#annalisemurphy – Two weeks, two Eurosaf events, two golds .A 53 second winning margin in a thrilling medal race final this morning has given Annalise Murphy her second EUROSAF Gold Medal in a fortnight.
The National Yacht Club sailor beat the London 2012 Olympic champion and silver medallist to win the prestigious Dutch Delta Lloyd regatta with amazing composure. It's another significant campaign boost for the 23-year-old Dun Laoghaire girl who won the Italian Olympic week regatta only a fortnight ago.
After attending Delta Lloyd for five years in a row and taking ninth twice before Annalise knew a lot about the venue. She spotted stronger breeze on the right hand side of the course just before the medal race start and decided to go for it even though her original plan was to stay left.
Living up to last week's praise from Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring she needed 'nerves of steel' again today in the shifting breeze. Playing the shifts in the ten - 15 knots that prevailed also proved crucial after a nice clean start.
At one point on the beat it appeared her separation from the other five competitors may have proved costly. She looked to be in last place for a time but strong breeze on the right duly arrived and gave Annalise a 50–metre lead at the first weather mark.
By the end of the race she had opened up a 200–metre lead.
There was a close finish between local Marit Boumeester, the London Silver medallist and one time regatta leader Alison Young of Britain for third with just 4 seconds between them.
London 2012 Gold medallist Lijia Xu (CHN) had to settle with sixth place.
Annalise has put in an extremely consistent performance in Medemblik all week sharing the lead with Young in the penultimate rounds and never falling out of the top three overall.
Speaking afterwards, a sporting Annalise praised Ali Young who she said 'sailed the best' all week.
“I knew i had to give it all going into the Medal race, Alison and Marit are very strong and like me are good in these conditions'.
In spite of the win Annalise repeated her criticism of the new ISAF format. "Of course I am happy with my victory but I don’t think this format is very fair on the sailors. It is good to experiment but this is not the way to go.”
Annalise's next event is in Weymouth, the venue where she came so close to Ireland's first Olympic sailing medal in 32 years at London 2012.
The new format experienced in the Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup with the emphasis put on the last medal race created the expected thrill and drama in Medemblik.
Five of the earlier leaders have lost top place during the Medal race which have opened the field for the top six boats.
After winning seven races and dominating the RS:X fleet all week, Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) suffered from a shift at the start of the Medal Race to fall behind the fleet and off the podium.
Pawel Tarnowski wins the RS:X men event after a second place in the Medal race. "I am very happy with my first victory in a RS:X senior event. This is my first season on the senior circuit and hope I can continue doing well at the European next summer. I won over great sailors here, Worlds champions, Gold medallists, this new system allows for all six sailors in the final to win and for me it worked well."
Second is Byron Kokalanis from Greece and third place goes to Julien Bontemps (FRA).
After consistent sailing all week, Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) wins the RSX women event in the Delta Lloyd Regatta. "I came in the Medal race with a first place. For the Medal race we had a nice breeze, it was also tricky as close to shore with gusts and shifts. I manage to get a good start and lead for most of the race. In the end a third place was enough for me to keep the lead and win the title!"
Annalise celebrates her latest Laser medal win in Medemblick with mens winner Rutger van Schaardenburg . Photo: Courtesy Delta Lloyd Regatta
Mayaan Davidovich (ISR) takes the Silver medal after finishing second in the Medal race. A victory in the Medal race for Blanca Manchon (ESP) brings her from 6th place to 3rd place.
Further in the day, the Laser Medal race continued to provide the drama expected from the new format. Early leader and World number 1 Tom Burton (AUS) lost his lead after a difficult medal race. This is the second time in a row that the Australian loses a regatta with this format, the first time in Garda. Taking the medal race was what needed Ruger van Schaardenburg to keep the title he had won last year in Medemblik. " I am very happy with my results and with the format. The medal race keeps opportunities opened for the top six, and for me it was a great opportunity."
Young Australian Matthew Wearn places second in the Medal race and takes Silver while Andy Maloney (NZL) goes down to third overall.
Mark Andrews wins his first major Finn event after an heart braking medal race where the overall lead changed hands several times. "It was down to the wire! I was able to make up some places using the guts and in the end it turned my way. It was very closed and I am very happy to have won this event!".
Piet-Jan Postma lost top place but is securing Silver. "I was not aggressive enough in this race!" said Postma. "I should have followed my own line without worrying about the other sailors."
Andrew Mills (GBR) won the Medal race with an impressive lead and narrowly takes the last place on the podium.
London Gold Medallists win the 470 in both the women and the men events. Early regatta leaders Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) won the Medal race to take their second event in the season after winning the Garda Eurosaf event. "We had a big rest after London and only raced at home for Sail Auckland. We are happy with the way we are going but there are lots of new faces and we will know where we are at when we race at the Worlds in July."
Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha (USA) and Tina Mrak with Veronika Macarol (SLO) take Silver and Bronze.
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) have added the 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta to their undefeated regatta series: "It was tricky today with lots of pressure and three laps. We are really concentrating on our performance and staying focussed and it is working well for us."
The New Zealanders Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox win the Medal Race and take second place in front of Croatian team of Sime Fantela an Igor Marenic.
The Delta Lloyd regatta provided drama until the last moment. Nacra fleet favourites, Mandy Mulder and Thijs Visser (NED) had ended the opening series with an impressive lead. The Medal race seemed to go according to plan until a capsize on the last leg ended the Dutch podium chances!
"We have raced really well all week and know we are the best out there. Our capsize was unfortunate and still a "mystery"! We need to work out on what happened, so we can learn from it." explains Mulder.
The situation suited the French teams who have been fighting for top place with the Dutch since the start of the season. They take the top two places with Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet winning Gold and Audrey Augereau and Mathieu Vandame the Silver medal. Renee Groeneveld and Karel Begeman (NED) are in third position.
"We had a great week with lots of wind. We are tired but happy to win. It is a pity for Mandy and Thijs, they have dominated all week and deserve a better place than that! The Nacra is a great boat, very fast and when we will have a carbon mast it will be the fastest boat around." explained Moana Vaireaux.
The paralympic classes sailed two more races today. Megan Pascoe won the 2.4 title after wining the Miami OCR and placing in the top three in Palma and Hyères. "It was a tough regatta with lots of boats and great competition. It is good and more fun to race in a big fleet in the 2.4. I am used to sail in a shifty place so today it really helps. I could position well and take advantage of all the shifts." Helena Lucas (GBR) takes Silver and Barend Kol (NED) the Bronze.
The French team of Bruno Jourdren finishes the week on a high. They have defended their Delta Lloyd regatta title on the last day after scoring top two results. The fleet was small but of high quality with the top 5 in the London Paralympics competing.
The Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup heads now to Great Britain for the Sail for Gold regatta.
Delta Lloyd Regatta is the second regatta in the Eurosaf series. In total five regattas will be sailed over the summer months with the next regatta, Sail for Gold, Weymouth UK 09 – 13 June followed by Kieler Woche, Germany later in June and finally Semaine Olympique Francaise in La Rochelle in the autumn.