Displaying items by tag: Aoife Hopkins
Also of Dun Laoghaire interest is 2016 Irish Rio rep Saskia Tidey in the 49erfx, who is now sailing for Team GB.
The event marks the start of a big year for Olympic class sailors, as they prepare for the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark this summer.
Sailors from over 50 nations will race over six days in all ten Olympic events on Biscayne Bay, just off Coconut Grove in Miami. The fleets will feature 27 Olympic medallists and they, along with all competitors, will come up against a moderate 12 knot breeze, warm temperatures and intermittent showers during the week.
Erika Reineke (USA) is a local Laser Radial sailor and she is very familiar with the waters. As sailors get set up in Regatta Park, Reineke welcomes the international competitors and is looking forward to the event. "It's great to see so many faces from across the world come here,” says Reineke.
Reineke and Women's 470 sailor, Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) both relate to the thought of Dolphins whenever they think of sailing in Miami.
Siegenthaler will be sailing with Linda Fahrni. The pair also competed at the first event of the Series in Gamagori, Japan, and just missed out on a podium spot. However, they are looking to improve on that showing, ready for the Worlds in Aarhus.
In the Men's Laser fleet, Lynch will be up against it, the finest sailors in the class are here in Miami ready to fight for World Cup Series medals. The ones to beat will once again be Rio 2016 gold medallist, Tom Burton, reigning World Champion, Pavlos Kontides (CYP) and 2017 European Champion, Nick Thompson (GBR).
Ahead of the competition Kontides was at ease in Miami and when asked what he thought about the Sunshine State he responded, "Beautiful, warm and vibrant.”
However, Kontides says the competition in Miami isn't easy, "It's always tricky. As you can see from the results, sailors finish with high points and competition is very close. It can be unpredictable.”
The London 2012 Olympic medallist, has his sights firmly set on Aarhus as well.
"I have nice memories from Aarhus from 2008. I was able to win the Youth Worlds back then. Right now, my main focus is on training as much as I can and using this event to prepare for the Worlds,” said Kontides.
Racing is scheduled to commence on Tuesday 23 January with the regatta culminating with the LIVE Medal Race days on Saturday and Sunday, 27 and 28 January.
There was a slight delay in the launching as once again the weather repeated the pattern of the previous days and the sailors had to wait for wind.
Two races were completed In a strong thermal breeze which was a relief to the sailors after the light tricky conditions of the last few days.
Nick Thompson (GBR) took line honours in the men's standard rig followed closely by Francesco Marria (ITA) and Andrew McKenzie (NZL).
In the women's radial fleet Marit Bowmester (NED) the current World Champions and Rio Olympic gold medalist once again dominated. She was followed by Rio silver medalist Anna-Marie Rindom (DEN) with Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE) in third.
The radial men's line up was Marcin Rudawski (POL) followed by Marcelo Cairo Assenza (GRE) and Dimitris Papadimitriou (ESP).
The young Irish team had some exceptional performances in a fleet dominated by seasoned campaigners. The championship consists of the Europeans (European sailors only) and an open event. This event is considered significant by Sport Ireland and sailors are judged on this European result. In Gold Fleet, Aoife Hopkins, who has yet to turn 19, from Howth Yacht Club finished in 21st (23rd open event) with a 6th position in her first race of the day. 22–year–old Rio Olympian Finn Lynch in the men's standard rig division finished in 33rd in the Europeans (37th open event) and also had a good first race scoring a 12th. Ronan Wallace in the men's radial division finished in 43rd (42nd open).
In the silver division (men's standard rig) 18–year–old Ewan McMahon from Howth Yacht Club in his first senior event finished up 4th silver (61st Europeans and 67th open). Aisling Keller from Lough Derg following an unfortunate protest that pushed her from the bottom of gold fleet into the silver fleet sailed at the top of the fleet and finished up 2nd silver (41st Europeans and 47th open). Sally Bell had a better day today scoring an excellent 15th in her first race today and finished 79th in the Europeans (87th open).
This is a critical year in the Irish teams development and they will be training hard all winter in preparation for the Olympic Qualifying event in Aarhus next summer.
19–year–old Aoife Hopkins from Howth Yacht Club started the her first day in gold fleet at the Laser European Championships in Barcelona with a mid-fleet result in race one followed by a 31st (discarded) in race two. Hopkins currently lies 20th overall in the 90 boat fleet.
Today’s racing started with a postponement, as the gradient wind that had been there from early morning died away. The sailors settled in and waited for the thermal wind to come in eventually launching at 2:30pm to light shifty conditions.
The Irish sailors that had made Gold fleet discovered that the rumours are true – it is indeed tough at the top!
Rio Olympian Finn Lynch from the National Yacht Club in the Men’s standard rig fleet scored a 54th (discarded) and 33rd and currently lies 31st overall in the 125 boat fleet. Ireland only other gold fleet competitor Ronan Wallace in the men’s radial division is currently scored DNC on the score sheet.
A protest yesterday pushed Aisling Keller from Lough Derg Yacht Club into silver fleet in the women’s radial. Aisling scored a 38th and an 18th leaving her 59th overall. Sally Bell in her first senior European event scored a 45th and 44th . In the men’s standard rig Ewan McMahon also in his first senior event enjoyed some racing at the top of silver fleet to score a 12th and a 4th bringing him up the score sheet nicely to 65th overall.
Results are here.
How do you strike a balance between the sport you love and a life outside it? How do you achieve great results but still have other strings to your bow? A criticism that is often levelled at performance athletes is that they have to sacrifice everything for their sport, which means that they lose the balance in their life between sport and their education or career. Rory Fitzpatrick, Irish Sailing’s Youth & Development Manager has long argued that the most successful sailors are those who strike the correct balance. One such athlete he points to is Irish Sailing Performance Pathway’s Aoife Hopkins, winner of the U21 Laser Radial European Championships this July who achieved a whopping 601 points in her Leaving Cert and is now studying maths at Trinity College Dublin.
We talked to Aoife of Howth Yacht Club about her very busy summer, and how she balances sailing and studying.
Aoife, this summer you managed to score over 600 points in your Leaving Certificate and win the U21 Laser Radial European Championship just a few weeks later. You must be delighted but did this come as a surprise to you?
I was absolutely thrilled as both my exam results and sailing performance reflected two years of hard work put into balancing both. While I was delighted, I wasn’t surprised, as the processes had been in place all along.
Knowing that it would be a busy time how far out were you planning for this?
I actually started planning at the beginning of fifth year when it became clear that I’d be missing a lot of school for sailing. So I guess a full two years!
When you first put the plan together what made it look achievable and worthwhile?
The goal was to get enough time on the water and enough study time to excel at both aspects. The plan, while definitely a challenge, had at least 3 (but usually 4 or 5) days on the water a week while still allowing me to have enough study time (also fitting in an extra subject, applied maths, every day before school). I could see that although my sailing sessions wouldn’t necessarily be long (some were only 1 hour), it was enough that I was keeping touch with the feeling of the boat while continuing to train in a range of conditions. That to me seemed like a success and I was sure that the results would eventually reflect that.
Was there much compromise in your normal school time to balance in sailing over the same time?
Definitely! I missed a huge amount of school in fifth year. I competed in the U21 Europeans (1 week), La Rochelle Olympic Week (1 week), Copa da Brazil (2 weeks), Miami World Cup (2 weeks), Senior Worlds (2 weeks) and Senior Europeans (2 weeks). This was all during term time and doesn’t include all the half days taken to head out to Dun Laoghaire for training. I still got the highest grades in my year in my summer exams that year (613 points). Academics isn’t just about being present in class, it’s about applying yourself to it. I found that if I caught up on homework/study every night, even having missed class, while also writing notes and doing exam questions then I was in the clear. I studied at all the events, my school organised for me to get ebooks for all my subjects. I think with athletes, we’re more focused than the regular student and manage time much more effectively. This means getting more study done in less hours (put down the phones people!). While I missed less school in sixth year (only competing in the Andalusian Olympic Week and Hyeres World Cup during term time), I still had the routines in place to be able to sail 4 days a week, while still getting in gym sessions, cycles (usually as commutes) and study time.
What kind of supports did you have around you to help during the time?
At the start of fifth year I sat down with my year head, vice principal and my coach Rory Fitzpatrick to go through my weekly routine in order to address any conflicts cropping up (eg. I was missing double accounting every single week for training on a Wednesday afternoon, not really a subject you can teach yourself!). This helped as both parties understood how much was expected from me on either side…and both could then make adjustments! I also worked with Eoin Reinisch, Athlete Advisor at Sport Ireland Institute, who had me plan out my week every Sunday night in half hour blocks to ensure I had the correct balance of sailing/fitness/study/relaxation. This made me a lot more efficient and time that I might have wasted otherwise could now be used constructively, obviously I deviated at times but it definitely made me more aware of the opportunities I had to get more work done. Sportsmed were also great, whenever I thought the programme wasn’t doable I let Mark McCabe know and he adjusted it. For example, instead of sitting on a bike for two hours at the weekend I just cycled to/from school, Sportsmed, Dun Laoghaire etc to get that cycling time in without it compromising study. Mark also understood that for this period, sailing had to take priority over shore-based fitness training and he changed my TrainingPeaks to reflect that.
In addition to the support I received from my school and all in Irish Sailing, my parents were a huge help. They took on the role of campaign manager, ultimately giving me the time to train and study as I did. Mum did all the logistics involved in the events (flights, accommodation, boat charter, finding coaching support etc) as well as continuing to fundraise and find private sponsors. All of this is incredibly time consuming (as I've now realised having left school and taking on the job!). My parents' unrelenting support was what got me through two tough years of balancing an Olympic campaign and the Leaving Cert. The value of education has been emphasized in our household for years and has given me the drive to do my best in both school and sport.
What did your normal day and week look like over the period? Was it always the same or were you able to adjust it and if so how?
Sailing 4 times a week, gym twice, cycling for commutes and studying as much as possible. I definitely adjusted at times, depending on the weather forecast (if it was really good I’d sail 6 days in the week, if it was bad it might only be 2 or 3) and also on how close we got to exams. I did the Hyeres World Cup one month before the Leaving Cert started which I actually found great. It got me out of that ‘LC funk’ that starts to creep up in April and May of sixth year. I came home to be on the ‘home run’ and had enough energy to get me through the exams in one piece. I used school breaks as a good opportunity to get 6-8 hours of study done a day plus short sails, those breaks are gold dust…use them wisely!
If you had any advice for any sailors doing the final school year with exams at the start of the next summer what would it be?
First off, keep working! The year does actually fly by (between Halloween, Christmas, mocks, February midterm, St Patrick’s, Easter and then Graduation you’re not actually in school that much!). Use sailing as a tool, remember that the Leaving Cert isn’t a measure of how good a student you are, it’s a measure of how much you apply yourself compared to the rest of the country. The 50,000 other students taking exams don’t have the outlet that you have, to be able to get on the water for 2 hours getting fresh air and a workout, completely switching out of ‘school mode’. Everyone else will ‘halfway study’ for the whole year, doing a few hours then going for a walk, then another few hours, then watching a movie, then another bit, then having dinner. They get so fed up with studying (because they can never switch off like we can) that they never do it right. Use sailing to your advantage, go midweek training so that you can get proper time at a desk without feeling derived, fed up or depressed. Don’t see either academics or sailing as a chore but more as two sides to a coin that can balance each other out perfectly if done right. I can guarantee that if you don’t give one aspect the time it deserves, neither will go as well as they could have.
Go to Irish Sailing’s Facebook page to see a list of Top 10 tips and tricks to balancing sport and studying, and getting the best from both!
In a big step up for under–21 Irish stars, Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller embarked on the Laser Radial World Championships in Holland yesterday.
The first day of racing at Medemblik was delayed due to light winds.
The 100 competitors raced in two flights with race wins going to Brenda Bowskill (1,16) CAN and Isebella Bertold (1,25) CAN in the first races, and to Monika Mikkola (15,1) FIN and Isebella Maegli (15,1) GUA in the second.
After two races for the women, Kim Pletikos (3,2) of Slovinia tops the leaderboard with five points.
Lough Derg's Keller is 70th and Howth Yacht Club's Hopkins is 82nd.
Making Gold Fleet would be a great achievement for the Irish girls in the journey towards Tokyo 2020.
Top five women after two races:
1. Kim Pletikos, SLO, 5 points
2. Evi Van Acker, BEL, 7
3. Svenja Weger, GER, 10
4. Dolores Moreira Fraschini, URU, 12
5. Maria Erdi, HUN, 12
Top five men after two races:
1. Andrew Godoy, BRA, 5 points
2. Alfonso Fernandez, ESP, 8
3. Daniil Krutskikh, RUS, 13
4. Marco Villani, ITA, 24
5. Axel Rahm, SWE, 25
Lough Derg Yacht Club's Aisling Keller took seventh place overall at the under–21 Laser Radial World Championships closely followed by Irish team mate Aoife Hopkins of Howth YC in ninth place overall.
The encouraging results achieved at the Nieuwpoort, Belgium venue from 26 July – 2 August followed Euro title success in this age category for Hopkins the preceding week in Douarnenez, France. That was a result that earned the Howth youth sailor an Afloat Sailor of the Month Award.
The calendar is now so packed it's no longer possible to attend all the events. For example, Hopkins had turned down her invite from World Sailing to attend the Aarhus Test Event as three events in a row are too much. Instead it's a well deserved recovery period.
Results from Belgium are here
When that definitive image of young Aoife Hopkins leppin’ her Laser with rocket power out of a breaking wave at the European Women’s Laser Radials Under 21 Championship 2017 (July 17th to 24th) at Douarnenez in Brittany went viral, we all knew something very special was going on.
But though the young Howth sailor clearly revelled in the heavy going, she proved well able for conditions of all sorts, and had the mental strength to withstand an entire crucial day lost to calm. With three races packed into the final day, she took three firsts to clinch the trophy by a country mile.
An outstanding Sailor of the Month for July among our potential Olympians.
Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller have strengthened Ireland’s dominance of the U21 Women’s Laser Radial Europeans at Douarnenez in Brittany today writes W M Nixon. With one race still to sail in the ten-race series, Hopkins has taken two more firsts to put her clear ahead on only 12 points (she discarded a 4th), while Keller logged a second and third and sits second overall on 21pts, with her discard being an 8th.
Third placed Clementine Thompson of GB is back on 32 points, so the two Irish sailors really have worked out a substantial breathing space. As for the rest of the Irish squad, Sally Bell has had best places of a 3rd and a 4th, and lies 7th overall on 48pts.
Racing was postponed after race five due to strong winds with gusts of 35 knots. The event is set to resume with the start of the final series tomorrow (Saturday 22 July).
In the Laser Radial fleet Howth Yacht Club sailor Aoife Hopkins has placed 40th after the first day of the live medal races in Hyères, France writes Nathaniel Ogden. Showing a consistent mid-fleet performance throughout the week, Hopkins has placed ahead of fellow Irish sailor Aisling Keller of Lough Derg Yacht Club, who finished in 42nd today after a similarly consistent week in the middle of the pack. These are important results for the young Irish sailors in an early Olympic preparation event. As Aoife says, "I wasn't looking for a result at this regatta as its near my Leaving Cert but my process goal was to improve my starts. I've made massive progress on them and am getting a good start in most races now. So it's been successful all round."
The success story of the week came from the women's 49erFX fleet when RIYC sailor Saskia Tidey and helm Charlotte Dobson came in 3rd overall, winning a bronze medal in the 20 boat fleet. Having only sailed together for team GBR for 4 months, the young pair have proven to be major contenders in this year's Sailing World Cup, and will be ones to watch during the quadrennial leading up to Tokyo 2020, which will be Tidey's second Olympics in the 49erFX, but first crewing with Dobson.
NYC's Finn Lynch is sitting in 32nd place, out of 60 boats, in the men's Laser class after the first day of live medal racing at Hyères, as NE winds continued to hover around 10 knots.
Seven medals were confirmed today (Saturday) at Sailing's World Cup Series in Hyères, France.
In the first of two live Medal Race days, France's southern coast was blessed with glorious sunshine. Coupled with an 11-13 knot breeze from the west, the day was virtually perfect.
The skiffs, windsurfers, multihulls, foiling kiteboarders and the Para World Sailing 2.4 Norlin OD concluded racing.
As the Medal Races played out, there was also fighting for the top ten positions in the one person and two person dinghies ahead of Sunday's live final day of racing.
Spain's 49er team, Diego Botin and Iago Lopez, had the luxury of knowing that whatever happened in the Medal Race the gold medal was theirs. With an unassailable overnight lead, even with the double points on offer in the final race, they could not be beaten.
Reflecting on the impressive win, skipper Botin said, "It's been a really good week for us. We hope every time we come in to a Championship that we will be in with a chance at the end of the regatta and this time around we were really surprised that we were top with a day to spare.”
Digging deeper to find their secret to success, Botin confirmed a simple fact of sport, "It was a lot of things. But it really came down to yesterday when we sailed well and everyone else didn't.”
Holding on to silver was Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stu Bithell (GBR) who finished third in the Medal Race. The bronze medal went to Sweden's Carl Sylvan and Marcus Anjemark who just needed to stay ahead of nearest rivals Yago and Klaus Lange (ARG) which they did with ease as the Argentinean brothers fell to the back of the fleet finishing tenth.
In the 49erFX, Rio 2016 golden girls, Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) have done it again as they claim another Medal Race and 2017 World Cup Series win. Backing up the gold they took in Miami, USA in Round One, the Brazilian girls were just too good for the fleet.
"We have nailed the year now with Miami and now Hyères,” said a smiling Grael, "but we have to keep our feet on the ground as we know there will be big competition ahead.”
One of those big competition's is the Final in Santander, Spain this coming June. So, could it be a clean sweep? "It would be awesome,” said Grael, "let's see what happens. The FX is a tough competition.”
Germany's Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz win silver and the new 2017 pairing of Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) claim their first World Cup Series medal with a bronze.
Whatever Grael and Kunze can do, France's Louis Giard can do too. Just like the Brazilian FX sailors, the French windsurfer has also added the Hyères title to the Round One Miami gold.
Despite a nervy start, Giard has slowly but surely climbed the ladder to the top of the podium racing better and better throughout the regatta, as he explains, "It's another win for me after Miami. It wasn't an easy week of racing and I had to improve my level throughout the week. I did that so I am happy.”
One sailor in the Men's RS:X not happy is Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI). While Giard started slow and gained confidence, Sanz Lanz seemingly did the opposite. With a tenth place finish in the double point Medal Race, Sanz Lanz missed out on the medals altogether allowing Piotr Myszka (POL) to take silver and Kiran Badloe (NED) to sneak in to take bronze.
Taking the Women's RS:X gold was Poland's Zofia Noceti-Klepacka. It has been a mixed bag of results from the Polish windsurfer, but in the end a string of high finishes throughout the week was enough to claim the title, "Today I enjoyed the racing. It was stable conditions and great planing. Compare that to yesterday when it was very hard.
"Overall though I have sailed consistent. If you think I haven't won a race but I have won gold. It was all about consistency.”
That consistency equated to a 23-point win over second placed Yunxiu Lu (CHN) who takes silver and a 32-point margin over third placed, and bronze medallist, Noga Geller (ISR).
If you are going to win a gold medal, you may as well win it with a first place in the Medal Race. That is what Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco (ESP) did in the Nacra 17.
For the Spanish team it seems that Hyères has been a collection of puzzle pieces fitting to make one golden picture, as Echavarri explains, "It's a good prize for a lot of things coming together. We are enjoying our sailing and have a solid base. We are putting everything we have learned in the last two years together and it is working well.”
French medal hopefuls Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet secured silver when they finished ahead of Lin Ea Cenholt and Christian Peter Lubeck (DEN). That meant the Danes had to settle for the bronze medal.
It would seem that the mechanical issue that kept Damien Seguin (FRA) out of day four action was well and truly fixed. The impressive Frenchman returned to action in style to claim all three bullets on offer and close out the 2.4 Norlin OD series.
Summing up the regatta Seguin said, "We had ten beautiful races, especially today with an east wind and big waves. I'm happy because I love this place.”
Seguin's love has increased even more with a 17-point gap back to nearest rival Antonio Squizzato (ITA) in second. Xavier Dagault (FRA) claimed the bronze medal with 30 points.
If Seguin loves Hyères, just imagine how Nico Parlier (FRA) feels. The Frenchman has won all but one race in the Formula Foiling Kiteboarding, including the final three Medal Races.
Despite the dominance, Parlier still felt it was closer than the results suggest, "It's been tough with really close racing. I've been really dialled in with my equipment though and had the wind I like so I am really happy with everything.”
Parlier's compatriot, training partner and friend, Axel Mazella (FRA), has always been one step behind, but still secured the silver with room to spare ahead of Monaco's Maxime Nocher.
Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan will have a Hyères gold medal around their neck in the Men's 470 no matter where they finish in the final Medal Race. With two bullets from two races, they opened up a 24-point lead to second placed Carl-Fredrik Fock and Marcus Dackhammar (SWE).
In the Women's 470, Afrodite Zegers and Annaloes van Veen (NED) and Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) have been neck and neck all week. Not anymore. The Dutch team took two bullets compared to a tenth and 11th from the Swiss. Zegers and van Veen now hold a 19-point advantage.
With a 1-2 finish on day five, Alican Kayner (TUR) remains top of the Finn fleet going in to Sunday's live Medal Race. Nicholas Heiner (NED) holds second and Ed Wright (GBR) third.
Six points separate the top two in the fight for Laser gold. Italy's Francesco Marrai is the current leader on 53 points from a 2-9 day, bettering second placed Cypriot Pavlos Kontides who scored a 2-11. Australia's Matt Wearn is in third.
Evi van Acker (BEL) has secured at least a silver medal ahead of the final Medal Race in the Laser Radial. Fighting the Belgian all the way will be second placed Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) who is 12 points behind.
Racing continues on Sunday 30 April at 12:05 local time as the final five Olympic classes race in the second and final day of Live Medal Races.