#annalisemurphy – European Laser Champion Annalise Murphy is back on the water next week at Miami Olympic classes regatta in Florida. The 24–year–old will be hoping to repeat last September's form on home waters when she swept to a European title on Dublin Bay.
The Irish sailing super star who is shortlisted for Afloat's Sailor of the Year Award next month had a remarkable 2013 season clocking up a number of influential regatta wins. In April, she took Gold at Italian Olympic Week, Gold at Delta Lloyd Regatta, Holland in May, Bronze at the Sail for Gold Regatta in the UK and in September Gold again at the Women's Laser Radial European Championship, Dun Laoghaire.
In Miami, Annalise started the 2013 season in spectacular style but will be anxious not to repeat last January's final day outcome. The Irish one time leader of the 2013 USA Olympic classes regatta went from first to fourth overall in the three short final races, denying her a place on the podium in her first event on the road to Rio 2016.
The star appears to be in the best of form for 2014. In a recent interview with the Olympic Council of Ireland, she said if she were a car, she'd be a Ferrari because they're fast and they look good! See youtube vid (above) for the full interview.
Joining her again Miami is the John Twomey led Paralympic Sonar crew.
In other team news for Miami, Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan will look to extend their unbeaten streak in the Men's 470 when racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami commences on 27 January 2014.
Running through to 1 February over 550 sailors from 50 nations will race at the third of five 2013-2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas in Biscayne Bay.
Belcher, the 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, made it 18 consecutive wins in a row when he took gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne and it was his tenth in a row with Ryan.
Belcher's run stems from November 2011 and as the victories have continued to flow the Australian has coped well with the weight of expectation, "The pressure has been difficult at times with it accumulating over the years," said Belcher. "But we are in the business of sport. Our job is to perform under pressure. It is something you just have to manage."
The pressure will be back on Belcher and Ryan in Miami with a highly competitive and experienced 31-boat fleet.
Joining the Australians in the fleet is 2013 470 world championship silver and bronze medallists Pierre Leboucher and Nicolas Le Berre (FRA) and Greece's Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis. World #3 pair Sime Fantela and Ignor Marenic (CRO) pushed the Australians at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne and Britons Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield will also prove a stern test.
Racing commences across ten Olympic and three Paralympic Classes on Monday 27 January. Medal Races on Saturday 1 February bring the regatta to a close.