#SailingWCMiami – A second in Saturday's medal race gave Ireland's Annalise Murphy seventh overall at Miami Olympic classes regatta, the first International Sailing Federation (ISAF) World Cup regatta of 2015.
The Laser radial class was won by Denmark's Anne Marie Rindom. Second was Belgian Evi Van Acker with World number one Marit Boumeester of Holland third. The Irish Times has more on this HERE.
In spite of a 12-crew team in Florida, Murphy was the only Irish interest in the ten class medal race finale. Although two of three Irish Laser men made the gold fleet neither Belfast's James Espey or Dublin's Finn Lynch made the top ten medal race cut.
In fast form in 15-knots, Murphy led the race for the first lap only to lose out on a rare medal race victory to local helms woman Paige Railey, a former world champion, on the leg to the finish.
A medal race second - counting double points - was nevertheless a significant comeback for Murphy who had put together a string of top three results earlier this week to place second overall after six races on Wednesday. A change of fortune, however, saw her counting three results in the 30s in the second half of the series, dropping her to tenth overall in the 79-boat fleet on Friday.
It was a week of superlatives. Think 678 sailors, 599 boats, 150 races for ten Olympic classes and three Paralympic classes. At the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, we talked of "a racecourse built out of shifts." We spoke of competitive performances that exceeded any comparison to walking a tightrope. Dancing on a tightrope would be more to the point.
This truly is the road to the Olympics.
Every aspiring Olympic sailor takes a shot at this ISAF series that travels to the far corners of the world, qualifying gold medal winners and top continent finishers to race at the finale that follows the five-race series. The next competition will take place at Hyères, France April 20-26. The finale will take place late in 2015 at Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. It's a mini-Olympics for sailors only. You won't see faces in Rio, 2016, that you didn't see on the road to Rio, this road. You won't see racing that is any more competitive. No, just sailors hardened in this crucible, playing for the highest stakes.
This is the proving ground. And as one winner put it, on to the next one.