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#LaserEuros2013 – Annalise Murphy goes into the final races of the Laser European and World Championships tomorrow on her native Dublin Bay with a comprehensive 17 point lead ahead of Holland's Olympic silver medallist Marit Bowmeester.

With the prospect of a breezy finale on the waters off Dun Laoghaire Murphy is looking to resume the same kind of form which has led to seven wins from her nine starts here and convert her big lead to her first major Laser Radial title. A disappointing 27th in today's light breezes is her discardable result.

In contrast the contest for the titles and trophies in the Olympic men's fleet is very delicately poised after two tricky races in light and unpredictable northerly winds today which made consistency very elusive. Indeed of the top ten sailors in the Men's fleet all sailed one good result and one poor, discarded race.

As Britain's Nick Thompson promoted himself to the top of the standings with a second place in the second of their pair of races today to earn a two points margin ahead of Croatia's Tonci Stipanovic and three up on Holland's Rutger Schaardenburg, Brazil's Robert Scheidt returned to shore frustrated to have scored his second poor result in consecutive days. After winning the first race he fell into a wind hole in the second contest and struggled to a 24th.

Scheidt, who will bid for his ninth Laser world title in Oman in November, has returned to the class after seven years in the Star keelboat. He believes that racing in amongst most of the best in the class at the moment he is close to being back to his best, but needs to polish up on his consistency.

"I think that independent of tomorrow's results I have the chance to win regattas the way that I am sailing." Scheidt confirmed today, "I think that I have already proven this week that I sail well in strong winds, I can sail well in light winds. I am still not as consistent as I used to be but it shows the field is pretty open and I can still do well."

After taking time out from the Laser Thompson, who missed out on the British Sailing Team's selection to the last Olympics despite twice finishing runner up at consecutive World Championships behind Australia's Tom Slingsby, would love to mark his return with the first major title of his long and distinguished career. Since winning the 2004 ISAF Youth World title in 2004, Thompson has won world cup and international regattas but has yet to win a major class title.

"I am pleased with the way I have sailed at the event so far" Thompson said, "I have made few mistakes. The Worlds is the main focus but this event is hugely important, but for me it is nice to feel I am sailing back on top of my game again. The competition is great with Rutger, Scheidt and Tonci all up there and so I am looking to an interesting final day."

Thompson's pair of results – a 30th and a second – were characteristic of the day's highly unpredictable conditions. In the offshore northerly breeze, choosing the best side of the first beat was key but there were big holes in the breeze which summarily halted many of the top seeds in their tracks.

Croatia's Tonci Stipanovic, twice European champion in the past, has a slightly better discard in his locker, but Thompson has been better in the stronger breeze, scoring best of the fleet in Wednesday's wilder winds.

Although the men finished two races for the Olympic rigged fleets, the corresponding Women's Radial class only managed one because the fickle breeze died away too much. Murphy was disappointed not to have the chance to atone immediately for her disappointing 27th place, while Bouwmeester was also dismayed that only one race in her preferred lighter conditions was sailed.

The Dutch sailor said "It is a shame to only get one race. It looked like a bit of an early decision. That is a shame. It was a tricky race which reminded me a bit of Weymouth in the N'ly wind, so it was nice to race in that again. I was just in the top group at the windward mark and then got up to second on the second upwind. But we will be back hiking again tomorrow."

Annalise Murphy says she will change nothing for the decisive final day, concentrating on making better starts than today's which was the start of a frustrating downwards spiral which was concluded when she ran out of breeze close to the finish line. "It was difficult" Murphy said, " I had a bad start and struggled to get into the race in the first half, but made a good comeback on the second upwind, the last downwind and the reach to get into the top 15. But I was close to the finish line and then the wind died. I was not moving and could do nothing at all about it. I lost 15 places at the finish line and so that was disappointing. It was a shame not to get a second race in. The breeze came in but it is always hard to tell."

"I am disappointed with today. I would much preferred to have a 15th rather than a 27th or whatever it is. I will just have to get out there and have good races on the last day. I just need to get better starts than today's and try and not make any mistakes."

While Bouwmeester rose to second overall she is now just three points up on Britain's Ali Young.

In the Men's Laser Radial World Championship Australia's defending champion Tristan Brown won again to build his lead to 18 points. Ireland's Finn Lynch, the home club's ISAF Youth World Championships silver medallist leads the European Championship by two points ahead of Poland's three times world champion Marcin Rudawski. Lynch, who has climbed the rankings all week, is set for a place on the podium if her can maintain his current form in the final rounds.

Lynch, who sails from the National YC said "The conditions were very shifty and challenging conditions today. I had a good start and was in 10th at the first mark and then climbed to first but then dropped to third at the line. Tomorrow I am hoping for two solid races and to hold on to a podium position tomorrow."

Top three by class

Laser Radial Women's European Championship
1. Annalise Murphy, IRL, 9 points
2. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 26
3. Alison Young, GBR, 29

Laser Radial Men's World Championship
1. Tristan Brown, AUS, 12
2. Finn Lynch, IRL, 30
3. Marcin Rudawski, POL, 32

Laser Standard Men's European Championship
1. Nick Thompson, GBR, 29
2. Tonci Stipanovic, CRO, 31
3. Rutger Schaardenburg, NED, 32

http://www.lasereuropeans2013.com/ for full results.

Published in Laser

#lasereuros2013 – Annalise Murphy wins two more races today to lead the Laser Europeans in Dun Laoghaire by seven points. In bright sunshine, warm temperatures and even an unusual sea breeze, favourite Annalise Murphy remains the only sailor at the Laser European & World Championships to complete the six-race Qualifying Series counting a score line of five race wins.

The satisifed Dun Laoghaire sailor tweeted after racing: 'Wins in both races today @LaserEuros2013 ! I am going to sleep well tonight! #sotired'

The change from the offshore, shifty westerly breezes of the first two days might have been welcomed, but in their place was a difficult, at times frustrating, thermal sea breeze which was often riddled with holes and peppered with puffs which still brought significant changes in wind direction. But the change did not seem to worry Murphy who built a significant lead in both of her races for another two winning guns. But as the Final Series now starts - the business end of the championships - she will face much stiffer competition.

"I'm feeling pretty good. Now it's gold fleet and it will be very different, much harder with twice as many good people in the fleet. I feel good after these last few days but there are three days to go. I am taking nothing for granted. I am just looking to keep sailing well, to get good starts and hopefully it will work out. I don't worry about what the weather forecast might bring, they have been wrong the last three days and so there is no point in speculating" Murphy, who is sailing on her home waters, reported.

She goes forward with a lead of seven points over Belgium's Evi Van Acker, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist who finished second twice today, whilst the British Sailing Team's Ali Young and Denmark's Sarah Gunni are three points further back on 17 points.

Fionn Lyden drops to second

In the Laser Radial Men's fleet Baltimore's Fionn Lyden dropped to second after a 20th in the second race today but remains only one point behind Australian leader Tristan Brown. "I got everything wrong" Lyden said later, "I had a reasonable start and thought the wind was going to shift left but it didn't. I was in the bottom 15 at the first mark but gained about 15 places on the run. I thought it was going to shift left again on the second beat but it didn't. I then gained a few more places on the reach but finished 20th. It was a weird race".

Last year's European Championships runner-up, Sweden's Jesper Stalheim, goes into the Final Series of the Men's Olympic class with a lead of two points over Brazil's Robert Scheidt who he kept behind him twice today as he sailed to a first and a second, with the five times Olympic medallist taking second and third.

Scheidt confirmed again today that he is racing the Laser not through any sense of obligation but because he loves it, and it is his best option at the moment for him to win a sixth medal. "I think this is my only option in terms of an Olympic class. It is a boat I know, I have the experience, easy to start a campaign. The most important thing is I still enjoy sailing the boat. I would not be doing this if I did not enjoy sailing this boat" he smiled in the Dun Laoghaire sunshine this afternoon.

Of his races today he reported "In the first race I rounded the top mark in 25th and so I was pleased to come back from that. It was pretty difficult with a lot of holes in the breeze. It was very fluky wind, getting up to 16 - 17 knots but then dropping very quickly to four knots. That made the racing very difficult. Also downwind sometimes you were going but sometimes you were stopped. I am happy to have made two results in the top three today. But tomorrow it is like the start of a new regatta. We all start again in the one fleet".

Although Swede Jesper Stalheim sailed to first and second place finishes, he maintained he had found the conditions confounding at times. "It was a game of luck at times and my luck again seemed to work out" said Stalheim, "There were such big pressure differences. You would go from full hiking to no wind in a matter of seconds and just stop. And people would still be going around you. It feels really good to be sailing well though".

"The conditions were weird at the last Europeans where I was second. I must be OK at it. But the standard there was not so high (as many sailors were in Weymouth preparing for the Olympics). I feel I am sailing well. I will have to be good from here."

Stipanovic shares the same raw motivation as Annalise

With a first and a third today Croatia's Tonci Stipanovic is up to third overall. Twice Laser European Champion – in 2010 and 2011 – Stipanovic shares the same raw motivation as Annalise Murphy. He too missed out painfully on an Olympic medal in the Medal Race at Weymouth and Portland just over a year ago.

"It will be difficult as of now. You have to sail well on the first day of the finals, the pressure really is on then. If you don't it becomes complicated. It is not necessary to win races, just get good results" said Stipanovic.

See here for full results

Published in Olympic

#laser – Finn Lynch proved his ISAF silver medal status again at the weekend fighting off a significant internatiional challenge for the Irish Laser Radial title at Royal Cork Yacht Club. The National Yacht Club's Lynch counted only one result outside the top ten in the 79–boat fleet ending up seven points clear at the top of his 79–boat fleet, the only Irish boat in the top five. Results downloadable below as a jpeg file. Second was Australian Tristan Brown. Britain's Jon Emett from Weir Wood Sailing Club was third. Lynch's victory comes after a summer of international competition including the Under 21 World Championships in Hungary. 

Olympic campaigner Annalise Murphy, who has just returned from a three week training stint at the Olympic venue in Rio de Janerio, finished seventh overall and tweeted afterwards: "finished nationals @royalcork, good practice for euros next week! I hope to do a better job then I did this weekend!

The Vodafone sponsored Irish event at Royal Cork with a total entry of 160–boats had the added spice of international competition due to the fact it is a forerunner to this weekend's Laser European Championships on Dublin Bay.

In the Standard rig, Chirs Penney from East Antrim Boat Club took the overall win. Rush Sailing Club's Alan Ruigrok was second. Russian entry Maxim Nikolaev was third in the 36–boat fleet.Results downloadable below as a jpeg file.

laserdayone

East Antrim's Chris Penney won the Standard Division. Chris's father Stephen, in 11th place, won the Masters division. Photo: Bob Bateman

In the Laser 4.7 rig, Daniel Raymond of the National Yacht Club was the overall winner from club mate Nicole Hemeryck. 38 competed. Results downloadable below as a jpeg file.

Published in Laser

#laser – Ireland's World Youth Silver medallist Finn Lynch has finished 13th overall in the 50-boat Laser Standard Men's U19 World & European Championship 2013, another step in towards an Olympic campaign for the talented youth sailor. In the U21 category, the National Yacht Club sailor was 52nd. Irish team mate Fionn Lyden of Schull was 35th and Philip Doran, 59th in the seven race, one discard series on Lake Balaton, Hungary. Full results available to download below.

Meanwhile, in other Irish Laser sailing news, Chris Penney, Seafra Guilfoyle & Cliodhna O'Regan Took the Lough Ree Connaught Laser Titles last weekend at the same time as some of the world's top Laser sailors called to Belfast shores to pay James Espey's home waters a visit. It bodes well for the Laser Europeans in Dun Laoghaire later next month. 

Published in Laser

#laser – Last year's ISAF Youth Silver medallist Finn Lynch opened his Laser Standard Men's U21 World & European Championship 2013 account on Lake Balaton, Hungary with a fifth place yesterday and is lying 27th overall after three qualifying races. Download results below. As we reported earlier, the Blessington Sailing Club sailor is in Hungary with Wexford's Philip Doran and Fionn Lyden from Schull. Doran is currently 39th and Lyden is 70th.

Published in Laser
Tagged under

#youthsailing – Robbie Gilmore showed the depth of his talent to win Gold at the Laser Radial Youth National Championships on Lough Derg this afternoon. It was one of five Irish youth sailing titles decided at the inland venue.

Gilmore from Strangford Lough reigned supreme in Tipperary throughout the four day, 11 race regatta to beat last year's champion Finn Lynch in the 44 boat fleet.

Leading from start to finish the Ulster man deservedly won the single-handed title even though with two races to sail today and only five points separating Gilmore and ISAF silver medallist Finn Lynch nerves were running high.

The fleet launched for the 11am start and immediately the two sailors entered in to a duel.

It was overall bronze medallist Fionn Lyden who won the first race but Gilmore came in second followed by Lynch in third which only served to widen the points buffer between them. 12 months of preparation and all that stood in Gilmore's way was one final race. If he could remain close to Lynch on the water he'd win but he did better than that. Robbie Gilmore took the gold medal with style winning the 11th and final race, giving him his fourth bullet of the regatta and a seven point overall lead on Finn Lynch.

And it was another Northern Irish sailor, Sarah Eames from Ballyholme, who took home the gold in the girl's category.

The 420 double-handed class had proved to be highly competitive over the course of the championship. Four teams, two from Dublin and two from Cork, were clear leaders from the outset but which pair would take the overall title was unclear. 11 intense races and plenty of drama only added to the suspense. But ultimately a fourth and a first in today's races secured the win for Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove from Howth. The pair finished 12 points clear of Peter McCann and Arran Walsh and 13 points ahead of bronze medallists Adam Hyland and Bill Staunton from Dun Laoghaire. First in the girl's category were Cork duo Cliodhna Ni Shuilleabhain and Jill McGinley.

Nicole Hemeryck cemented her success in the Topper class today during two final races. The Dun Laoghaire sailor continued on her streak of posting only top results and never slipping from pole position on the leader board. After eight races, Hemeryck was crowned overall champion with a grand total of 10 points. Both silver and bronze were won by male competitors from Northern Ireland; Liam Glynn with 22 points and Tom Purdon with 28 points.

In the Laser 4.7 class Conor O'Beirne easily maintained his lead by winning both scheduled races. He secured gold with a healthy 12 point lead on Ciaran Finnegan from Waterford. Cliodhna O'Regan began the regatta with a win but couldn't quite manage to repeat the feat. Although she did position herself consistently near the top of the fleet and with a total of 32 points she takes overall bronze and also gold in the girl's category.

There was a dramatic turn of events within the Optimist Championship fleet on their third and final day of racing. Corkonian Emily Whitaker, who had been in first place for the duration, had a tenth in the penultimate race and did not complete her final race. This meant she lost her lead and took home bronze. The overall winner was Tom Higgins from Dublin while Sarah Fogarty, also from Dublin, finished second overall and won gold in the girl's category.

Published in Youth Sailing

#Laser - Fionn Lyden and Robbie Gilmore made it a strong one-two finish for Ireland in the men's Laser Radial at the Europa Cup Italy regatta on Lake Garda at the weekend.

September's sailor of the month Lyden is certainly starting the year in impressive style following his runaway victory at the Junior All-Ireland Nationals in his home port of Schull - though Gilmore of Strangford Lough was hot on his heels.

Meanwhile, fourth-placed finisher Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club - who took the title in 2011 - was just pipped to third position by Poland's Marcin Rudawski.

Further down the field were Royal Cork Yacht Club's Seafra Guilfoyle (8th) and Cian Byrne (18th), and Kinsale Yacht Club's Darragh O'Sullivan (15th) and Ross O'Sullivan (58th).

Elsewhere in the standings at the EurILCA regatta, Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins finished an impressive sixth in the Laser 4.7 for the women's best result of the four days of sailing at Malcesine.

Hopkins' achievement came with strong showings by Kinsale's Cliodhna O'Regan (14th in the 4.7) and Conor O'Beirne of the Royal St George YC (19th in the men's 4.7).

Also placing in the women's 4.7 were Baltimore's Florence Lyden (33rd) and Royal Cork's Eva Donworth (52nd).

The women's Laser Radial saw placings by Kinsale's Sorcha Ni Shuilleabhain (48th), Ausling Keller of Lough Derg YC (59th) and Chloe Eggers of the Royal St George (85th).

In the men's 4.7, Conor O'Farrell of Carlingford Lough placed 49th while Jack Higgins of the Royal St George was 107th.

In the Standard class, Colin Leonard of Ballyholme Yacht Club finished 37th while Alan Ruigrok of Rush Sailing Club was 48th.

And completing the Irish results in the men's Laser Radial were the Royal Cork's Patrick Crosbie (61st), Dermot Lyden (100th) and Mark Bolger (109th); Kinsale's Dara O'Shea (62nd) and Andrew Levie (126th); Tralee Bay's Tadhg O Loingsigh (75th); Dougie Power of Waterford Harbour Sailing Club (98th); and the Royal St George's Nathaniel Gillet (136th) and Conor Foley (155th).

The complete rankings from the Europa Cup Italy regatta are available HERE.

Published in Laser

#ISA -  Supporters of Irish sailing are asked to come together for a night of celebration and pay tribute to some of the outstanding contributors to sailing across six categories including the Mitsubishi Motors Club of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Instructor of the Year and Training Centre of the Year.

Irish sailing's stars of tomorrow - such as ISAF Youth Worlds silver medallist Finn Lynch - are also in the running for the title of Youth Sailor of the Year.

Last year was an incredibly successful year for Irish sailing: 11 sailors represented Ireland at both the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, dozens of medals were claimed at events around the world and we played host to such high profile events as the ISAF Youth Worlds, the Volvo Ocean Race finale, the Tall Ships Race and the MOD 70s, to name but a few.

The ISA Awards Ball is the occasion to celebrate 12 months of successes and also launch the 2013 season in style. Tickets for the ball are €65 per person and must be booked by Friday 22 February 2013. Full details can be found at the ISA website HERE.

Published in ISA

#YouthSailing - The ISA has announced that the 2013 Youth Nationals and Junior Pathway Championship will be held in Lough Derg Yacht Club from 2-5 April.

This will be the event's first visit to Lough Derg and looks set to be an exciting championship, and includes the Irish team trials for the ISAF Youth Worlds as well as various ISA squads.

Places will surely be hotly contested at the event, with many of the top performers from last year's championships in Dun Laoghaire such as Youth Worlds silver medallist Finn Lynch and All Ireland senior silver medallist Fionn Lyden in the running among a top-class field.

The event is also the ISA's prime showcase for its Performance Pathway scheme, with the 420, Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, Topper, Optimist and Feva all represented.

According to the IDA, 2012's championship "saw a remarkable fleet of over 250 boats in Dun Laoghaire, and Lough Derg is hoping to attract a similar number to Ireland's premier youth regatta."

Published in Youth Sailing

#youthsailing – Ireland's silver medal winner from the ISAF youth worlds will be back on the water again at the Junior All Ireland Sailing Championship this weekend. Racing takes place at the Fastnet Marine OEC in Schull, Co. Cork in a fleet of  locally built TR3.6 dinghies.

Laser Radial sailor Lynch of the Natinoal Yacht Club who is the reigning U17 Laser Radial European Champion will be joined by rival Laser sailors Robbie Gilmore, Fionn Lyden and Seafra Guilfoyle as well as numerous other youth sailors, across seven classes, with national and international experience.

Each competitor will sail with one crew member of their choice in one of the TR3.6 dinghies. Following an optional practice day on Friday, all sailors will compete in up to five fleet races on Saturday. Up to a further three races will be sailed on Sunday with one additional final double points medal. Upon the completion of five fleet races, one discard will come in to play.

isainvitees

 

 

Published in Youth Sailing
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