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Displaying items by tag: Tokyo 2020

Two Irish Tokyo rivals both now in the hunt for one of the final European Olympic berths have resumed their battle after COVID at a scaled-down Kiel Week Regatta 2020, in northern Germany this week.

With two races left to sail its Howth and Skerries duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove that lead Irish hopes in 15th in the 52-boat fleet with two final races left to sail today. The pair, who also recorded the top Irish result at the 2020 World Championships in Australia in February, are in the top 30% of the fleet and as such it makes a welcome return to the race track, except for a UFD penalty in yesterday's final race of the day.

The Belfast and Cork combination of double Olympian Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle will have probably been looking for more out of the week on the Baltic than their current 32nd position in the international fleet.

Both the 49er teams will head to Austria for the 49er European Championships, from 28 Sept – 4 October on Lake Attersee, a notoriously tricky venue.

As Afloat reported previously Irish campaigns chasing last places in the 49er, Laser and Finn classes were in turmoil in Spring when COVID-19 hit key final European qualifications in Italy and Spain, ultimately postponing the Games itself.

Ireland is competing with Belgium, Sweden and Italy for the one remaining European place. Form at the 2020 Worlds suggests that Irish sailors would be favourites for the place having finished ahead of the other three candidates but the final selection system has yet to be confirmed.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Annalise Murphy, Ireland's only qualified sailor for Tokyo 2021, is entered for this week's Kiel Week. The massive German Regatta marks her return to international competition since the outbreak of COVID.

Regular Afloat readers will know that the Olympic programme was thrown into disarray in March when important European Olympic qualifiers were cancelled during the Pandemic.

Now, with the resumption of competition, it is more than clear there is pent up demand with both the quantity and quality of fleets signed up to race on the Baltic Sea.

This is more than evident in Murphy's red hot Laser Radial fleet gathering in Kiel.

The complete top ten of the World Championships 2020 (where Murphy finished 12th) in the Olympic one-handed class for women is on the starting line. Also the three medal winners from Rio Olympics.

Foremost the Olympic champion of 2016 and reigning world champion Marit Bouwmeester from the Netherlands. As at the World Championships in Australia earlier this year, Bouwmeester will meet her compatriot and World Championship runner-up Maxime Jonker, the Norwegian Line Flem Höst, and Anne-Marie Rindom from Denmark. The Dane won the Kieler Woche in 2018 and won the bronze medal ahead of Brazil at the Olympic Games.

Also, last year's winner of Kieler Woche and Olympic and World Championship 6th, Josefin Olsson from Sweden, is certainly among the candidates for the Kieler Woche victory.

As well as Ireland's 2016 silver medalist, the Olympic fifth-placed from Finland Tuula Tenkanen completes the field of favourites.

After Kiel, Murphy will travel to Gdansk, Poland for more training and preparation before the European Championships starting on 6 October.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Annalise Murphy's bid for Tokyo Gold got a boost today with the Olympic Federation of Ireland announcement of details of its 2020 discretionary funding packages and sailing rewarded with the biggest handout.

The Olympic silver medalist from Rio is the only Irish sailor so far qualified for the postponed Games with men's Irish Laser and 49er skiff campaigns both looking for the last of the Olympic berths.

Murphy was nominated for the Radial class after a trial was cut short by the Irish Sailing Association in June.

The €80,000 announced today provides support for eight Olympic focused and development projects. Many sports had already exceeded the two-award cap placed on this Olympic cycle, making the number of applicants for this latest tranche of funding smaller than previous rounds.

Two winter-sports were awarded grants, reflecting the growing proximity of Beijing 2022.

The funding is entirely generated thanks to the support of commercial partners, primary sponsor, FBD, and OFI partners, Indeed and Circle K. The funding is designed to leverage and enhance Sport Ireland funding, helping National Federations to deliver new performance-related initiatives to support their athletes.

The OFI’s discretionary funding stream is separate to Olympic Solidarity grants to member federations and the 12 Tokyo and 7 Beijing athlete scholarship awards.

Today’s awards were made following the decision of the discretionary funding committee, chaired by OFI CEO, Peter Sherrard and composed of Tokyo Chef de Mission, Tricia Heberle, Sport Ireland High-Performance Director, Paul McDermott, and Independent consultant, Brian MacNeice of Kotinos Partners.

  • Bobsleigh and Skeleton €10,000
  • Canoeing Ireland €10,000
  • Ice Hockey €10,000
  • Boxing €10,000
  • Gymnastics €10,000
  • Modern Pentathlon €10,000
  • Volleyball € 8,000
  • Sailing €12,000

Peter Sherrard, CEO of the Olympic Federation of Ireland welcomed today’s allocation,

“Since June 2018, we have made 46 sperate grant awards to our member federations under the OFI discretionary funding programme, which is made possible thanks to commercial revenues from our sponsors. Their support and this funding is vital in helping athletes and performance directors realise a wide range of extremely worthy projects, delivering tangible performance and developmental benefits for the athletes.

“As we close out on this first run of the programme in 2020, our objective is to enhance and expand it the for the next four-year period leading up to Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024. This objective is made all the more important due to the difficulties being faced our sports during the Covid 19 pandemic.”

Published in Annalise Murphy

Aoife Hopkins will not appeal last week’s decision to cut-short the Radial Olympic trial for Tokyo 2021 as Howth Yacht Club, expressed its disappointment for both the former U21 European Champion and clubmate Eve McMahon, both contestants in the Irish trials. 

Irish Sailing announced its decision to select Rio silver medalist Annalise Murphy, after only one of a series of three trials had been sailed.

Hopkins (21), who was Murphy's (30) nearest rival for the single Tokyo berth, was left 'devastated' last week when the trials were stopped.

"I really can’t understand the decision not to continue with the trials. I am utterly and completely devastated", she told Afloat after the decision.

Speaking at the weekend, Howth Yacht Club Commodore Ian Byrne told Afloat 'Our club is naturally disappointed for Aoife and Eve and that they didn’t get the chance to follow through with their campaigns'.

Under the selection process, if one or more of the trial regattas are cancelled, then the person with the best performance in the completed trial regattas secures the nomination. 

Murphy finished the ILCA Laser Radial Women’s World Championship in 12th place, Hopkins finished in 40th, Aisling Keller 63rd, and Academy sailor McMahon 78th.

The manner in which the decision was made and conveyed to Hopkins took her and supporters aback last Monday, (including some sponsors), given that the Olympics is still a year away, adding heft to her argument there was plenty of time to complete the trials series among the four Irish contestants.

Hopkins club has expressed its disappointment at the decision despite the fact that the Rio silver medalist may have set a tough target for the others after a top placing at February's World Championships.

Hopkins is arguably the most affected by the decision, given the length of her campaign and also that she might have expected to be in Tokyo, before Annalise’s return to the class after she gave up on the 49er FX last September. 

Hopkins also had a club rival in young Academy sailor Eve McMahon who had been given the chance to contest the trial as a 16-year-old, so the Radial trial was of significant interest at Ireland's biggest yacht club.

McMahon is playing a ‘long game’, with a clear focus on future campaigns. A talented racer, she already has what it takes to compete at the highest level and was crowned U17 champion at the Worlds in February.

Hopkins says she is taking time out to reassess her situation.

'Aoife is a talented and hard-working competitor and once she’s had the time to reflect on her situation, she will emerge stronger than ever, Howth's Brian Turvey told Afloat. 'it’s easy to forget that Eve is still only 16 years of age and she has a terrific future ahead of her'.

'We have followed their progress and supported their campaigns since their first aspirations in competition and we are gutted for them after what must feel like a lifetime of commitment', Commodore Byrne added.

We wish Annalise well and hope that Irish Sailing’s interjection in this process produces the right result, the HYC Commodore said.

As Afloat previously reported, Irish Sailing's James O'Callaghan said "Annalise’s performance in the 2020 Worlds made her a clear favourite to win the scheduled trials. By nominating her now the Irish Sailing Board have ensured that team preparations can move focus to the Olympics rather than preparing for domestic trials”.

He went on to say: “for sure this is tough on Aoife but she is still very young and can benefit massively from team training planned in Tokyo”.

O'Callaghan said at the weekend that no appeals against the decision had been received. Murphy's nomination will be put forward to the Olympic Federation of Ireland for ratification.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Rio 2016 silver medallist Annalise Murphy will be nominated in the Laser Radial to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Irish Sailing has announced.

Murphy secured the Laser Radial nomination after the conclusion of the trials in which her three teammates Aoife Hopkins, Aisling Keller and Eve McMahon also competed.

The rivals have been given their reaction to the news here.

There were originally three scheduled trial regattas :

  • ILCA Laser Radial Women’s World Championship, Melbourne, Australia (21-28 February 2020)
  • Trofeo Princesa Sofia, Palma, Spain (28 March – 4 April 2020)
  • Hyéres Regatta, France (18 – 25 April 2020)

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, both the Palma and Hyéres events were cancelled, and the 2020 Olympics postponed until 2021. Under the selection process, if one or more of the trial regattas are cancelled, then the person with the best performance in the completed trial regattas secures the Laser Radial nomination. Annalise Murphy finished the ILCA Laser Radial Women’s World Championship in 12th place, Aoife Hopkins finished in 40th, Aisling Keller 63rd, and Eve McMahon 78th.

While uncertainty still exists as to the future international sailing calendar it is planned that the team will continue to train at home in the Dun Laoghaire Performance HQ. Aoife Hopkins is a senior carded athlete who remains a key member of the training group along with Academy sailor Eve McMahon. Aisling Keller has decided to return to college.

James O’Callaghan, Irish Sailing Performance Director commented “Annalise’s performance in the 2020 Worlds made her a clear favourite to win the scheduled trials. By nominating her now the Irish Sailing Board have ensured that team preparations can move focus to the Olympics rather than preparing for domestic trials”. He went on to say: “for sure this is tough on Aoife but she is still very young and can benefit massively from team training planned in Tokyo”.

Murphy's nomination will now be put forward to the Olympic Federation of Ireland for ratification.

Published in Annalise Murphy

“In my head I was going, ‘If I give up here, they’re going to be saying that Annalise The Olympian has just quit’. So I couldn’t quit.”

That’s how Annalise Murphy explains her motivation to keep up her fitness and focus for the next Olympics in the time of coronavirus, in an interview with Malachy Clerkin in The Irish Times this weekend.

The Laser Radial silver medallist was counting down the days to the Tokyo 2020 games when two months ago the world began to shut down in efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Within a matter of weeks, the event she and thousands of other athletes had been working towards for months, if not years, was suddenly another year away.

And what’s more, movement restrictions prevented her from even taking to the water for training — and it’s still not entirely clear when that will resume. “I do really miss sailing right now,” she says.

In the meantime, the Irish hero of Rio 2016 has had to refocus her energies, training as much as she can at home.

But the situation, in giving her more time to think about her quest for Ireland’s reserved Laser Radial spot in Tokyo, has also had the side effect of expanding her ambitions.

“Initially, I was very much thinking I was going to retire after the Olympics,” she explains. “But after the Worlds [in February] I was going, ‘Well, I don’t know if I can retire now – I need to go and try to win a Worlds before I retire.’

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

The president of Tokyo 2020 says the Olympic Games already postponed to next year “will be scrapped” if it cannot go ahead at its rescheduled date.

As RTE News reports, Yoshiro Mori was responding to concerns that a vaccine for the coronavirus — which has infected more than three million and killed over 200,000 worldwide — may not be readily available before July 2021, when the delayed Tokyo games are now set to begin.

But Mori, a former prime minister of Japan, said he was confident that “we will have won the battle” against Covid-19 by next summer.

A Tokyo 2020 spokesperson later insisted that Mori’s comment about potentially cancelling the next Olympics was “in his own thoughts”.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Viking Marine touched base over the weekend with brand ambassador Finn Lynch, who’s been keeping both mentally and physically active despite the current Covid-19 restrictions.

While the Irish Laser sailor has had to put his Tokyo 2020 ambitions on hold along with the rest of the Olympic sailing world, it hasn’t dampened his competitive streak — and indeed, he’s found a new outlet for his winning mindset.

“I have become quite addicted to Virtual Regatta,” he says. “I’m currently third in the Irish rankings. I like the tactics involved with the Star racing.”

Otherwise, the National Yacht Club sailor says he’s “keeping my fitness ticking over”.

“I have been doing a lot more weights than normal. Along with that I’m doing some sort of aerobic exercise every day — so that could be a 40-minute row or something like a two-hour bike on my indoor trainer.”

As previously noted on Afloat.ie, Viking Marine remains open for online orders, deliveries and limited collections from its Dun Laoghaire base.

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

A vice-president of World Sailing has appealed for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to advance its share of revenue from Tokyo 2020 as the governing body faces dire financial straits.

Scott Perry told insidethegames that the postponement of the next Olympic Games from this summer to next year, amid the Covid-19 pandemic that has seen events cancelled the world over, has worsened an already precarious funding situation.

World Sailing had been expecting a payout in the region of €12 million from the Tokyo games dividend, which would have filled a predicted hole in its accounts this year.

“The state of World Sailing’s finances were challenged before the Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent postponement of the Olympics,” Perry said.

“The postponement of the Olympics has made our financial challenges much more acute.

“Along with most International Federations we would dearly like an advance from the IOC but at this stage we don’t have any indication that an advance will be forthcoming.”

Insidethegames has more on the story HERE.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Ireland will keep its only Tokyo 2020 berth so far and could benefit from another if final outstanding qualification events do not take place, according to the world governing body for the sport of sailing.

Confirmation that the place Lough Derg Yacht Club's Aisling Keller won for Ireland in the women's Laser Radial class remains intact was welcome news last week but there was mixed news for the rest of the squad if it proves impossible to host 'fair qualifications' later this year or early next.

Irish campaigns chasing last places in the 49er, Laser and Finn classes were in turmoil last month when COVID-19 hit key final European qualifications in Italy and Spain, ultimately postponing the Games itself.

The race to win the right to represent Ireland in the Radial has also been upset by the disease spread and the four-way trial currently led by Annalise Murphy has sailed only one of three legs so far. 

15% of quota places using 'historical results'

World Sailing President Kim Andersen said on April 2nd that after consultation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the sport will be able to complete its outstanding qualification events for Africa, Asia and Europe before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021 but if that proves unworkable Andersen also said it would allocate the remaining 15% of quota places using 'historical results'.

In such a scenario, Ireland could increase its representation in Tokyo but only by one boat. There were no details of the proposed 'system', to be used but if the last world championship scoresheets are scrutinised, it will impact Irish campaigns; one positively and two negatively.

As Afloat reported previously, It would be good news for Ireland in the 49er class. Ireland is competing with Belgium, Sweden and Italy for the one remaining European place. Form at the 2020 Worlds suggests that Irish sailors would be favourites for the place having finished ahead of the other three candidates.

In the men's Laser class, there are two European places yet to be won or allocated with four countries in the running – Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Ireland. Unfortunately, Ireland finished behind all of these at the last World Championships.

In the Finn class, Ireland is well out of the running. There is one European slot remaining, but six as yet to qualify countries finished ahead of Ireland at the recent Gold Cup.

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under
Page 3 of 11

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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