Displaying items by tag: sailing
Sailing in particular has yet to capture the public's imagination in the same way as track and field athletics or boxing.
But with 22-year-old Annalise Murphy riding high in first place in the Laser Radial standings and on course to take the gold medal, the sport's profile is rising - and headline sponsors will surely come following the lead of her personal sponsor Tayto, and new sailing supporter Providence Resources.
The oil exploration firm - which recently struck a black gold bonanza off the south coast - signed on as a "generous" sponsort of the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) earlier this year, which is just the ticket for what can be an expensive sport.
ISA performance director James O'Callaghan said that big-ticket sponsorship would be a welcome addition to the "vital" grants received from the Irish Sports Council.
"The results that Annalise has had so far show how our teams are able to compete on an international level," he added.
"I think it's a good package for any sponsor. They are a really young team with Annalise, the 49ers and then we got a medal in the Youth Worlds in July for the first time in 16 years."
The Evening Herald has more on the story HERE.
First place Annalise Murphy will be racing her Laser Radial this afternoon and tomorrow - races that sadly will not be televised, according to our sources - but her class' medal race scheduled for Monday 6 August at 2pm, with live coverage expected on RTÉ and BBC.
In the 49er, Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton are half-way through their race schedule and will be in action in three races today 3 August, with two apiece on Sunday 5 August and Monday 6 August, and with the medal race in their class set for next Wednesday 8 August at 2pm.
In the 470, Scott Flanigan and Ger Owens have just got their campaign underway and will be racing this afternoon, tomorrow 4 August, Monday 6 August and Tuesday 7 August, with the medal race sheduled for Thursday 9 August at 2pm on BBC One.
James Espey in the Laser will also be in action today and tomorrow from 1pm, with the medal race in his class set for Monday 6 August at 2pm.
Meanwhile, David Burrows and Peter O'Leary will be looking to put their recent disqualification behind them this afternoon, with the medal race in their Star class to be contested on Sunday 5 August at 2pm on BBC Three.
In canoeing, Ireland's last medal hopes rest with Andrzej Jezierski in the men's C1 200m. The Polish native will be in action in the first heat of the day on Friday 10 August at 9.50am, with the semi-finals set for 11.15am should he qualify, and the finals taking place on Saturday 11 August at 9.45am.
In rowing, Sanita Puspure easily outclassed the field in her semi-final race, crossing the line 10 seconds ahead of her closest rival, and the Latvian heads into tomorrow's finals in lane 3 of the C group at 10.20am on BBC One and RTÉ Two.
#annalise – A forecast of similar winds off Weymouth for the rest of Olympic week brought an even wider smile to first timer Annalise Murphy's face this afternoon as she sailed home the winner of both races in the Olympic Laser Radial. Today's result is a stand out performance never before achieved by an Irish sailor at an Olympic Games.
Weymouth's famous bay offered up ideal conditions for the 6'1" Irish representative to tower over her opposition producing a 100 metre lead in the first race.
"I'd a good start and tacked across the fleet and pulled away. It was great! I couldn't do much wrong today. I've brilliant upwind speed. It's all coming together" Annalise told reporters of her first race performance.
And the news of strong westerlies for the rest of the week gives the Irish heavy air expert a unique chance to be on the podium, a feat she has achieved twice before here in the practice events in the run up to this her debut Games.
Rarely has there been a display of such strength in any Olympic class as today and Irish support in Weymouth has swelled on the back of it and also those of the 49er this morning plus yesterday's opening Star results.
Tonight's clean score-sheet showed the 41 – boat radial fleet that the Dun Laoghaire sailor continues to be a force to be reckoned with.
But the results are no flash in the pan, Annalise has been making similar statements all season.
Annalise bucked a trend in transitioning so successfully from youth to senior. At her first Worlds in 2007 she was silver fleet, two years later she finished eighth at the world championships and she went on to better that again in 2011 finishing sixth at the 2011 Perth Worlds. Her transition has not been without it ups and downs but that is not unexpected with an emerging talent.
In 2011 she set an almost impossibly high bar to replicate only finishing outside the top10 once at a World Cup regatta. After a long 2011 season, Annalise has struggled to regain some of her form. However, the signs are there that she can deliver. She continues to rack up a lot of race wins but will need to work on consistency if she is to be in the mix at the end of this week.
The silver and bronze medallists from Beijing have both hit form at the right time the former being crowned 2012 World Champion. Marit Boumester has also had a dip in form since being on the podium at every event in 2011 but she cannot be ruled out.
Annalise will take huge confidence from today's results and also having medalled at this Weymouth venue last year. And with this weather forecast don't rule out a young girl from Dun Laoghaire who is used to bucking trends.
In other news from the Irish Olympic camp three of the four campaigns are lying in top 10 positions. Today was also the first day of racing for the, mens Laser and 49er campaigns, while the Star went in to today's racing in second place after a strong performance yesterday.
Peter O'Leary and David Burrows rounded the first mark of Race 3 of the Star in 10th position but dropped down to 13th for the second and third marks, finishing in 14th.
They maintained their position in the middle of the fleet in Race 4 until they rounded the last mark and climbed from 9th to finish in 5th position leaving them 5th overall.
The Irish 49er duo Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern got off to a solid start in their debut at the Games this afternoon. In Race 1 of their three lap windward-leeward course, they fought hard to climb up the fleet from 7th place to finish 4th overall. They started Race 2 in 9th, dropping back to 12th mid-way through only to return near the top of the fleet and finish in 8th. They currently lie 6th overall but still have a further 13 more races to sail followed by the medal race.
James Espey also began racing today in the 49 boat Laser fleet. He had a 38th and a 44th which sees him in 42nd overall. Espey has a further 8 races to sail before the top ten in the fleet sail the medal race.
Racing will continue tomorrow for the Star, Laser Radial, 49er and Laser. The 470 starts on Thursday. Sailing action starts at 12 noon in Weymouth.
#olympicsailing – Peter O'Leary and David Burrows are in action in Weymouth again today and competition at the Games starts for three other Irish sailing campaigns in under two hours time.
Northern Ireland's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern are in the 49er, James Espey in the Laser and Dublin's Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial class. Sailing action starts at 12 noon.
The forecast is for south westerlies at around 15mph.
Fancy a flutter? Paddy Power is giving good odds on Irish sailors for a medal
Live feeds for racing here
#OLYMPICS ON TV - The Irish Olympic team's campaign finally kicks off at London 2012 this weekend with action across sailing, rowing and canoe slalom events - and Afloat.ie will keep you up to date on where you can catch the action live on TV over the next seven days.
In sailing, the first week's competition begins at noon on Sunday 29 July, when Peter O'Leary and David Burrows start their Star campaign. BBC Three is the best place to find live sailing coverage throughout the afternoon and most other days.
On Monday 30 July, Annalise Murphy begins her challenge for an Olympic medal with live Laser Radial action during the afternoon on RTÉ Two, while BBC Three continues its comprehensive coverage - no doubt featuring James Espey in the Laser.
More action in the Men's Laser and Star plus the Women's Laser Radial can be found on BBC Three on Tuesday 31 July, while Wednesday 1 August sees the first competition from Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton in the 49er (plus sailing in all over classes bar the Star).
The 470 pair of Scott Flanigan and Ger Owens will get afloat on Thursday 2 August, with coverage of their class as well as the Men's 49er and Star throughout the afternoon on BBC Three.
In other Olympic highlights, Eoin Rheinisch begins his challenge in the Men's K1 canoe slalom heats on RTE Two from 1.30pm on Sunday 29 July, while Hannah Craig will be in the spotlight in the Women's K1 heats from 2pm on Monday 30 July.
Men's K1 semi-final action on Wednedsday 1 August will be broadcast live on BBC Three, Eurosport and Sky 3D, with the K1 final - which could decide Ireland's first aquatic medal - set for 3.15pm on BBC Three.
Thursday 2 August brings the Women's K1 semi-finals on RTE Two from 2pm, with the finals scheduled from 3.55pm on BBC Three.
Meanwhile in rowing, Ireland's sole competitor Sanita Puspure starts her Women's Single Sculls campaign on Saturday morning.
RTE Two and BBC One will have coverage of the repechage from 11am on Sunday 29 July, with quarter-finals on the morning of Tuesday 31 July (RTE Two) and the classifications and semi-finals on BBC One from 11am on Thursday 2 August.
Sophie Linehan visited the Donegal village on the shores of Lough Swilly ahead of last weekend's second annual SeaFest, which introduced novices to the delights of various aquatic sports.
And it wasn't hard for her to find a whole host of activities for all levels of experience.
Many of these are available at the not-for-profit Rathmullan Sailing and Watersports School, set up by American transplant Rick Le Vert - who 10 years ago had never been sailing himself!
Linehan and her companion were shown the ropes in an afternoon sailing taster session on the lough, which she describes as "the perfect place to learn to sail".
Lessons in surfing and stand-up paddle boarding are also easily availed of - the latter being a great introduction to those who might be a bit scared of the surf.
The Sunday Independent has much more on the story HERE.
#genuineprospects – If you're contemplating a gentle summer holiday in the south of England in August, forget it. Unless, that is, you see wind and rain of the kind experienced there during the past fortnight as being an essential part of the vacation experience.
With the green and pleasant land becoming grey and soggy and wind-battered last week, Irish teams felt at home and made hay in the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta at Weymouth. It's the final main event in the countdown to the Olympics at the same venue in August, and went so well for our sailors that by Saturday night the Irish squad were in dazed contemplation of a new store of precious metals.
A Gold Medal for Peter O'Leary and David Burrows in the Star, and Bronze for Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial. As a bonus, the 49er crew, northerners Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern, won their fleet and placed seventh overall - their best yet – in the main division.
If this is the kind of scoreline which can be obtained when the going is very bad weatherwise, then let's have more of it. Let's have medals galore even if horrible weather is a key ingredient. Certainly, some of the Irish sailing and Olympic community are praying for such weather in August on a daily basis. And if that fouls up your beachtime in Bognor – tough.
But we should be careful what we wish for. It wasn't wall-to-wall bad weather. The final section last Saturday, the all-important Medal Races, saw the English Channel in classic lively good humour. A sunny breezy day with a good sou'west breeze, 15 knots in the morning, pushing to a brisk and gear-breaking 23 knots after noon, a testing buildup.
The O'Leary-Burrows leap from third into Gold was achieved partly by the duel between the overnight leaders. Britain's Ian Percy and Bart Simpson had been one point ahead of Brazil's Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada. Then the Brazilians uncharacteristically got themselves into a knot, and had to throw a penalty turn. But Percy and Simpson stayed with them for covering purposes so closely that the Irish team were able to build on a correct tactical decision in the first beat, emerging as deservedly clear and triumphant winners.
Annalise Murphy showed her power in a breeze, and she moved onto the podium, while the Seaton-McGovern progression continued on its merry upward trajectory through the 49er class.
A less happy 49er sailor is Iker Martinez, whose perfect 2012 programme would have been to clinch his early lead in the Volvo Ocean Race at its Galways finish at the end of June, and then go on to race for Spain in the Olympics in the 49er in August.
It was all going along as planned, with Martinez in Telefonica flying the flag with steady success in the first half of the Volvo stages. But in the final stages his campaign has gone wobbled. Most embarrassingly for an Olympian, the inshore racing has been his Achilles heel. Last weekend in Lisbon was excruciating with his rattled crew dropping a sail over the side, and the boat placing last to drop more points, points hard won over thousands of miles of ocean.
Race leaders Groupama Sailing Team, skippered by Franck Cammas from France, with Kerry's Damian Foxall onboard lead the fleet at full speed, on the approach to the finish of leg 8, from Lisbon, Portugal, to Lorient, France, during the Volvo Ocean Race Photo: Paul Todd
Franck Cammas and Damian Foxall with Groupama have gone from strength to strength and top the leaderboard with 189 points to Telefonica's 181. But now with the fleet racing back from rounding the Azores and on towards Lorient, Telefonica is once more in charge, but placings are mighty close in very rugged conditions.
The 2012 ITC Lambay Race at Howth, with a fleet of more than a hundred, saw overall victory for Dun Laoghaire, the Lambay Lady Trophy going to the First 31.7 Blue Fin 2 (Bernie Bryson and Mia Delaney, National YC) after a race so fast the sunshine only caught up with the fleet at the finish.
W M Nixon's sailing column is in the Irish Independent on Saturdays
#ruyc – Royal Ulster Yacht Club's (RUYC) fiftieth Ailsa Craig Race starts tomorrow evening at 8pm and is an important anniversary for the Northern Ireland Yacht Club.
A classic in the Northern Offshore yacht racing calendar, the course taking the fleet overnight round the famous rock at the mouth of the Clyde and back to Bangor.
Tomorrow, on June 15th, the club will stage the 50th anniversary race, the first of which was held in August 1962.
In that year the 11 ton sloop Tyrena, owned at that time by Dr and Mrs W Glover, was the first winner of the trophy, a silver replica of Ailsa Craig. Many of the original competitors, several of whom are now in their 80s, are expected to compete.
This special event, and indeed the other three races in the offshore series, will be sponsored by Hamilton Shipping, who have previously been generous supporters of Sigma 33 racing hosted by Royal Ulster.
Gordon Hamilton, Managing Director of the company, is delighted to be once again associated with racing at Royal Ulster: "Given the importance of Belfast Lough to our business, we like to support Royal Ulster Yacht Club, particularly whenever the club has worked so hard over many years to maintain offshore yacht racing in Northern Ireland. We hope the history attached to this year's Ailsa Craig Race will make things a little special for all competitors.'
The Sailing Instructions will set out the starting and finishing details; the race will start on Friday 15th June with a course that will take competitors from the Royal Ulster YC start line via the South Briggs Buoy (to port) around Ailsa Craig and back to the South Briggs Buoy (to starboard) and thence to the Finish Line also at Royal Ulster YC. There will be breakfast laid on for competitors who finish in the morning and a 50th Anniversary Dinner on the Saturday evening.
The Classes racing in this special 50th Anniversary event include IRC Unrestricted and No Spinnaker Divisions and also CYCA Unrestricted and No Spinnaker.
#sailforgold – Capitalising on her favourite conditions at the mid point of the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth today Olympic bound Laser Radial Sailor Annalise Murphy scored a first and a third. They are important scores that move the Dun Laoghaire sailor up to fifth overall, virtually assuring her of a place in Saturday's medal race.
Conditions have deteriorated in Weymouth for Day four of the event and continuous rain and winds of between 20 and 25 knots have prohibited many fleets from getting out on the water.
The Star class spent the day waiting ashore for a chance to sail but it never materialised leaving Peter O'Leary and David Burrows in third overall.
The race management team made the decision to move most of the racing into the more sheltered harbour area however this meant a reduction in course space. With the forecast for tomorrow looking to be even worse, the focus for today was on providing races for the Gold Fleets. This meant that the only Irish Olympic Sailors lined up to sail today were Annalise Murphy, Peter O'Leary & David Burrows and the 49er boys Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern.
Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern finished 12th in their first and only race of the day, putting them 10th overall.
Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan in the 470 Silver Fleet, James Espey in the Laser Silver Fleet and the Paralympic Sonar team were not racing today.
Tomorrow will be the final day of racing before the top 10 in each class progress to the medal races on Saturday. Conditions do not look to be favourable but organisers remain confident about getting competitors out on the water.
#sailforgold –Ireland is off to a strong start despite the fickle conditions at today's Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth. By early afternoon on the first day of the regatta all fleets had returned to shore as the wind had disappeared.
Skandia Sail for Gold 2012 kicked off today, featuring almost all of the medal contenders for the upcoming Olympic Games. Over seven hundred athletes from 59 nations poured out onto Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay, the cream of world sailing ready to put a marker down for the coming Olympiad. But conditions were tough, the forecast was for a transitional day, with a new wind arriving and strengthening throughout the rest of the week. So while Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay delivered racing, it did so in fits and starts.
Most of the Irish sailors had a long lunch break waiting for conditions to improve and eventually at around 4pm the fleets all launched again in very light conditions.
The day belonged to Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern, the Belfast Lough duo in the 49er skiff who won the third race very late in the evening having finished 8th and 11th in the previous two races.
Peter O'Leary and David Burrows in the Star class finished 5th in their only race of the day just behind event favourites Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (Brazil) and ahead of Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (Great Britain).
In the 70 strong Laser radial fleet Annalise Murphy from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire scored 16th & 8th in her two races of the day in 5 knots of wind.
Ireland's most recent Olympic qualifier James Espey in the Laser class had a great start to the regatta scoring eightth in his only race of the day.
Fresh from winning the Delta Lloyd regatta last weekend Ger Owens who will be sailing in his third Olympics in July with Scott Flanigan scored a 19th and 15th in the 470 class.
In the Paralympic Sonar class John Twomey with Ian Costello and Anthony Hegarty finished 10th in their only race of the day.
The 470 race course got the best of the deal, with two races for everyone and a relatively early finish. In the Men's competition, some familiar names popped out in front. Early race winners were British Olympic representatives Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell, along with the all-conquering Aussie duo of Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page, winners of the last three world championships. Belcher and Page won their second race as well, and lead overall at the end of the first day. But it was also a return to the water and an immediate return to form for Britain's double World Champions, Nic Asher and Elliot Willis who scored a second and a third to hold second overall.
Asher and Willis have been kept out of sailing through illness since a below-par World Championships in Perth last year, and this was their first regatta in 2012. In the meantime, rivals Patience and Bithell got the British Olympic slot for the Games – a bitter disappointment to double world champions that have yet to go to the Olympics. Asher commented, "I would like to carry on for Rio but we will make that decision after Skandia Sail for Gold with Sparky (Stephen Park; Skandia Team GBR Olympic Manager). I see other options are stepping into the Skiff or 49er. But it is fantastic to be back and we have some unfinished business here."
The Women's 470 fleet got underway in the afternoon and also completed two races – winners were the new British World Champions and Olympic representatives, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark. They posted a first and a fourth to lead from Elise Rechichi and Belinda Stowell from Australia. This is a rivalry that will go all the way to the Games.
The story out on the Finn and Star race course – the furthest from the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy – was more typical of the day. They went out in the morning, were sent back to the beach for lunch without any action, were then hauled back out on the water again in the afternoon to finally get a race in. After all that, it was Michael Hestbaek who took the win in the Stars with four-time medallist (two gold and two silver), Robert Scheidt in fourth.
The USA's Caleb Paine won the Finns, with another four-time medallist (three gold, one silver), Ben Ainslie in fifth. Paine commented, "It feels great to have won today obviously not being selected to represent [the USA] in the Olympics, so to beat the other guys who will be there feels great." But for Ainslie it wasn't so much about the results, "My focus for the week is learning, especially the equipment in the boat; the results aren't important this week it is just about getting the preparation right and learning as much about the venue as possible."
The Paralympic course was one of those that raced in both the morning and the afternoon – starting with one race each for the Sonar and the Skud in the morning. The Sonar's were won by Udo Hessels and Mischa Rossen of the Netherlands from Sven Reiger and Edmund Rath of Austria. In the SKUD 18, Qingdao bronze medallists, John Scott McRoberts and Stacie Louttit from Canada took the honours from Australia's Qingdao silver medallists Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch.
John Scott McRoberts commented, "It was great to be first today and we are looking forward to the rest of the week and the windy conditions which we prefer; particularly as we already had lots of practice at the Delta Lloyd regatta in light air." The 2.4mR fleet got out on the Paralympic course in the afternoon, and managed two races in the light conditions. Some very familiar faces were out the front, with both the Netherlands Thierry Schmitter and Megan Pascoe of Team GBR scoring a second and a third to tie for the lead overall, ahead of France's gold and silver medallist, Damien Seguin in third.
Getting the toughest deal were the men on the Laser course, it was very late when they finally got going, pushing on towards seven o'clock. Unsurprisingly, they only got one race in, and it was won by Simon Grotelueschen, beating countryman Philipp Buhl. The Women in the Laser Radial did better, with two races completed by a reasonable hour. It was Dongshuang Zhang of China that took a first and second place to lead overall from Canada's Isabella Bertold and Spain's Fatima Reyes.
It was also a very long day out on the Women's Match Racing course, they started at 10:00 and finished their eleventh flight at 20:20 – almost ten hours later. The only unbeaten teams at the end of the day were Australia's Olivia Price who won six from six and Silja Lehtinen with four from four. And with Russia's Ekaterina Skudina only losing one from six, these three currently top the standings, but there is a long way to go in this competition.
The 49ers took all day to get through it, but they finished three races for both fleets. At the top at the end of the day was Britain's Dave Evans and Ed Powys with two wins and a third. It gives them a solid jump from Austria's second-placed Nico Luca Marc Delle Karth and Nikolaus Leopold Resch. Evans commented, "We like the breeze so we are looking forward to the rest of week. Today was a condition we are ok in, but we don't really do that well in; so getting a good result was great for us."
The RS:X Women got two races in today, and it was Poland's Zofia Noceti-Klepacka that had the best of the day, with a first and a second, edging Britain's Bryony Shaw who had a solid couple of thirds, and Spain's Marina Alabau with a second and an eighth. It wasn't a surprise to Bryony Shaw, who commented afterwards, "We had a couple of light wind specialists up there in the first race and then the two girls who I see as my main rivals from Poland and Spain were there in the second race, really showing their experience when everyone was tired and a bit worn out after the first race, so it was a good little battle with those two."
Zofia Noceti-Klepacka reckons she will be stronger in the windier conditions forecast for the end of the week though – which may or may not worry Shaw. "I prefer it when the conditions are windier so I am looking forward to the rest of the week; the forecast looks great so it will be more fun," said Noceti-Klepacka.
The Men's RS:X got one race done in the morning and another in the afternoon. The day belonged to 2012 World Champion, Julien Bontemps of France, with a first and a third. It was just a one point better performance than Toni Wilhelm of Germany who scored a first and a fourth.