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#saildlr – A forecast of strong winds looks set to sweep Annalise Murphy to the the top of the fleet in Medemblik this week and assure her of the single Irish place at the Olympic test event in Rio in August. Already the Dun Laoghaire solo sailor has made the gold fleet, curently in fifth overall, clear head of four other Irish rivals in her 82–boat fleet. Likewise Belfast's James Espey in the mens division is counting four top ten results after another solid day yesterday with a seventh and a seventh to put him eighth overall, critically he's placed in the gold fleet with discard still intact. He leads four other Irish trialists.

Also competing in Medemblik for just two places at Aqueece Rio, Brazil are radial saiors Aisling Keller, Aoife Hopkins, Erica Ruigrok and Nicole Hemeryck. Irish Laser men competing are Fionn Lyden, Chris Russell, Finn Lynch and Darragh O'Sullivan.

Published in Olympic

#isaf – The ISAF Sailing World Championships in Aarhus in 2018 will be the biggest World Championships ever. This was the message when the contract was signed today between the organisers and the International Sailing Federation, ISAF.

It will be a World Championships of records when the Bay of Aarhus forms the backdrop for the World Championships in 2018 for all Olympic boat classes. In terms of both the number of sailors and the number of participating countries, this will be an event that will surpass the sailing competition at the Olympic Games.

"This is a huge event, and it will leave its mark on the city and the bay. Once again, the Sailing World Championships place Aarhus and Denmark among the best event sites. The many participants and travelling companions will create life and atmosphere in the city and on the water, and it will be a unique experience for the city's citizens and the many visitors," said Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard and Councillor for Culture and Citizen Service, Rabih Azad-Ahmad, who have signed the contract together on behalf of the Danish organisers.

The 2018 ISAF Sailing World Championships are organised in collaboration between the International Sailing Federation, ISAF, Dansk Sejlunion, Sailing Aarhus, Sport Event Denmark and the City of Aarhus. The parties share a joint ambition about ensuring that the event becomes the biggest World Championships ever for Olympic boat classes.

ISAF President Carlo Croce said, "The ISAF Sailing World Championships is one of our pinnacle events and it's very complicated to run, you cannot do it by yourself. The Danish organisers are highly competent and the team convey the feeling that they are a strong, united group. The legacy of sailing in Aarhus is fantastic and there is a great opportunity ahead. We are very happy to be taking the event to Aarhus in 2018.

"ISAF is looking for universality and having 100 nations and upwards of 1,600 sailors competing on the Bay of Aarhus in 2018 will be amazing for the sport."

Lars Lundov, Director at Sport Event Denmark, adds, "The World Championships for all Olympic boat classes will head towards Denmark in 2018, and we have set all sails even now together with Aarhus and Dansk Sejlunion in order to establish new standards for the event".

The goal is to set a new record with upwards of 100 participating nations. The World Championships are to attract spectators from Denmark and abroad and set completely new standards for both sailors and spectators. The 2018 World Championships are to bring sailors and spectators closer together and spread enthusiasm both at sea and on land.

The ISAF Sailing World Championships are held every four years, and without comparison, they are the largest event that has the participation of all 10 Olympic boat classes. The distribution of national places in the Olympic Games will start on the Bay of Aarhus. This is where the dream about Olympic medals in Tokyo in 2020 begins for the greatest stars in sailing. As something completely new, kitesurfing has also been added to the World Championships programme.

For decades, Denmark has been among the best sailing nations in the world. A large number of World Championship and Olympic medals won over the years speak of sailing as a sport in which Danish sailors repeatedly manage to deliver top performances when it matters most. It is therefore only natural that Danish sailors look forward to competing in their home territory.

"The ISAF Sailing World Championships will make Aarhus an international brand in sailing once and for all. From the moment the Olympic flame is extinguished in Rio in 2016, every sailing nation in the world will start focusing on Aarhus. Over the next two years, a steady and ever increasing stream of sailors and coaches will visit Aarhus to get to know the World Championship waters. However, nobody knows the Bay of Aarhus better than the Danish sailors, and we look forward to demonstrating our skills to a home audience," says Hans Natorp, Chairman of Dansk Sejlunion.

The ambition is that the World Championships in 2018 will, in several ways, be bigger than the most recent World Championships in Spanish Santander.

In Santander, 1,167 sailors from 82 nations took part. The area for the sailing finals was visited by 285,000 people, and the event was covered by 196 journalists. The local authorities assess that the financial effect of the World Championships amounted to approx.37.18 million Euros.

"The 2018 World Championships are a clear victory for sailing on the Bay of Aarhus. The event will place Aarhus on the 'world sailing map' once and for all, and Sailing Aarhus is ready with a strong and experienced crew," says Mette Rostgaard Evald, Chairman of Sailing Aarhus.

The 2018 ISAF Sailing World Championships will be launched in August 2018.Second only to the Olympic Games, these ISAF World Championships are the most important event for the Olympic boat classes. The ISAF World Championships are held every four years – during the even years between the Olympic Games – most recently, they were held in the autumn of 2014 in Santander, Spain. All other years, the World Championships are spread out as separate events for the individual boat classes.

Published in World Sailing
Tagged under

#ISAFupdates – Prize money is to be awarded in the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères. €72,000 is to be distributed across the 12 events on show in Hyères when the medals are decided this Sunday.

Irish Olympic sailing campaigners including London 2012 sensation Annalise Murphy – who has already secured a Laser Radial berth for Rio 2016 –  are in the hunt for the new cash prizes. And Belfast Lough's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern (also through to Rio) will be looking to repeat their 2014 performance when they earned silver on the Cote D'Azur.

ISAF President Carlo Croce said, "We are pleased to be awarding the best of the Olympic and Paralympic sailing world with prize money at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères. Alongside the drive to be crowned a Hyères gold medallist and qualifying a spot at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final, the sailors have an added incentive with the addition of prize money.

"The list of athletes competing in Hyères is exceptional and over five days of competition I am looking forward to see how the racing unfolds."

Racing from 22-26 April, the elite level fleets will put their skills to the ultimate test with 40 of the world's best in each class. ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères marks the first occasion where fleets are decided based on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings and a qualification regatta.

The world's top 30 sailors from the 2 February 2015 ISAF World Sailing Rankings release were invited to Hyères with the remaining ten receiving their spot at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères qualification regatta, Trofeo Princesa Sofia.

600 Olympic sailors in 400 boats and 39 Paralympic sailors in 25 boats will commence racing on 22 April. A four day racing series will build up to the Medal Races on Sunday 26 April where titles will be won and ISAF Sailing World Cup Final spots snapped up.

Published in Olympic

#trofeosofia – Annalise Murphy of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire enters the final day of racing this morning before Saturday's medal races in third place overall at the Trofeo Sofia in Palma. Breeze lovers in all classes made the most of the conditions with some perfect scores and are closing the gap on some of the regatta leaders. Today will see the last day of finals and the last chance to break into the top ten for medal race participation.

One of Annalise's arch rivals, Evi Van Acker (BEL) is continuing undefeated in the Laser Radial finals with two more bullets added to her perfect score. It has been a formidable performance eclipsing Annalise's own heavy weather speed edge. The 2014 SWC Champion is obviously enjoying the breezy conditions and is closing the gap on Alison Young (GBR) who is conserving a one point lead going into the last day of finals. "There is a very strong competition in this regatta. It has been good racing and I have been consistent in all conditions. We will see what the rest brings in." Van Acker said.

Annalise's capsize dropped her out of the top ten for the first time in the competition, scoring an 11th, her discard, in race seven. The main hope for an Irish sailing medal in Rio tweeted last night: 'A hard day for me today including a unintentional swim in the second race. In 3rd overall now'.

After scoring some big points in the first day of finals, the Spanish FX team of Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos are back in contention with a win and top five results. They are placing second overall, just four points behind Danish sisters Maiken and Anne-Julie Foght-Schutt. The Royal Irish Yacht Club's Glamrockers Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey are in the top half of the skiff fleet, 21st from 47.

Despite a penalty collected for starting too early, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) are conserving a healthy 21 points lead over Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER), but can't make any more mistake. The German have also increased their lead to 22–points over Brazilian team of Bianchi and Lowbeer. Another two top ten places (7,8) scored by the Belfast Lough 49er pair Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern keep them eighth overall and in medal race contention barring slip–ups today.

Overall Class leaders going into Friday's racing are:

470 Men: Luke Patience / Elliot Willis, GBR
470 Women: Jo Aleh / Polly Powrie, NZL
49er: Peter Burling / Blair Tuke, NZL
49er FX: Maiken Foght Schutt / Anne-Julie Foght Schutt, DEN
Finn: Giles Scott, GBR
Laser: Philipp Buhl, GER
Laser Radial: Alison Young, GBR
NACRA 17: Billy Besson / Marie Riou, FRA
RS:X Men: Julien Bontemps, FRA
RS: X Women: Charline Picon, FRA
2.4 Metre: Megan Pascoe, GBR
Dragon: Patrick Monteiro De Barros / Pedro Manuel, POR

Class winners:
Kiteboard Men: Florian Trittel, ESP
Kiteboard Women: Elena Kalinina, RUS

Published in Olympic

#sailing – A leading Cork sailing official who praises the reform of the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) has raised concerns over a new initiative to raise €2.7m for Irish Olympic and ISA pathway sailing.  The comments follow a reader piece yesterday: Is Being an Olympic Sport Good for Irish Sailing? 

Barry Rose, a former ISA President, says it is 'incredible' during a period of consultation by the ISA that the sailing community was not asked about the set–up of a 'new quango' called the 'Irish Sailing Foundation'. In a sport that is attempting to navigate its way out of recession, Rose warns If resources are 'sucked out of a limited pot' it will effect the ability of Clubs. The challenge, he says, is to 'regrow in a balanced way'.

Firstly I want to state that I fully support the high calibre current Olympic sailing campaigns that I believe have real chances to produce sailing medals that will lift our sport at the next Rio Olympics. Annalise's fantastic performance at the last Olympics richly deserved a medal and lifted all our enthusiasm for the sport. Watching the medal race in Newenhams in Schull was like watching a Six Nations final. It was great.

The current reform and re–connect with the grassroots of sailing taking place in ISA is admirable and needs to happen. Well done to the team driving this through. It seems incredible to me that in the middle of this process without consultation with the wider sport and seemingly out of the blue an advertisement would appear for a CEO of what appears to be a new quango called ISF (apparently under the auspices of the ISA) whose brief is to raise €2.7m a year from a tight economy for elite and Olympic sailing in addition to funds currently generated.

Where has this come from? If this amount of resources is sucked out of a limited pot will it effect the ability of the grassroots to raise funds for Clubs and the events that form the backbone of the sport on the ground in the form of sponsorship and funding vital support structures to grow the wider sport.

We live in interesting times for our sport. There are green shoots everywhere. Enthusiastic sailors and volunteers on the ground are driving the sport in positive directions. Classes like the National 18s are re inventing themselves with a new boat and double figures ordered in its first year, the well organised RS classes are attracting great sailors back in to dinghy sailing in two man dinghies and are having a blast in cool competitive boats at reasonable cost for all age groups. The dynamic of each Class sailing together Fevas, 200s and 400s has really worked with a fun friendly inter reaction at events. Clubs are developing fleets of 1720s and dinghies to offer opportunities to get on the water without owning a boat and grow the sport.

On the Cruiser Racing front ICRA are promoting the sector enthusiastically despite the economic environment and initiating crew training programmes (with ISA support) and growing ever stronger National Championships. Strong Irish teams have won two Commodore's Cups since 2010 exposing many young and some not so young Irish sailors to the highest level of Competition in this field in what is effectively the World Championship of IRC racing. This has happened with incredible commitment by dedicated owners, sailors and a voluntary support team effort by ICRA who are endeavouring to raise some funding support for these types of Irish International challenges.These teams have brought huge credit to Irish sailing displaying a clinical winning approach to every detail on and off the water in significant International events.

We need at this time to plot a careful course for all our sport to regrow in a balanced way that supports the great enthusiasm and innovation that is driving bringing the fun back in to sailing from the ground up in all aspects of the sport.

The Glass is definitely half full not half empty, let's not knock it over! That's the challenge!

Well done for raising the question! It's healthy to debate and reflect! 

Published in Your Say

#olympicsailing – Water Rat's article: Is ISAF Alive To Sailing's Survival As An Olympic Sport? has raised the issue about the future viability of the Olympic sailing movement and brought reaction from readers, including Midshipman, who says it begs two interesting questions:

· Is being an Olympic sport good for sailing?

· Why have the amazing advances we have witnessed in technology over the last 15 years not made sailing more accessible and less expensive?

With the exception of the Laser (a manufacturer controlled boat which is not cheap at €7,250), none of the boats used in the Olympics are to be found in mainstream sailing.

The explosion in sailing during the 60's and 70's was fuelled by the development of exciting low cost boats built, mainly by amateurs, in plywood using new adhesive and coating techniques.

The turn of the century has seen vast improvements in the technologies used in boat building, making boats lighter, faster, stronger safer, but certainly not cheaper, as amateur construction can no longer compete with the sophisticated techniques of the boating industry.

That is probably why the most popular dinghy class in the world remains the inexpensive and simple Sunfish while low tech Hobie Beach Cats still dominate the multihull scene.

In years gone by, most young sailors got their start in wooden Optimists, often built by enthusiastic parents at modest cost over a couple of weekends and then typically graduated to a home built Mirror or its equivalent for their first experience of multi crewed sailing with multiple sails.

opty4.jpg

A wooden framework of the early Optimist dinghy

Nothing less than a relatively expensive Glass Fibre Optimist will do now and the Street Cred of young people is dependent on graduating to costly Lasers and 420s. In Ireland this situation is also compounded by the sense of failure youngsters experience if they fail to qualify for one of the Academy or Elite development squads which currently involves over 100 youth sailors of varied abilities.

opty10.jpg

The scene today – charter boats used at Dun Laoghaire for the 2014 Optimist Europeans

Sailing has become so fixated on exciting performance and elite achievement that it has lost sight of the sheer enjoyment of messing about in boats at modest cost which is the principle attraction to the vast majority of people.

We all admire the highly skilled and motivated sailors who aspire to the ultimate Olympic challenge, but let's face it , what they do has virtually no relevance to the activities of most recreational sailors. ISAF uses racing formats and boats which are not reflective of the sport in general, largely on the grounds of needing to excite TV viewers.

With the exception of horse riding, sailing is probably the most equipment dependent (meaning most expensive) sport in the Olympics. I am not sure that this is a message which ultimately helps encourage people to become involved in sailing.

If we want to use the Olympics as a marketing opportunity for sailing, we should use inexpensive boats which are used on a widespread basis by regular sailors and only have 2 events each for men and women whilst eliminating the cost of shipping boats by supplying evenly matched equipment.

Olympic sailing has created a very costly industry which contributes little back to mainstream sailing. The costs are truly horrendous as demonstrated by the recent announcement that the ISA is appointing an additional CEO to head up a funding programme to raise a further €2.75m a year over and above the €1m plus it receives from the Irish Sports Council for Irish Elite sailing activities.

Does the Irish sailing community believe an annual level of expenditure of €3.75m on elite sailing provides the best economic payback to the sport in Ireland? If we could replicate what has been done in New Zealand, maybe there is a business case which can be justified.

However, €15m seems an outrageous amount of money to propose spending over an Olympic cycle, which is equal to something in excess of €800 on behalf of each member of the ISA.

Let's make sailing accessible, less expensive and more engaging and use the Olympics as a shop window to remove the elitist and esoteric imagery created by the current profile of existing Olympic classes.

What we are doing at the moment is deluding ourselves into believing that presenting our sport like NASCAR or Formula 1 motor racing will attract new people to buy Ford Mondeos and Fiat Pandas. – Midshipman

Published in Your Say

#sailingolympics – The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) decision to drop sailing from the 2020 Paralympics is a wake-up call for the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). While the commentary talks about failures on the part of IFDS, the real issue seems to be sailing's lack of penetration into national sports programmes. Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, said sailing did "not fulfil the IPC handbook's minimum criteria for worldwide reach."

Last October, Water Rat commented as follows about the modern sailing world: ISAF is still very much a white, first world, wealthy organisation, with little outreach to the developing world. The same is true of the International Federation for Disabled Sailing. And all the participating countries can complain all they like, but until more disabled sailing programmes are established in the developing world their pleas will fall on deaf ears. It is tough to establish such programmes when equipment and access are such an important part of getting afloat, but such is the reality.

Is there a parallel with mainstream sailing. Well, it's not just about numbers, because ISAF has those with 140+ affiliated Member National Authorities, but many of those don't turn up at events, The Youth Worlds, for example, gets about 60 MNAs participating, well less than half the total affiliated number. Squash, one of the candidate sports for 2020 has a similar amount and although another of the candidate sports, softball has less, they have much greater activity in the developing nations in Africa and central America and Caribbean. Wushu, a martial art candidate sport, claims 147 affiliated nations.

And while it is not believed that sailing is under serious threat for 2024, it is not currently because of its lack of universality, rather that it is lower down the list than say, equestrian, synchronised swimming or pentathlon. Indeed pressure may come off sailing as some sports are facing dropping disciplines in an attempt to make the games more relevant, Athletics could well lose walking and triple jump for example, while rhythmic gymnastics could also go.

However, neither the paralympic or the mainstream sailing community will be impressed by ISAF's latest statement regarding their review of the IPC decision, which, albeit perhaps unintentionally, suggests that ISAF has accepted the IPC's 2020 decision and intends to concentrate on 2024 re-instatement. It is to be hoped that ISAF are now alive to the pressures on sailing's survival as an Olympic Sport.

Published in Your Say

#sailingworldcupmiami – Annalise Murphy sustained a drop of five places overall after a second result in the 30s took its toll on her overall score in Florida yesterday. The Dun Laoghaire Laser Radial sailor moves from second to seventh overall as Miami Olympic classes regatta enters the final day of racing this morning before tomorrrow's medal race finals.

Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindon had the lowest finishes of the top three Radial sailors today, but that didn't knock her off the top of the leaderboard. An 11-14 day means that she is now eating an 11th and discarding the 14th. Previously, a 7th was her discard. The day's results tightened things up, with second and third both in striking range.

It was a sun bathed day at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami with the previous cool northern breeze from the replaced with a shifty, yet warmer, easterly that tested the sailors once again.

Evi Van Acker of Belgium is only five points back. Marit Bouwmeester is only two points behind that. This sets up some interesting running-math problems for the Medals Race on Saturday.

The hard-luck story of the day was Annalise Murphy, who was part of this conversation until she picked up a keeper 35th in race eight. "It was hard to know where you had to be," she said, and left it at that.

Meanwhile, in the mens Laser class, the National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch who leads Irish interest having made the Gold fleet at the first attempt has given an appraisal of his own debut performance in Miami: 'Super happy about making Gold fleet in my first World Cup! I found out today that it is a huuge step up from what I'm used to. Not so happy with my sailling today [53rd from 55] but hopefully tomorrow I can make up for it!

The young Dubliner leads Belfast's James Espey by two places with the two Irish Rio rivals currently placed 42nd and 44th respectively in the 55–boat gold fleet.

Britain's Nick Thompson, who says that his favorite boat is the foiling Moth, is doing nicely here in a Laser, in contact with the surface of the water. The former youth world champion leads the 106-boat fleet with an eight-point margin going into the final day of racing ahead of Saturday's double points Medal Race. In second place, Philipp Buhl of Germany has burned his throw-out race on a 34th, so he has more to lose than Thompson (a 12th to throw out) if the wheels fall off on Friday. Behind them are serious threats still within range, depending, and it remains a difficult racecourse.

Young Andy ("Pain is temporary; glory is forever") Maloney of New Zealand has had his moments of late. He won the Palma version of this event in 2013, and in 2012 was second at Hyeres. As race day five beckons, he is seventh in the standings and found Thursday's conditions not quite as challenging as the races on Wednesday. "They moved the Thursday start into the morning," he said. "By comparison it seems to get a lot more patchy in the afternoon, as things heat up."

The second race of the day was ripe to be abandoned, and it was. "Between races, we were seeing 40 degree shifts with pressure drops to 5 knots," Maloney said, "and then pressure building to 15 knots and back to 5. They got a start off, and a massive lefty came down with heaps of pressure. It was a lay to the weather mark, so that race was abandoned, and we waited around for a bit. I think they were hoping it would stabilize, but finally they set up at an average angle and got on with it. There were lots of little shifts, but the thing was to be sure you were in phase with the big ones. When it's that tricky, nobody can get everything right."

Maloney won a race on Monday. Today he went 7-11.

Published in Olympic

#SailingWCMiami – A third in race five yesterday at the Miami Olympic classes regatta kept Ireland's Annalise Murphy hopes of overall victory this Saturday very much alive. The Dun Laoghaire sailor, who finished fourth in the London Olympics, is in second overall but a 36 in race six spoiled an otherwise very consistent scoresheet (2 2 5 3 3 (36) in a world class fleet.

The American regatta signals the intense build–up for Rio, an event for which Annalise Murphy has already qualified Ireland. 

599 boats and 768 sailors who were adjusting sail settings all day given the blustery conditons. If it wasn't the wind direction that was changing, it was the wind speed which made it all the more notable that three classes produced back-to-back race winners.

'I wasn't so hot with a 36th' Murphy admitted last night but she was not alone with an erratic result as the Biscayne Bay winds proved volatile. Behind the National Yacht Club sailor is silver and bronze medallists from London 2012, Belgian Evi Van Acker and Dutch number one Marit Boumeeester. However the star of the week so far is, Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindom, 13th in London 2012, who counts a score of 3 5 1 1 1 (7) to stay four points clear of Annalise.

Ireland's Eric Ruigrok lies 75th scoring 35th in race five in the 79–boat fleet.

In the mens Laser class Rio prospect Finn Lynch, also of the National Yacht Club, continues to hold a significant margin over his 2016 rivals, James Espey and Darragh O'Sullivan. Lynch, the under–19 World Champion, is ten points clear of London 2012 rep James Espey in 43rd place. 

In the 49er skiff duo Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern lie 35 from 58 and in the women's 49erfx, Dun Laoghaire trialists Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey lie 18th from 40. 

Dave Ullman, among many things the 1996 US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and a three-time 470 world champion, is now coaching U.S. Olympic hopefuls. He was a keen observer of the day's events. The direction shifts, he said, were coming at "15 to 20 degrees, but more than that it was about velocity-on and velocity-off. Downwind, if you were in the velocity, you could make big gains.

"It was much windier today than the forecast called for," Ullman said, "but the racecourse is fine. The race officials are doing a good job with some challenging circumstances.

"But, it was cold out there."

He wasn't the only one who said so.

Wednesday was the third of six days of racing for ten Olympic classes. Top qualifiers will sail a Medal Race on Saturday. Competitors in three Paralympic classes will conclude their racing on Friday.

Men's 470

A second win in six races settled Luke Patience and Elliot Willis of Great Britain into a six-point lead in their 44-boat fleet, and they had reason to be glad that race six went as long as it did, and ended when it did. They had boats to pass. And then it was over. Second-place skipper Mat Belcher of Australia observed that Patience and Willis had a good second weather leg, "They went heavily to the right, and that got them around a lot of boats."

With four more races scheduled before Saturday's Medals Race, Patience and Willis have scores of 1-2-(5)-4-3-1 to a count of 5-1-2-(12)-2-7 for Belcher and crew Will Ryan. The six-point delta allows for discarding worst scores. Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis dropped out of their leadership position (two firsts on Tuesday) and now are looking at (25)-4-1-1-8-10 for third place.

Farther down in the lists, Matthias Schmid's Austrian crewman, Florian Reichsteaedter, like everyone out there in a 470, spent his day balancing on the wire, adjusting in and out with the puffs. "There was no system to it" he said. "Sometimes you had to be on the left. Sometimes you had to be on the right. And it was up and down, up and down all day. Eight knots. Eighteen knots.

"And it was cold out there."

His handshake proved that.

And we may have already mentioned that. But, to be fair, it was Miami-on-the-water cold. Readers in northern climes, please hold those cards and letters.

Women's 470

The London 2012 gold medalists Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, aka Team Jolly, tightened their grip on the lead in the Women's 470 with a pair of firsts, demonstrating that, yes, there must be an answer to the dilemma of a dicey racecourse. "We're sort of getting used to the wind being up and down and shifty," Aleh said.

She offered, "If you can't pick the right place to be on the racecourse, try to not pick the wrong place. We didn't always have the best start or the best first leg, but we would keep chipping away and chipping away until we could look around and say, Oh, we're in front. We'll take it."

Team Jolly, sailing out of Auckland, New Zealand, has placings of 2-2-1-(7)-1-1. The London 2012 silver medalists, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark of Great Britain, are nine points back at 6-1-(7)-1-3-5.

Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntire, also of Great Britain, are in third, another ten points back.

49er

Diego Botin and Iago Lopez's (ESP) overnight 14 point lead was shattered by a culmination of bad results and tight performances from their rivals.

John Pink and Stuart Bithell (GBR) and Joel Turner and Iain Jensen (AUS) kept things together, remaining at the front of the pack and now share the lead on 42 points. But for Botin and Lopez, a U flag penalty, a tenth and an 18th allowed the British and Australian teams to advance, leaving them one point behind.

Last to arrive back on-shore, last to take their sails down and last out of the boat park, Botin and Lopez looked deflated on the slipway. After their bright start they received a thorough debrief from their coach upon conclusion of the third day. All is not lost. They remain in contention; teachings will be applied and tomorrow is another day.

For Turner and Jensen, their short term partnership, is a one off for Miami with Jensen's usual helm Nathan Outteridge missing out for personal reasons.

"It's the first time I've sailed the 49er without Nathan for a long time," said Jensen. "Joel's doing great and he's picking some clever shifts out there and we're doing a lot better than we expected considering we only had three days in the boat together before this."

Routine, rhythm and reliability are three buzz words for Outteridge and Jensen. The pair sailed together as teenagers, winning the ISAF Youth Worlds, and a partnership in the 49er was inevitable.

Seven years after forming, three 49er world titles and an Olympic gold medal later, Miami is the first time Jensen has been without his formidable helm in the Men's Skiff, "If you sail with someone for years, like I have with Nathan, you get stuck in your routine. It's always the same but if you sail with someone else it forces you to problem solve differently and that's beneficial for when you go back with the other person.

"The roles are still the same with Joel as with Nathan. There are subtleties with the way he [Turner] sails and the way Nathan steers and approaches things. Neither is right or wrong, it's just the individual style."

Whilst the partnership is flourishing in Miami, when teased with the question - reckon you'll stick with Turner? - Jensen replied, "Joel's doing an awesome job and I think he'll be a force in the 49er for years to come, he's 19-years-old and got a bright future but in the next couple of years I might just stick with what I know."

Outteridge will be flying in on Thursday, ensuring his crew sticks to what he knows and to enjoy the Miami racing from the coach boat.

49erFX

When those around you all discard 41 points from a DNF or a DNC, the odds will always be stacked in your favour. That's the case for Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) who have opened up a 25 point lead in the 49erFX.

The Kiwis were just one of eight teams to complete the single race on the first day and they are reaping the rewards. Their discard is a 21 and they hold a comfortable advantage after nine races.

Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) are second overall on 62 points whilst Nina Keijzer and Claire Blom (NED) sit third on 90 points.

Maloney and Meech certainly won't be resting on their laurels with six fleet races and Saturday's Medal Race ahead of them but things are certainly going their way.

Women's RS:X

Two wins and a second is a perfect day for some but not for 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final gold medallist Bryony Shaw (GBR).

On the face of it, the Briton dominated the day but in her words, "It's strange, it didn't feel like a perfect day out there. I made a lot of mistakes actually. It was really shifty and puffy and I think it was my awareness, especially on the downwinds that really pulled me through.

"I made a couple of silly calls by going a bit too extreme at the start so I had to make some pretty big comebacks today."

Shaw, the defending champion, is firmly in control. She is 17 points clear of the second placed Olga Maslivets (RUS) and is carrying a superb 2014 conclusion forward into the New Year, "I feel like this [leading in Miami] is momentum from winning in Abu Dhabi at the end of last year and the event we had in Rio. It's nice to come out here and put on a good show.

"I really feel like 2015 is my year and it's important for performance. I want to try and be selected for the games and win a medal in Rio, so I need to be performing at that level now."

Men's RS:X

Consistency was at a premium for the first day of gold fleet racing in what was an up and down day for all.

Only the second placed Nick Dempsey (GBR) put together a trio of top ten finishes, 8-8-3, whilst those around him finished out of the top ten at least once.

It's still France atop of the leader board, but with a new face lighting the path ahead. Overnight leader Louis Giard (FRA) has dropped to fourth whilst Thomas Goyard (FRA) claimed a 12-4-2 which is enough for a slender one point lead over Dempsey.

Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) took out the first bullet of the day and is third overall. The remaining victories went the way of Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) who is in seventh and the 14th placed Mattia Camboni (ITA).

Laser

If others demonstrated that it is possible to win two race back-to-back on a wacky race course, five-time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt of Brazil demonstrated that the best can stumble. He won his first race of the day, then burned his throw-out race on a 27th.

Scheidt's closest competition, Australian Matthew Wearn, went with him and burned his throw-out on a 20th.

Neither of the two leaders can afford another bad race. Scheidt has a seven-point cushion over Wearn, but Germany's Philipp Buhl is only one point behind Wearn, and only four points separate him from Julio Alsogaray of Argentina and Nick Thompson of Great Britain.

At 106 boats in two divisions, the Laser is by far the largest class here and as hard as any when it comes to getting to the top. A few years ago, American Jensen Mctigh was acing it in the Snipe class. Here he's paying his dues ("I'm probably the youngest person here") with three-digit standings, but he's seeing the racecourse as clearly as anyone. McTigh's take from his end of the Laser fleet, "The shifts were bigger yesterday, but those blew evenly across the course. Today the shifts were smaller, but they never stopped. They never stopped."

Finn

It was Ioannis Mitakis day in the Finn fleet on Biscayne Bay today.

Mitakis, who represented Greece in the 2012 Olympic Games and won the European Finn Championship the same year-leading the Medal Race start to finish-today took back-to-back firsts. Fleet leader Giles Scott of Great Britain faded.

Faded, but not far enough to cost Scott the lead that he hopes will keep an 18-month winning streak intact.

With a worst score of sixth to discard, Scott now has finishes of 1-1-1-5-4-(6). Computing throw-out races, he has a five-point lead over Jake Lilley of Australia and a 12-point lead over Mitakis. Anything can happen, but Lilley is carrying a 22nd as his discard. Another bad race would probably sink him below the podium. It's game faces all around.

Nacra 17

It's a high scoring affair in the Nacra 17 with consistency a rarity in a highly competitive fleet.

Defending Miami champions Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) and Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves (GBR) share the lead on 50 points. The teams recorded two scores outside the top ten with one top ten finish.

Anything can happen in the 49-boat fleet and early front runners Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL) fell victim to a 29-14-28 day that sees them drop to seventh. Not helped by a late night disqualification after a jury hearing the pair count all three scores and are 36 points off the top. But as shown, anything can happen.

Paralympic Events

There's a tussle at the top in the 2.4mR between Megan Pascoe (GBR), Helena Lucas (GBR) and Bjornar Erikstad (NOR) with one point of separation. An intriguing two days is ahead with four more races to decide the winner.

Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS) are on track to make it two ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta wins in a row with a two point lead over Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) in the SKUD18. Defending champions Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) complete the podium after six races.

In the Sonar, Alphonsus Doerr, Brad Kendell and Hugh Freund (USA) and John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas (GBR) are tied atop on 11 points.

Results

Published in Olympic

#SailingWCMiami – Irish Laser Radial Sailor Annalise Murphy moved up one place to be just two points off the lead after four races at Miami Olympic sailing classes yesterday. A third in race four – in winds up to 20 knots – puts the National Yacht Club sailor behind leader Anne-Marie Rindom of Denmark. It's an uplifting start to 2015 with Gold fleet racing starting today, Wednesday. Overnight leader, GBR's Alison Young who scored two wins in the opening rounds crashed out of the top ten with a 23 and 25 yesterday to be 18th overall. Ireland's Erica Ruigrok lies 74 from 79 in the women's class. 

A 13th in race five has allowed the National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch extend his lead over three Irish sailors in Mens Laser division. Lynch lies 39th from 106 starters, some 12 places clear of London 2012 Irish rep James Espey in 51st place. Darragh O'Sullivan is 97th. Strangford's Chris Russell who was scored as a 'DNC' yesterday no longer appears on the results sheet.

An 11th scored in race six has pulled the Irish mens 49er skiff back towards the top half of their 58–boat fleet. Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern lie 32nd now after six races sailed, up four places from Monday's start. There is improvement too for Irish 49erfx skiff pair Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey who are 25th from 40. 

If the Chamber of Commerce had stayed up all night working at it, they could not have served up a better day for racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami.

The second day offered a steady diet of breeze in the teens, the allure of a sun-drenched Biscayne Bay, and the kinetic beauty of boats in ten Olympic and three Paralympic sailing classes being put to their best and highest purpose.

We're still early in a regatta scheduled for six days of racing, including a Medal Race on Saturday for top-ten qualifiers. At stake are qualifying points and slots for the finale of the six-event international series that has become the proving ground of the would-be Olympic sailor.

The finale will take place in Abu Dhabi U.A.E. late in 2015, and after that – After that, an athlete is either ready for Rio and the 2016 Olympic Games, or not.

 Top three by class:

470 - Men's Two Person Dinghy
1. Panagiotis Mantis / Pavlos Kagialis, GRE, 8
2. Luke Patience / Elliot WIllis, GBR, 7
3. Mathew Belcher / Will Ryan, AUS, 8

470 - Women's Two Person Dinghy
1. Jo Aleh / Polly Powrie, NZL, 5
2. Hannah Mills / Saskia Clark, GBR, 8
3. Sophie Weguelin / Eilidh McIntyre, GBR, 15

49er - Men's Skiff
1. Diego Botin / Iago Lopez, ESP, 7
2. David Gilmour / Rhys Mara, AUS, 21
3. Nico Delle Karth / Nikolaus Resch, AUT, 22

49erFX - Women's Skiff
1. Alexandra Maloney / Molly Meech, NZL, 10
2. Martine Sofiatti Grael / Kahena Kunze, BRA, 27
3. Leonie Meyer / Elena Stoffers, GER, 29

Laser - Men's One Person Dinghy
1. Robert Scheidt, BRA, 7
2. Matthew Wearn, AUS, 11
3. Nick Thompson, GBR, 12

Laser Radial - Women's One Person Dinghy
1. Anne-Marie Rindom, DEN, 5
2. Annalise Murphy, IRL, 7
3. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 9

RS:X - Men's Windsurfer
1. Louis Giard, FRA, 10
2. Dorian van Rijsselberge, NED, 14
3. Byron Kokkalanis, GRE, 15

RS:X - Women's Windsurfer
1. Bryony Shaw, GBR, 12
2. Olga Maslivets, RUS, 13
3. Lilian de Geus, NED, 14

Nacra17 - Mixed Multihull
1. Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders, NZL, 9
2. Ben Saxton / Nicola Groves, GBR, 16
3. Vittorio Bissaro / Silvia Sicouri, ITA, 21

Finn - Men's One Person Dinghy
1. Giles Scott, GBR, 3
2. Jake Lilley, AUS, 6
3. Edward Wright, GBR, 16

2.4mR - One Person Keelboat
1. Megan Pascoe, GBR, 5
2. Bja Rnar Erikstad, NOR, 5
3. Helena Lucas, GBR, 5

Skud 18 - Two Person Keelboat
1. Daniel Fitzgibbon / Liesl Tesch, AUS, 6
2. Marco Gualandris / Marta Zanetti, ITA, 7
3. Alexandra Rickham / Niki Birrell, GBR, 8

Sonar - Three Person Keelboat
1. John Robertson / Hannnah Stodel / Stephen Thomas, GBR, 3
2. Aleksander Wang-Hansen / Per Eugen Kristiansen / Marie Solberg, NOR, 7
3. Paul Tingley / Logan Campbell / Scott Lutes, CAN, 7

 

 

Published in Olympic
Page 4 of 25

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