After a sensational win at the first Eurosaf event in Italy a week ago Dun Laoghaire's Annalise Murphy has been buoyed up by Government congratulatons sent by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD.
"Annalise was tipped from the start as favourite and demonstrated nerves of steel in mixed weather conditions to persevere and clinch the gold" Minister Ring said in praise of Afloat's Sailor of the Year. Tomorrow morning Annalise will be hoping to do it all again at the first race of Delta Lloyd regatta in Medemblik, Holland.
Although the fleet size is similar Annalise will be well aware this morning's Dutch series is very different from Lake Garda because she will be up against a higher quality field. Significantly the Dutch fleet includes at least three arch rivals from London 2012 that were not competing in Italy.
Olympic champion Lijia Xu of China is competing in the 47–boat fleet and Olympic Silver medalist Marit Boumeester is on home waters.
Britian is sending on form Alison Young, March's Palma World Cup winner and the bronze medallist from Hyeres, France.
The last time Annalise met this trio was a month ago in Hyeres when the National Yacht Club sailor struggled in the light airs of the qualifying rounds. She finished the last round of the World cup in the silver fleet, a position she will be keen not to repeat.
Forecast for the week is for light to moderate winds on the ijsselmeer which will be a good test of the 23-year-old's return to form. Certainly Annalise will need those 'nerves of steel' which the Minister of Sport has praised her for.
Second stage of the Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup, the Delta Lloyd Regatta has taken on the challenge to bring the event to a new dimension where media presentation is playing a big part.
For Event Director, Arjen Rahusen, this is the way forward " We are concentrating our efforts to take sailing closer to the public especially through social media. All the boats will be equipped with trackers with the help of Swiss Timing. We have two video teams, who will feed daily news via the social media network and highlights. We want to give the sailors the best exposure they deserve. It is vital for them and for us!"
Racing promises to be fierce with most of the top teams engaged in all classes. Among them six 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Gold medallists will take the start on Tuesday in Medemblik.
In the 470, Matt Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) will try to continue on their undefeated record since the start of the season. In the women division, 2012 and 2008 Gold medallists, Aleh (NZL) and Rechichi (AUS) will fight it off in a compact and talented fleet.
In the Men, expectations are high on Robert Scheidt's (BRA) return to the Lasers, however the Olympic champion will have to deal with the "down under" sailors. Tom Burton who took the title in Hyères and placed second in Palma, or Andy Maloney (NZL).
The 49ers will showcase great spectacle with strong teams from Denmark and Great Britain in the men and women divisions.
Olympic champion, Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) and young Dutch talent Kiran Badloe are welcoming to their home event a talented fleet of windsurfers. The Polish team, French and Israeli will provide for tough competition. Moana Delle (GER), Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) or Bianca Manchon are among the favourites in the RS:X women.
In the Finn class, Hyères's winner Andrew Mills (GBR) will fight it off with PJ Postma as well as Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) and Piotr Kula (second and third in Garda).
The new Olympic multihull, the Nacra is continuing to attract teams and countries from around the world. The Australian are now present with four boats while the earlier favourites from Holland, France or Sweden are not missing any chance to keep their lead on the fleet.
The 2.4 is represented with a large and strong fleet including British sailors Helena Lucas and Megan Pascoe (GBR), or Barend Kol (NED). Among the nine countries represented, Malaysia is participating with three sailors.
The team of Bruno Jourdren (FRA) has made a successful come back to the Sonar competition after a victory taken in Hyères. They are back in Medemblik and will face the three Sonar 2012 Paralympic medallists in a small but very strong fleet.
Sailing is scheduled from 11am on Tuesday 21st of May until Saturday 25th.
The weather for the first day of racing will be challenging going from no wind at the start of the day to strong breeze towards the end.
The Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup is a series of five regattas in the Olympic and Paralympic Classes designed to complement the ISAF Sailing World Cup series. The Delta Lloyd Regatta (Medemblik, NED, 21-25 May) is followed by Sail for Gold Regatta (Weymouth and Portland, GBR, 9-13 June), Kiel Week (Kiel, GER, 22-26 June) and the Semaine Olympique Francaise (La Rochelle, FRA, 9-13 October).
How to follow the Delta Lloyd Regatta:
Tracking available daily for all boats on the event website.