Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and the Irish Sailing Association are planning a major celebration of Annalise Murphy's Olympic Silver medal in the Laser Radial class. A civic reception for the Irish Olympic Sailing team will take place in Dun Laoghaire, Annalise's home port this Thursday, (25th August 2016).
Plans are underway to give the Dun Laoghaire sailing star a major homecoming celebration that will start with a flotilla arrival at Dun Laoghaire harbour before proceeding to a public event at Dun Laoghaire's nearby People's Park, close to the East Pier. The reception will be staged from 6.30pm – 8.00pm.
Annalise will be officially welcomed home by An Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Cormac Devlin.
The Homecoming in the People’s Park will host a big stage & screen and will feature a Brazilian Samba band, a dancing troupe, DJ, facepainting, flags, balloons, boat display and possibility of an icecream or two, say DLRCoCo.
Ireland's newest Olympic silver medalist arrives home to a hero's welcome. pic.twitter.com/ZZk4BrXaPf— Newstalk Sport (@NewstalkSport) August 23, 2016
In what will be an important acknowledgment of Murphy's crowning achievement, the country's largest racing club, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) has rescheduled Thursday's end of season race for up to 300 boats and over 1,000 sailors on Dublin Bay to allow sailors participate in the homecoming event.
After the civic reception, National Yacht Club Commodore Larry Power will bestow Honorary Life Membership of the National Yacht Club to 26–year–old Annalise for her Rio achievement, Ireland's first Olympic sailing medal in 36 years.
Ireland’s young sailors to welcome Annalise Murphy
The Irish Sailing Association is making a special appeal for junior and youth sailors from across the county–and country– to attend on Thursday evening to help form the welcome party for Annalise and her team. Sailing club colours and flags are especially welcome.
The Silver medal won by Annalise marks not only her efforts for London 2012 when fourth overall was both a disappointment for her as well as being the best Irish result in decades, but also the reconstruction of her campaign for Rio 2016 that saw her become an all-round performer in what is now regarded as one of the most challenging Olympic regatta venues ever. From the opening race of her series, she held a top-three result through the ten-race qualification series.
Annalise Murphy won Ireland’s first Olympic Sailing medal for 36 years at Rio 2016 and the result marks her reward for eleven years of dedication and intensive campaigning.
“I am incredibly happy with my medal. It has been a long road to achieve this, especially since London 2012 but it has been hugely worthwhile,” said Annalise Murphy. “My hope is that this medal represents an opportunity for Irish sailing to attract new people to our sport which is ideal for this island nation".
Finn Lynch (20) from Carlow and also a National YC sailor was the youngest ever Olympic helm to represent Ireland as well as being the youngest in his 46-strong class. He achieved several notable performances during his ten-race series at Rio including several top 20 results. In an event where the average age of the top ten finishers is 30, he has proven his ability with an Olympic experience under his belt and is certain to be a prospect for Tokyo 2020.
Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey from the Royal Irish YC started their campaign together exactly three years ago and sailed the 49erFX class for the new Women’s Skiff event at Rio 2016. After overcoming a three-month injury hiatus to their campaign, they qualified Ireland for the event earlier this year and their form improved steadily in the build-up to the Olympics. Over their 12 race series, they achieved five top ten results and ended their debut Olympic Games in 12th place overall.
Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern, from Carrickfergus Sailing Club, Ballyholme YC & Royal Ulster YC were the last of the six Irish sailors into action on Guanabara Bay on Thursday afternoon in the Men’s Skiff event Medal Race final. The London 2012 veterans improved on their performance from four years ago by qualifying for the final to place tenth overall. Their results included two race wins in which they beat the four times world champions and eventual Gold medal winners. This ensured they were within reach of the podium going in to the last day of fleet racing.
“This result proves that our strategy in high performance is working and is providing the success that all involved in sailing and sport crave,” commented David Lovegrove, President of the Irish Sailing Association. “I want to acknowledge the tremendous professionalism of our coaching staff who have demonstrated such passion and commitment to our sailors. In particular I want to commend James O’Callaghan’s leadership and guidance of high performance sailing, ably supported by Rory Fitzpatrick.”
“Annalise’s medal confirms the intent of our programme that both delivers the highest standard of performance but also makes a return to our domestic sport,” said James O’Callaghan, ISA Performance Director.