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#rio – Three national teams are working together to develop some of the most advanced race data in the sailing world writes Andy Rice.

In preparation for the Olympic qualification regatta in Santander this September, the ISAF Sailing World Championships, the Australian and Japanese teams are working closely with Audi Sailing Team Germany to create a comprehensive wind and current model. Advanced solutions developed by the German team together with its technology partner SAP serve as the foundation for this process.

This summer marks the beginning of qualifications for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio for the sailors. After the Football World Cup, Rio de Janeiro will welcome 400 sailors for the Olympic test regatta in Guanabara Bay. Shortly afterwards the first qualification regatta for Rio 2016 will start in Santander, Spain.

Complex tidal patterns present a unique challenge for the sailors and can make a big difference to the outcome of a race. While the international press is only talking about the poor water quality in Rio, teams are not only measuring the level of pollution but also the speed at which the water is moving.

The German team is also busy collecting data in Santander in the north of Spain. Together with the Australians and the Japanese, they are looking to log as much data over as big a time span as possible. This data will be used to create a model, allowing detailed forecasts. The technology, which creates daily tidal simulations, has been developed together with SAP and the physicist Dr Ingo Büll.

The SAP solution collates and analyses data like water and wind speeds from various points on the racecourse to create a daily current model. Multiple race strategies are evaluated, depending on the type of boat that athletes are sailing, the current windspeed and time of day.

Stefan Lacher, Head of Technology SAP Sponsorships, commented: "While other teams will use conventional tidal charts, German sailors will be able to concentrate fully on all the other challenges that an Olympic regatta poses. Using the the SAP Tide Tool will be a definite competitive advantage for the Audi Sailing Team Germany."

According to Audi Sailing Team Germany's Head of Technology, Marcus Baur, cooperating with international teams does not pose any problems. "It is only a confirmation for us, to see that the Australian and Japanese teams are interested in the solutions that we developed together with SAP. Working together like this, we will be able improve the model for Santander even more."

Published in Olympic
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#ROWING: Two of the top executives of the Olympic Council of Ireland have visited the National Rowing Centre in Cork and complimented the rowers and mentors on the professionalism of their programme.

Stephen Martin, the chief executive of the OCI, and Kevin Kilty, the chef de mission for the Ireland team at the Olympic Games in 2016, visited the National Rowing Centre on Friday. They were hosted by Morten Espersen, the Ireland high performance director, and Rowing Ireland chief executive Hamish Adams.

Martin and Kilty viewed the world-class facilities at the NRC and dropped in on a training session for the high performance rowers overseen by coaches Don and Mary McLachlan. The athletes train 14 to 16 times every week. The Olympic Council executives spoke to the athletes and answered questions about the OCI’s preparations for Rio 2016.

“I was delighted to take Morten up on his offer to see his athletes train here at the National Rowing Centre,” Kilty said. “The dedication of the athletes and coaches is inspiring and I must commend the work of Rowing Ireland and that of Morten and Hamish.”

He said he was certain rowers would feature strongly in Team Ireland’s performance in Rio 2016.

Martin added: “The work of Rowing Ireland here at the National Rowing Centre is exceptional and we at the OCI are working closely with the coaches and Morten to assist their work in delivering qualification for and ultimately success in Rio. I am extremely impressed by the dedication and commitment of the athletes that Kevin and I have met here today and we will support their endeavours to achieve qualification and success in Rio.”

Published in Rowing

#olympic – Ireland's Olympic sailing crews need no reminder that the Rio de Janeiro Olympics is getting closer.  The Notice of Race for the Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014 has been published.

Aquece Rio is the first of two 'Test Events' for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition and will welcome sailors across the ten Olympic sailing events from 2 to 9 August 2014. The regatta venue is the Marina da Glória with racing taking place inside and outside the Guanabara Bay.

Each ISAF Member National Authority (MNA) (in Ireland's case the Irish Sailing Associatiion (ISA) is entitled to enter two boats in each event and must register with Rio 2016 not later than 1 May 2014.

Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition
The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition will take place at the Marina da Glória, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will feature 380 athletes competing across ten events.

Racing is scheduled to take place from 8-18 August 2016 and the competition format for all events is fleet racing.

Published in Olympic

#annalisemurphy – Ireland's Annalise Murphy has got off to a poor start in her first Olympic class regatta of 2014 and lies 40th out of 50 starters after two light wind opening rounds of Miami Olympic classes regatta in Florida yesterday.

Light wind specialists held an early advantage in Miami as Ireland's European Laser Radial Champion counted a costly 48 and 35 in the less than 8–knot breeze conditions.

The light airs created mirror-like conditions on the calm waters of Biscayne Bay Monday morning. This was not ideal for the 580 sailors representing 50 countries, who were raring and ready to go for the start of this six-day international regatta.

This 25th edition of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami annually attracts top ranked one-design sailors in 10 Olympic and three Paralympic events selected for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Racing was postponed at approximately 9:00 local time due to insufficient wind. This delay pushed back the start times for the morning and early afternoon fleets. At around 12:00, the fleets started their launch from their respective venue sites in an attempt to get in as much racing as possible, despite the still conditions.

Fortunately, racing pick up in the afternoon and all fleets completed races in the consistent light breeze. Wind speeds ranged from 4 to 8 knots for most of the afternoon.

www.sailing.org/worldcup/home.php

Full results: www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php

Published in Annalise Murphy

#rio – An Irish Olympic sailing coach has slammed the future Olympic waters of Rio as 'disgusting', according to the Belfast Telegraph. Ian Barker, who won a silver medal for Britain in the Sydney 2000 Olympics' 49er class and now coaches Ireland, said it was the worst he had seen after sailing in 35 countries.

Sailors have expressed disgust at the filthy state of the Brazilian waters in which they will race at the 2016 Olympics, with a former British star describing it as a "sewer".

Barker was coach to Ireland's Tom Fitzpatrick and Frazer Brown in Athens 2004 and more recently to London 2012's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern.

He said sailors in training had to stop to disentangle their rudders from rubbish.

"It's a sewer," he told the Telegraph. "It's absolutely disgusting. Something has to be done about it. But you need the political will for these things to happen and at the moment it's not there."

"I've been sailing all over the world for 20 years now, and this is the most polluted place I've ever been," said Allan Norregaard, a Danish bronze medalist in the 2012 London Olympics.

"It's really a shame because it's a beautiful area and city, but the water is so polluted, so dirty and full of garbage."

The Belfast Telegraph has much more on the story including photos of the pollution here

Published in Olympic
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#weymouth – Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has had an outstanding summer one year on from being the host venue for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Academy has been the chosen venue for many National Championships this summer, thriving in the wake of the Olympics.

The Flying Fifteen National Championships, Topper National Championships, Miracle Nationals, Hurricane National Championships, and also World Championships including the Dragon fleet and the RS Tera Fleet, have all relished the facilities of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

The UK GLOBAL Flying Fifteen National Championships kicked off the summer with their National Championships in July, where 40 boats competed, including visitors from France and Australia. Richard Jones, Flying Fifteen Publicity Officer commented, "The event was a great success and the Flying Fifteen Class thoroughly enjoyed sailing in the wake of Olympic champions."

WPNSA also welcomed one of Britain's most traditional sailing classes, the Miracle Class, for their National Championships in August, with 10 races held over 6 days at the Academy. Sam Meetam, Championship Co-ordinator commented, 'The venue caters well for a traditional class, the facilities are excellent and the choice of bay or sheltered harbour suits well, the venue has an excellent reputation for race management, and they provided perfect set courses for the fleet.'

The RYA Zone Championships took place from the 28th – 29th September. Chris Atherton, Royal Yachting Association, High Performance Manager for the South and South West spoke about the conditions at the Academy. "The sailing inside Portland Harbour offers good, fair racing where the conditions are not too tidal, which is ideal racing for junior sailors for many of whom the 2013 RYA Zone and Country Championships will be their first major event on the RYA Racing circuit."

Many top International Sailing Classes have reserved dates for 2014 National Championships, and key dates for next year at Weymouth will be released in December.

Peter Allam, Chief Executive of WPNSA, is ensuring a sustained approach to attracting important national based events to the Academy on an annual basis, "The Academy has been graced with some very high profile global regattas, which is extremely pleasing. Our on-going ability to host major events for junior and youth sailors is an extremely important role for the Academy. We are very proud to play a part in the development of UK sailing talent and are privileged to witness the progress made as young sailors move from Zone Squads on up through the ranks."

Published in Olympics 2012

#ifds – What a week we have all enjoyed at Kinsale Yacht Club who ran a superb event that was enjoyed by all and sundry who had any connection with the Regatta writes Claire Bateman. It was no easy feat and John Stallard, the Event Director, must be a very happy and relieved man tonight. Sure we had two days when there was no sailing but Kinsale being what it is, the competitors were able to enjoy the wonderful facilities that Kinsale is famous for, not least being known as the gourmet capital of Ireland and set in some of the most glorious scenic areas in the locality. The forecast was uncanny in its accuracy and nobody had any doubts that there was going to be wind to enable a series to be completed and so it was.

Tuesday and Thursday produced unbeatable sailing conditions with sun, wind and hugely exhilarating conditions. Here again Kinsale are blessed with the fact that they have Bullen Bay where they sailed the 2.4Rs where these small boats, looking like miniature 12 metres, were able to sail comfortably without having to endure too much swell.

Today, the last day, produced the first rain and drizzle of the series that pretty well obscured the usual landmarks and even a very large black ship outside the sailing area was barely visible and the conditions must have been especially tough for the gallant sailors in the 2.4mRs. However, the rain and drizzle lifted and in some twelve knots of breeze the Sonars got in three races with the other two fleets getting in two races each.

The most eagerly and tensely awaited race was the final race for the 2.4mR class which was fought out all week between Heiko Kroger from Germany and Guus Bijlard from the Netherlands tied on equal points the top of the fleet and being hotly pursued by Damien Seguin from France. Finally it was Kroger, Billard and Seguin in that order making Heiko Kroger of Germany the 2.4mR World Champion.

In the Sonars it was obvious from the very start that the wily French sailor, Bruno Jourdren was not going to let anyone stand in his way. The French are so into their sailing and are really excellent and very hard to beat. He never allowed anyone to have a look in for the series and no matter how hard Udo Hessels from the Netherlands tried to break the French man's hold he could not succeed and had to settle for second place with the Australian sailor Colin Harrison taking the bronze with Bruno Jourdren is now the Sonar Class World Champion. IFDS President John Twomey of KinsaleYC finished in ninth position.

In the SKUD 18 fleet Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell with their unmistakable green kite were the unstoppable winners and took the world title with Italy's Marco Gualandris second and John McRoberts of Canada settling for bronze.

With such a successful event for Kinsale would it be too much to ask that we might see the competition return there at some future date?

Published in Olympic
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#49er – A credible top ten performance at Kiel week this week for Northern Ireland's 49er pairing Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern marks another auspicious step on the ladder for Rio 2016, given this is only the dinghy pairs second regatta since returning from London 2012.

This week's German result follows Sail for Gold victory in Weymouth a fortnight ago and positions the Ballyholme duo well for this month's 49er Europeans, the main target of their summer campaign. The pair finished seventh overall in a Kiel fleet of 51–boats, recovering from some mid-fleet performances earlier in the series. 

Belfast team mate James Espey did not fare as well in the mens Laser division finishing 60th out of 92 starters.

Tiffany Brien, also from Belfast lough, now teamed with Dubliner Saskia Tidey were 12th from 15 in the brand new 49er fx women's Olympic class. This pair are also heading for a class European championships.

Full results in each class of Irish interest is downloadable below

Published in Olympic
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#sailforgold – London 2012 49er Irish pairing Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern have made a great return to the Olympic circuit this week at Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth. The Irish 49er team are beating some heavyweight competitors and holding first place by a margin of six points.

In a complete change of conditions in Weymouth Bay there was an average of 20–knots blowing across Portland Harbour largely suiting the Irish fleet on the Dorset coast.

A strong performance from Annalise Murphy moves her into the top five overall with two more fleet races to go but it was the stand out performance of China's Lijia Xu that has impressed many at the former Olympic venue. The Olympic Gold medallist now has a ten point margin over countrywoman Dongshuang Zhang.

In the best day so far for 49erfx campaigners Tiffany Brien and Saskia Tidey they secured top 5 results in today's stronger conditions. They move up two places to sixth overall.

Laser sailor James Espey remains in the middle of the Laser fleet following four races.

Irish youth laser radial sailors Séafra Guilfoyle, Finn Lynch, Fionn Leyden and Cian Byrne are still holding on to their top ten spots.

Published in Olympic
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#dlr2013 – Annalise Murphy shares the lead with Britain's Alison Young after eight races in the Laser Radial class which means today is an action packed last day of finals racing in the Delta Lloyd regatta in Holland before the top six medal race tomorrow.

Murphy told supporters last night: 'Luckily I didn't have to race during the hailstones today! Managed a 3rd and a 2nd followed by a not so hot 16th'

The Dun Laoghaire sailor will be pushing to ensure a top position for the medal race cut in a forecast of medium winds on the Ijsselmeer.  It looks lke a tricky day for the sailors with a shallow low pressure tracking south over the North Sea providing a decreasing and backing wind from South south west to east. And it's raining!

More from David O'Brien in the Irish Times this morning here.

The Dutch teams made the most of the day at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik. At the end of the third day of racing, there is a Dutch boat in the top three of all classes at the exception of the 49er were Holland is not represented.

Pieter Jan Postma in the Finn and the Sonar team of Udo Essel took it all in the three races sailed in freezing conditions. They are now in the lead.

PJ Postma who enjoyed the breeze yesterday was pleased with his day: "It finally all came together! The feeling is right as well as the fitness and the tactics. I am pleased with the way I go and it surely gives me confidence for the regattas ahead." Early leader Andrew Mills (GBR) collected a disqualification at the start and drops to the seventh position overall.

Paralympic champions Udo Essel, Mischa Rossens and Marel van de Veen proved today with three victories in the Sonar that they trully deserve their Gold medal. "We took a long break after London, so it is great to see that we are still up to it. It gives confidence for the future."

The Dutch sailors are conserving their lead in the Nacra and the RS:X Men.

Mandy Mulder and Thijs Visser (NED) increase their lead after two bullets in the Nacra. The french and Swedish teams have close results with Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet (FRA) in second overall.

Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) in the RS:X class is flying away with a win and two second places. Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) and Julien Bontemps (FRA) remains second and third.

The result is very tight in the RS:X women, with the top five within five points. Hei Man Hayley Victoria Chan (HKG) conserves a narrow lead from Moana Delle (GER). Third place is taken by Dutch windsurfer Lilian de Geus.

The Danish are again proving their domination in the skiff with Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang enjoying a 14 points lead over French Julien D'ortoli and Noe Delpech in the 49er.

Palma SWC winners, Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Olsen (DEN) take a narrow two points lead in the FX over Germans Tina Lutz and Susan Beucke. Early leaders Annemiek Bekkering and Claire Blom (NED) are now in third position.

The dual at the top continues between Laser World number 1, Australian Tom Burton and Palma winner Andy Maloney (NZL). They place first and second in the first day of the Laser final with the top 25 boats. In the women, Alison Young (GBR) shares the lead on equal points with Irish Annalise Murphy.

World #1 Matt Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) are back in the lead in the 470 class after two wins and a third place. In the women, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) are increasing their lead after top two places and a win. The other two races were taken by Dutch team of Afrodite Kyranakou and Anneloes van Veen (NED) who climb in third position.

It is a close score in the 2.4 after three more races sailed in freezing conditions. The top three win a race each with Megan Pascoe (GBR) leading from Barend Kol (NED) and Helena Lucas (GBR).

Tomorrow will see the last day of the final stage and the last chances to qualify for the top 8 in the skiffs and the medal races scheduled for Friday night, and the top six in the other Olympic classes who will race their medal race on Saturday.

The forecast on Friday is from medium winds.

Published in Annalise Murphy
Page 6 of 26

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