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The Irish Times reported earlier this month that Irish Olympic medallist Annalise Murphy no longer has her direct funding support from Sport Ireland.

Performance in competition is a prerequisite for the €40,000-per-annum support under the international carding scheme, also known as the ‘podium’ grand.

However, 29-year-old Annalise moved on from the Laser Radial class after her silver medal win in Rio in 2016.

She spent a number of months in 2017 and 2018 sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race before taking up the 49erFX with a view to qualifying for the Olympics in Tokyo next year.

Annalise recently resumed winter trials with her new boat in Portugal, joined by sailing partner Katie Tingle now recovered from an arm injury sustained last year.

Their first competition as a duo is expected be the Sailing World Cup series regatta in Genoa, Italy this April.

And both will continue to be supported by Irish Sailing, with high performance director James O’Callaghan saying: “The important thing is that [Annalise is] full on campaigning for Tokyo, and we’re delighted to have her back.”

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Annalise Murphy

Just crowned Irish Sailors of the Year, Robert Dickson and Robert Waddilove were back on the water in Portugal finishing 23rd in a fleet of 53 at the second round of the Portugal Grand Prix in Vilamoura. Top Irish 49er duo Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle (who injured his leg in November) were 17th and National Yacht Club duo Tadhg and Donnelly finished 31st in the 11–race regatta.

But the best result of an Irish sailor was scored by Royal Irish Yacht Club sailor Saskia Tidey – now sailing for Team GB – who finished third overall in the 49erFX fleet.

Vilamoura has been growing as a winter destination for the past few seasons. Regattas in December and now February attracted 109 and then 116 boats respectively across 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17. Indeed, Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle are also based here but although out on the water at the weekend, the pair were not recorded as an entry in the official results.  See full results here.  See vid of the pair in Vilamoura below: 

The regatta this past weekend featured big breeze and waves each of the days.

Check out this video of 2018 European Champions Helene Naess and Marie Ronningen (NOR) in absolute survival mode heading downwind as they navigate a growing graveyard. 

The 49er fleet was the largest and deepest. Diego Botin and Iago Marra (ESP) hardly made any mistakes in the tough conditions, and had only one race outside of the top 10 to compliment three race wins to take the overall victory. They were pressed hard by James Peters and Fynn Sterritt (GBR) who was the only team to stay in the hunt with the Spaniards. Both teams had disappointing conclusions to the Miami World Cup only 10 days ago, being over early in the medal race, but rebounded in the much fresher conditions.

The 49er fleet was somewhat depleted by the number of teams participating in Sail GP, which overlapped, and a very healthy down under circuit in both Auckland and Australia.

The 49erFX racing was a three way battle royale for the win. Going into the final race it was the 2018 World Champions, Bekkering and Duetz (NED), on 13 points, Dobson and Tidey (GBR) on 14 points, and Nielsen and Olsen (DEN) on 20 points.

The Danish multiple European Champions, took the final race, their second in a row to keep the pressure on, but it was the 2018 World Champions from the Netherlands who managed a second in the race to claim the title. Dobson and Tidey finished in 8th, and subsequently had to be satisfied with third overall after leading for much of the regatta.

See full results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Former Irish Olympian Saskia Tidey won bronze in the 49erFX with her sailing partner Charlotte Dobson at the Hempel World Cup Series Miami yesterday (Saturday 2 February).

The Royal Irish Yacht Club skiff sailor, who switched to Team GB two years ago for her Tokyo 2020 campaign, had an impressive week on the waters of Biscayne Bay with Dobson — including three top-three placements.

The pair capped it off with a finish in fourth in the medal race that was enough to earn them the final spot on the podium behind New Zealand's Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech who took silver, and Brazilian Olympic champions Martine Soffiatti Grael and Kahena Kunze who claimed the gold.

Also in Miami, and despite his neck injury, Ireland’s top Laser sail Finn Lynch remains in contention for a podium finish on the final day of racing later today (Sunday 3 February).

Published in Tokyo 2020

Mexican Laser sailor Yanic Gentry helped Annalise Murphy christen her new boat on its first day out on the water in Cadiz for winter training yesterday (Thursday 15 November).

The Olympic silver medalist announced earlier this month that she and her 49erFX partner Katie Tingle would be on the move to “somewhere warmer” after spending recent months getting to grips with the class on Dublin Bay — a situation that paused in the autumn due to Katie's arm injury.

While Katie is still on the mend, Annalise could not have have picked anywhere better than the Andalusian coast, near the gateway to the Mediterranean, to make every day count in her campaign to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Published in Annalise Murphy

Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle had a bit of a moment while training with their 49erFX on Dublin Bay earlier this week.

“We have everything under control here as you can see,” said Olympic Laser silver medallist Annalise as she shared the mishap on social media on Tuesday evening (17 July).

But capsizes are all part and parcel of getting to grips with a new sailing class, as fans and fellow sailors have commented.

And as the video below from the previous day shows, the new duo are already on to a promising start in their campaign for a Tokyo 2020 berth.

Published in Annalise Murphy
Tagged under

In the Laser Radial fleet Howth Yacht Club sailor Aoife Hopkins has placed 40th after the first day of the live medal races in Hyères, France writes Nathaniel Ogden. Showing a consistent mid-fleet performance throughout the week, Hopkins has placed ahead of fellow Irish sailor Aisling Keller of Lough Derg Yacht Club, who finished in 42nd today after a similarly consistent week in the middle of the pack. These are important results for the young Irish sailors in an early Olympic preparation event. As Aoife says, "I wasn't looking for a result at this regatta as its near my Leaving Cert but my process goal was to improve my starts. I've made massive progress on them and am getting a good start in most races now. So it's been successful all round."

The success story of the week came from the women's 49erFX fleet when RIYC sailor Saskia Tidey and helm Charlotte Dobson came in 3rd overall, winning a bronze medal in the 20 boat fleet. Having only sailed together for team GBR for 4 months, the young pair have proven to be major contenders in this year's Sailing World Cup, and will be ones to watch during the quadrennial leading up to Tokyo 2020, which will be Tidey's second Olympics in the 49erFX, but first crewing with Dobson.

NYC's Finn Lynch is sitting in 32nd place, out of 60 boats, in the men's Laser class after the first day of live medal racing at Hyères, as NE winds continued to hover around 10 knots.

Seven medals were confirmed today (Saturday) at Sailing's World Cup Series in Hyères, France.

In the first of two live Medal Race days, France's southern coast was blessed with glorious sunshine. Coupled with an 11-13 knot breeze from the west, the day was virtually perfect.

The skiffs, windsurfers, multihulls, foiling kiteboarders and the Para World Sailing 2.4 Norlin OD concluded racing.

As the Medal Races played out, there was also fighting for the top ten positions in the one person and two person dinghies ahead of Sunday's live final day of racing.

Spain's 49er team, Diego Botin and Iago Lopez, had the luxury of knowing that whatever happened in the Medal Race the gold medal was theirs. With an unassailable overnight lead, even with the double points on offer in the final race, they could not be beaten.

Reflecting on the impressive win, skipper Botin said, "It's been a really good week for us. We hope every time we come in to a Championship that we will be in with a chance at the end of the regatta and this time around we were really surprised that we were top with a day to spare.”

Digging deeper to find their secret to success, Botin confirmed a simple fact of sport, "It was a lot of things. But it really came down to yesterday when we sailed well and everyone else didn't.”

Holding on to silver was Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stu Bithell (GBR) who finished third in the Medal Race. The bronze medal went to Sweden's Carl Sylvan and Marcus Anjemark who just needed to stay ahead of nearest rivals Yago and Klaus Lange (ARG) which they did with ease as the Argentinean brothers fell to the back of the fleet finishing tenth.

In the 49erFX, Rio 2016 golden girls, Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) have done it again as they claim another Medal Race and 2017 World Cup Series win. Backing up the gold they took in Miami, USA in Round One, the Brazilian girls were just too good for the fleet.

"We have nailed the year now with Miami and now Hyères,” said a smiling Grael, "but we have to keep our feet on the ground as we know there will be big competition ahead.”

One of those big competition's is the Final in Santander, Spain this coming June. So, could it be a clean sweep? "It would be awesome,” said Grael, "let's see what happens. The FX is a tough competition.”

Germany's Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz win silver and the new 2017 pairing of Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) claim their first World Cup Series medal with a bronze.

Whatever Grael and Kunze can do, France's Louis Giard can do too. Just like the Brazilian FX sailors, the French windsurfer has also added the Hyères title to the Round One Miami gold.

Despite a nervy start, Giard has slowly but surely climbed the ladder to the top of the podium racing better and better throughout the regatta, as he explains, "It's another win for me after Miami. It wasn't an easy week of racing and I had to improve my level throughout the week. I did that so I am happy.”

One sailor in the Men's RS:X not happy is Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI). While Giard started slow and gained confidence, Sanz Lanz seemingly did the opposite. With a tenth place finish in the double point Medal Race, Sanz Lanz missed out on the medals altogether allowing Piotr Myszka (POL) to take silver and Kiran Badloe (NED) to sneak in to take bronze.

Taking the Women's RS:X gold was Poland's Zofia Noceti-Klepacka. It has been a mixed bag of results from the Polish windsurfer, but in the end a string of high finishes throughout the week was enough to claim the title, "Today I enjoyed the racing. It was stable conditions and great planing. Compare that to yesterday when it was very hard.

"Overall though I have sailed consistent. If you think I haven't won a race but I have won gold. It was all about consistency.”

That consistency equated to a 23-point win over second placed Yunxiu Lu (CHN) who takes silver and a 32-point margin over third placed, and bronze medallist, Noga Geller (ISR).

If you are going to win a gold medal, you may as well win it with a first place in the Medal Race. That is what Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco (ESP) did in the Nacra 17.

For the Spanish team it seems that Hyères has been a collection of puzzle pieces fitting to make one golden picture, as Echavarri explains, "It's a good prize for a lot of things coming together. We are enjoying our sailing and have a solid base. We are putting everything we have learned in the last two years together and it is working well.”

French medal hopefuls Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet secured silver when they finished ahead of Lin Ea Cenholt and Christian Peter Lubeck (DEN). That meant the Danes had to settle for the bronze medal.

It would seem that the mechanical issue that kept Damien Seguin (FRA) out of day four action was well and truly fixed. The impressive Frenchman returned to action in style to claim all three bullets on offer and close out the 2.4 Norlin OD series.

Summing up the regatta Seguin said, "We had ten beautiful races, especially today with an east wind and big waves. I'm happy because I love this place.”

Seguin's love has increased even more with a 17-point gap back to nearest rival Antonio Squizzato (ITA) in second. Xavier Dagault (FRA) claimed the bronze medal with 30 points.

If Seguin loves Hyères, just imagine how Nico Parlier (FRA) feels. The Frenchman has won all but one race in the Formula Foiling Kiteboarding, including the final three Medal Races.

Despite the dominance, Parlier still felt it was closer than the results suggest, "It's been tough with really close racing. I've been really dialled in with my equipment though and had the wind I like so I am really happy with everything.”

Parlier's compatriot, training partner and friend, Axel Mazella (FRA), has always been one step behind, but still secured the silver with room to spare ahead of Monaco's Maxime Nocher.

Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan will have a Hyères gold medal around their neck in the Men's 470 no matter where they finish in the final Medal Race. With two bullets from two races, they opened up a 24-point lead to second placed Carl-Fredrik Fock and Marcus Dackhammar (SWE).

In the Women's 470, Afrodite Zegers and Annaloes van Veen (NED) and Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) have been neck and neck all week. Not anymore. The Dutch team took two bullets compared to a tenth and 11th from the Swiss. Zegers and van Veen now hold a 19-point advantage.

With a 1-2 finish on day five, Alican Kayner (TUR) remains top of the Finn fleet going in to Sunday's live Medal Race. Nicholas Heiner (NED) holds second and Ed Wright (GBR) third.

Six points separate the top two in the fight for Laser gold. Italy's Francesco Marrai is the current leader on 53 points from a 2-9 day, bettering second placed Cypriot Pavlos Kontides who scored a 2-11. Australia's Matt Wearn is in third.

Evi van Acker (BEL) has secured at least a silver medal ahead of the final Medal Race in the Laser Radial. Fighting the Belgian all the way will be second placed Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) who is 12 points behind.

Racing continues on Sunday 30 April at 12:05 local time as the final five Olympic classes race in the second and final day of Live Medal Races.

Published in Tokyo 2020

#SaskiaTidey - Saskia Tidey has begun training with Team GBR with a view to representing Great Britain at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, as The Irish Times reports.

The move comes after the retirement of Tidey’s 49erFX skiff partner Andrea Brewster following last summer’s Rio games, where they finished 12th in the debut Olympic event for their class.

Tidey, who qualifies for British citizenship through her father, indicated that Ireland’s concentration on the Laser Radial and 420 classes prompted her to make the change.

“There wasn’t an option here in Ireland in the 49er FX with another girl who had the experience to sail at the same level … to be competitive and win a medal in 2020,” said Tidey, who is already training with her new partner, Rio top-10-placed Charlotte Dobson.

However, changing national representation in competition may not be smooth sailing for 23-year-old Tidey.

World Sailing rules dictate that three years must pass before sailing for one country and competing under another’s flag.

That means the soonest Tidey could compete for Britain at a world championship is 2019, unless the World Sailing Board makes an exemption in agreement with the relevant Member National Authorities.

Published in Olympic

The Olympic Sailing Competition rose to a dramatic crescendo, with the home nation winning a gold medal in the Women's Skiff by the most ridiculously small margin, just two seconds. Silver would have been great, but gold for Brazil has set off a party that will last for days. Ireland's Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey finished 12th overall from 20 at their first Olympics.

After no wind the previous afternoon, the final day delivered perfect 14-knot breezes for the finale. The four Medal Races kept the crowds on Flamengo Beach entertained all afternoon. It started with an ever-shifting battle for silver and bronze in the

Women's Skiff – 49erFX

The crowd on Flamengo Beach went wild as Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) won gold by just two seconds from Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) in a nailbiting final run to the finish. New Zealand took silver and bronze went to Denmark's Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen. The team to miss out on a medal from the four-way battle was the Spanish crew of Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos.

With the wind blowing 12 to 15 knots, New Zealand launched off the left-hand end of the start line, Brazil got away cleanly from the middle while Denmark and Spain made messy starts on the right. Maloney and Meech got into a good lead on the first lap but led Brazil by just 13 seconds at the halfway stage of the three-lap race. At the bottom gate, the Kiwis chose the right-hand side and Brazil broke off to the left in search of something different. When they came back together again at the top of the course, Brazil's alternative tactics had given them a ten-second lead.

Down the run to the finish the Kiwis attacked hard and made up ground on the Brazilians, but somehow Grael and Kunze held on to get across the line just two seconds ahead.

After five-time Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt just missed out on a sixth medal in the Laser, finishing an agonising fourth, it was critical that the Brazilian 49erFX team came away with something from the final race of Rio 2016. To come away with gold has sent their home nation into ecstasy. When Grael and Kunze won gold at the Olympic Test Event a year ago, the Brazilian media went wild. But one can only imagine how big this will go now that they have become Olympic Champions.

Grael's victory continues a great family tradition, her father Torben having won five Olympic medals for Brazil. Torben was watching from a coach boat and was one of the first to congratulate his daughter. Martine said, "To receive the medals here in Rio with all our friends and family is indescribable. But I didn't think about the fact the Brazilian sailing team had no medals. I was just focused on the race, nothing else.”

Kunze said, "Before starting the Medal Race we hugged each other and said, 'Let's give our best and no matter what the result it's going to be fine.' We were already happy to be among the first four teams, that was already an excellent result. And it's incredible to compete at home with these amazing fans. We hope to influence more girls to compete in sailing and to make our sport grow.”

Maloney and Meech so nearly made it a Kiwi double in the Skiff classes after Pete Burling and Blair Tuke had won gold in the Men's 49er. But any disappointment at missing 49erFX gold was swiftly cast aside as the Kiwi girls celebrated taking the silver. "It's an amazing evening for the Brazilian girls,” said Maloney. "I think the next couple of weeks will be pretty special for them.

With her brother Sam winning bronze two days earlier in the Laser Men's division, it's a double celebration for the Meech family. "I've really enjoyed it and it's been an amazing week,” said Molly. "We've sailed really well and were really happy with the way things have gone this week. The Olympics has been an amazing experience. It's awesome to have all the support back home and everyone getting up early to watch us race, it's really cool. The whole of the New Zealand sailing team has been working really hard for the last four years and I think that it's all paid off for everyone. It's amazing to be part of the team.”

Hansen and Salskov-Iversen beat the Spanish in the battle for bronze. The 49erFX was expected to deliver some of the most exciting and unpredictable racing at Rio 2016, but no one could have imagined that the gold would come down to the last two seconds.

Published in Olympic

Northern Ireland's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern gave themselves a great medal race boost by winning the final race of their qualification series in the 49er class on Tuesday.  It was their second race win of the 12–race series. The Ballyholme Yacht Club pair are eighth overall on 103 points, some 33–points off the bronze medal position for today's race. Double points are at stake in today's medal race at 5pm (Irish time).

The best the Northern Irish pair can do is fifth overall as there are 33 points between themselves and third with only 20 points available. There are 23 points between fourth and eighth, but only 11 between fifth and eighth. The best possible result is to finish six places ahead of DEN, four ahead of FRA and three ahead of ARG.

In a week of high's for Irish sailing, their inclusion in today's climax is another major success for Irish Olympic sailing because – quite apart from Annalise's Olympic Silver medal performance and her fourth at London 2012 – if they can hold on to eighth it will be Ireland's only top eight finish overall since 1980. Seaton and McGovern finished 14th overall at their first Olympics in London four years ago having been in medal contention at the half way stage in Weymouth.

Overall, this means Rio represents Ireland's best ever Sailing Olympics by a long chalk.

Today, in the 49er class, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) have already won the gold medal, and did it with two races to spare after dominating the 20-boat fleet at Rio 2016 over the past week. The New Zealanders have gone undefeated in major competition in the 49er fleet since taking the silver medal at London 2012. They have won all four of the last World Championships and were expected to deliver gold for New Zealand this week. Even Burling and Tuke might be surprised at the ease with which they've managed their extraordinary feat, however.

Behind them the battle rages on for the other medals, with Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) holding second place in front of the 2012 Olympic Champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS).

Published in Olympic

Ireland's Men's 49er Skiff Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern from Ballyholme Yacht Club in Northern Ireland are seventh overall after nine sailed races in Rio. Dun Laoghaire's Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey are 12th after nine races in their 20–boat 49erfx fleet. It was the most frustrating day so far of the Olympic sailing competition with the wind refusing to play fair on Guanabara Bay.

49er Skiff 

Perhaps inspired by French gold and bronze in the Windsurfing the previous day, Julien d'Ortoli and Noe Delpech fired their way up the rankings into fourth place after mastering the Copacabana course with two firsts and a third place. This puts the French just two points behind the third-placed Australians, reigning Olympic Champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen.

Meanwhile it's business as usual for the ever dominant Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) whose scores of 2,3,1 have opened up an 18-point lead over Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER). Even if the gold is beginning to get away from the Germans, they do at least have a healthy 15-point lead over the Aussies, with just three qualifying races remaining before the Medal Race.

Burling said, "We're pleased with three low scores, the boat was going really fast. We had some beautiful conditions for racing but got hit by a massive squall on the way in. It was maybe 45 or 50 knots.” Tuke added, "A south-west front came in and it went from 11 knots to more than 40 knots in the space of ten minutes.” Even the four-time World Champions capsized in the storm-force conditions. "We struggled to stay upright just with the mast up. Some massive waves out there, just happy to be back on shore,” said Burling, shivering and itching to get back to checking over the boat for any damage.

The Germans seemed to enjoy the mad ride in through the storm a little more than the Kiwis. "We ragged it quite fast on the way in,” said Heil. "But what lucky timing. Just after the last guy came across the finish line, the breeze came in 130 degrees from the other side, and with massive force. Even with just the mast up and no sails, we still needed to get on the trapeze to stop the boat tipping over. We have some boat work to do, we have damaged the sails, we have to check the mast.”

Noe Delpech was barely thinking about what a good day he'd had after getting ashore - just happy to be in one piece. "We had three good starts and are very happy with our speed and strategy today. But then there was the wind that arrived straight afterwards. We capsized many times. The mainsail went flying through the air and it fell in the water but our coach managed to save it before we lost it. We had a bad last hour on the water. The sails are not in great condition but I think we are OK mostly.”

Delpech was pleased to have closed in on the podium, but like all Olympic sailors never likes to get ahead of himself. "We are two points behind the bronze medal position, so yes, for sure we can start thinking about the options to get a medal, but we have still three important races to do tomorrow. We just go race by race.”

The Skiffs will have to work quickly with another three races scheduled for tomorrow which looks to be a busy day. The Laser, Laser Radial, Finn and Nacra 17 will all have their Medal Race due to the postponements from today.

Women's Skiff – 49erFX

Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos (ESP) fired two bullets from today's three races on the Niterói course moving the reigning World Champions to the top of the scoreboard. Behind them are two former World Champion crews, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) who are four points behind the Spanish in second, and Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) just one point behind the Kiwis in third overall.

Although previous overnight leaders Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN) scored a second in the last race of the day their earlier scores of 9,16 have hurt the Danish team who are now fourth overall. However, the Danes are only nine points off the lead and there are still three more qualifying races scheduled for Tuesday before Thursday's Medal Race.

Echegoyen, the London 2012 Olympic Champion in match racing, commented, "We are very happy, we have sailed very well today. It was very important to be very open minded, to be able to adapt ourselves to what was happening. We were well prepared for today's three races, both in terms of understanding the conditions with our meteorologist and also regarding the tactics.

"In the two first races it was clear where to go, but the third one was really crazy and we just sailed with the wind shifts. It has been a good day, but also quite difficult, we have had to work a lot. These results give us the confidence to keep on going in this way. Now we are leading but we are all very close on points. Still three races and the Medal Race ahead, so we have to go step by step and keep on going.”

Published in Olympic
Page 3 of 6

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