Displaying items by tag: Finn Lynch
#lasereuropacup – Afloat's sailor of the month for March, Fionn Lyden from West Cork was the top Irish performer at the massive qualifcation series of the Laser Europa cup Regatta at Malcesine on Lake Garda ended on Saturday with two races for the 600 competitors – claiming a record for an Olympic class event.
Baltimore Sailing Club's Lyden finished narrowly missed a top ten finish overall, placing 11th in his 100–boat Laser standard fleet. The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch was 23rd, Daragh O'Sullivan from Kinsale Yacht Club was 27th.
In the battle for the final podium places, Alessio Spadoni ITA took the overall lead in the Laser event (100 entries) with Giovanni Coccoluto ITA in second. In the men's Radial (213 entries) Matthieu De By BEL leads from Dominik Perkovic CRO and in the women (85 entries) Silvia Zennaro ITA leads from Gintare Scheidt LTU.
Full results are here.
#soy – Yesterday's Afloat.ie/Irish Sailing Association annual sailing awards ceremony saw a remarkable gathering of talented boat people and their supporters and friends at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in Dublin to honour the Best of the Best in company with Minster for the Marine Simon Coveney. The Sailor of the Year title went to Anthony O'Leary of Cork and our all-conquering Commodore's Cup team, while the Youth Sailor of the Year is Laser Gold Medallist Finn Lynch of County Carlow, who currently sails from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, but started his stellar sailing career with the lakeside Blessington Sailing Club up in the Wicklow Hills.
In addition, Mayo Sailing Club was chosen from upwards of 80 training centres – both clubs and commercial ventures – as the Training Centre of the Year, while the venerable Royal Cork Yacht Club, currently led by Admiral Pat Lyons, assumes the mantle of ISA/Mitsubishi Motors Sailing Club of the Year 2015 in continuation of an informal pioneering inter-club contest - dating back to 1979 - which will resume its long-established tradition of a proper handover ceremony for the coveted ship's wheel trophy in the winner's Crosshaven clubhouse as the new season gets fully under way.
Meanwhile, Afloat's W M Nixon performed as MC in yesterday's ceremony, and in doing so he was assisted by the discovery that the venue had unexpected historic links with some of the great figures in Irish sailing history, as he now explains.
The fine building of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland adds a bit of real class to the west side of St Stephen's Green, and it's almost exactly at the point which most of us think of as the absolute centre of Dublin, the very heart of the city where Grafton Street winds away from the Green's northwest corner.
Yesterday afternoon it became the heart of Irish sailing too, and we struck purest gold after reflecting that the only President of the RCSI of whom we had any knowledge of a strong sailing connection was Sir Thomas Myles.
Thomas Myles (1857-1937) was one of those larger-than-life characters who completely upset our perceptions of the Victorians as self-effacing and quiet people of an overly religious disposition. A Limerick Protestant who wore his faith lightly, he was a Home Rule supporter from an early age, and while studying medicine at Trinity College in Dublin he became a university boxing champion of such continuing power that at the age of thirty he went three rounds with the legendary prize fighter John L Sullivan.
Sailing was among his many sports, and as his reputation and income grew with his success as a surgeon, so too did the size of the yachts which he sailed from the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Dublin Bay. By the 1890s he was one of the most eminent surgeons in the city, and in a contest at the turn of the century he stood as firm favourite for the election to be the President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland for the period 1900 to 1902.
Thomas Myles around the time he was President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
But his opponent, one Dr Henry FitzGibbon, refused to accept the situation on the grounds that Myles' public involvement with the United Irish League would bring disrepute upon the college, and he went to court to argue his case that Myles shouldn't be allowed to stand for election in the first place .
Now it so happened that another keen sailing man, Walter Boyd of Howth (his son was to design the Howth 17s), was the judge who heard the case. Boyd is best known for his twelve years as a bankruptcy judge which resulted in the phrase "breaking Boyd's heart" becoming Dublinese to describe profligacy as referenced in Joyce's Ulysses. But in 1897 he had returned to more general cases, thus it was Boyd who heard the FitzGibbon/Myles case, and he threw out the plaintiff's arguments with such vigour that FitzGibbon was obliged to publish apologies and withdraw his candidature.
So when Thomas Myles became the president of the RCSI in 1900, it was an elevation which received much more than the usual attention around town. And in a style typical of the man, he set in motion the process whereby the College started to build itself the Grand Banqueting and Examination Hall, which is where the great and the good of Irish sailing were assembled yesterday.
The impressive new hall wasn't fully finished until 1904, but by that time its instigator had become Sir Thomas Myles Bt, as was the custom with retiring Presidents of the RCSI. Having seen the new building works under way, his retirement from office - though not from working as a surgeon - meant he'd more time on his hands, so he bought himself a great big ketch, the 121-ton Dorothy, which he cruised on the coasts of Europe.
But by 1910 or perhaps even earlier, he had downsized to the more workmanlike and manageable 60ft Chotah, which had been built in Brixham in Devon in the 1890s and was apparently not unlike a Brixham trawler, for the ever busy Wally McGuirk of Howth has discovered that she ended her days as an Arklow fishing boat.
The reason Wally and others are so interested in Chotah is that she is the missing link in the 1914 Howth and Kilcoole gun-runnings. We know all about the "flagship" of that event, Erskine and Molly Childers' Asgard, we know too about Conor O'Brien's ancient ketch Kelpie and have photos of her as well, and we even know a little bit about the Nugget, the McLaughlin family's boat which was the first fishing boat in Howth to be fitted with an engine.
But of the Chotah we know very little at the moment, but hope that the newfound Arklow connection will discover a photo. What is known is that when the gun-running committee sought to find a suitable vessel with auxiliary power to take over the cargo of 600 guns from Conor O'Brien's engineless Kelpie in order to land them on the beach at Kilcoole in County Wicklow, that pillar of society Sir Thomas Myles willingly agreed to bring Chotah in on the action. He and his crew took aboard the guns off St Tudwal's Island just south of Abersoch on the Welsh coast, and brought them across Channel to land at Kilcoole a few days after Asgard had made her much more high profile landing at Howth.
If you find all this insurgency activity by significant figures in Irish society a bit bewildering to comprehend in all its complexity, you ain't heard nothing yet. The Great War broke out just a few days later, and in a general mobilization Sir Thomas Myles Bt was soon appointed to being a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army in order that he could head up a large Royal Army Medical Corps medical and surgery unit in his hospitals and in the field.
Then in November 1914 – barely three months after he had been personally involved in smuggling guns into Ireland while evading the surveillance of His Majesty's Armed Services – Sir Thomas Myles was appointed Honorary Surgeon to King George V. Yet it's said that when the 1916 Easter Rising took place, he readily found the facilities to treat any wounded rebels, and even managed to hide those on the run in the rabbit warrens of hundreds of rooms which were to be found in the great Dublin hospitals under his supervision.
Pillar of society. Sir Thomas Myles sailing with family and friends aboard his cutter Faith in the 1920s. Photo courtesy RIYC
So if you happened to notice me looking around in some wonderment at the stately and ordered design of the Banquetting Hall in the Royal College of Surgeons yesterday afternoon while I reflected on the man who had caused this very fine room and the handsome edifice about it to be built, now maybe you'll understand why. Yet such is the complexity of Irish sailing in its myriad of forms that it's arguably all of a piece with the extraordinary lifepath of people like Sir Thomas Myles, and the ISA President's speech captured some of the problems people face in trying to administer this weird sport of ours.
The new Sailor of the Year Anthony O'Leary wasn't present for the awards as he is currently in the midst of a long-planned sailing campaign in Florida. But for the actual handover, his place was well taken by his son Robert and RORC Commodore Michael Boyd, who was co-skipper of Quokka in the successful Commodore's Cup team.
Things could have become completely surreal as the President himself, David Lovergove, wasn't at the event as his flight home from America the day before had been cancelled because of exceptionally heavy snowfalls on the US East Coast. But ISA Board Member David O'Brien of Cork of gallantly stepped up to the plate to fulfill the Presidential role, and made a fine job of delivering a speech which well encapsulates what the day was all about:
"Flag Officers, distinguished guests and fellow sailors, you are all very welcome here this afternoon. In looking out over this friendly assembly - some of whom I know very well, many of whom I know quite well, and some of whom I don't know at all but am looking forward very much to meeting – it is clearly obvious that the sailing and boating community in Ireland is one of enormous diversity.
In fact, in thinking of the sheer range and varying levels of activities afloat which we in the ISA try to represent, I am reminded of President de Gaulle's exasperated comment about the difficulties inherent in trying to govern France: "How can you administer a country" demanded the frustrated General "which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?"
Our fellow members of the Irish sailing and boating community may well think that we on the Board of the Irish Sailing Association tend to see ourselves as the big cheeses among the many varieties. Believe me, nothing could be further from the truth. Like yourselves, we could be described as the small artisan cheeses of sailing, with a strong local flavour. But it happens that it has fallen to us on the Board at this time, to undertake the task of re-shaping the Irish Sailing Association as it emerges rather bruised from the economic recession, and we need your help.
So I would ask you to be sympathetic to us in the administration of the Irish Sailing Association as we work to re-form our structures and implement our new Strategic Plan 2015-2020. It has been most encouraging the way that the Public Consultation Meetings in Dun Laoghaire, Cork and Galway in recent weeks have been so well attended, and from them we have gained very useful insights to work with you towards a productive, worthwhile and groundbreaking ISA Annual General Meeting on March 28th.
But that's another day's work. This afternoon, we are here for a celebration to honour Irish sailing and its many successes both individually and in team efforts through 2014. This function began as a thought in my mind when, during last summer, we were getting reports of fantastic results being achieved by Irish sailors and I felt that we, as the Board of the ISA, should recognize these achievements in some way. A reception was considered, then as Summer progressed and incredible achievements continued to roll in, I realized that such receptions would almost need to be held on a weekly basis.
So it was decided to wait until year end and combine the celebration of Irish sailing achievements with the presenting of the awards. Yet even that is a cause of concern. You see, in looking over the extraordinary listings for 2014, for the life of me I don't see how 2015 can even begin to match it. But as with 2014, doubtless this year will also produce some very welcome good news stories, and we look forward to the new season very much indeed, with the confidence that Ireland will continue to punch well above its weight in the world of sailing.
The structure of this afternoon's awards ceremony will help you to form a comprehensive picture of the entire Irish sailing and boating scene. Most appropriately, we will begin with the award for the ISA Training Centre of the Year, which we reckon to have been the best in 2014 from a lineup which includes an impressive 80 training facilities, run both in clubs, and as commercial ventures.
It's also worth noting that there are now 24 secondary schools in Ireland, which include sailing as a sports option in their curriculum. A while ago, I visited Schull Sailing School and was bowled over by the fact that the children in the local school select sailing as their sport of first choice, ahead of rugby, soccer, Gaelic football, hurling, hockey etc. Now that is some achievement. This is clearly a step in the right direction, and it leads us to the next part of our ceremony, the award for the ISA Youth Sailor of the Year.
Having laid the foundations, so to speak, we then move on to the announcement of the ISA/Mitsubishi Motors "Sailing Club of the Year" award. The demographics and population spread of Ireland are such that our sailing clubs play the key role in most of our sailing development, and as we had the world's first sailing club in 1720, our clubs are literally world class.
We not only invented sailing clubs, but back in 1979 we became the first sailing country in the world to have an informal "Club of the Year" competition. Since 1986, it has been sponsored by our very good friends of Irish sailing at Mitsubishi Motors.
We feel that today's national gathering is the appropriate time to announce the winner, which will be known as the Sailing Club of the Year 2015. But in time-honoured tradition, as the new season gathers pace, there will be another ceremony in the winning clubhouse for the full and final handover of the historic ship's wheel trophy, when the members can share in the successes obtained by their top competitors and administrators.
With this framework of Irish sailing clearly in place, we then conclude with the peak of achievement, the ISA/Afloat "Sailor of the Year 2014". Afloat's ownership of this award – based on Sailor of the Month winners - has a long history, going back to 1996, and it successfully highlights achievement in every area of sailing.
One month, you might get an exceptional voyage honoured, while the next month it might be a major international dinghy championship victory. The diversity is total. And just occasionally, to emphasise that we are a community, which functions afloat and ashore, the monthly award might go to someone who has given selflessly of their time for sailing administration.
The overall national award will be presented to the person who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to Irish sailing during 2014.
The boating public has had a chance to nominate their top three through an online poll, Afloat.ie got a vote too and the Sailor of the Year judges have decided the final winner.
I cannot conclude without acknowledging our sponsors. In addition to those mentioned here today – Dublin Port, Parasol and Mitsubishi Motors - I also want to thank Providence Resources for their contribution to the high performance squad. However, it is the incredible support that we receive from the Irish Sports Council that allows us to function and without whose support we would not have nearly as much to celebrate today as we have. Year after year the Sports Council continues to support sailing and behalf of Irish sailors, I thank you most sincerely".
The men who raced the open ocean. At the reception in the RCSI were (left to right) Dickie Gomes (Sailor of the Month for May 2014), Caroline Coyne, and her husband Liam Coyne (Sailor of the Month for August 2014). Both Dickie and Liam have sailed short-handed Round Britain and Ireland Races with success, the former in 1982 and the latter in 2014. Liam Coyne topped the Afloat.ie online poll for 2014. Photo: W M Nixon
Josephine Keller, Aisling Keller, Ann Carroll, Nicole Hemeryck and Oisine Hemeryck
Conor Quinn and Adam D'Arcy
Pat O'Neill and Charles Seargent
Matt McGovern, Ryan Seaton and Saskia Tidey
Charles Sargent, Brian Craig and Paddy O'Neill
Jack Roy, David Vinnell, and Ron Hutchieson
John D'Arcy, Kate D'Arcy, Imelda D'Arcy and Adam D'Arcy
Hal Bleakley and Padraic O Brolchain
Ian Dickson, Andy Johnston, Jim Lampkin and Jane Johnston
Isabella Morehead, Claire Burke and Muireann Guifoyle
Tony O'Driscoll and David Metcalfe
Sandra Wynne and Edwin Fay
Brian Craig and Kieran Mulvey, Chairman, Irish Sports Council
#aquecerio – Ireland is expected to issue details of its selection trials shortly for The Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2015, the second of two Rio 2016 Olympic Test Events with the first being held in 2014.
Rio will welcome sailors once again from 13-22 August 2015 with racing taking place inside and outside of Guanabara Bay.
Each ISAF Member National Authority is entitled to enter one boat in each Olympic event and must apply to enter by 1 May 2015.
Sailors will compete in an opening series before Medal Races on 20, 21 and 22 August bring the regatta to a close.
Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition
The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition will take place at the Marina da Glória, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will feature 380 athletes competing across ten events.
Racing is scheduled to take place from 8-18 August 2016 and the competition format for all events is fleet racing.
#sailingworldcupmiami – Annalise Murphy sustained a drop of five places overall after a second result in the 30s took its toll on her overall score in Florida yesterday. The Dun Laoghaire Laser Radial sailor moves from second to seventh overall as Miami Olympic classes regatta enters the final day of racing this morning before tomorrrow's medal race finals.
Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindon had the lowest finishes of the top three Radial sailors today, but that didn't knock her off the top of the leaderboard. An 11-14 day means that she is now eating an 11th and discarding the 14th. Previously, a 7th was her discard. The day's results tightened things up, with second and third both in striking range.
It was a sun bathed day at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami with the previous cool northern breeze from the replaced with a shifty, yet warmer, easterly that tested the sailors once again.
Evi Van Acker of Belgium is only five points back. Marit Bouwmeester is only two points behind that. This sets up some interesting running-math problems for the Medals Race on Saturday.
The hard-luck story of the day was Annalise Murphy, who was part of this conversation until she picked up a keeper 35th in race eight. "It was hard to know where you had to be," she said, and left it at that.
Meanwhile, in the mens Laser class, the National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch who leads Irish interest having made the Gold fleet at the first attempt has given an appraisal of his own debut performance in Miami: 'Super happy about making Gold fleet in my first World Cup! I found out today that it is a huuge step up from what I'm used to. Not so happy with my sailling today [53rd from 55] but hopefully tomorrow I can make up for it!
The young Dubliner leads Belfast's James Espey by two places with the two Irish Rio rivals currently placed 42nd and 44th respectively in the 55–boat gold fleet.
Britain's Nick Thompson, who says that his favorite boat is the foiling Moth, is doing nicely here in a Laser, in contact with the surface of the water. The former youth world champion leads the 106-boat fleet with an eight-point margin going into the final day of racing ahead of Saturday's double points Medal Race. In second place, Philipp Buhl of Germany has burned his throw-out race on a 34th, so he has more to lose than Thompson (a 12th to throw out) if the wheels fall off on Friday. Behind them are serious threats still within range, depending, and it remains a difficult racecourse.
Young Andy ("Pain is temporary; glory is forever") Maloney of New Zealand has had his moments of late. He won the Palma version of this event in 2013, and in 2012 was second at Hyeres. As race day five beckons, he is seventh in the standings and found Thursday's conditions not quite as challenging as the races on Wednesday. "They moved the Thursday start into the morning," he said. "By comparison it seems to get a lot more patchy in the afternoon, as things heat up."
The second race of the day was ripe to be abandoned, and it was. "Between races, we were seeing 40 degree shifts with pressure drops to 5 knots," Maloney said, "and then pressure building to 15 knots and back to 5. They got a start off, and a massive lefty came down with heaps of pressure. It was a lay to the weather mark, so that race was abandoned, and we waited around for a bit. I think they were hoping it would stabilize, but finally they set up at an average angle and got on with it. There were lots of little shifts, but the thing was to be sure you were in phase with the big ones. When it's that tricky, nobody can get everything right."
Maloney won a race on Monday. Today he went 7-11.
#SailingWCMiami – A third in race five yesterday at the Miami Olympic classes regatta kept Ireland's Annalise Murphy hopes of overall victory this Saturday very much alive. The Dun Laoghaire sailor, who finished fourth in the London Olympics, is in second overall but a 36 in race six spoiled an otherwise very consistent scoresheet (2 2 5 3 3 (36) in a world class fleet.
The American regatta signals the intense build–up for Rio, an event for which Annalise Murphy has already qualified Ireland.
599 boats and 768 sailors who were adjusting sail settings all day given the blustery conditons. If it wasn't the wind direction that was changing, it was the wind speed which made it all the more notable that three classes produced back-to-back race winners.
'I wasn't so hot with a 36th' Murphy admitted last night but she was not alone with an erratic result as the Biscayne Bay winds proved volatile. Behind the National Yacht Club sailor is silver and bronze medallists from London 2012, Belgian Evi Van Acker and Dutch number one Marit Boumeeester. However the star of the week so far is, Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindom, 13th in London 2012, who counts a score of 3 5 1 1 1 (7) to stay four points clear of Annalise.
Ireland's Eric Ruigrok lies 75th scoring 35th in race five in the 79–boat fleet.
In the mens Laser class Rio prospect Finn Lynch, also of the National Yacht Club, continues to hold a significant margin over his 2016 rivals, James Espey and Darragh O'Sullivan. Lynch, the under–19 World Champion, is ten points clear of London 2012 rep James Espey in 43rd place.
Dave Ullman, among many things the 1996 US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and a three-time 470 world champion, is now coaching U.S. Olympic hopefuls. He was a keen observer of the day's events. The direction shifts, he said, were coming at "15 to 20 degrees, but more than that it was about velocity-on and velocity-off. Downwind, if you were in the velocity, you could make big gains.
"It was much windier today than the forecast called for," Ullman said, "but the racecourse is fine. The race officials are doing a good job with some challenging circumstances.
"But, it was cold out there."
He wasn't the only one who said so.
Wednesday was the third of six days of racing for ten Olympic classes. Top qualifiers will sail a Medal Race on Saturday. Competitors in three Paralympic classes will conclude their racing on Friday.
A second win in six races settled Luke Patience and Elliot Willis of Great Britain into a six-point lead in their 44-boat fleet, and they had reason to be glad that race six went as long as it did, and ended when it did. They had boats to pass. And then it was over. Second-place skipper Mat Belcher of Australia observed that Patience and Willis had a good second weather leg, "They went heavily to the right, and that got them around a lot of boats."
With four more races scheduled before Saturday's Medals Race, Patience and Willis have scores of 1-2-(5)-4-3-1 to a count of 5-1-2-(12)-2-7 for Belcher and crew Will Ryan. The six-point delta allows for discarding worst scores. Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis dropped out of their leadership position (two firsts on Tuesday) and now are looking at (25)-4-1-1-8-10 for third place.
Farther down in the lists, Matthias Schmid's Austrian crewman, Florian Reichsteaedter, like everyone out there in a 470, spent his day balancing on the wire, adjusting in and out with the puffs. "There was no system to it" he said. "Sometimes you had to be on the left. Sometimes you had to be on the right. And it was up and down, up and down all day. Eight knots. Eighteen knots.
"And it was cold out there."
His handshake proved that.
And we may have already mentioned that. But, to be fair, it was Miami-on-the-water cold. Readers in northern climes, please hold those cards and letters.
The London 2012 gold medalists Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, aka Team Jolly, tightened their grip on the lead in the Women's 470 with a pair of firsts, demonstrating that, yes, there must be an answer to the dilemma of a dicey racecourse. "We're sort of getting used to the wind being up and down and shifty," Aleh said.
She offered, "If you can't pick the right place to be on the racecourse, try to not pick the wrong place. We didn't always have the best start or the best first leg, but we would keep chipping away and chipping away until we could look around and say, Oh, we're in front. We'll take it."
Team Jolly, sailing out of Auckland, New Zealand, has placings of 2-2-1-(7)-1-1. The London 2012 silver medalists, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark of Great Britain, are nine points back at 6-1-(7)-1-3-5.
Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntire, also of Great Britain, are in third, another ten points back.
Diego Botin and Iago Lopez's (ESP) overnight 14 point lead was shattered by a culmination of bad results and tight performances from their rivals.
John Pink and Stuart Bithell (GBR) and Joel Turner and Iain Jensen (AUS) kept things together, remaining at the front of the pack and now share the lead on 42 points. But for Botin and Lopez, a U flag penalty, a tenth and an 18th allowed the British and Australian teams to advance, leaving them one point behind.
Last to arrive back on-shore, last to take their sails down and last out of the boat park, Botin and Lopez looked deflated on the slipway. After their bright start they received a thorough debrief from their coach upon conclusion of the third day. All is not lost. They remain in contention; teachings will be applied and tomorrow is another day.
For Turner and Jensen, their short term partnership, is a one off for Miami with Jensen's usual helm Nathan Outteridge missing out for personal reasons.
"It's the first time I've sailed the 49er without Nathan for a long time," said Jensen. "Joel's doing great and he's picking some clever shifts out there and we're doing a lot better than we expected considering we only had three days in the boat together before this."
Routine, rhythm and reliability are three buzz words for Outteridge and Jensen. The pair sailed together as teenagers, winning the ISAF Youth Worlds, and a partnership in the 49er was inevitable.
Seven years after forming, three 49er world titles and an Olympic gold medal later, Miami is the first time Jensen has been without his formidable helm in the Men's Skiff, "If you sail with someone for years, like I have with Nathan, you get stuck in your routine. It's always the same but if you sail with someone else it forces you to problem solve differently and that's beneficial for when you go back with the other person.
"The roles are still the same with Joel as with Nathan. There are subtleties with the way he [Turner] sails and the way Nathan steers and approaches things. Neither is right or wrong, it's just the individual style."
Whilst the partnership is flourishing in Miami, when teased with the question - reckon you'll stick with Turner? - Jensen replied, "Joel's doing an awesome job and I think he'll be a force in the 49er for years to come, he's 19-years-old and got a bright future but in the next couple of years I might just stick with what I know."
Outteridge will be flying in on Thursday, ensuring his crew sticks to what he knows and to enjoy the Miami racing from the coach boat.
When those around you all discard 41 points from a DNF or a DNC, the odds will always be stacked in your favour. That's the case for Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) who have opened up a 25 point lead in the 49erFX.
The Kiwis were just one of eight teams to complete the single race on the first day and they are reaping the rewards. Their discard is a 21 and they hold a comfortable advantage after nine races.
Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) are second overall on 62 points whilst Nina Keijzer and Claire Blom (NED) sit third on 90 points.
Maloney and Meech certainly won't be resting on their laurels with six fleet races and Saturday's Medal Race ahead of them but things are certainly going their way.
Two wins and a second is a perfect day for some but not for 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final gold medallist Bryony Shaw (GBR).
On the face of it, the Briton dominated the day but in her words, "It's strange, it didn't feel like a perfect day out there. I made a lot of mistakes actually. It was really shifty and puffy and I think it was my awareness, especially on the downwinds that really pulled me through.
"I made a couple of silly calls by going a bit too extreme at the start so I had to make some pretty big comebacks today."
Shaw, the defending champion, is firmly in control. She is 17 points clear of the second placed Olga Maslivets (RUS) and is carrying a superb 2014 conclusion forward into the New Year, "I feel like this [leading in Miami] is momentum from winning in Abu Dhabi at the end of last year and the event we had in Rio. It's nice to come out here and put on a good show.
"I really feel like 2015 is my year and it's important for performance. I want to try and be selected for the games and win a medal in Rio, so I need to be performing at that level now."
Consistency was at a premium for the first day of gold fleet racing in what was an up and down day for all.
Only the second placed Nick Dempsey (GBR) put together a trio of top ten finishes, 8-8-3, whilst those around him finished out of the top ten at least once.
It's still France atop of the leader board, but with a new face lighting the path ahead. Overnight leader Louis Giard (FRA) has dropped to fourth whilst Thomas Goyard (FRA) claimed a 12-4-2 which is enough for a slender one point lead over Dempsey.
Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) took out the first bullet of the day and is third overall. The remaining victories went the way of Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) who is in seventh and the 14th placed Mattia Camboni (ITA).
If others demonstrated that it is possible to win two race back-to-back on a wacky race course, five-time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt of Brazil demonstrated that the best can stumble. He won his first race of the day, then burned his throw-out race on a 27th.
Scheidt's closest competition, Australian Matthew Wearn, went with him and burned his throw-out on a 20th.
Neither of the two leaders can afford another bad race. Scheidt has a seven-point cushion over Wearn, but Germany's Philipp Buhl is only one point behind Wearn, and only four points separate him from Julio Alsogaray of Argentina and Nick Thompson of Great Britain.
At 106 boats in two divisions, the Laser is by far the largest class here and as hard as any when it comes to getting to the top. A few years ago, American Jensen Mctigh was acing it in the Snipe class. Here he's paying his dues ("I'm probably the youngest person here") with three-digit standings, but he's seeing the racecourse as clearly as anyone. McTigh's take from his end of the Laser fleet, "The shifts were bigger yesterday, but those blew evenly across the course. Today the shifts were smaller, but they never stopped. They never stopped."
It was Ioannis Mitakis day in the Finn fleet on Biscayne Bay today.
Mitakis, who represented Greece in the 2012 Olympic Games and won the European Finn Championship the same year-leading the Medal Race start to finish-today took back-to-back firsts. Fleet leader Giles Scott of Great Britain faded.
Faded, but not far enough to cost Scott the lead that he hopes will keep an 18-month winning streak intact.
With a worst score of sixth to discard, Scott now has finishes of 1-1-1-5-4-(6). Computing throw-out races, he has a five-point lead over Jake Lilley of Australia and a 12-point lead over Mitakis. Anything can happen, but Lilley is carrying a 22nd as his discard. Another bad race would probably sink him below the podium. It's game faces all around.
It's a high scoring affair in the Nacra 17 with consistency a rarity in a highly competitive fleet.
Defending Miami champions Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) and Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves (GBR) share the lead on 50 points. The teams recorded two scores outside the top ten with one top ten finish.
Anything can happen in the 49-boat fleet and early front runners Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL) fell victim to a 29-14-28 day that sees them drop to seventh. Not helped by a late night disqualification after a jury hearing the pair count all three scores and are 36 points off the top. But as shown, anything can happen.
There's a tussle at the top in the 2.4mR between Megan Pascoe (GBR), Helena Lucas (GBR) and Bjornar Erikstad (NOR) with one point of separation. An intriguing two days is ahead with four more races to decide the winner.
Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS) are on track to make it two ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta wins in a row with a two point lead over Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) in the SKUD18. Defending champions Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) complete the podium after six races.
In the Sonar, Alphonsus Doerr, Brad Kendell and Hugh Freund (USA) and John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas (GBR) are tied atop on 11 points.
#SailingWCMiami – Irish Laser Radial Sailor Annalise Murphy moved up one place to be just two points off the lead after four races at Miami Olympic sailing classes yesterday. A third in race four – in winds up to 20 knots – puts the National Yacht Club sailor behind leader Anne-Marie Rindom of Denmark. It's an uplifting start to 2015 with Gold fleet racing starting today, Wednesday. Overnight leader, GBR's Alison Young who scored two wins in the opening rounds crashed out of the top ten with a 23 and 25 yesterday to be 18th overall. Ireland's Erica Ruigrok lies 74 from 79 in the women's class.
A 13th in race five has allowed the National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch extend his lead over three Irish sailors in Mens Laser division. Lynch lies 39th from 106 starters, some 12 places clear of London 2012 Irish rep James Espey in 51st place. Darragh O'Sullivan is 97th. Strangford's Chris Russell who was scored as a 'DNC' yesterday no longer appears on the results sheet.
An 11th scored in race six has pulled the Irish mens 49er skiff back towards the top half of their 58–boat fleet. Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern lie 32nd now after six races sailed, up four places from Monday's start. There is improvement too for Irish 49erfx skiff pair Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey who are 25th from 40.
If the Chamber of Commerce had stayed up all night working at it, they could not have served up a better day for racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami.
The second day offered a steady diet of breeze in the teens, the allure of a sun-drenched Biscayne Bay, and the kinetic beauty of boats in ten Olympic and three Paralympic sailing classes being put to their best and highest purpose.
We're still early in a regatta scheduled for six days of racing, including a Medal Race on Saturday for top-ten qualifiers. At stake are qualifying points and slots for the finale of the six-event international series that has become the proving ground of the would-be Olympic sailor.
The finale will take place in Abu Dhabi U.A.E. late in 2015, and after that – After that, an athlete is either ready for Rio and the 2016 Olympic Games, or not.
A 5th and a 3rd today in pretty tricky conditions puts me into 2nd overall @SailingWCMiami. Gold fleet starts tomorrow!— Annalise Murphy (@Annalise_Murphy) January 27, 2015
Top three by class:
470 - Men's Two Person Dinghy
1. Panagiotis Mantis / Pavlos Kagialis, GRE, 8
2. Luke Patience / Elliot WIllis, GBR, 7
3. Mathew Belcher / Will Ryan, AUS, 8
470 - Women's Two Person Dinghy
1. Jo Aleh / Polly Powrie, NZL, 5
2. Hannah Mills / Saskia Clark, GBR, 8
3. Sophie Weguelin / Eilidh McIntyre, GBR, 15
49er - Men's Skiff
1. Diego Botin / Iago Lopez, ESP, 7
2. David Gilmour / Rhys Mara, AUS, 21
3. Nico Delle Karth / Nikolaus Resch, AUT, 22
49erFX - Women's Skiff
1. Alexandra Maloney / Molly Meech, NZL, 10
2. Martine Sofiatti Grael / Kahena Kunze, BRA, 27
3. Leonie Meyer / Elena Stoffers, GER, 29
Laser - Men's One Person Dinghy
1. Robert Scheidt, BRA, 7
2. Matthew Wearn, AUS, 11
3. Nick Thompson, GBR, 12
Laser Radial - Women's One Person Dinghy
1. Anne-Marie Rindom, DEN, 5
2. Annalise Murphy, IRL, 7
3. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 9
RS:X - Men's Windsurfer
1. Louis Giard, FRA, 10
2. Dorian van Rijsselberge, NED, 14
3. Byron Kokkalanis, GRE, 15
RS:X - Women's Windsurfer
1. Bryony Shaw, GBR, 12
2. Olga Maslivets, RUS, 13
3. Lilian de Geus, NED, 14
Nacra17 - Mixed Multihull
1. Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders, NZL, 9
2. Ben Saxton / Nicola Groves, GBR, 16
3. Vittorio Bissaro / Silvia Sicouri, ITA, 21
Finn - Men's One Person Dinghy
1. Giles Scott, GBR, 3
2. Jake Lilley, AUS, 6
3. Edward Wright, GBR, 16
2.4mR - One Person Keelboat
1. Megan Pascoe, GBR, 5
2. Bja Rnar Erikstad, NOR, 5
3. Helena Lucas, GBR, 5
Skud 18 - Two Person Keelboat
1. Daniel Fitzgibbon / Liesl Tesch, AUS, 6
2. Marco Gualandris / Marta Zanetti, ITA, 7
3. Alexandra Rickham / Niki Birrell, GBR, 8
Sonar - Three Person Keelboat
1. John Robertson / Hannnah Stodel / Stephen Thomas, GBR, 3
2. Aleksander Wang-Hansen / Per Eugen Kristiansen / Marie Solberg, NOR, 7
3. Paul Tingley / Logan Campbell / Scott Lutes, CAN, 7
#SailingWCMiami – First it was sunny and bright then It was storming and raining sideways and then It was sunny and bright. Just like home. Those familiar conditions may have helped Ireland's Annalise Murphy get the 2015 Olympic saiing season off to an auspicious start in Miami yesterday posting two second places to lie third overall in the women's Laser radial class. Erica Ruigrok finished 74th from 77th, not completing the second race.
Murphy's National Yacht Club club–mate Finn Lynch also stole a march on the Irish sailors racing in the 104–boat Mens Laser fleet. The 21–year–old trialist is 33rd, three places ahead of 2012 Olympic representative James Espey. Cork's Darragh o'Sullivan is 88th with Strangford's Chris Russell not competing in either of yesterday's opening rounds.
Belfast's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern are 36th from 54 in the 49er skiff. Disappointingly, Ireland's womens skiff pair of Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey did not finish in their 40– boat fleet with only eight teams crossing the finish line.
Numerous challenges were posed to the competitors in wet and windy day of action. Racing commenced shortly after 10:00 local time with a confirmed number of 856 sailors from 63 nations competing across the ten Olympic and three Paralympic events.
Robert Scheidt, winner of five medals in five Olympiads, two of them gold, described the series opener as, "Windy. Tough. What you have to do this early in the regatta is avoid the big problems."
Which is not so easy when a squall is the takeaway.
"In the first race there was a time on the second weather leg where we couldn't see through the rain, couldn't find the marks," Scheidt said. "Finally Bruno (Fontes) saw a bit of colour out there in the grey stuff, and we both went for it, and we made big gains."
Figure the breeze at the moment was high 20s or perhaps even 30 knots, so a boat aimed the right direction - and on its feet - had a lot going for it. "After that," Scheidt said "I didn't have a special second race, but I didn't need to. I was happy with a second and a fourth." Those finishes left Scheidt second to Fontes, first, and New Zealand's Andy Maloney, second at 4-1 in the other division of the split fleet.
The other piece of Laser class news happened in the other division of the split fleet, where the Aussie, Tom Burton, who has been on a winning streak, dug himself a hole with finishes of 18th and 20th.
Perennial threats Luke Patience and crew Elliot Willis of the UK comfortably topped a fleet of 45 entries in the 470 class, on a challenging day, on scores of first and second.
As in other fleets, the people at or near the top of the leaderboard were grateful to be just that. Australian 470 skipper Mat Belcher figured, "The job was to get around the course. We were happy with a first and a fifth and a boat that was still working. We have the whole week to make points." Perhaps it is fair to add, Belcher was busy gluing and screwing new parts onto his "still working" mast as he spoke.
And Belcher has earned whatever confidence he can muster. A five time world champion - all in a row - he and crew Will Ryan won the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final title in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in November.
Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson of the Republic of South Africa stand second off a 4-6 day, followed by the French threat of Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion, 3-8. They're the defending champions. At this regatta one year ago, Bouvet and Mion broke a seventeen-regatta winning streak that Belcher and Ryan had been riding.
Stories stories, everybody had a story. The Japanese duo of Tetsuya Matsunaga (a second generation sailor) and Yugo Yoshida used both sides of the course, "sometimes" to good effect, said Matsunaga, "It was very shifty. It the second race, we went left and the wind came from the right. We rounded the top mark 20th or so. I really don't know." But that "20th or so" turned into a 10th for a 2-10 day and fifth in the standings.
In the Women's 470 racing, London 2012 gold medalists Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie of New Zealand, "had just made it around the gybe mark" of race one, Aleh said, when THE SQUALL hit.
"We looked back and the blast was fairly flattening the fleet. You wanted to ask, where did everybody go? But we got the kite down, we stayed on our feet and we made some nice gains."
The day wrapped up with Aleh and Powrie leading the standings off a pair of seconds.
Two top British teams, Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark and Sophie Weguelin, won a race apiece and stand second and third, respectively.
"The team of the moment," in the words of a close series observer, fared less well. That would be Austria's Lara Vadlau and crew Jolanta Ogar The 2014 World and World Cup champions presently stand ninth off finishes of 15th and 16th - remarkably consistent, but.
Again, stories and stories. Americans Anna Haeger and Briana Provancha were gybing at the mark when squall's blast arrived. It did not go well. Haeger and Provancha had an 11-10 day and some body pain to take home.
Louis Giard (FRA), conqueror of the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final title, resumed in Miami from where he left off in Abu Dhabi - leading the way.
Although he sits pretty on two points at the top, he discards an 11th, which could prove deadly to his points total if he finishes lower than that as the week pans out. A scoreline of 3-1-2 is more of a solid foundation to build upon and second placed Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) is the proud owner of that run.
"All the races were good with lots of shifts and a lot of ups and downs," commented Kokkalanis. "I managed to do well by finishing third, first and second. I had to catch up in the first and third race but the second race was really good. I had a good start and was fighting hard with Nick Dempsey, it was really fun and a good day."
Solid foundations are key for a week long RS:X competition. Races are short, frequent, intense and compelling. Thirteen more are scheduled for the week with gold fleet racing commencing on Wednesday and Kokkalanis knows he has to be in top shape to defend his title, "Tomorrow I will take the same approach and try to do my best as always. That's what everybody is trying to do.
"I'll try to stay on top and then the real racing, gold fleet, starts on Wednesday. All the good guys will be together so until then I'll try and get as few points as possible."
Tom Squires (GBR) laid an equally impressive foundation, a 1-3-3, rounding off the top three after day one.
In a field that features Olympic medallists, World Champions and an ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, home nation sailor Marion Lepert had a dream start.
From two races Lepert notched up a fourth and a bullet to top the pack of 37. She holds off Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) and Olga Maslivets (RUS), who are second and third respectively.
A recent graduate from youth competition, Lepert made in-roads in the Techno 293 where she claimed a silver medal at the 2011 World Championship. She moved up to the RS:X and a fourth at the 2013 Sail First ISAF Youth Worlds confirmed her promise. Albeit a dream start, Lepert will have her work cut out to maintain such a performance it in amongst a field of seasoned professionals.
Taming the Nacra 17 beast came as a challenge to many of the 49-boat Mixed Multihull fleet. With gusts hitting the 30 knot mark, thrills and spills were inevitable and that was certainly the case with as many as 26 boats either unable to finish the second race or deciding enough was enough in advance of the start.
A night of boat work and maintenance will be in order for several of the competitors whilst leaders Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL), Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) and Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) will all rest easy after a job well done from three races.
Like the Nacra 17 sailors, the Women's Skiff competitors on the 49erFX also found the Miami breeze extremely tough to handle.
Of the 40 teams, just eight of them successfully worked their way around the course to complete the single race of the day.
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) are two of the most experienced 49erFX competitors around, with well over two years of boat experience behind them. With a range of knowledge behind them they comprehensively claimed the day's race win by more than a minute.
Nina Keijzer and Claire Blom (NED) came through in second with ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne winners Tess Lloyd and Caitlin Elks (AUS) in third.
Spain's Diego Botin and Iago Lopez got off to a flying start in the 49er, controlling the proceedings in the blue fleet. Right from the off they put in a composed performance in a competitive pack to take the opening race bullet.
They remained at the front for the next bout, coming through in second behind John Pink and Stuart Bithell (GBR) before they rounded off a superb day by taking the final race victory
Being at the top of the 49er leader board, after the opening day, is not uncommon ground for Botin. The young Spaniard had an outstanding start at the 2014 editions of World Cup Mallorca and Hyères. However, he was unable to convert that into consistent results over a gruelling six day ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta.
For now, Botin and Lopez lead, but with five days and 13 races remaining, time will tell if Botin can continue his form.
Results were mixed in the yellow fleet with no team taking the bull by the horns. Federico and Arturo Alonso (ESP) sit second after they recorded a discarded 20th and a second and a third. David Gilmour and Rhys Mara (AUS) occupy the final podium sport at the early stages.
Hand it to hardy Briton Giles Scott, who has taken over the throne of the longest-serving dinghy class in Olympic sailing. The Finn has been raced in 16 Olympiads. It is known as the boat in which Paul Elvstrom redefined the racing sailor as an athlete. And it is known as the boat that tests athletes as no other.
Scott has not lost in 15 months, and he didn't do it through cherry-picking the easy stuff. He won seven ranked regattas in that time, and on Monday Scott won both races. His countryman, Ed Wright, has often come closest to unseating him, but following the opening day of racing here Wright stands fourth on scores of 3-7.
In second is Australia's Jake Lilley, 2-3, with Croatia's Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic third, 8-2.
American hope Caleb Payne retired from the second race.
It was a double bullet day for John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas (GBR) the Sonar. They dominant Brits top the leader board and are followed by Paul Tingley, Logan Campbell and Scott Lutes (CAN) who saw the back of the British boat on two occasions with a pair of seconds.
John McRoberts and Jackie Gay (CAN) started well in the SKUD18 with a second and a first. They lead on three points with Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) second on five points.
Racing is scheduled to resume at 10:00 local time on Tuesday 27 January.
#youthsailing – The National Yacht Club's (NYC) Laser Rio trialist Finn Lynch finished third overall at last week's Europa Cup in Hvar Croatia. Schull's Fionn Lyden was sixth in the 19–boat fleet and Ireland's 2014 ISAF youth silver medallist Seafra Guilfoyle completed his youth sailing career second in the under –19 division.
#isafsantander – The game will be wide open in the Laser and Laser Radial at the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championship with large numbers gunning for World Championship glory and a Rio 2016 Olympic place. Ireland takes its place on the Laser start line with newly crowned national champion James Espey and Finn Lynch seeking Rio qualification while Annalise Murphy is aiming for Laser Radial qualification in just under two weeks time.
Seventy two nations featuring 150 sailors will compete in the Laser fleet whilst 58 nations will sail in the 120-boat Laser Radial fleet. Both fleets will kick start racing in Santander on Friday 12 September.
Santander 2014 acts as the first qualification regatta for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. Twenty three Laser and 19 Laser Radial nation spots are there for the taking which will make for tight and fierce competition on the Bay of Biscay.
Brazil's Robert Scheidt heads to Santander as the defending champion having taken his ninth Laser world title at the 2013 class World Championship in Al Mussanah, Oman. Since returning to the Laser in March 2013 Scheidt has picked up where he left off, racing at the front of the pack.
Throughout the 2013-2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup series Scheidt has continually been at the top of the leaderboard with silver in Miami, a ninth in Mallorca and a fourth in Hyeres to his name. With a tenth Laser world title in sight the Brazilian is excited to head onto the Santander race track, "It's going to be a huge regatta and I've never sailed there but I've heard it's very challenging with different courses with different conditions so I'm really looking forward to it.
"We know it's not going to be easy. The Laser is a very tough and demanding boat and there are a lot of good guys at the moment pushing very hard. I think I'll have my chances so I'll go there and play the game."
For the Brazilian sailors across the ten Olympic fleets the pressure to qualify for Rio 2016 is off with the host nation automatically receiving one spot in each event. For the Brazilian Laser sailors, Scheidt, Bruno Fontes and Alex Veeren it is a weight off their shoulders with all efforts and focus channelled towards top finishes, "We don't have to make a good result at the worlds but at the end of the day when you go to a regatta you always go to try and win regardless of the qualification system. A lot of the good guys already know that they're going to take a spot and do the best they can," concluded Scheidt.
Australia's Tom Burton heads into Santander as the man in form and the one to beat. Burton has amassed three consecutive race victories in highly competitive fields. He took ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca and Hyeres gold before winning on Rio 2016 Olympic waters at the first test event, Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta 2014 in August.
After a ninth at the last World Championship Burton has his eyes on the prize in the Spanish city, "Going into Oman the goal was to win the Worlds and I was pretty disappointed with how I went and the result there. Santander, definitely, I want to win the worlds. A few years back I was thinking, 'yeah win the worlds that would be pretty good', I was young and time is moving on so it's now time to start winning."
Burton has five World Championship appearances under his belt, building up knowledge and experience and he knows that in the competitive field anyone, on their day, can strike gold, "Robert will always be tough to beat at the worlds. For myself the worlds is a step up and only happens once a year so it's tough to get the experience of that atmosphere but Robert's been there so many times, won it so many times it's probably a little bit more chilled for him.
"Tonci's [Stipanovic (CRO)] been the most on form this season and I think he's got his Olympic trials there so he's putting in a bit more effort into it. The usual guys will be up there. Tonci, Robert, Rutger [Van Schaardenburg (NED)] and the Kiwis but it depends who's on form throughout the week. Anyone in the top 20 in the world could be really having a good week and be at the front."
All of the world's top 25 sailors in the Laser will sail in Santander with World #1 Stipanovic, World #2 Nick Thompson (GBR) and World #3 Pavlos Kontides (CYP) coming in with good form and aiming to take gold.
Competition in the 120 boat Laser Radial fleet will be fierce with any sailor who brings their A-game capable of taking gold.
Throughout the 2013-2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup series there were separate winners' at all five regattas. Dongshuang Zhang (CHN) took gold on her home waters in Qingdao, Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) claimed the Melbourne honours, Paige Railey (USA) defended her Miami title, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) dominated the Mallorca field and Evi Van Acker (BEL) stormed to Hyeres gold.
All will be in contention in Santander but several other contenders will be full to the brim with confidence and optimism ahead of racing inlcuding Ireland's Annalise, fourth in the 2012 Olympics and European champion in 2013.
Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindom has consistently been at the front of the pack in the Laser Radial over the last 12 months yet lacked a major title. Her breakthrough came at the Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta 2014, the Rio 2016 Test Event, where she took gold in a world class field.
With Rio gold behind her Rindom is full of positivity going into Santander, "It's good to win before the World's next month," said the Dane after racing in Rio, "It's a good signal that you can sail at the Olympic venue.
"Top ten in Santander will be really good because then we will have funding for next year and that's the most important thing. Also it is important to get a national place for the Olympics, that will be really good but I'm also going for a medal now I know I can do it. I am looking forward to it."
At the Rio Test Event the Radial fleet were pushed to the max with big waves and plenty of breeze on the race courses outside of Guanabara Bay. The conditions were not too dissimilar to those expected on the race courses in Santander with the Bay of Biscay famous for big swell.
Ireland's Annalise Murphy thrived in the big conditions in Rio and goes into the ISAF Worlds eager, "I was in Santander training just before I came here [Rio Test Event] and it's a really nice place to sail. Again there's really big waves so maybe being here will help a little bit.
"I want to go and have a good event and qualify the country for the Olympics and try and race well. I'm looking forward to it, it's a big world championship and it's my goal of the year and I can't wait.
"If I can sail well and race well I want to try and be at the top of the fleet and kind of see how it goes. I've been pretty up and down this year but I'm going to try and do the simple stuff right and hopefully the results will come. It's going to be a really good event and really competitive."
Croatia's Tina Mihelic won gold at the 2013 Laser Radial World Championship in Rizhao, China and will aim to defend her title in Santander. Further contenders for the podium positions will be 2014 European Champion Svenja Weger (GER), Alison Young (GBR) and World #6 Tuula Tenkanen (FIN).
The Laser and Laser Radial fleets will be the first to commence racing in Santander and will take to the water on Friday 12 September for two races. The Qualification Series will conclude on 13 September with four races deciding the gold, silver and bronze fleets.
Final series racing will start on 14 September with 15 September a reserve day. Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 will see the Medal Race places decided before the finale on Thursday 18 September where the medallists will be decided.
#lasersailing – After three days of strong winds, the final day of the Zhik Laser National Championships was always forecast for light breeze before strengthening in the afternoon writes Mark Mackey. Race Officer Robin Gray attempted several early starts but the wind kept shifting from side to side and it was early afternoon before things settled down. It meant there was time for only one race as an early time limit jad been agreed so that people could get home.
James Espey again took the lead on the downwind in the Standards and led the way home. Fionn Lyden eventually overtook Finn Lynch in a close battle to take second place and also second place overall. Finn had to settle for third overall though also added 1st Irish Laser Youth to the World Under 19 title won two weeks ago. This was James Espey's fifth Irish National title matching the record of Bill O'Hara. Bill was also competing here coming 14th (3rd Master), before flying off tomorrow or get ready as Race Officer for the upcoming Volvo Round the World Race. Thomas Chaix was first Master.
In the Radial class, Cian Byrne won the final race from Annalise Murphy and with it second place overall. Annalise won overall (her second Nationals title) and was 1st Lady. Liam Glynn had been leading Cian overall coming into today although only by one point. Unfortunately a bad start and an early yellow flag for body pumping put paid to any chances of Liam catching Cian. Ross O'Sullivan had another consistent day to take 4th overall.
4.7 winner Johnny Durcan
Johnny Durcan continued to show his great form at the top of the Laser 4.7 fleet adding a second to his tally, finishing with only eight net points overall and ten points ahead of his nearest rival Rory Fekkes. Rory Caslin won the final race but this was still only good enough for 3rd overall with Scott Levie in 4th.
Ron Hutchieson was given a special award at the prize giving for 35 years of continuous service to the Laser class by event organiser Paddy Brow and ILA's Colin Leonard. Many thanks were given to the Race Officer Robin Gray, safety lead Ruth Mullan and the many volunteers for another great event.
1st James Espey Ballyholme YC/ RUYC (1),1,1,1,1,1
2nd Fionn Lyden Schull SC 2,(6),3,2,3,2
3rd Finn Lynch (1st Youth) National YC 3,2,(6),3,2,3
4th Darragh O'Sullivan Kinsale YC 7,5,2,4,4,(8)
5th Colin Leonard Ballyholme YC 4,3,4,6,(8),5
11th Thomas Chaix (1st Master) Kinsale YC 12,12,(13),7,13,12
1st Annalise Murphy (1st Lady) National YC 1,1,1,2,(3),2
2nd Cian Byrne Royal Cork YC 2,6,6,1,(7),1
3rd Liam Glynn Ballyholme YC (6),4,5,3,2,22
4th Ross O'Sullivan Kinsale YC (16),5,3,4,4,5
5th Conor O'Beirne Royal St George (11),7,2,7,5
1st Johnny Durcan Royal Cork YC 2,1,1,(13),2,2
2nd Rory Fekkes Ballyholme YC (8),2,4,1,4,7
3rd Rory Caslin National YC (9),4,2,4,8,1
4th Scott Levie Lough Derg YC 1,9,9,11,(40 BFD),3
5th Conor Sherriff Courtown SC 5,8,3,15,6,(16)
Annalise Murphy, Radial winner
James Espey, Standard winner