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A five and a three scored in today's 49erFX races at Kiel Week, Germany represents a significant performance improvement for Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle who had been languishing in 41st place from 53 after day one.

The result moves the pair –who are four regattas into a 2020 Olympic campaign – up a dozen places overnight and into the top thirty overall in 29th.

The National Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club combination are using Kiel as part of their overall bid for Tokyo Olympic qualification later this year.

Results are here

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle are 41st from a fleet of 53 after the first three 49erFX races of Kiel Week regatta, Germany yesterday.

The National Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club combination scored 17, 20 and 18 in their opening rounds of the seven race series. Participation this week is part of their overall bid for Olympic qualification later this year.

Reigning World Champions, Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz of the Netherlands hold the lead with Swedes holding second and third places in the 49erFX fleet.

Vilma Bobeck and Malin Tengström are about to contest the 49erFX Junior World Championships in Norway yet are proving they are world-class performers at the senior level, currently second in Kiel ahead of their teammates Klara Wester and Rebecca Netzler. As if that wasn’t enough Swedish dominance, Julia Gross and Hanna Klinga are in fifth place overall after a windy first day on the water.

Results are here

Published in Annalise Murphy
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Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle compete in the 49erFX dinghy at the Kieler Woche regatta in Kiel, starting this Wednesday 26th June. It will be their third major international regatta in a bid for Tokyo 2020 qualification later this year.

A baptism of fire left the Dublin Cork duo with a 'steep learning curve' after a World Cup debut in Genoa in April, the pair also finished in the silver fleet at the European Championships in May.

Kiel, therefore, will be a gauge of the duo's progress over the past six weeks in preparation for the bigger goal of the Olympic qualifiers in Auckland, New Zealand at the end of November.

Kieler Woche, one of the world’s biggest sailing events, attracts more than three million visitors each year and is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

Also entered for Kiel Week is Annalise's Team Rio 2016 teammate Saskia Tidey of the Royal Irish Yacht Club who is now sailing for Team GB. Tidey launched a crowdfunding campaign at the weekend, as Afloat reported here, in a bid to take her and Scottish helmswoman Charlotte Dobson to Olympic Glory in Tokyo. 

The 49er FX is a two-handed high-performance women’s skiff (sailing dinghy).

Published in Tokyo 2020
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There was consolation of sorts for Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle who posted their best results of the week at the European 49er Championships in Weymouth Bay today.

Racing in the 49erFX silver fleet, with lighter, easterly winds of around 10-knots, the Dublin-Cork pair improved with every outing and claimed 9th, 3rd and 2nd place finishes in the day’s three races.

They now lie 45th overall out of 57 boats.

Seaton & Guilfoyle are 43rd

In the 49er silver fleet races, Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle came 8th, retired and 25th to lie 43rd overall out of 98 teams. Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove are in 48th place after posting results of 26th, 14th and 20th.

They were two places ahead of brothers Seán and Tadgh Donnelly, whose impressive 6th place in the second silver fleet race was bookended by 35th and 26th place finishes.

The men’s race is divided into gold, silver and bronze fleets, and being in the middle class means that Ireland’s sailors will not be able to finish higher that 26th overall.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Irish 49erFX pairing Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle who are seeking a place on the Tokyo 2020 startline are lying 36th in their 57 boat fleet overall after scoring 24, 12 and 19 in the opening three races of the European Championships in Weymouth today.

The teams faced a 'challenging' easterly breeze and big waves off the Dorset coast in the opening rounds and these conditions are quite a contrast for Murphy and Tingle who made a gentle debut to the class just a few weeks ago at their first regatta, a light air Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Mallorca.

Annalise's Rio teammate Saskia Tidey of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, who switched to sail for Team GB with Charlotte Dobson for Tokyo, is off to a flying start and lying fourth overall. 

Full results are here.

Junior World Champions Show Skiff Ladies the Way

Young Swedes, Vilma Bobeck and Malin Tengstrom, who won the Junior World Championship in 2018, today showed how in heavy weather, they are right in line with the World’s best.

“We suspected we could perform like this, as we’d had some good training sessions, but taking two wins and then sailing through the fleet to recover to a third is beyond our expectations,” commented the plucky helm Bobeck.

The duo started well in the first two races, and couldn’t be reeled in, taking wire-to-wire victories in both races. In the final race of the day, they started poorly but moved up throughout the race passing on every leg.

Bobeck, the helm, is a towering figure, almost the tallest sailor in the fleet. Together with the average sized Tengstrom the duo were the only 49erFX female team to compete with the top two male teams at the 2018 Junior Worlds, which was a very windy regatta in Marseille, France. This season they have finished between 8th and 21st through Miami, Vilamoura, Palma, and Genoa, but almost all of the racing this season has been in light winds. Today, they got their time to shine.

Among the ten teams chasing them are the Olympic Champions, three other World Champions and two further European Champions. Holding their leading position won’t be easy, but today was a great way for a young team to make a mark.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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A top-five result for Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle in their first ever international 49erFx event scored yesterday in race two raises some great prospects for the Irish Olympic Sailing Team at the World Cup in Genoa this week. There was another first-day highlight for Ireland in the men's skiff when Howth Yacht Club's U23 World Champions –  and Afloat Sailors of the Year – Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove took a second place.

Lights winds meant only two from three races were completed on the Charlie and Delta courses but, as always, it will be consistency that will be the key to success by Friday. The sole Irish 49erfx crew also counted mid-fleet opening results to leave the girls 26th from 49. In a disappointing first day for double Olympian Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, the Belfast-Cork pairing are 40th with Dickson and Waddilove 27th from 65. Full results are here.

The long-awaited return of the silver medalist to the Olympic circuit plus the added attraction of on-form Finn Lynch today in the Laser is heightening the possibilities of  World Cup medal(s) for the Irish sailing team by the end of this week's important World Sailing event, the third round of the season.

"Nine boats, four disciplines, 13 sailors"

In making her International debut, Murphy completes the team having missed last year's important World Championship Qualifier in Denmark. Murphy, like the rest of her teammates, still needs to make the nation qualification standard later this year making for a challenging 2019 season.

The jury is still out on whether or not it is ideal preparation but what we do know is that with little over a year to the Olympic games it is the first time in the Tokyo cycle that all the Irish team will compete at the same event; nine boats, four disciplines, 13 sailors.

The qualifying series in the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 continues today at 11:00. The Men's and Women's 470, Laser, Laser Radial and the Finn will also start their opening series.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Annalise Murphy has received a major boost to her 49erFX campaign for Tokyo 2020 as Mercedes-Benz has extended its support to the Olympic silver medallist.

The National Yacht Club hero recently resumed training without direct funding support from Sport Ireland, as her absence from competition due to Volvo Ocean Race commitments ruled her out of the €40,000-per-annum programme.

But now the 29-year-old Rathfarnham sailing star has renewed her ‘Tier One’ partnership arrangement with Mercedes-Benz, availing of a new X-Class pickup to transport her and team-mate Katie Tingle to events here in Ireland and abroad.

“Having the Mercedes-Benz X-Class is a major boost to my training regime and my ambitions for Tokyo,” she says. “I am really looking forward to giving my preparation the X-tra power that the stylish new X-Class delivers.”

Soon to be a regular sight at 49erFX events, the 190hp X-Class is finished in the Kabara black, silver and grey livery similar to that on her previous Mercedes-Benz Vito Mixto van.

Equipped to tow her and Katie’s 49erFX, its features include 4MATIC 4x4 automatic transmission, chrome style bar, bed liner and bed cover in body-matching colour, reversing camera, cruise control power, rear sliding window and a style pack that includes roof rails and side steps.

Wishing Annalise every success on her road to Tokyo, Fergus Conheady, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles, said: “We are proud to continue our support for Annalise, one of Ireland’s most admired Olympians.”

The renewed support for Annalise Murphy could not come at a better time, as she and Katie prepare for their first big test of their qualifying campaign at the World Cup event in Genoa, Italy next week.

Published in National YC

Two of Ireland’s most promising sailors in Aoife Hopkins and Katie Tingle have been the subject of separate profiles in recent days.

Katie Tingle has been making her big comeback after a broken arm put her and Annalise Murphy’s 49erFX training regimen on pause last autumn.

But it’s also been part of a longer return for the Cork sailor, who swapped competitive racing for coaching after success in the Optimist class as a junior last decade.

A reconnection with former junior peer Annalise on the Wednesday night scene in Dublin led to a fateful phone call a year ago, from the Olympic silver medallist to the primary school teacher: did Katie want to join her 49erFX Olympic campaign?

“I don’t think she’d have asked me if she didn’t think I could do it and I wouldn’t have said yes if I didn’t think deep down that I could do it either,” Katie tells The42.ie.

The 29-year-old was already deep into training and conditioning when Annalise returned from her stint in the Volvo Ocean Race, and the two started getting to grips with their new boat on Dublin Bay — the Olympian learning from Katie who had previous experience in two-handed dinghies.

However, a freak incident just weeks into training left Katie with a broken arm — and out of the water for four crucial months.

As needs must, Annalise shortly after resumed training over the winter in the warmer climes of Portugal, with Adam Hyland in Katie’s stead — while Katie hit the gym as soon as doctors allowed get back on the road to sailing fitness.

Earlier this year Annalise and Katie, how fully healed up, reunited and got back in their groove with the challenging 49erFX as their first big test — and first Tokyo 2020 qualifier — looms in Genoa just two weeks from now.

“AoifeAoife Hopkins weight training | Photo: Irish Sailing

Another young sailor who faces a big test in Genoa is Howth Yacht Club’s Aoife Hopkins.

The Laser Radial ace not only steps into the significant gap left by Annalise Murphy, whose Rio 2016 silver medal was in the class — she’s also in competition with teammate Aisling Keller for the single slot available to Ireland.

Aoife tells The Irish Times how she juggles the training regimen of her Tokyo 2020 campaign with the demands of her maths degree at Trinity College, not to mention the various expenses associated with performance sailing at the highest level.

In a boost to their aspirations, Aoife and her fellow performance sailors now benefit from Irish Sailing's new Performance Headquarters in Dun Laoghaire, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Olympic

Irish Sailing unveiled its new €300k 'Performance Headquarters', funded entirely by the Irish Sailing Foundation and located on the grounds of the Commissioners of Irish Lights, at Dun Laoghaire Harbour this morning.

Rio Silver Medalist Annalise Murphy lead the Irish Olympic Sailing team into today's celebrations.

With under 500 days to Tokyo 2020, Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor, a local Dun Laoghaire TD, was on hand to launch the ‘new home and training centre’ for the team that has yet to qualify for the Olympic Regatta.

Thirteen sailors from throughout Ireland will be based there, including the 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist, her new sailing partner, Katie Tingle, from Cork, and six other world championship medallists.

As well as Murphy and Tingle in attendance today were team members Liam Glynn, Finn Lynch, Aoife Hopkins, Rob Dickson & Sean Waddilove, Ryan Seaton & Seafra Guilfoyle; and training partners Aisling Keller, Ewan McMahon, Tadgh and Sean Donnelly.

As Afloat.ie reported previously, the Performance HQ is entirely mobile and consists of three converted shipping containers which have space for briefings and athlete education, a gym, gear storage and a boat maintenance area. The athlete briefing room can then be shipped directly to international competitions such as the Olympics in Tokyo 2020 and provide a base for our athletes overseas. Outside there is a boat park and a pontoon for launching boats

Speaking at the launch, Annalise Murphy said: “Having this new base is fantastic. For the first time we have a home, somewhere we know we can train, share experiences and focus as a group on how we can make our sailing performances better. It will be a huge support to our campaigns at international events this year as we look to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

“We’ve got a saying, ‘Leave home stronger’, which is there to remind us that we’ve got a home to come back to where we can recover, gain strength and prepare for the next campaign. That’s what the new HQ gives us – it means we don’t need to rely on the nomadic overseas campaigns of the past.”

performancerformanceThe new Irish Sailing Performance Centre at the Irish Lights Depot

The new HQ will improve both training and educational opportunities for the sailors. It has been instituted with the specific aim of maximising Ireland’s medal potential in international competitions and qualifying for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Rory Fitzpatrick, Irish Sailing Performance Head Coach, said that it represents a massive step forward on the journey to medal-winning success for Irish Sailing.

He said: “We will finally have a place we can call ‘home’ and for that reason alone the impact of the new Irish Sailing Performance HQ cannot be underestimated. The environment created will allow for consistent coaching, a base for equipment and our own direct access to the water, which all adds up to giving our athletes the best opportunities to reach their maximum medal-winning potential in the long-term.

This is a major milestone for Irish performance sailing. The new HQ clearly demonstrates the positive impact philanthropy can have on a sport like sailing. We are delighted that private individuals believe in our vision of delivering consistent medal success for Ireland on the world stage”.

The new HQ was officially opened today by Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister of State for Higher Education. Ms Mitchell O’Connor commented: “I have no doubt that with this terrific new facility, Irish sailors will be stronger as a squad and be better positioned than ever before to mount successful campaigns at international events in 2019 and beyond, including at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. I would like to wish the senior squad the best of luck and look forward to them building on the incredible international success they have experienced up to now. “

The CEO of Irish Sailing, Harry Hermon, added: “The creation of the Performance HQ is great news – there is no doubt that we’re at the beginning of a new chapter in the story of Irish Sailing, delivering on the medal-winning potential that the facility will help shape and focus. Clearly, however, this new home for the Performance team would not have been possible without the generosity and far-sightedness of those who, through the Irish Sailing Foundation, funded the project.

Competitive sailing requires incredible dedication and sacrifice from the athletes, their families and supporters, and Irish Sailing and its chances of success on a global stage rely on the vision and philanthropy of a group of individuals to whom we are extremely grateful.”

Sailors currently at the Performance HQ
49erFX – Women’s double-hander
Annalise Murphy & Katie Tingle
49er skiff – Men’s double-hander
Ryan Seaton & Seafra Guilfoyle
Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove
Sean & Tadgh Donnelly (training partners)
Laser Radial – single-hander
Aoife Hopkins
Aisling Keller (training partner)
Laser Standard – single-hander
Liam Glynn
Finn Lynch
Ewan McMahon (training partner)

Read tomorrow on Afloat.ie: Annalise brings stardust to Sutton and the Dickson-Waddilove Tokyo 2020 campaign

Published in ISA

Annalise Murphy’s role in raising sailing’s profile in Ireland was brought home to us last weekend when The Irish Times ran a St Patrick’s Eve Quiz. Set by Eoin Butler, it aimed to test how truly Irish we who like to think we’re Irish really are writes W M Nixon

It was presented as something mildly entertaining at a highly appropriate time. But as with all questionnaires, much more profound truths could be discerned from the very nature of the questions, all of which probed a little more deeply than at first seemed the case.

So there we were, ploughing through a hundred seemingly innocuous Irish-flavoured queries in glowing stoveside comfort on a March night when winter still clung on outside. And of those questions, just ten were about sport.

Tempting as it was to get into a word-war about whether sport in Ireland merits a mere ten percent of our national interest, we let it go for the very good reason that, of the ten sporting questions, one was about details of the winning by Annalise – she has reached that special celebrity status of not needing a surname any more – of her Silver Medal at the Rio Olympics in August 2016.

Annalise murphy 2It happens at last – Annalise still getting used to the idea she has just won the Silver Medal at the Rio Olympics, August 2016

Sailing in times past had the image of being very much a minority sport, and then some. So getting ten per cent of the sporting questions was actually pretty good going. But there was further encouragement in the way the question was framed. It asked not what medal she won - for that’s too widely known - but rather what kind of boat was she racing – was it (a) the RS-X, (b) the Laser Radial, (c) the 470 or (d) the 49erFX?

Now, of course, that question could be answered in seconds with the use of Google. But the very fact that the question was asked on the assumption that proper participants should be able to answer straight off the tops of their heads is an indicator of how far we have come.

cathy annalise con3Parents Cathy & Con (left and right) with Annalise and her medal. You raise a child, and then she becomes such a celebrated sports star that she doesn’t need either of your surnames…

The notion that there are many people all over Ireland who now have some knowledge of Olympic sailing classes is heart-warming. And it’s thanks to the Annalise breakthrough. We were reminded of it yet again on Tuesday night, when she was the star attraction as enthusiasts filled the Brent Suite in the Marine Hotel in Sutton for a fund-raiser for the Rob Dickson-Sean Waddilove 49er campaign which, after their Gold Medal in the Under 23 Worlds at Marseille last September, has seen a re-gearing of their plans, with their programme towards the 2024 Olympics in France being fore-shortened into a duel for a place in Tokyo 2020.

Either way, these things need substantial resources, and while a neighbourhood fund-raiser is only going to make a minor immediate dent in the money-pile required, the hope is that the power-focus of strong local goodwill may well lead on to more lucrative connections.

With Annalise generously giving of her time to provide the major draw for the new boys on the 2020 Olympic block, the spirit of Sutton enterprise and Fingal sailing was able to put on a special show of top stars. It was very much a shared enterprise between clubs, for although Howth Yacht Club may be far and away the biggest club in Fingal, Sutton Dinghy Club makes an enormous contribution to small boat sailing, while Sean Waddilove came to sailing at the age of seven through the Taste of Sailing Programme at Skerries Sailing Club.

waddilove annalise mayor dickson4Sean Waddilove, Annalise, Mayor of Fingal Councillor Anthony Lavin, and Rob Dickson. Photo: Brian Turvey

sutton audience5Rob and Sean make their pitch in the Marine Hotel’s Brent Suite, so named because in winter Brent geese frequent the nearby Sutton Creek, where Rob had some of his earliest experiences afloat. Photo: Brian Turvey

With Annalise along to tell her story of the ups and downs of Olympic life as the star attraction, the Guest of Honour was the Mayor of Fingal, Councillor Anthony Lavin, while Senator Catherine Noone was there for the Government, and Commodores Stephen Boyle of Sutton Dinghy Club and Ian Byrne of HYC represented the many facets of sailing on a peninsula which has produced more than its fair share of sailing stars over the years.

Yet as is often the case, it was people who do good work under the radar who pulled it all together, as this possibly unique event was co-ordinated by Hugh Gill of Sutton DC and Sailing School, working with Robert Dickson’s mother Susan and former HYC Commodore Brian Turvey. Behind the scenes, they calculated it out so neatly that when enough seats had been put out for what they reckoned would be the optimal number for such a show, just seven extra chairs had to be added at the end. And as we milled towards our places with a crowd of enchanted adults and starstruck kids, it was with the growing realisation that the organisers had hit the jackpot.

annalise dickson waddilove6Athletes relaxing. Yet every day Annalise, Rob and Sean put in a minimum of training, and when their fitness regime is at full power, the schedule is mind-boggling. Photo: Brian Turvey

For how else would you get a crowd so well representative of a busy sailing region which not only included national champions, but there were European champions as well, while to top it all we’d four Afloat.ie “Sailors of the Year”.

There was the National YC’s Annalise from 2016, seemingly the girl next door yet she won an Olympic Silver in style. Then from just up the hill there was HYC’s Conor Fogerty, top awardee in 2017 for his victory in the OSTAR and bubbling over with enthusiasm for the imminent arrival of his new foiling Figaro 3 which he will be racing in the international programme under IRC with the Fastnet Race and the Autumn’s RORC Transatlantic in prospect.

annalise enigmatic7What’s said in the Marine Hotel stays in the Marine Hotel…..an enigmatic look from Annalise as she reveals some secrets from the Olympic circuit. Photo: Brian Turvey

And then there were the stars of today, Rob and Sean who struck gold in every sense in Marseille on Saturday, September 1st 2018, and soared along into the “Sailors of the Year 2018” title at the RDS on Friday 8th February this year.

The general goodwill was palpable, considerably boosted by the Marine Hotel generously donating the use of the spacious Brent Suite and providing free tea, coffee and biscuits, while 14 businesses provided an impressive array of raffle prizes. At the peak of it all there was Annalise, whose generosity and enthusiasm remains as strong as ever after nine years on the Olympic treadmill. And we also had the supportive presence of former European Under 21 Laser Radial Champion Aoife Hopkins from just up the hill, looking radiant after successfully overcoming illness last year.

fogerty hopkins8Faces in the crowd of sailing folks who live on the Hill of Howth – Conor Fogerty, Aoife Hopkins, and Aoife’s mother Niamh. Photo: Brian Turvey
Then we had the boys themselves, Rob and Sean, perfectly matched to race a sailing machine which could quite reasonably be described as the Devil-Boat. For the 49er is an unforgiving beast which will give you the sail of your life when everything in a complex matrix of factors is just right, but will dump you in a flash if just one element is out of sync.

So there we were, mostly club sailors who bask in the reflected glory of such international success, yet left almost be-numbed by the sheer level of dedication and the unbelievably rigorous training routine which is required of those keen enough to begin to start on the ladder towards true international and Olympic success.

That Annalise was able for it, and was then enthusiastic enough to go on to the challenge of the Volvo World Race on which she also gave an insightful run-down, speaks volumes for the very special character of “the girl next door”.

49er rob sean9The 49er can be a devil-boat – Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove showing how it’s done on their way to the Gold at Marseille
It’s a special character which Rob and Sean also show every sign of manifesting. Their dedicated and methodical yet visionary approach to their campaign is an inspiration. They’re operating on a different level of sailing to the rest of us. Yet on Tuesday the Olympians came back to their roots, they were among people who knew them and wished them well, and in all it was a night of heightened yet positive emotions.

Next up on the agenda for all the Olympic hopefuls is the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma at the end of March. That is when the results obtained will start to become seriously significant. Meanwhile yesterday (Friday), key members of our Olympic squad were present in Dun Laoghaire for the official opening of Irish Sailing’s new waterfront Performance HQ.

While Tuesday’s gathering in Sutton was very sociable and supportive, the fact is that within Ireland, much Olympic sailing training has been a relatively solitary business undertaken from the athletes’ home club, with few people about during off-season weekdays to provide an encouraging atmosphere. But a proper Performance Centre should provide a mutually supportive environment.

Meanwhile, we remain buoyed up by special warm memories of a remarkable outpouring of community goodwill in Sutton on Tuesday night. A true sense of community is not provided by some static ideal. On the contrary, it is provided by shared feelings with a sense of purpose, and that was something very much in evidence in the Brent Suite on Tuesday night.

dickson waddilove programme10The Challenge – ever since they won the Gold at Marseille on September 1st, the Dickson-Waddilove campaign has taken on a new urgency

Published in Howth YC
Page 1 of 34

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