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Displaying items by tag: Tony O'Connor

#Rowing: New Zealand have chosen Tony O’Connor to coach their senior men’s eight. The 49-year-old former oarsman has been a successful coach at junior level, with the school at which he teaches, Christ’s College, Christchurch, and in the international set-up. He coached the New Zealand junior four which took silver at the World Junior Championships in 2017.

 O’Connor represented Ireland at two Olympic Games (1996 and 2000), and was part of the lightweight four which finished fourth in 1996. He won gold in the lightweight pair in 2001 World Championships with Gearóid Towey. He partnered Neville Maxwell in the lightweight pair which set the world’s best time in 1994.  

Published in Rowing

Afloat's rowing coverage encompasses the widest range of activities undertaken on Irish lakes, rivers and coastal waters. We aim to bring jargon free reports separated in to popular categories to promote the sport in Ireland.

Click this link for the latest Irish Rowing News and Results.

Rowing is one of the oldest of all sports, and FISA (Federation des Societes d'Aviron) the governing body of the sport, which was founded in 1892, is the oldest international sports federation in the Olympic movement. FISA has 128 member federations worldwide, organises World and Olympic Championships and World Cups and promotes all forms of rowing – including the non-Olympic event of Coastal Rowing.

The Irish Amateur Rowing Union, a federation of rowing clubs, has a history almost as long as the international body: it was founded in Dublin in 1899. Now reconstituted as Rowing Ireland, in 2010 the union had 69 affiliated clubs spread throughout the island of Ireland and 2,500 registered athletes. The National Rowing Centre is based at Farran Wood on Inniscarra Lake in County Cork. The domestic season traditionally culminates in the National Championships in mid-July.

Rowing is divided into sweep rowing and sculling. Sweep rowing involves the participant using both hands on one oar; in sculling the participant holds one oar in each hand. Boats may include a cox (coxwain), who generally steers the boat by means of wires, and guides and rallies the crew. In the shorthand of the sport, coxless crews are denominated by a minus (e.g. a men's coxless four is M4-). Senior sculling crews generally do not include a cox. The set distance for competition in regattas is 2,000 metres. Six-lane racing is standard.

The Olympic Games are the highest level at which rowers compete: there are 14 Olympic rowing classes, eight for men and six for women. Only three of these are in the lightweight classification, the most successful one for Irish rowers: men's fours (LM4-) and double sculls (LM2x) and women's double sculls (LW2x).

Individual oarsmen in lightweight crews cannot exceed 72.5 kilograms, and the average weight of a lightweight crew, excluding the cox, cannot be over 70 kgs. A single sculler cannot be above 72.5 kgs. The equivalent for women are 59 kgs (highest weight) and 57 kgs (average for oarswomen in a crew).

Ireland's best results at the Olympic Games came in 1996 and 1976. At Lake Lanier in the 1996 Games the men's lightweight coxless four crew of Tony O'Connor, Neville Maxwell, Sam Lynch and Derek Holland were beaten by less than a second for the bronze medal. In 1976 in Montreal Sean Drea finished fourth in the men's single sculls. In 2004 the Ireland lightweight four finished sixth in Athens.

The annual World Rowing Championships feature the 14 Olympic events and eight others for able-bodied athletes along with four adaptive events. The Championships have been a much happier hunting ground for the Irish, especially in the non-Olympic events. Niall O'Toole won gold in the lightweight single scull in 1991 and in 2001 Ireland won three World Championship golds: Sam Lynch (lightweight single scull); Sinead Jennings (women's lightweight single) and Tony O'Connor and Gearoid Towey (lightweight pair). Lynch sucessfully defended his title in 2002.

After the Olympics and the World Championships, the third big rowing competition is the World Cup series, usually three regattas in Europe. The World Under-23 Championships, the World Junior Championships, and, for countries in these islands, the Home Internationals, are also big international events. The European Championships were revived in 2006 after a three-decade break and Ireland took part in 2010.

Henley Royal Regatta, with the finals in July each year in the English town, has a special place in the calendar due to its history and its social aspect.

Our coverage though is not restricted to the Republic of Ireland but encompass Northern Ireland Scotland, Wales and the Irish Sea area too.

We're always aiming to build on our rowing content. We're keen to build on areas such as online guides on rowing. If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]

Published in Landing Pages

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.

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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