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Cork Harbour's Nicholas O’Leary captains a squad made up largely of Irish Olympic campaigners – including Rio silver medalist Annalise Murphy – in a bid to be crowned the world's best sailing nation in a new competition called the SSL Gold Cup starting in Switzerland this week.

The Irish team comprises Harry Durcan, Cian Guilfoyle, Annalise Murphy, Robert Dickson, Simon Johnson, Finn Lynch, Sean Waddilove, Peter O'Leary, Oisin McClelland and Stephen Milne.

SSL Gold Cup Team Ireland

The SSL Gold Cup 2022 will start on May 19th with the Qualifying Series in Grandson, Lake Neuchatel (Switzerland). All teams ranked from the Top 25 to 56 in the January 2022 SSL Nations ranking will meet in eight groups of four teams each. There will be five stages of the Qualifying Series running from May 19th to July 17th.

Annalise Murphy, Robert Dickson (centre)and Sean Waddilove are part of the Irish Green Armada team that compete in Switzerland this weekAnnalise Murphy, Robert Dickson (centre) and Sean Waddilove are part of the Irish Green Armada team that compete in Switzerland this week

SSL Gold Cup Irish jerseyThe SSL Gold Cup Irish team jersey

After three to four days of racing, only the top two teams of each group will go through to the Final Series that will take place from October 28th to November 20th, 2022, to defend their national colours.

SSL Gold Cup Irish jersey

The event director is noted Polish Star helmsman Mateusz Kusznierewicz. 

The SSL Gold Cup will be raced in the SSL47. 11 sailors on each national team, including women and men, will be selected through their national SSL ranking but also their Captain’s choice, with no financial nor technological barriers. 

All the sailors come from Olympic classes, Match-Racing, America's Cup or other noted keelboat circuits.

All nations, from Sailing leading countries like Australia, France, Great Britain, New Zealand or USA will race at the same level as the small ones such as Guatemala, Slovenia, Tahiti or Estonia. 

In its advance billing, the pre-event promotional team are in overdrive: Sailing has finally its own World Cup! Like football in 1930 and rugby in 1987, the SSL Gold Cup is designed to crown the best sailing nation of all! The World's Top 56 countries, selected on their SSL Nation ranking, will battle their way through to raise the coveted and only Sailing World Cup trophy. 

SSL Gold Cup

In relation to the Irish team, the event programme says " With a rich maritime history, Ireland consistently punches above its weight on the world stage, and their sailing is no different. With Olympic medalists, Volvo Ocean Race winners, America's Cup sailors, and offshore sailing coming from the Emerald Isle, there is a long history of sailing success. Through this varied pool of sailing, inspiration and talent is rife, and above all the respect for what it takes to succeed in the sport is widely appreciated.

Green Armada captain Nicholas O’LearyGreen Armada captain Nicholas O’Leary

The Irish team motto we learn is: "From all walks of the Sport of Sailing (The Green Armada) brought together to battle it out with the best in the world of Sailing"

The Irish crew travel on Tuesday for two days of training and straight into four-boat fleet racing for a round of qualifiers. The top two teams go through to the next round.

The SSL (STAR SAILORS LEAGUE) is the global inshore sailing circuit launched by Olympic athletes in 2012, by sailors for sailors. Its main philosophy considers the athletes (not the boats) as the “Stars” and it aims to showcase the annual global sailing championship with its over 15’000 regattas; it determines and celebrates the world leaders in sailing promoting the inshore regattas to the global audience.

The three main components of the SSL Circuit are the SSL Ranking published every Tuesday, updating the position of over 100,000 leading athletes, thus highlighting the world’s top inshore sailors. The SSL Finals taking place every year around November-December, it’s the annual final of the SSL Circuit among the 20/25 best athletes of the ranking, to crown the champion of the season. And the SSL Gold Cup, the ‘ultimate’ championship of the circuit with 56 nations among World Sailing members, to crown the best sailing nation.

In a mechanical sport where the race for technology sometimes gets in the way of the race for glory, the SSL aims for equal competition where the talent of the sailors is at the forefront and the champions become heroes that inspire new generations of sailors.

The SSL is a World Sailing Special Event since 2017.

More here

Published in SSL Gold Cup

Afloat was quick to point out to An Post there were some notable absences from last month's tribute to Irish female sporting heroes in its set of six National Stamps (Irish Women in Sport).

The Irish Post Office paid tribute to achievements in athletics, boxing, horse racing, swimming and hockey in its March issue.

But there was no place for sailing's 2016 Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy or rowing's quartet of Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty who produced a stirring finish to take the bronze medal in the women's four final at Tokyo.

The stamps acknowledge Irish sportswomen’s great achievements at home and on the international stage but an An Post spokesperson acknowledged the omission and told Afloat "We had a finite number of stamps so not all our wonderful athletes could feature – this time". 

The spokesperson added, "We have had similar enquiries about top Irish athletes in a number of other sports". 

The booklet features Irish female sporting icons Sonia O’Sullivan, Katie Taylor, Kellie Harrington, Rachael Blackmore, Ellen Keane and the Irish Women’s hockey team.

Happily, Irish Women in Sport is a topic that An Post will be returning to again in a future programme so, it appears, we may yet see some achievements afloat and get a stamp of approval?

Published in Women in Sailing
Tagged under

Olympic sailing silver medalist Annalise Murphy is joined by fellow Olympians, rowers Sanita Puspure and Claire Lambe in the latest Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) Athletes’ Commission.

The three are among eight athletes elected from a list of 13 for the commission’s 2022-24 term, as the OFI announced today.

All Irish Olympians were eligible to vote in an online platform for seven of the commission’s spots, with Ireland’s sole winter sport candidate Shane O’Connor automatically elected, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The regulations made allowance for a minimum gender balance of 40%. However, the election produced a 50/50 gender balance without need to invoke such mechanisms.

Murphy finished 18th overall in the Laser Radial at Tokyo 2020 last summer, and has since called time on her Olympic sailing career.

Also in Tokyo, Puspure reached the B final of the women’s single scull before withdrawing due to illness.

And before her retirement from international competition ins 2018, Lambe was a finalist in the women’s lightweight double sculls at Rio 2016.

The three women and O’Connor will sit alongside race walker Brendan Boyce, boxer Paddy Barnes, hockey international David Harte and modern pentathlete Natalya Coyle in the latest formation of the commission.

OFI president Sarah Keane congratulated the successful candidates and thanked all those who applied.

“We are confident that the athlete voice will be represented well and that you will continue to drive sport forward, each of you bringing with you a wealth of experience,” she said.

“I also want to thank the outgoing Athletes’ Commission who have worked really hard in important areas in sport, from athlete welfare and representation on decision making groups, to driving initiatives that Irish athletes wanted to back, such as anti-doping and tackling racism and discrimination.

“You have given this new commission a very solid point from which they can start.”

The outgoing OFI Athletes’ Commission was appointed in 2017, and consisted of Shane O’Connor (chair), Gavin Noble (vice chair), David Harte (also a member of the EOC Athletes’ Commission), David Gillick (also an athlete representative in Sport Ireland anti-doping initiatives), Kenneth Egan, James Nolan, Melanie Nocher and Judy Reynolds.

Over the coming weeks the new OFI Athletes’ Commission will meet informally, in a virtual setting, and will hold its first official meeting soon after.

Published in Olympic

Sailing's Annalise Murphy as well as rowing's Claire Lambe and Sanita Puspure are among an impressive list of thirteen candidates across ten sports have been nominated to run for election for the Olympic Federation of Ireland Athletes’ Commission.

The recruitment process opened for the 2022-2024 term before Christmas and Olympians from any of the last four Olympic cycles, winter, or summer, were invited to apply for a position on the commission that acts as the athlete’s voice for Irish Olympic athletes. Voting opened on the 11 January and will close at 1pm on the 16 January 2022.

Applicants were initially requested to complete a form outlining their aims and objectives should they be elected to the OFI Athletes’ Commission and were required to be supported by either their National Federation or three Olympians. Outlining a range of aims the high calibre candidates who will run for election list among their goals athlete-focused objectives such as improving athlete welfare, mental health, education and support for the athletes.

The list of candidates are as follows:

Olympic Federation of Ireland Athletes’ Commission candidatesOlympic Federation of Ireland Athletes’ Commission candidates

The current Athletes’ Commission was established in June 2017, with the aim of ensuring that the athlete’s voice is heard across all levels of Olympic sport in Ireland. Their strategy outlines a vision for Ireland to be the best country in the world to be an Olympian or aspiring Olympic athlete.

Rowing's Claire Lambe and Sanita Puspure (above) are candidates for the Athletes CommissionRowing's Claire Lambe and Sanita Puspure (above) are candidates for the Athletes Commission

Seven people will be elected from the list of candidates, with Shane O’Connor deemed selected to the Athletes’ Commission, being an automatic selection as the sole nomination from the winter sports. Both genders will be represented in line with the OFI’s gender balance policy of 40%. The successful members will be elected to the OFI Athletes’ Commission and will remain in office until late 2024.

If any Irish Olympian has not received an email with a password, please contact Heather Boyle [email protected] with their name, email address, the Games in which they competed.

Tagged under

It was party time in Dun Laoghaire Harbour last Thursday night (September 23rd) to welcome home the Irish Olympic sailing team from last month's Tokyo Olympic Games.

Invited guests included Government Ministers, Olympians, local Dun Laoghaire Rathdown officials plus yacht club commodores and sponsors who were all back on the waterfront to hear Annalise Murphy's thoughts post-Tokyo as the team returned to its High-Performance HQ at the Irish Lights Depot.

Murphy's teammates, the 49er duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove were in attendance too along with the Tokyo backroom team.

Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht Jack Chambers along with Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Ossian Smyth, the local Green Party TD, were invited to the outdoor function.

From Northern Ireland, 1984 and 1988, Olympian Bill O'Hara OBE was also at the get-together, as were members of the Olympic Federation of Ireland including CEO Peter Sherrard.

The Dun Laoghaire High Performance HQ was the venue for Thursday night's homecoming celebrations of the Olympic TeamThe Dun Laoghaire High Performance HQ was the venue for last Thursday night's homecoming celebrations of the Olympic Team

The Rio silver medalist signed off the evening by thanking Rory Fitzpatrick 'for being her coach' and updated the event on how she is adjusting to life as an MBA student at UCD.

Irish prospects for Paris 2024

Next on the agenda for the Irish Olympic sailing team is, of course, Paris 2024. With just three years to the first gun at Marseille, Thursday evening provided the chance to pitch Irish prospects.

The race for places has already begun with Polish duo Mikolaj Staniul / Kuba Sztorch crowned 49er European champions in Thessaloniki last week. Although no Irish crew participated at the Greek event, there are already triennial developments at home with Cork Harbour's Seafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan announcing this month they will be making a bid for the single Irish men's skiff slot.

Finn Lynch, who was unsuccessful in his quest for a Tokyo Laser place, has already declared he will run again and it is expected Howth's Ewan McMahon will also be a contender. And in the Radial, McMahon's sister, Eve and Aoife Hopkins, both of Howth, will each seek the nomination.

Tokyo 2020 Review

A number of post-Tokyo reviews are being conducted. One is being undertaken by Irish Sailing, which, for the first time since Athens 2004, will be in the hands of "an external sports management expert", according to sailing president David O'Brien.

That's a process that will no doubt shine a light on the circumstances surrounding the controversially cut-short 2020 Radial selection procedure

The review is expected to be completed by year-end.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Sailing results from the Tokyo Olympics were "incredibly disappointing" and should lead to an independent review of the High-Performance unit within Irish Sailing, according to former Former Irish Sailing Association president Roger Bannon.

In his article for Afloat here, Bannon points out that the current High-Performance Unit has presided over Irish participation at four Olympics since 2008. "Apart from Annalise Murphy's silver medal in Rio, an exceptional result for a variety of reasons, Irish results at all these Olympics have failed to fulfil our much-heralded promise," he writes.

It is estimated that at least €15m has been spent since 2006 on High-Performance Sailing in Ireland, excluding what the participants themselves have contributed, and the Government regularly spends more supporting Irish sailing than any Olympic sport other than Athletics. Bannon notes this windfall is unlikely to continue after our poor results in Tokyo and consistent disappointments in the past.

Roger Bannon, who served as President of the association from 1994 to 1996, is credited with the 1993 'Joint Membership Scheme' (JMS). The JMS underpinned the financial viability of the association by making every member of a sailing club also a member of the ISA. An outspoken critic of former ISA policies, Bannon spearheaded a group of sailors in 2013 calling for change at the association, claiming it had 'lost touch with grassroots sailing'. He rejoined the board in 2014 as its Treasurer and resigned in 2016.Roger Bannon, who served as President of the association from 1994 to 1996, is credited with the 1993 'Joint Membership Scheme' (JMS). The JMS underpinned the financial viability of the association by making every member of a sailing club also a member of the ISA. An outspoken critic of ISA policies, Bannon spearheaded a group of sailors in 2013 calling for change at the association, claiming it had 'lost touch with grassroots sailing'. He rejoined the board in 2014 as its Treasurer and resigned in 2016.

Disappointment in the US team at its failure to win sailing medals has sparked a new appointment of Paul Cayard, a world-class Olympic and international sailor, as that country's new high-performance supremo. In addition, the UK's RYA recently appointed the renowned Olympic and international sailor Ian Walker as their high-performance supremo to direct what they hope will be the ongoing British dominance in Olympic sailing, demonstrating their willingness to review and change even an outstandingly successful high-performance structure which has delivered so many medals over the last 12 years.

In Ireland, writes Bannon, "we have basically not changed our approach for the last 4 or 5 Olympic cycles and the core methodology is obviously not working and needs to be totally reappraised, probably with new blood and revised structures.

Among the changes suggested by Bannon are:

  • Professionalising our coaching support techniques to improve performance at each Olympics.
  • Peer reviews ourselves other more successful nations of similar size, such as New Zealand.
  • High-performance sailors should not be isolated from mainstream domestic sailing activities.
  • Improved PR and visibility for the High-Performance sailors and improved relations with young athletes' families
  • New protocols to assist in improving communication and consultation with families that support young athletes attempting to gain traction at international level.
  • Changes to the composition of the High-Performance Olympic Committee.

In its response to the article, Irish Sailing said: "As is normal after each Olympic cycle, Irish sailing is undertaking a comprehensive review of our support to and performance of our sailing athletes. To this end, we are engaging an external sports management expert to undertake the review.

"Sport Ireland has also commissioned their own independent review which we look forward to receiving in due course. The Irish Sailing Board welcomes views from all those with Olympic sailing experience and in this regard is delighted to receive the views of our esteemed Past President, Roger Bannon.

"We expect to conclude our review by the year-end."

Published in Tokyo 2020

Fans and supporters of Annalise Murphy have paid tribute to the Irish sailing star after she suggested that her Olympic career was now at a close after failing to make her Tokyo 2020 final.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Murphy finished the week on Friday (30 July) in 18th overall, placing her outside the top 10 who qualified for this morning’s (Sunday 1 August) Laser Radial medal race in which Denmark’s Anne-Marine Rindom took gold after a misunderstanding of race rules cost her a big points lead.

Speaking after her own last race at Enoshima, Murphy — who won Olympic silver in the Laser Radial in Rio five years ago — said she was “really proud of how I managed to come back this week”.

That was in reference to her preferred stronger wind conditions which prevailed in her one-two finish in Thursday’s racing.

She told RTÉ Sport: “I was hoping we were going to get more conditions like [Thursday], I knew that I would excel in those kind of conditions and I'm really glad we managed to get one day of it to show I can still be the best when the day comes around.”

As for what the future holds, Murphy said she is “looking forward to a normal life” and that she “can't see myself going for another Olympics” — adding that she wants to help out fellow Irish Laser Radial sailors Aoife Hopkins and Eve McMahon with their campaigns.

“I hope I can give them some of my knowledge and maybe they can surpass all of my achievements. That would the dream, that I have left some legacy behind,” she added.

Following Murphy’s comments, fans on social media expressed their admiration for her Olympic achievements and as a sportswoman in general.

Twitter user suz kavanagh said: “Such ability, dedication and strong attitude, a true Olympian.. it’s been an honour to follow your journey. Be proud!”

Stuart Masterson said Murphy has “raised the profile of sailing in Ireland. The fact that you are talking up the next generation of sailors speaks volumes about how great of a person you are, not just a great sports person.”

Meanwhile on Facebook, Karin Duffy said Murphy is “an amazing ambassador for Irish sailing and inspiring role model for all the young aspiring athletes”, and Katy Moore Ratcliffe thanked her “for representing the Irish with class”.

Published in Annalise Murphy

A much softer breeze was not kind to Annalise Murphy’s last-ditch hopes of Enoshima medal race participation in the Laser Radial this morning, the biggest sailing class of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The National Yacht Club sailor, who thrilled Irish fans when she jumped back to the top of the fleet in strong winds yesterday with one, two finishes, was confounded this morning by a southwest wind of 6-8 knots and a slight sea state.

Murphy posted a 30th, moving up from 38th at the first mark in race nine, dropping her back from 14th to 16th overall on the leaderboard.

Winds dropped to six knots for the second race, and unfortunately, things disproved further in race ten for the Irish heavy airs expert when she posted her worst result of the week, a 40th, just four places from the back of the 44-boat fleet.

Overall, it means the defending Rio silver medalist counted 35, 12, 24, 37, 9, 10, 1, 2, 30 and (40) to finish 18th, some 63 points off the top ten, ruling out any consolation of a medal race place tomorrow.

Rindom Does Not Finish Race Ten

In a shock for the fleet, overall leader Ann Marie Rindom of Denmark bombed out of the final day’s racing with a very uncharacteristic 26 scored in race nine. Things got worse for her in race ten when the Rio bronze medalist did not start the race. More on this here.

Overall, the Dane had put together a seemingly unstoppable 21 point advantage this week, so still leads going into the medal race, but with her margin whittled down to just 7 points from the reigning Olympic Champion Marit Boumeester of Holland.

This last Radial twist has added some extra spice to Sunday’s doubles points medal race, a repeat scenario of the Rio podium except, of course, for the absence of the Dun Laoghaire ace.

After racing, the Irish squad marked the end of Annalise Murphy's third Olympic Games with a gathering in the Enoshima dinghy park to honour the NYC sailor, Ireland's most successful Olympic sailor.

Results and overall standings are here

Published in Annalise Murphy

On the Fujisawa course today (Thursday 29 July), the increased breeze proved to be to Annalise Murphy's liking, as Ireland’s Laser Radial contender led race 7 from wire to wire.

The race saw her increasing her advantage from 31 seconds at mark 1 to 43 seconds at the finish over regatta leader Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN).

Placings were reversed in race 8, with Rindom consolidating her overall lead in the Tokyo 2020 Laser Radial event.

Like the 49er duo of Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, who leapt a number of places in the standings after today’s race, Murphy will be pleased with her improvement after a shaky start to the week, especially during her second race today from sixth at mark 1 to second at the finish.

Now in 14th place overall, 14 points away from the all-important 10th position, she will be hoping for similar conditions in tomorrow’s (Friday 30 July) two final qualifying races on the Enoshima course to advance to the medal race.

Speaking afterwards, Murphy said: “I guess I’m just delighted that I finally managed to put together a good day. You start to doubt if you’re actually good enough to be doing this, or maybe you’ve just forgotten how to sail! So to be able to go out and win a race, and then to be second in the second race – yes I was really happy.

“It was really fun having wind and waves. It wasn’t as windy as we thought it was going to be, but still nice wind, and really nice waves. We’ve had offshore, the wind coming off the land, so quite flat water, so today was the wind coming from the sea so really big waves which made it a lot of fun, particularly on the down winds.

“I think I realised that I put so much pressure on myself to try and do well here. When I realised that I had kind of messed it up, I just had to go out and actually enjoy the sailing and enjoy the racing and take it one race at a time; try and do the simple stuff right and hopefully then, I would get some good races.”

Looking ahead to the big races tomorrow she added: “I just have to go out tomorrow and enjoy the racing and sail well. I can’t really do anything fancy - I just have to keep on chipping away, and hopefully I can pull out two more good results.”

Overall leader Rindom was more excited at the performance of her good friend Annalise who rediscovered her mojo in today’s full-hiking, wavy conditions.

In Rio, Rindom took Olympic bronze behind the Irish sailor’s silver and today they each came off the water with a first and a second place, Murphy taking the first race and Rindom the next."I'm so happy for her because we have been training together now for the last eight years," grinned Rindom. "And I remember in Rio, we were jumping in the water together finishing second and third. She just needs those days like today. She's such a brilliant sailor. I am so happy for her."

The gold medallist from Rio, Marit Bouwmeester (NED), has mounted a courageous comeback all week after a shaky start to the regatta. The Dutch double Olympic medallist has sailed with her back against the wall, but blew any realistic chances of the gold after a black flag disqualification for starting too soon in race 7. Now back in seventh, she has an outside chance of getting back to silver or bronze."Well, at least I don’t have to look at the scoreboard anymore," said Bouwmeester, struggling to face up to her disappointment. "I guess my back's against the wall but I have to make the most of tomorrow."

Rindom needs to sail sensibly to preserve a whopping 21 point advantage over Tuula Tenkanen, the Finnish sailor who leads a bunch of rivals on very similar points.

Find the full race results and standing HERE.

 

Published in Tokyo 2020

Annalise Murphy took her first top-ten finishes of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games today, as she secured a ninth-place position in the fifth race of the Laser Radial and took tenth in race six.

Tuesday's 16-knot northerly wind proved to be the refresher that Annalise Murphy needed to boost her chances of sailing in Sunday's medal race. Placings of 9th and 10th have improved her overall ranking to 20th, 33 points behind the 10th place that qualifies for the last medal race spot.

In the first race of the day, Murphy improved from 17th at mark 1 to finish in 9th in a race that was won by Sweden's Josefin Olsson. In race 2 her improvement was more marked - from 22nd at mark 1 to 10th at the finish. This race was won by Switzerland's Maud Jayet.

Overall, Rio Bronze medallist Anne-Marie Rindonm (DEN) has proved to be the most consistent, counting 5 top ten results to lead by 12 points from Olsson with Rio Gold medallist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) a point further back making it an all Scandinavian top three.

Consistent sailing from Dane Anne Marie Rindom gives her a consistent score of 6, 5, 3, 4, 4 to lead at th half way point of the regattaConsistent sailing from Dane Anne Marie Rindom gives her a consistent score of 6, 5, 3, 4, 4 to lead at th halfway point of the regatta

Analysis of the statistics suggests that Murphy will need to improve her start and first beat performance. In today's two races (race 5 and race 6) the winners led wire to wire and most of the top ten finishers were in the top ten at the first weather mark.

In race six today, Annalise Murphy went from 22nd at mark 1 to 10th by the finishIn race six today, Annalise Murphy went from 22nd at mark 1 to 10th by the finish

Wednesday is a day off for the radials, before returning Thursday and Friday to complete the qualifying stages. At this stage, it appears that the light winds will return.

Full results are here 

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Annalise Murphy, Olympic Silver Medalist

The National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy (born 1 February 1990) is a Dublin Bay sailor who won a silver medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics. She is a native of Rathfarnham, a suburb of Dublin.

Murphy competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the Women's Laser Radial class. She won her first four days of sailing at the London Olympics and, on the fifth day, came in 8th and 19th position.

They were results that catapulted her on to the international stage but those within the tiny sport of Irish sailing already knew her of world-class capability in a breeze and were not surprised.

On the sixth day of the competition, she came 2nd and 10th and slipped down to second, just one point behind the Belgian world number one.

Annalise was a strong contender for the gold medal but in the medal race, she was overtaken on the final leg by her competitors and finished in 4th, her personal best at a world-class regatta and Ireland's best Olympic class result in 30 years.

Radial European Gold

Murphy won her first major medal at an international event the following year on home waters when she won gold at the 2013 European Sailing Championships on Dublin Bay.

Typically, her track record continues to show that she performs best in strong breezes that suit her large stature (height: 1.86 m Weight: 72 kg).

She had many international successes on her road to Rio 2016 but also some serious setbacks including a silver fleet finish in flukey winds at the world championships in the April of Olympic year itself.

Olympic Silver Medal

On 16 August 2016, Murphy won the silver medal in the Laser Radial at the 2016 Summer Olympics defying many who said her weight and size would go against her in Rio's light winds.

As Irish Times Sailing Correspondent David O'Brien pointed out: " [The medal] was made all the more significant because her string of consistent results was achieved in a variety of conditions, the hallmark of a great sailor. The medal race itself was a sailing master class by the Dubliner in some decidedly fickle conditions under Sugarloaf mountain".

It was true that her eight-year voyage ended with a silver lining but even then Murphy was plotting to go one better in Tokyo four years later.

Sportswoman of the Year

In December 2016, she was honoured as the Irish Times/Sport Ireland 2016 Sportswoman of the Year.

In March, 2017, Annalise Murphy was chosen as the grand marshal of the Dublin St Patrick's day parade in recognition of her achievement at the Rio Olympics.

She became the Female World Champion at the Moth Worlds in July 2017 in Italy but it came at a high price for the Olympic Silver medallist. A violent capsize in the last race caused her to sustain a knee injury which subsequent scans revealed to be serious. 

Volvo Ocean Race

The injury was a blow for her return to the Olympic Laser Radial discipline and she withdrew from the 2017 World Championships. But, later that August, to the surprise of many, Murphy put her Tokyo 2020 ambitions on hold for a Volvo Ocean Race crew spot and joined Dee Caffari’s new Turn the Tide On Plastic team that would ultimately finish sixth from seventh overall in a global circumnavigation odyssey.

Quits Radial for 49erFX

There were further raised eyebrows nine months later when, during a break in Volvo Ocean Race proceedings, in May 2018 Murphy announced she was quitting the Laser Radial dinghy and was launching a 49er FX campaign for Tokyo 2020. Critics said she had left too little time to get up to speed for Tokyo in a new double-handed class.

After a 'hugely challenging' fourteen months for Murphy and her crew Katie Tingle, it was decided after the 2019 summer season that their 'Olympic medal goal' was no longer realistic, and the campaign came to an end. Murphy saying in interviews “I guess the World Cup in Japan was a bit of a wakeup call for me, I was unable to see a medal in less than twelve months and that was always the goal".

The pair raced in just six major regattas in a six-month timeframe. 

Return to Radial

In September 2019, Murphy returned to the Laser Radial dinghy and lead a four-way trial for the Tokyo 2020 Irish Olympic spot after the first of three trials when she finished 12th at the Melbourne World Championships in February 2020.

Selection for Tokyo 2021

On June 11, Irish Sailing announced Annalise Murphy had been nominated in the Laser Radial to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Murphy secured the Laser Radial nomination after the conclusion of a cut short trials in which rivals Aoife Hopkins, Aisling Keller and Eve McMahon also competed.

Disappointment at Tokyo 2021

After her third Olympic Regatta, there was disappointment for Murphy who finished 18th overall in Tokyo. On coming ashore after the last race, she indicated her intention to return to studies and retire from Olympic sailing.  

On 6th Aguust 2020, Murphy wrote on Facebook:  "I am finally back home and it’s been a week since I finished racing, I have been lucky enough to experience the highs and the lows of the Olympics. I am really disappointed, I can’t pretend that I am not. I wasn’t good enough last week, the more mistakes I made the more I lost confidence in my decision making. Two years ago I made a plan to try and win a gold medal in the Radial, I believed that with my work ethic and attitude to learning, that everything would work out for me. It didn’t work out this time but I do believe that it’s worth dreaming of winning Olympic medals as I’m proof that it is possible, I also know how scary it is to try knowing you might not be good enough!
I am disappointed for Rory who has been my coach for 15 years, we’ve had some great times together and I wish I could have finished that on a high. I have so much respect for Olympic sailing coaches. They also have to dedicate their lives to getting to the games. I know I’ll always appreciate the impact Rory has had on my life as a person.
I am so grateful for the support I have got from my family and friends, I have definitely been selfish with my time all these years and I hope I can now make that up to you all! Thanks to Kate, Mark and Rónán for always having my back! Thank you to my sponsors for believing in me and supporting me. Thank you Tokyo for making these games happen! It means so much to the athletes to get this chance to do the Olympics.
I am not too sure what is next for me, I definitely don’t hate sailing which is a positive. I love this sport, even when it doesn’t love me 😂. Thank you everyone for all the kind words I am finally getting a chance to read!"

Annalise Murphy, Olympic Sailor FAQs

Annalise Murphy is Ireland’s best performing sailor at Olympic level, with a silver medal in the Laser Radial from Rio 2016.

Annalise Murphy is from Rathfarnham, a suburb in south Co Dublin with a population of some 17,000.

Annalise Murphy was born on 1 February 1990, which makes her 30 years old as of 2020.

Annalise Murphy’s main competition class is the Laser Radial. Annalise has also competed in the 49erFX two-handed class, and has raced foiling Moths at international level. In 2017, she raced around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race.

In May 2018, Annalise Murphy announced she was quitting the Laser Radial and launching a campaign for Tokyo 2020 in the 49erFX with friend Katie Tingle. The pairing faced a setback later that year when Tingle broke her arm during training, and they did not see their first competition until April 2019. After a disappointing series of races during the year, Murphy brought their campaign to an end in September 2019 and resumed her campaign for the Laser Radial.

Annalise Murphy is a longtime and honorary member of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

Aside from her Olympic success, Annalise Murphy won gold at the 2013 European Sailing Championships on Dublin Bay.

So far Annalise Murphy has represented Ireland at two Olympic Games.

Annalise Murphy has one Olympic medal, a silver in the Women’s Laser Radial from Rio 2016.

Yes; on 11 June 2020, Irish Sailing announced Annalise Murphy had been nominated in the Women’s Laser Radial to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021.

Yes; in December 2016, Annalise Murphy was honoured as the Irish Times/Sport Ireland 2016 Sportswoman of the Year. In the same year, she was also awarded Irish Sailor of the Year.

Yes, Annalise Murphy crewed on eight legs of the 2017-18 edition of The Ocean Race.

Annalise Murphy was a crew member on Turn the Tide on Plastic, skippered by British offshore sailor Dee Caffari.

Annalise Murphy’s mother is Cathy McAleavy, who competed as a sailor in the 470 class at the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988.

Annalise Murphy’s father is Con Murphy, a pilot by profession who is also an Olympic sailing race official.

Annalise Murphy trains under Irish Sailing Performance head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, with whom she also prepared for her silver medal performance in Rio 2016.

Annalise Murphy trains with the rest of the team based at the Irish Sailing Performance HQ in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Annalise Murphy height is billed as 6 ft 1 in, or 183cm.

©Afloat 2020

At A Glance – Annalise Murphy Significant Results

2016: Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Silver

2013: European Championships, Dublin, Ireland – Gold

2012: Summer Olympics, London, UK – 4th

2011: World Championships, Perth, Australia – 6th

2010: Skandia Sail for Gold regatta – 10th

2010: Became the first woman to win the Irish National Championships.

2009: World Championships – 8th

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