#RMOCR – Ireland's Star and Laser Radial sailing teams stay in the top third of their respective fleets after the first day of racing at the 2012 Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta but only just. After a mixed opening day's performance from Peter O'Leary and David Burrows the keelboat pair are 11th from 33. Annalise Murphy fares better in13th after two races from a fleet of 60 boats competing on Biscayne Bay.
The sailors are Ireland's best hopes for a sailing medal at the London Olympics and are funded by the Irish Sports Council.
Conditions on the blustery Florida race courses, often judged to be one of the best race tracks in the world, blew from the north east and 12-20 knots in strength across the five courses. Over 700 sailors are competing, drawn from over 50 countries and ten Olympic classes.
It's the second round of ISAF's Sailing World Cup Regatta and as such represents one of the most important build up regattas of the year in advance of the Olynpic Games in less than 200 days time. Both Irish crews, who qualified for London in Perth last December, are fighting hard to post consistent results but yesterday's opening two rounds, although solid performances, wil not be the post Christmas boost they were looking for.
The Irish keelboat took a yellow flag Yellow flag penalty in the first race and did well to get back to tenth O'Leary and Burrows scores of 10th and a 12th place them 11th overall.
Annalise Murphy concluded the day in 13th overall having secured a 17th and a 19th in her two races of the day.
Independent non-carded sailor James Espey got off to a consistent start in the largest of the classes, the 78 boat Laser fleet. He sits just outside the top 10 at 11th overall having finished 12th in both of his races of the day.
Also competing are the Irish Paralympic sailors John Twomey, Anthony Hegarty and Ian Costello in the Sonar class. The trio lie in the middle of the 11 boat fleet at 6th overall following a 9th and a 4th in their two races.