmitter continued their week long battle. Schmitter had got the advantage going into the final race, but then slipped to fifth, allowing Seguin to take back the overnight lead – this one looks like it will be settled in the final beat of the final race.
Results Day 4 – Top Five
(results conditional on protests)
470 Woman Results (After eight races)
1st Pacheco and Betanzos ESP 43 points
2nd Kondo and Tabata JPN 45 points
3rd Westerhof and Berkhout NED 49 points
4th Petitjean and Douroux FRA 53 points
5th Rol and Defrance FRA 57 points
470 Men Results (After eight races)
1st Belcher and Page AUS 20 points
2nd Leboucher and Garos FRA 21 points
3rd Patience and Bithell GBR 31 points
4th Asher and Willis GBR 33 points
5th Fantela and Marenic CRO 38 points
49er Results (After ten races)
1st Dyen and Christidis FRA 28 points
2nd Outteridge and Jensen AUS 30 points
3rd Morrison and Rhodes GBR 36 points
4th Sibello and Sibello ITA 47 points
5th Draper and Greenhalgh GBR 52 points
Finn Results (After eight races)
1st Scott GBR 31 points
2nd Lobert FRA 32 points
3rd Wright GBR 40.3 points
4th Kljakovic Gaspic CRO 44 points
5th Ainslie GBR 45.4 points
Laser Results – (After eight races)
1st Slingsby AUS 11 points
2nd Leigh CAN 42 points
3rd Goodison GBR 50 points
4th Murdoch NZL 55 points
5th Tom Burton AUS 59 points
Laser Radial Results (After seven races)
1st Steyaert FRA 24 points
2nd De Turckheim FRA 26 points
3rd Bouwmeester NED 27 points
4th Winther NZL 29 points
5th Multala FIN 34 points
RS:X Men Results (After eight races )
1st Dempsey GBR 18 points
2nd Bontemps FRA 22 points
3rd Van Rijsselberge NED 26 points
4th Tobin NZL 27 points
5th Rodrigues POR 27 points
RS:X Women Results (After eight races)
1st Manchon ESP 26 points
2nd Picon FRA 35 points
3rd Tartaglini ITA 40 points
4th Shaw GBR 41 points
4th Linares ITA 46 points
Star results – (After eight races)
1st O'Leary and Kleen IRL 28 points
2nd Loof and Tillander SWE 38 points
3rd Kusznierewicz & Zycki POL 42 points
4th Percy and Simpson GBR 45 points
5th Florent and Rambeau FRA 46 points
Women's Match Racing
Quarter Final 1
Souter, Curtis and Price AUS and Kjelleberg, Kallstrom and Harryson SWE tied 1-1
Quarter- final 2:
Leroy, Riou and Bertrand FRA and Spithill, Eastwell and Farrell AUS tied 1-1
Quarter -final 3:
Renee Groeneveld, Annemieke Bes, Brechtje van der Werf and Sally Barkow, Alana O'Reilly, Genny Tulloch tied 1-1
Quarter -final 4:
Tunicliffe, Vandemer and Capozzi USA leads Macgregor, Lush and Macgregor GBR 2- -0.75 (0.75 points deducted from Macgregor for damage)
2.4mR Results – (After eight races)
1st Damien FRA 11 points
2nd Schmitter NED 11 points
3rd Kol NED 22 points
4th Tingley CAN 32 points
5th Pascoe GBR 42 points
Skud-18 Results – (After eight races)
1st Fitzgibbon and Cox AUS 8 points
2nd Rickham and Birrell GBR 12 points
3rd McRoberts and Hopkin CAN 20 points
4th Hovden and Millward GBR 27 points
5th Hall and Faulks GBR 33 points
Sonar Results – (After eight races)
1st Hessels and Rossen NED 14 points
2nd Robertson and Stodel GBR 15 points
3rd Kroker and Prem GER 21 points
4th Cohen and Vexler ISR 26 points
5th Doerr and Freund USA 31 points
Peter O'Leary and newly adopted German crew Frithjof Kleen were winners in the single Star keelboat race today but only after an international jury granted redress to the Cork helmsman who crossed the line second at the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth this afternoon. A second win for Ireland was secured in the big breeze by Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial class who also scored second in this morning's race, rounding off a successful day for the 11 strong Irish crew off the Portland Bill. Below is a podcast update from Team Manager James O'Callaghan as the crews came off the water this evening.
(Above) Ed Butler and Ben Lynch (IRL) in action in the 49er class on day 2 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta and (below) Saskia Tidey in the Laser Radial . Photo OnEdition