#annalise – A forecast of similar winds off Weymouth for the rest of Olympic week brought an even wider smile to first timer Annalise Murphy's face this afternoon as she sailed home the winner of both races in the Olympic Laser Radial. Today's result is a stand out performance never before achieved by an Irish sailor at an Olympic Games.
Weymouth's famous bay offered up ideal conditions for the 6'1" Irish representative to tower over her opposition producing a 100 metre lead in the first race.
"I'd a good start and tacked across the fleet and pulled away. It was great! I couldn't do much wrong today. I've brilliant upwind speed. It's all coming together" Annalise told reporters of her first race performance.
And the news of strong westerlies for the rest of the week gives the Irish heavy air expert a unique chance to be on the podium, a feat she has achieved twice before here in the practice events in the run up to this her debut Games.
Rarely has there been a display of such strength in any Olympic class as today and Irish support in Weymouth has swelled on the back of it and also those of the 49er this morning plus yesterday's opening Star results.
Tonight's clean score-sheet showed the 41 – boat radial fleet that the Dun Laoghaire sailor continues to be a force to be reckoned with.
But the results are no flash in the pan, Annalise has been making similar statements all season.
Annalise bucked a trend in transitioning so successfully from youth to senior. At her first Worlds in 2007 she was silver fleet, two years later she finished eighth at the world championships and she went on to better that again in 2011 finishing sixth at the 2011 Perth Worlds. Her transition has not been without it ups and downs but that is not unexpected with an emerging talent.
In 2011 she set an almost impossibly high bar to replicate only finishing outside the top10 once at a World Cup regatta. After a long 2011 season, Annalise has struggled to regain some of her form. However, the signs are there that she can deliver. She continues to rack up a lot of race wins but will need to work on consistency if she is to be in the mix at the end of this week.
The silver and bronze medallists from Beijing have both hit form at the right time the former being crowned 2012 World Champion. Marit Boumester has also had a dip in form since being on the podium at every event in 2011 but she cannot be ruled out.
Annalise will take huge confidence from today's results and also having medalled at this Weymouth venue last year. And with this weather forecast don't rule out a young girl from Dun Laoghaire who is used to bucking trends.
In other news from the Irish Olympic camp three of the four campaigns are lying in top 10 positions. Today was also the first day of racing for the, mens Laser and 49er campaigns, while the Star went in to today's racing in second place after a strong performance yesterday.
Peter O'Leary and David Burrows rounded the first mark of Race 3 of the Star in 10th position but dropped down to 13th for the second and third marks, finishing in 14th.
They maintained their position in the middle of the fleet in Race 4 until they rounded the last mark and climbed from 9th to finish in 5th position leaving them 5th overall.
The Irish 49er duo Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern got off to a solid start in their debut at the Games this afternoon. In Race 1 of their three lap windward-leeward course, they fought hard to climb up the fleet from 7th place to finish 4th overall. They started Race 2 in 9th, dropping back to 12th mid-way through only to return near the top of the fleet and finish in 8th. They currently lie 6th overall but still have a further 13 more races to sail followed by the medal race.
James Espey also began racing today in the 49 boat Laser fleet. He had a 38th and a 44th which sees him in 42nd overall. Espey has a further 8 races to sail before the top ten in the fleet sail the medal race.
Racing will continue tomorrow for the Star, Laser Radial, 49er and Laser. The 470 starts on Thursday. Sailing action starts at 12 noon in Weymouth.