Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Annalise Murphy

Annalise Murphy, (30), the only Irish sailor nominated so far for the 2021 Olympic Regatta, has spoken of the difficulties presented by COVID-19 in attempting to train at the Tokyo Regatta venue.

The fact that the Olympics is going ahead at all is positive news for the Irish star but after a year of continuous training at home, and little in the way of competition, it has been a frustrating scenario for the National Yacht Club sailor in her bid for Olympic gold next year. 

She told a special presentation of the Irish Laser class at its recent AGM that she 'obviously would love to train in Tokyo before the Olympics but the reality is that it might be very difficult to do that'.

Firstly, Murphy says, there is the question about whether international athletes will be allowed into Japan at all during the current lockdown, then there is the level of quarantining required once in Tokyo. "If we have to spend two weeks quarantining in a hotel room in order to just do a two-week training camp then the reward may not really be worth the loss of all that time".

Rio Silver medalist Annalise Murphy was crowned 2020 Italian Olympic Week week champion in October, just one of a few international Radial regattas held in 2020Rio Silver medalist Annalise Murphy was crowned 2020 Italian Olympic Week champion in September, just one of a few international Radial regattas held in 2020

As a result, the Rio silver medalist says, in reality, she 'doesn't really know what is going to happen'.

'We just have to be happy to take it one step at a time. If the opportunity presents itself to go out to Japan beforehand, that's brilliant but if not I can’t worry about it too much because no one else can go out there either'. 

Her plan is to stay positive over the winter and 'roll with whatever happens', she concludes.

Published in Laser

The Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) say in an update that Irish athletes across most sports are still on the qualification journey for the Tokyo Olympic Games which now take place next year from 23 July to 8 August 2021. Sailing is no different with only one of a possible three confirmed so far.

To date, there are 52 confirmed athlete spots for Tokyo, with many more athletes and teams sitting inside qualification status.

Eleven sports to date will enjoy Irish representation in Tokyo, and the current tracking of the team could see Team Ireland travelling next summer to Tokyo with the largest Olympic team to date.

In sailing, Ireland has already qualified one boat for Tokyo – the Women’s Laser Radial, which was achieved via Aisling Keller at the World Championships in 2019 – this position is set to be filled by Annalise Murphy, who has been nominated by Irish Sailing after a cut-short trial that left both Keller and Howth rival Aoife Hopkins 'devastated'. 

'Selection', say the OFI, will be made once the process has been completed.

Seafra Guilfyole (left) and Ryan Seaton are one of two Irish 49er campaigns looking for the last nation berth for Tokyo 2021Seafra Guilfoyle (left) and Ryan Seaton are one of two Irish 49er campaigns looking for the last nation berth for Tokyo 2021

There are still limited opportunities for Ireland to qualify another boat – the 49er can still qualify at the planned European Sailing Cup where one spot is available. As Afloat reported earlier, Ireland is vying with Belgium, Sweden and Italy for the one remaining European place. Form at the 2020 Worlds suggested that Irish sailors would be favourites having finished ahead of the other three candidates.

Laser sailor Finn Lynch, one of three Irish helmsmen seeking one of two final nation berths for Tokyo 2021Laser sailor Finn Lynch, one of three Irish helmsmen seeking a final nation berth for Tokyo 2021

In the Men’s Laser, there are two spots available at the planned European Sailing Cup. Up to six countries are in the running – Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands and Belgium and Ireland with Ireland finishing behind all of these at the latest World Championships.

In both of these events, the majority of spots were available at the World Championships in 2019 but unfortunately, Ireland missed out.

As Afloat reported in back in March the IOC, in their determination to maintain normality – or to return to normality as soon as possible – have issued a position update on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the potential changes to the qualification process disrupted by the spread of Covid-19.

Many sports, including sailing, have had to cancel qualifying events and the IOC has asked International Federations to consider revising the qualification process which may include ranking or historical results. More on this here.

Published in Tokyo 2020

The process of intense training, endlessly learning, and continually practising in the hope and expectation of improving your game does not come easily to many Irish sailors. The fact of our being an island nation, and having a very long history of sailing with a strong family tradition within it, gives us a vague but inescapable feeling that getting the best from a sailing boat comes naturally to us, as we reckon we're provided with this genetically inbuilt talent which only needs some occasional tweaking to keep us at the sharp end of the fleet.

Yet as Ireland's top international sailing performers have been learning – and telling us too – for very many decades now, it is only by being open-minded to learning and training and practising and competing again and again at the highest level abroad that you begin to come anywhere near the standard required.

Thus far from being at an advantage as maritime dwellers on an island of relatively low population, we actually face into the top international competitions at a treble disadvantage. Firstly, by having this inherited disposition of feeling that we know most of it already means that, instead of starting from scratch, we actually have to un-learn many of our bad sailing habits before we can begin to progress in the true path.

Annalise Murphy, Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove at a fund-raiser for the Dickson-Waddilove 49er CampaignSeekers of the true performance path……Annalise Murphy, Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove at a fund-raiser for the Dickson-Waddilove 49er Campaign. Photo: W M Nixon

Secondly, we've to get where the real competition is - which is nearer the main centres of population and definitely not on our little island - so logistics are almost always a real challenge. And thirdly, always in the background is the limitation of resources in a national economy which is already smaller than that of some major cities.

Oh sure, some figures seem to show that – were the times normal - we'd be awash with dough. We may indeed be awash with money. But much of it is already spoken for, as we're a nation of mortgage slaves on the inexplicably highest interest rate in Europe, and with many ridiculously expensive utility services to pay for as well. So always, in hoping to promote Irish sailing to the top international performance levels, the Irish sailing community's leading young contenders are up against the shortage of resources in addition to this underlying feeling that trying too hard is somehow un-Irish.

Graceful and seemingly effortless amateur success - done in an atmosphere of quiet modesty rather than noisy air-punching self-aggrandisement – is still a widely-shared Irish sailing ideal.

It was an attitude which was in retreat, but it now may well be holding its own, as the larger world increasingly questions whether or not the approach needed to achieve international sporting success at the top level is really a way of life which is conducive to producing well-balanced socially-positive individuals, rather than one-dimensional sports achievement monomaniacs with no hinterland of other normal interests.

Rob Dickson and Sean WaddiloveWhen it all becomes perfect – Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove at one with their challenging 49er

But there's another way of looking at this. The ancient Greeks, who have some skin in the game in the matter of the Olympic sports ideal, regarded sport and its highest possible achievement as being central to their culture. So those modern cultural gurus who dominate thinking in the arts of all kinds, while at the same looking down disdainfully on sport, are themselves as blinkered as the totally single-minded sportsperson who thinks only of his or her competitive life to the virtual exclusion of everything else.

And fortunately for the general good of society, for many able athletes, the period of total absorption in their sport at the highest level is within a defined period of peak achievement potential. The better national sports authorities are becoming more adept at easing their stars back into a fulfilling "civilian" life once their days at the sharp end of performance are drawing to a close.

Certainly, we can think of former stars who were somehow never subsequently comfortable in the outside world. But there are now far more stars of yesterday who have aged gracefully into useful and highly-respected members of their community as people with a wide range of interests.

Finn Lynch and Annalise Murphy racing former Olympian Cathy Mac Aleavey's Water WagEngaging with another world. Finn Lynch and Annalise Murphy racing former Olympian Cathy Mac Aleavey's Water Wag in Dun Laoghaire when the 2020 sailing season finally got properly underway on July 15th. They won. Photo: Con Murphy

But instead of spouting vague sociological theories and examples, it is surely better to catch up with some of our most promising young sailing stars as they take stock of the situation now after a frustratingly limited international season. It may have started in some style on the other side of the planet in January and February with Worlds in Melbourne, Australia, but has since made uneven progress with a postponed and restricted Kiel Week in Germany in September, and most recently with majors at Attersee in Austria and the Laser Europeans in Gdansk in Poland.

Download the background details on Ireland's current Performance Squad below.

Not surprisingly, the extremely uneven nature of the year's programme produced uneven results for Ireland's sailors, such that it was reckoned good going to get into single figures in the final leaderboard, and 2016 Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy of the National YC nearly achieved that with 12th in the Women's Laser Radial Worlds in Melbourne on a scorecard which included a race win, while she'd the additional intriguing experience of taking fellow Olympic Silver Medallist Sonia O'Sullivan – who won her medal in the 5000 metres in the 2000 Games - for a sail in the Murphy boat.

That Laser gathering Down Under included the remarkable campaign by 15-year-old Eve McMahon from Howth, who'd come to added prominence in July 2019 with her win in the U17 Laser Radial Worlds in Canada, and now - six months later - was on a solo run in Australia as a taster and tester towards a challenge for 2024, with a Melbourne campaign so solo that she was in effect her own shore manager, accommodated with a family she'd never met before.

Eve McMahon won't be entitled to a full driving licence until March 2021Youthful determination. Although Eve McMahon won't be entitled to a full driving licence until March 2021, she has already successfully experienced International Laser racing at the top level.

If anything it increased her already considerable enthusiasm, but as she said this week, it was a vertical curve in learning what's involved at the stratospheric heights to which the Irish Sailing Academy is aiming.

"It's such a different world, totally remote from club sailing or even regional or national championships. If you respond to it, you find the atmosphere is electric, and I'm very keen to progress to make the most of it in every way. And yes, it will be a great help to qualify for a driving licence when I turn 17 in March 2021…..."

Sailing Performance HQ at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

This mixture of dealing with the mundane demands of logistics ashore while aspiring to athletic genius afloat is something which immediately separates the trainee stars from other sailors, so much so that they often find their most congenial company within their own circle of international campaigners. Thus the creation last year of the modestly-scaled Irish Sailing Performance HQ – usually known as the Olympic Sailing HQ - within the Irish Lights compound in Dun Laoghaire, utilising a €300,000 grant from the Irish Sailing Foundation, has provided a remarkable sense of cohesion and camaraderie among the top tier.

Finn Lynch and Annalise MurphyBack to business. Finn Lynch and Annalise Murphy preparing their Lasers in the Irish Sailing Performance HQ in Dun Laoghaire. Photo: Rachel Fallon LangdonRob Dickson and Sean Waddilove sorting the knitting on their 49er Boys-o-buoys…..Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove sorting the knitting on their 49er in the Performance HQ beside the Irish Lights nav aids. Photo: Rachel Fallon Langdon

International 49er campaigners Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove – from Howth and Skerries respectively – have to co-ordinate central aspects of their training with the other 49er challengers Ryan Seaton from Belfast Lough and Seafra Guilfoyle from Cork, and the Performance HQ provides the focus for this.

Between them, they have four home clubs, so whichever one was selected as a temporary base inevitably saw them differentiated as "the Olympic squad", their presence sometimes at variance with the much more easy-going mood which can prevail in club sailing. But with the Performance HQ, there's no doubt about what's going on, this is their own bubble, their own base, and they all understand and encourage each other's motivation in a mutual support group.

Getting ready for lift-off with Cracklin' RosieGetting ready for lift-off with Cracklin' Rosie. The provision of a dedicated base at the performance HQ with its workshop facilities has proven a real benefit. Photo: Rachel Fallon Langdon

Maybe so, but ultimately it's all about crews being on their own and completely for themselves in competition afloat, and in the Irish context the introduction of the International Laser as an Olympic class in 1996 in two categories has been a Godsend. While the 49er is the undoubtedly spectacular eye-catcher and a boat of character – Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove have gone so far as to name their primary boat Cracklin' Rosie after Rob's late grandfather Roy's legendarily successful offshore racer – the 49er is an expensive bit of kit and needs a crew of two. But the sublimely simple solo-sailed Laser provides remarkable value for money at every level of competition.

So although there's still a chance that Ireland could secure a place in the 2021 Olympics for a 49er if enough selection events can be held as (hopefully) the pandemic recedes internationally, there's perhaps a better chance that Finn Lynch (who took a personal best of 13th, the same as his World Ranking, at the Euros) can pull it out of the hat for a place in the Laser men's, as outlined in Afloat back in March here. But already firmly in place with nomination officially made is Annalise Murphy. Yet even with the security of that assured place, she and her coach Rory Fitzpatrick have to get through a late Autumn and probably a winter of suspended animation.

Of course, there are all sorts of alternative training options, with the 49er teams into weights at home while everyone on the squad is an avid cyclist - so much so that at various stages in the past both Annalise Murphy and Finn Lynch have had their planned sailing programmes interrupted by cycling accidents.

A very young Finn Lynch takes his first sail as an absolute beginner with a Topper at BlessingtonA very young Finn Lynch takes his first sail as an absolute beginner with a Topper at Blessington.

Finn Lynch in control in the LaserA new world – Finn Lynch in control in the Laser

But in the end, it's time afloat - with competition or co-training at the highest possible level available – which is essential, and the hope is that lockdowns may have lifted enough for Vilamoura in Portugal to become it usual inventive self early in the year with pop-up championships, while much hope is being pinned on the possibility of the Princess Sofia championship in Mallorca early in April.

Certainly, the recent big-fleet Laser Europeans in Gdansk impressed everyone with the social-distancing and other health standards which were rigorously maintained while proper racing was being provided afloat, but whether that can be done in the more easy-going mood of southern Europe is another matter.

Meanwhile, Ireland's potential sailing Olympians maintain their fitness and attitude as best they can, and allow other aspects of their lives to play a larger role for the next six weeks, with Aoife Hopkins at UCD concentrating on exam preparation, Eve McMahon at the pressure-cooker Institute of Education focusing on studies and test levels which are of Olympic standards in themselves, while Rob Dickson, having found that it was simply impossible to balance his sailing programme with the demands of personal attendance at DCU to further his studies in Sports Science and Health, has transferred to an online course at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Like everyone else, our Olympic sailing hopefuls have to get through this Winter of Frustration as best they can with the support of family and friends. But as with everything to do with the Olympics, it all seems to be accentuated, emphasised and multiplied many times over.

Read all the latest Irish Olympic Sailing News in the build-up to Tokyo 2021 here

Annalise Murphy snatched a second place in today's final race of Women’s Laser Radial European Championships in Poland but that's as far as the good news went for Ireland's only sailor to be nominated (so far) for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

There’s no doubt the Rio silver medalist will be disappointed with her final position in 27th an event the National Yacht Club sailor previously won in 2013.

Aoife Hopkins - 32nd overall in PoznanAoife Hopkins - 32nd overall in Poznan Photo: Thom Touw 

Aoife Hopkins finished 32nd in gold fleet, while Howth clubmate Eve McMahon also had a solid event – at 16 years old (and a 2019 Under-17 Radial World Champion) she was by far the youngest in the fleet, and her qualification for the gold fleet and final position in 45th place is an indication of her bright future.

Eve McMahon - at 16 the youngest sailor to make gold fleet at the Radial Europeans Photo: Thom TouwEve McMahon - at 16 the youngest sailor to make gold fleet at the Radial Europeans Photo: Thom Touw

Bouwmeester is Euro Champion

The reigning 2020 World and 2016 Olympic champion Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-1) surpassed the reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (19-16) on the last day to be crowned the new 2020 Women’s Senior European champion for the fourth time in her career.

Anne Marie governed the fleet during the whole event but had a terrible day today, scoring her worst two races in the whole championship, ruining the 20 points lead she had this morning.

Marit looked revitalised instead after the Yellow flag penalty received yesterday, and after that DNC she scored her best 4-1-2-1 results to climb to the top and grab her name on both the Worlds and European titles this year.

"I knew that it would be very difficult. All I could do is sail as good as possible. I’ve sailed a great day and were lucky that Anne Marie had a difficult day. Which is obviously out of my control" – Marit Bouwmeester NED

“It was not my day today. I let my emotions affect me today and I sailed under my level. I’m very disappointed and sad but it’s a part of sport. I got to learn from it and come back stronger “, confessed Anne Marie Rindom (DEN)

The Bronze medal was finally for local sailor Agata Barwinska POL (15-7), overcoming Greek Vasileia Karachaliou GRE (29-14) by 5 points.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020

A dramatic turnaround - from an Irish perspective at least - saw Howth’s Aoife Hopkins move up to 32nd place in the 2020 Laser Radial Senior European Radial Championships in Poland today to overhaul Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy by a single place. Eve McMahon is in 40.

Three races were added to scores on Women’s Gold and Silver fleets but an overall disappointing one for Murphy dropping some 15 places overall from 18th on Sunday.

Racing started with 6-8 knots breeze from land on this second day of the Final series, raising then up to 12 knots for the last races.

It’s been a tricky competition with big variations in the offshore wind, and this shows in the high scores of the women’s Laser Radials but there is no mistaking the consistency of the top five who are among Murphy’s main rivals for Gold at next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

The women’s fleet has two more races tomorrow that is forecast to be the breeziest of the series, so standby to see Ireland’s 'Breeze Queen' make an impact on Gdansk Bay in the final day's proceedings.

There has been some terrific sailing by the reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (2-9-6), leading the championship from the beginning. She’s heading the fleet with 22 points after ten races and got a 20 points margin on second.

The second-placed sailor, however,  is none other than the reigning 2020 World and 2016 Olympic champion Marit Bouwmeester NED (55 DNC-4-1), who scored her first win today on this event and a 4th after waiting aside during the first race due to Yellow flags received yesterday. So nothing is definite and the Gold medal title remains open.

Sailing conditions will be different tomorrow, although both sailors are Masters in all of them.

Third place is now for ascendant Vasileia Karachaliou GRE (9-1-11) with 51 points, only 9 behind Marit.

“My goal for today was to try to be in the top 10 and then try to climb up from there. I was really happy to be able to come back from mid-fleet position in the last race today. It was another really hard day, happy that I manage to survive. Thoughts for tomorrow are to try to stay calm and warm for tomorrow’s last day of the championship” – Vasileia Karachaliou GRE

Local sailor Agata Barwinska POL (16-17-23) couldn’t repeat yesterday’s great performance, dropping from 2nd to 4th with 53 points. Svenja Weger GER (3-12-25) is fifth with 67.

Two points separate the next 4 sailors, ranked 6th to 9th on provisional European Top 10: Maud Jayet SUI –76–, Josefin Olsson SWE –76.2–, Ecem Guzel TUR –78– and Emma Plasschaert BEL –78–. Maxime Jonker NED wraps this list, sharing 87 points with Silvia Zennaro ITA on the 11th place.

Canadian sailor Sarah Douglas CAN is best non-European sailor, holding the 6th place overall with 72 units.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020

Light breeze dominated the first Final series day at the 2020 Laser Radial Senior European Championships and Open European Trophy in Gdansk, Poland today that sees Annalise Murphy maintain her 18th position overall in the 107-boat fleet.

Howth Yacht Club teenager Eve McMahon, however, has moved up four places to be within four places of the Rio Silver Medalist in 22nd overall. Aoife Hopkins, also of Howth, lies 30th.

Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins Photo: Thom TouwHowth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins Photo: Thom Touw

Murphy says she is enjoying the regatta and its efficient organisation when she is interviewed briefly in the day 3 video highlights below, scrub to 0.13, 1.01 and 1.49 on the timeline to hear the Irish star. 

Reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4-1-1-2-2-7) shows determined to repeat the title, although scoring her worst race today on the single race contested, leading the Radial Women’s championship with 11 points.

Polish sailor Agata Barwinska POL (22-1-3-4-2-8-2) is also determined to fight for that Gold medal, scoring a great result today on very difficult conditions and following the leader just 9 points behind.

Third place is now for consistent 2018 World champion Emma Plasschaert BEL (7-5-4-5-11-4-6) with 31.

2020 World champion and overnight second Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3-2-7-23-3-20) is fourth now with 37, escorted by her teammates Maxime Jonker NED –41 pt– and Mirthe Akkerman NED –44 pt– on 5th and 6th.

Greek sailor Vasileia Karachaliou GRE has enter the top 10 now after winning the race today and holds the seventh position with 45.

The second day of finals racing continues tomorrow and the championships conclude on Tuesday.

Results here

Published in Annalise Murphy

Its gold fleet (or top 50% of the 107-boat fleet) for all three of Ireland’s female Radials sailors at the 2020 Laser Senior European Championships and Open European Trophy in Gdansk, Poland.

There’s little doubt Annalise Murphy, a former winner of this event in 2013, would have hoped for better than her current 18th overall as the fleet progresses to the final rounds of the championships tomorrow. A dip in performance in her last two races to give her a scoresheet of 9,5,11,9,50 and 22 means she is a full 49 points off the overall lead.

Murphy is already nominated for Tokyo next July 2021 but such is the calendar in these COVID-times, this Euro event represents the first big fleet sailing since the World Championships last January in Melbourne so it's an important one to register a top finish.

Talented teen - Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club is in gold fleet in GdanskTalented teen - Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club is in gold fleet in Gdansk Photo: Thom Touw

Joining Ireland’s Rio silver medalist in the gold fleet tomorrow is Howth teenager Eve McMahon and Aoife Hopkins in 26th and 34th place respectively.

Light wind conditions prevailed for the first time today and the reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4-1-1-2-2) conquered an interesting gap today for wrapping the Qualifying series, leading the Women’s championship now 10 points ahead of 2020 World champion Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3-2-7-23-3).

Polish sailor Agata Barwinska POL (22-1-3-4-2-8) is still on third and only 1 point behind Marit, based on great consistency showed in her last 5 races.

“It was tricky and especially the second race was very interesting with huge pressure differences. I had a good strategy and was able to exclude it so it turned out pretty well for me” declared Rindom after the races.

Talking about consistency, 2018 World champion Emma Plasschaert BEL (7-5-4-5-11-4) now places now fourth with 25 points. Maxime Jonker NED is fifth with 27.

The final series will start tomorrow, where the Radial Women’s fleet will be split in Gold and Silver.

The first warning signal for the Radial will be at 11:45

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Annalise Murphy has dropped five places to 15th overall in the 107-boat fleet of  Women's Laser Radial European Championships after the second day of racing on Gdansk Bay in Poland. 

Howth's Eve McMahon is in 24th and clubmate Aoife Hopkins is 30th. 

Tomorrow is another day of qualifying races before the fleets split for Sunday's final series.

Today was another day of great sailing conditions. A shifty NW breeze varying from 8-15 knots brought much longer waves than yesterday, although conditions were still choppy due to the 'unsteady' wind.

Reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4-1-1) scored perfectly today, leading the Radial Women’s championship with 3 points.

Second place for the reigning 2020 World champion Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3-2-7) with 7. One point behind her is now Polish Agata Barwinska POL (22-1-3-4) on third place with 8 points.

Murphy from the National Yacht Club will be aware of the gap widening with the leaders which she will need to close on Saturday to have a realistic chance of catching her Tokyo 2021 rivals. 

Third of overnight leaders Line Flem Host NOR (2-3-7-17) dropped to 7th overall (6th European) with 12 points.

Fourth and fifth places for Maxime Jonker NED and Maud Jayet SUI with 10.

Mirthe Akkerman NED and Emma Plasschaert BEL – both with 14 points–, Wiktoria Golebiowska POL –15 pt– and Ecem Guzel TUR –17 pt– complete the European top 10 list. 

Results here

Published in National YC

The first day of competition at the Laser Senior European Championship in Gdansk, Poland sees the National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy finishing  in ninth place overall.

Fresh from victory at Italian Olympic Week, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist is a former winner of this event, sweeping to victory in a near gale on her home waters of Dublin Bay in 2013. 

Howth's Eve McMahon in 15th and Aoife Hopkins in 25th place in the 107-boat Women's Laser Radial fleet.

While the first races were held in ten knots of breeze off the land, the second races saw the wind increase to 15 knots from the same direction.

There's been a tight start to the Women’s championship, with three sailors sharing the top positions with 5 points: Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4), Line Flem Host NOR (2-3) and Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3).

Mirthe Akkerman NED (6-1) is also close with 7 points and ranked fourth overall. Fifth European place and sixth overall for Emma Plasschaert BEL (7-5).

Denmark's Anne Marie Rindom said "It was one of those days where you have to look after the pressure and sail the shifts but still managed to not take to big risks. I finished 1 and 4 and I’m very happy about how it went. I’m coming back after a long time with an injury and just enjoying racing again "

Silvia Zennaro ITA, Murphy Ecem Guzel TUR and Pia Kuhlmann GER complete the European provisional top 10.

Sarah Douglas CAN is the only non-European sailor among the first competitors, holding the fifth place on rank.

Racing continues tomorrow.

Results here

Published in National YC

Ireland's only sailor qualified so far for Tokyo 2021, Annalise Murphy races tomorrow in Poland as part of a six-boat Irish Laser team at the class European Championships.

Murphy is in top form for the Gdańsk Bay regatta having been crowned Italian Olympic Week champion late last month as Afloat reported here.

Poland is the first opportunity since the World Championships in Melbourne last February (where Murphy finished just outside the top ten) for the Laser class to compete in a large scale-format with a total fleet of 300 boats and - given the year that's in it - it's also the last chance this season to compete at European level.

Dun Laoghaire's Olympic Rio silver medalist leads a six-boat Irish team of three males and three females at Górki Zachodnie, nearby Gdańsk. Joining Murphy are Howth's Aoife Hopkins and Eve McMahon who compete against 109 other sailors from 36 countries in the women’s Laser Radial fleet. McMahon at 16 years of age, will be one of the youngest competitors in the fleet.

As Afloat readers know, Murphy was nominated for Tokyo after a cut-short trial in June but Hopkins and McMahon are on the start line again regardless with thoughts of campaigns for Paris 2024 already looming into sight. Not competing this week is Aisling Keller, the County Tipperary sailor who secured Ireland's berth for Tokyo in 2019 but was then left 'devastated' after the nomination decision.

All three of the 2016 Rio Olympic medallists will be competing in the Radial: Murphy (Silver), Marit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands (Gold), and Anne Marie Rindom of Denmark (Bronze).

Of course, in her remarkable career, Murphy is no stranger to the European podium, winning on home waters in 2013, a feat she would dearly love to replicate this week. 

Irish Laser men look for top Euro result to boost Olympic chances

In the men’s Laser Standard, Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon are racing in a field of 133 sailors from 39 countries. Lynch is in good form having finished seventh in Italy in a high calibre fleet even though he missed the last race. Rival McMahon, in his first Olympic campaign, also fared well in Italy to end up in tenth. Gdańsk will be familiar territory for Ballyholme's Glynn, who won the bronze medal here at the U21 Laser World Championships in 2018. 

Finn Lynch on port tack at Italian Olympic Week this monthFinn Lynch on port tack at Italian Olympic Week this month

This week's Euros is an important event for the Irish men as all three continue to look for the form to bring Ireland one of the two remaining Olympic berths early next season. 

Despite being on the Baltic Sea, Gdańsk Bay usually has warm weather at this time of the year, but unusual offshore conditions. The forecast is for medium breezes.

Download the event Notice of Race below

Published in Laser
Page 1 of 38

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating