swchyeres – There are big improvements in results for the Irish Olympic sailing team in France this week as the qualification stages of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Hyeres concluded today with Gold fleet racing tomorrow. Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern are fifth overall, Annalise Murphy Sailing is 15th and Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey 18th in the 49erfx.
It was an up and down day for Ireland's Annalise Murphy in the final round of the world cup as she took an opening win in the blue fleet before suffering a scoring penalty in the second of the day as she dropped from the leading positions to 15th overall, "I was over the start line in that last race which is a bit unfortunate but I'm still happy enough," explained Murphy after racing. "I'm putting everything I've done in training into racing in this regatta. I'm happy with how I've been racing but just unfortunate I was over a little bit early."
Murphy came agonisingly close to taking a medal at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, losing out in a way four shoot out for the medals. Since then she's been working hard with the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships this September on her mind, "Santander is the important one with it being a big world championship and the Olympic qualifiers. Hopefully I can stop making mistakes and get it all right there.
"It's much earlier in this cycle with it being two years before the Olympics. The last cycle it was eight months before and it's a big difference. It was good for me because if it had been two years out in the last cycle I probably wouldn't have qualified the country as I was still very young. This time I'm really looking forward to it."
Murphy is 29 points behind Van Acker but with six races and a Medal Race on the horizon anything can happen.
Belarus' Tatiana Drozdovskaya had a consistent day on the water posting two second places and is third overall. Results here.
I had a 1st and a 3rd today...unfortunately I was over the start line in the second race so got disqualified. 3 more days of fleet racing!— Annalise Murphy (@Annalise_Murphy) April 22, 2014
The qualification stage at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères has drawn to an end with gold fleet racing on the minds of the world's best top sailors over the next three days.
Conditions at the fifth and final regatta of the 2013-2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup series could not have been any better on the second day of racing.
"Champagne sailing" and "glamour conditions" were the buzz words of the day used by the 1,111 sailors from 59 nations as an easterly breeze in between 10-12 knots with steady waves ensured a full complement of races across ten Olympic and two Paralympic fleets.
Also most certainly through to the gold fleet is Ireland's 49er pairing Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern who count a stunning set of top ten results (3 6 7 6 2 (8)) to lie fifth overall.
Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) continued to display excellent consistency in the 80-boat 49er fleet as the two day qualification stage came to an end with six races in excellent conditions.
Fletcher and Sign took two race wins and a fourth in the blue fleet and lead Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) by three points.
On the day Sign said, "It was pretty glamorous conditions for 49er racing, probably about 11-12 knots and it was exciting, straightforward fun.
"We kept our tactics simple. We had pretty good boat speed today and we were just monitoring what the fleet were doing and not getting into trouble and that paid off for us."
Twenty five 49ers will take to the gold fleet whilst the remaining racers will be split into silver and bronze fleets. Sign is now looking forward to the action and facing ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca gold medallists Burling and Tuke, "We're pretty happy with how it's gone but there's quite a long series to go with the gold fleet tomorrow. That's when it all matters.
"We've worked out that we haven't actually sailed against the Kiwis in a qualifying series for the last six events. We know we've got the boat speed and it's not all about the Kiwis and the Aussies, there are quite a lot of boats out there that can get it."
The Brits took bronze behind Burling and Tuke and Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang (DEN) in Mallorca and whilst it's still early stages they are well on track as Sign concluded, "From our goals set in the winter we were aiming to try and medal early on in the season and that would give us the step forward so we know what we need to work on through the rest of the summer and then hopefully at Santander get a medal."
Race wins in the yellow fleet went the way of David Evans and Ed Powys (GBR), who picked up two and Burling and Tuke. Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (NZL) picked up the fifth race bullet in the blue fleet and are third overall. Resuts here.
Royal Irish women's pairing Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey are 18th from 42, a significant ranking at their second only ISAF regatta.