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Displaying items by tag: Annalise Murphy

Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy marked her return to competition after a three-month break with a second overall after the first day of competition in the ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) at the Lanzarote Winter Series in the Canary Islands yesterday.

The National Yacht Club ace is on seven points after three races sailed, four points behind Denmark's Anne Marie Rindom who took three straight wins in the perfect sailing conditions that prevailed off the Arrecife coast.

As Afloat reported yesterday, a 39-boat fleet drawn from 25 countries is contesting the 14-race regatta that runs until Thursday as part of its winter training schedule.

The only Irish sailor so far qualified for Tokyo 2021 scored 3, 2, 2 in her boat named 'Ricky Bobby'.

Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon counted a 'Did Not Compete (DNC) in race two and is placed 30th. 

Finn Lynch lying sixth

In the men's ILCA 7 (Laser) class, Murphy's club mate Finn Lynch lies sixth overall in a 30-boat men's Laser (ILCA 7) fleet from 14 countries.

The fleet includes Robert Scheidt but the Brazilian legend, who is the holder of two gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze from five Olympic Games, is not having things his own way with France's Jean Baptiste Bernaz leading by four points and Lynch beating Scheidt in race two. 

Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon lies 11th and Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George Yacht Club is in 30th.

Results here.

Published in National YC

Ireland's Olympic silver medalist sailor Annalise Murphy returns to action in the Canary Islands this morning, her first regatta since the European Championships in Poland last October.

The only Irish sailor so far qualified for Tokyo 2021 will compete for 14 races (including a medal race) in her boat 'Ricky Bobby'  in the Lanzarote Winter Series til Thursday.

With 25 weeks to Tokyo, the Canarian regatta has attracted a fleet of 45-boats including one or two of Murphy's main rivals for July's Olympic Regatta. The presence of Denmark's 2015 World Champion Anne Marie Rindom, for example, means it is unlikely the National Yacht Club ace will have things entirely her own way.

Murphy is not the only Irish Radial sailor in action on the Spanish archipelago either with Howth Yacht Club teen Eve McMahon entered for the series that sees four races scheduled today.

Irish Laser men in Lanzarote

Some of Ireland's Olympic men's Laser team including the National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch, Howth's Ewan McMahon and Royal St. George's Tom Higgins are also entered but there is no entry in the 48-boat fleet for Ballyholme's Liam Glyn who posted a personal best last October in the Laser Europeans in Poland.

As regular Afloat readers know, the Irish men are in a scramble for one of the last Laser berths for Tokyo that will be decided in Hyeres in April. Ireland is close to the standard required to qualify the nation but at the same time with rivals Spain, Italy, Belgium and Greece all neck and neck, the challenge is clear.

Afloat understands other IRL sailors are on the Spanish Island this week and may yet decide on a last-minute entry, boosting the Irish presence.

No doubt this morning's dinghy park chat will be around the recent denial of the reports that the Tokyo Games are to be cancelled due to COVID. 

As Afloat reported previously, the Irish sailors have not been based at their Dun Laoghaire performance HQ but instead on the continent, winter training in the warmer climes of Portugal and Malta.

All sailors were required to sign a covid declaration for this week's regatta.

The schedule for the ILCA 6 (Radial) & ILCA 7 (Laser) event is: 

  • 4 races (Monday)
  • 4 Races Tuesday
  • 4 Races Wednesday
  • 2 races on Thursday including a medal race
Published in Laser
Tagged under

Annalise Murphy, (30), the only Irish sailor nominated so far for the 2021 Olympic Regatta, has spoken of the difficulties presented by COVID-19 in attempting to train at the Tokyo Regatta venue.

The fact that the Olympics is going ahead at all is positive news for the Irish star but after a year of continuous training at home, and little in the way of competition, it has been a frustrating scenario for the National Yacht Club sailor in her bid for Olympic gold next year. 

She told a special presentation of the Irish Laser class at its recent AGM that she 'obviously would love to train in Tokyo before the Olympics but the reality is that it might be very difficult to do that'.

Firstly, Murphy says, there is the question about whether international athletes will be allowed into Japan at all during the current lockdown, then there is the level of quarantining required once in Tokyo. "If we have to spend two weeks quarantining in a hotel room in order to just do a two-week training camp then the reward may not really be worth the loss of all that time".

Rio Silver medalist Annalise Murphy was crowned 2020 Italian Olympic Week week champion in October, just one of a few international Radial regattas held in 2020Rio Silver medalist Annalise Murphy was crowned 2020 Italian Olympic Week champion in September, just one of a few international Radial regattas held in 2020

As a result, the Rio silver medalist says, in reality, she 'doesn't really know what is going to happen'.

'We just have to be happy to take it one step at a time. If the opportunity presents itself to go out to Japan beforehand, that's brilliant but if not I can’t worry about it too much because no one else can go out there either'. 

Her plan is to stay positive over the winter and 'roll with whatever happens', she concludes.

Published in Laser

The Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) say in an update that Irish athletes across most sports are still on the qualification journey for the Tokyo Olympic Games which now take place next year from 23 July to 8 August 2021. Sailing is no different with only one of a possible three confirmed so far.

To date, there are 52 confirmed athlete spots for Tokyo, with many more athletes and teams sitting inside qualification status.

Eleven sports to date will enjoy Irish representation in Tokyo, and the current tracking of the team could see Team Ireland travelling next summer to Tokyo with the largest Olympic team to date.

In sailing, Ireland has already qualified one boat for Tokyo – the Women’s Laser Radial, which was achieved via Aisling Keller at the World Championships in 2019 – this position is set to be filled by Annalise Murphy, who has been nominated by Irish Sailing after a cut-short trial that left both Keller and Howth rival Aoife Hopkins 'devastated'. 

'Selection', say the OFI, will be made once the process has been completed.

Seafra Guilfyole (left) and Ryan Seaton are one of two Irish 49er campaigns looking for the last nation berth for Tokyo 2021Seafra Guilfoyle (left) and Ryan Seaton are one of two Irish 49er campaigns looking for the last nation berth for Tokyo 2021

There are still limited opportunities for Ireland to qualify another boat – the 49er can still qualify at the planned European Sailing Cup where one spot is available. As Afloat reported earlier, Ireland is vying with Belgium, Sweden and Italy for the one remaining European place. Form at the 2020 Worlds suggested that Irish sailors would be favourites having finished ahead of the other three candidates.

Laser sailor Finn Lynch, one of three Irish helmsmen seeking one of two final nation berths for Tokyo 2021Laser sailor Finn Lynch, one of three Irish helmsmen seeking a final nation berth for Tokyo 2021

In the Men’s Laser, there are two spots available at the planned European Sailing Cup. Up to six countries are in the running – Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands and Belgium and Ireland with Ireland finishing behind all of these at the latest World Championships.

In both of these events, the majority of spots were available at the World Championships in 2019 but unfortunately, Ireland missed out.

As Afloat reported in back in March the IOC, in their determination to maintain normality – or to return to normality as soon as possible – have issued a position update on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the potential changes to the qualification process disrupted by the spread of Covid-19.

Many sports, including sailing, have had to cancel qualifying events and the IOC has asked International Federations to consider revising the qualification process which may include ranking or historical results. More on this here.

Published in Tokyo 2020

The process of intense training, endlessly learning, and continually practising in the hope and expectation of improving your game does not come easily to many Irish sailors. The fact of our being an island nation, and having a very long history of sailing with a strong family tradition within it, gives us a vague but inescapable feeling that getting the best from a sailing boat comes naturally to us, as we reckon we're provided with this genetically inbuilt talent which only needs some occasional tweaking to keep us at the sharp end of the fleet.

Yet as Ireland's top international sailing performers have been learning – and telling us too – for very many decades now, it is only by being open-minded to learning and training and practising and competing again and again at the highest level abroad that you begin to come anywhere near the standard required.

Thus far from being at an advantage as maritime dwellers on an island of relatively low population, we actually face into the top international competitions at a treble disadvantage. Firstly, by having this inherited disposition of feeling that we know most of it already means that, instead of starting from scratch, we actually have to un-learn many of our bad sailing habits before we can begin to progress in the true path.

Annalise Murphy, Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove at a fund-raiser for the Dickson-Waddilove 49er CampaignSeekers of the true performance path……Annalise Murphy, Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove at a fund-raiser for the Dickson-Waddilove 49er Campaign. Photo: W M Nixon

Secondly, we've to get where the real competition is - which is nearer the main centres of population and definitely not on our little island - so logistics are almost always a real challenge. And thirdly, always in the background is the limitation of resources in a national economy which is already smaller than that of some major cities.

Oh sure, some figures seem to show that – were the times normal - we'd be awash with dough. We may indeed be awash with money. But much of it is already spoken for, as we're a nation of mortgage slaves on the inexplicably highest interest rate in Europe, and with many ridiculously expensive utility services to pay for as well. So always, in hoping to promote Irish sailing to the top international performance levels, the Irish sailing community's leading young contenders are up against the shortage of resources in addition to this underlying feeling that trying too hard is somehow un-Irish.

Graceful and seemingly effortless amateur success - done in an atmosphere of quiet modesty rather than noisy air-punching self-aggrandisement – is still a widely-shared Irish sailing ideal.

It was an attitude which was in retreat, but it now may well be holding its own, as the larger world increasingly questions whether or not the approach needed to achieve international sporting success at the top level is really a way of life which is conducive to producing well-balanced socially-positive individuals, rather than one-dimensional sports achievement monomaniacs with no hinterland of other normal interests.

Rob Dickson and Sean WaddiloveWhen it all becomes perfect – Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove at one with their challenging 49er

But there's another way of looking at this. The ancient Greeks, who have some skin in the game in the matter of the Olympic sports ideal, regarded sport and its highest possible achievement as being central to their culture. So those modern cultural gurus who dominate thinking in the arts of all kinds, while at the same looking down disdainfully on sport, are themselves as blinkered as the totally single-minded sportsperson who thinks only of his or her competitive life to the virtual exclusion of everything else.

And fortunately for the general good of society, for many able athletes, the period of total absorption in their sport at the highest level is within a defined period of peak achievement potential. The better national sports authorities are becoming more adept at easing their stars back into a fulfilling "civilian" life once their days at the sharp end of performance are drawing to a close.

Certainly, we can think of former stars who were somehow never subsequently comfortable in the outside world. But there are now far more stars of yesterday who have aged gracefully into useful and highly-respected members of their community as people with a wide range of interests.

Finn Lynch and Annalise Murphy racing former Olympian Cathy Mac Aleavey's Water WagEngaging with another world. Finn Lynch and Annalise Murphy racing former Olympian Cathy Mac Aleavey's Water Wag in Dun Laoghaire when the 2020 sailing season finally got properly underway on July 15th. They won. Photo: Con Murphy

But instead of spouting vague sociological theories and examples, it is surely better to catch up with some of our most promising young sailing stars as they take stock of the situation now after a frustratingly limited international season. It may have started in some style on the other side of the planet in January and February with Worlds in Melbourne, Australia, but has since made uneven progress with a postponed and restricted Kiel Week in Germany in September, and most recently with majors at Attersee in Austria and the Laser Europeans in Gdansk in Poland.

Download the background details on Ireland's current Performance Squad below.

Not surprisingly, the extremely uneven nature of the year's programme produced uneven results for Ireland's sailors, such that it was reckoned good going to get into single figures in the final leaderboard, and 2016 Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy of the National YC nearly achieved that with 12th in the Women's Laser Radial Worlds in Melbourne on a scorecard which included a race win, while she'd the additional intriguing experience of taking fellow Olympic Silver Medallist Sonia O'Sullivan – who won her medal in the 5000 metres in the 2000 Games - for a sail in the Murphy boat.

That Laser gathering Down Under included the remarkable campaign by 15-year-old Eve McMahon from Howth, who'd come to added prominence in July 2019 with her win in the U17 Laser Radial Worlds in Canada, and now - six months later - was on a solo run in Australia as a taster and tester towards a challenge for 2024, with a Melbourne campaign so solo that she was in effect her own shore manager, accommodated with a family she'd never met before.

Eve McMahon won't be entitled to a full driving licence until March 2021Youthful determination. Although Eve McMahon won't be entitled to a full driving licence until March 2021, she has already successfully experienced International Laser racing at the top level.

If anything it increased her already considerable enthusiasm, but as she said this week, it was a vertical curve in learning what's involved at the stratospheric heights to which the Irish Sailing Academy is aiming.

"It's such a different world, totally remote from club sailing or even regional or national championships. If you respond to it, you find the atmosphere is electric, and I'm very keen to progress to make the most of it in every way. And yes, it will be a great help to qualify for a driving licence when I turn 17 in March 2021…..."

Sailing Performance HQ at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

This mixture of dealing with the mundane demands of logistics ashore while aspiring to athletic genius afloat is something which immediately separates the trainee stars from other sailors, so much so that they often find their most congenial company within their own circle of international campaigners. Thus the creation last year of the modestly-scaled Irish Sailing Performance HQ – usually known as the Olympic Sailing HQ - within the Irish Lights compound in Dun Laoghaire, utilising a €300,000 grant from the Irish Sailing Foundation, has provided a remarkable sense of cohesion and camaraderie among the top tier.

Finn Lynch and Annalise MurphyBack to business. Finn Lynch and Annalise Murphy preparing their Lasers in the Irish Sailing Performance HQ in Dun Laoghaire. Photo: Rachel Fallon LangdonRob Dickson and Sean Waddilove sorting the knitting on their 49er Boys-o-buoys…..Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove sorting the knitting on their 49er in the Performance HQ beside the Irish Lights nav aids. Photo: Rachel Fallon Langdon

International 49er campaigners Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove – from Howth and Skerries respectively – have to co-ordinate central aspects of their training with the other 49er challengers Ryan Seaton from Belfast Lough and Seafra Guilfoyle from Cork, and the Performance HQ provides the focus for this.

Between them, they have four home clubs, so whichever one was selected as a temporary base inevitably saw them differentiated as "the Olympic squad", their presence sometimes at variance with the much more easy-going mood which can prevail in club sailing. But with the Performance HQ, there's no doubt about what's going on, this is their own bubble, their own base, and they all understand and encourage each other's motivation in a mutual support group.

Getting ready for lift-off with Cracklin' RosieGetting ready for lift-off with Cracklin' Rosie. The provision of a dedicated base at the performance HQ with its workshop facilities has proven a real benefit. Photo: Rachel Fallon Langdon

Maybe so, but ultimately it's all about crews being on their own and completely for themselves in competition afloat, and in the Irish context the introduction of the International Laser as an Olympic class in 1996 in two categories has been a Godsend. While the 49er is the undoubtedly spectacular eye-catcher and a boat of character – Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove have gone so far as to name their primary boat Cracklin' Rosie after Rob's late grandfather Roy's legendarily successful offshore racer – the 49er is an expensive bit of kit and needs a crew of two. But the sublimely simple solo-sailed Laser provides remarkable value for money at every level of competition.

So although there's still a chance that Ireland could secure a place in the 2021 Olympics for a 49er if enough selection events can be held as (hopefully) the pandemic recedes internationally, there's perhaps a better chance that Finn Lynch (who took a personal best of 13th, the same as his World Ranking, at the Euros) can pull it out of the hat for a place in the Laser men's, as outlined in Afloat back in March here. But already firmly in place with nomination officially made is Annalise Murphy. Yet even with the security of that assured place, she and her coach Rory Fitzpatrick have to get through a late Autumn and probably a winter of suspended animation.

Of course, there are all sorts of alternative training options, with the 49er teams into weights at home while everyone on the squad is an avid cyclist - so much so that at various stages in the past both Annalise Murphy and Finn Lynch have had their planned sailing programmes interrupted by cycling accidents.

A very young Finn Lynch takes his first sail as an absolute beginner with a Topper at BlessingtonA very young Finn Lynch takes his first sail as an absolute beginner with a Topper at Blessington.

Finn Lynch in control in the LaserA new world – Finn Lynch in control in the Laser

But in the end, it's time afloat - with competition or co-training at the highest possible level available – which is essential, and the hope is that lockdowns may have lifted enough for Vilamoura in Portugal to become it usual inventive self early in the year with pop-up championships, while much hope is being pinned on the possibility of the Princess Sofia championship in Mallorca early in April.

Certainly, the recent big-fleet Laser Europeans in Gdansk impressed everyone with the social-distancing and other health standards which were rigorously maintained while proper racing was being provided afloat, but whether that can be done in the more easy-going mood of southern Europe is another matter.

Meanwhile, Ireland's potential sailing Olympians maintain their fitness and attitude as best they can, and allow other aspects of their lives to play a larger role for the next six weeks, with Aoife Hopkins at UCD concentrating on exam preparation, Eve McMahon at the pressure-cooker Institute of Education focusing on studies and test levels which are of Olympic standards in themselves, while Rob Dickson, having found that it was simply impossible to balance his sailing programme with the demands of personal attendance at DCU to further his studies in Sports Science and Health, has transferred to an online course at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Like everyone else, our Olympic sailing hopefuls have to get through this Winter of Frustration as best they can with the support of family and friends. But as with everything to do with the Olympics, it all seems to be accentuated, emphasised and multiplied many times over.

Read all the latest Irish Olympic Sailing News in the build-up to Tokyo 2021 here

Annalise Murphy snatched a second place in today's final race of Women’s Laser Radial European Championships in Poland but that's as far as the good news went for Ireland's only sailor to be nominated (so far) for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

There’s no doubt the Rio silver medalist will be disappointed with her final position in 27th an event the National Yacht Club sailor previously won in 2013.

Aoife Hopkins - 32nd overall in PoznanAoife Hopkins - 32nd overall in Poznan Photo: Thom Touw 

Aoife Hopkins finished 32nd in gold fleet, while Howth clubmate Eve McMahon also had a solid event – at 16 years old (and a 2019 Under-17 Radial World Champion) she was by far the youngest in the fleet, and her qualification for the gold fleet and final position in 45th place is an indication of her bright future.

Eve McMahon - at 16 the youngest sailor to make gold fleet at the Radial Europeans Photo: Thom TouwEve McMahon - at 16 the youngest sailor to make gold fleet at the Radial Europeans Photo: Thom Touw

Bouwmeester is Euro Champion

The reigning 2020 World and 2016 Olympic champion Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-1) surpassed the reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (19-16) on the last day to be crowned the new 2020 Women’s Senior European champion for the fourth time in her career.

Anne Marie governed the fleet during the whole event but had a terrible day today, scoring her worst two races in the whole championship, ruining the 20 points lead she had this morning.

Marit looked revitalised instead after the Yellow flag penalty received yesterday, and after that DNC she scored her best 4-1-2-1 results to climb to the top and grab her name on both the Worlds and European titles this year.

"I knew that it would be very difficult. All I could do is sail as good as possible. I’ve sailed a great day and were lucky that Anne Marie had a difficult day. Which is obviously out of my control" – Marit Bouwmeester NED

“It was not my day today. I let my emotions affect me today and I sailed under my level. I’m very disappointed and sad but it’s a part of sport. I got to learn from it and come back stronger “, confessed Anne Marie Rindom (DEN)

The Bronze medal was finally for local sailor Agata Barwinska POL (15-7), overcoming Greek Vasileia Karachaliou GRE (29-14) by 5 points.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020

A dramatic turnaround - from an Irish perspective at least - saw Howth’s Aoife Hopkins move up to 32nd place in the 2020 Laser Radial Senior European Radial Championships in Poland today to overhaul Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy by a single place. Eve McMahon is in 40.

Three races were added to scores on Women’s Gold and Silver fleets but an overall disappointing one for Murphy dropping some 15 places overall from 18th on Sunday.

Racing started with 6-8 knots breeze from land on this second day of the Final series, raising then up to 12 knots for the last races.

It’s been a tricky competition with big variations in the offshore wind, and this shows in the high scores of the women’s Laser Radials but there is no mistaking the consistency of the top five who are among Murphy’s main rivals for Gold at next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

The women’s fleet has two more races tomorrow that is forecast to be the breeziest of the series, so standby to see Ireland’s 'Breeze Queen' make an impact on Gdansk Bay in the final day's proceedings.

There has been some terrific sailing by the reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (2-9-6), leading the championship from the beginning. She’s heading the fleet with 22 points after ten races and got a 20 points margin on second.

The second-placed sailor, however,  is none other than the reigning 2020 World and 2016 Olympic champion Marit Bouwmeester NED (55 DNC-4-1), who scored her first win today on this event and a 4th after waiting aside during the first race due to Yellow flags received yesterday. So nothing is definite and the Gold medal title remains open.

Sailing conditions will be different tomorrow, although both sailors are Masters in all of them.

Third place is now for ascendant Vasileia Karachaliou GRE (9-1-11) with 51 points, only 9 behind Marit.

“My goal for today was to try to be in the top 10 and then try to climb up from there. I was really happy to be able to come back from mid-fleet position in the last race today. It was another really hard day, happy that I manage to survive. Thoughts for tomorrow are to try to stay calm and warm for tomorrow’s last day of the championship” – Vasileia Karachaliou GRE

Local sailor Agata Barwinska POL (16-17-23) couldn’t repeat yesterday’s great performance, dropping from 2nd to 4th with 53 points. Svenja Weger GER (3-12-25) is fifth with 67.

Two points separate the next 4 sailors, ranked 6th to 9th on provisional European Top 10: Maud Jayet SUI –76–, Josefin Olsson SWE –76.2–, Ecem Guzel TUR –78– and Emma Plasschaert BEL –78–. Maxime Jonker NED wraps this list, sharing 87 points with Silvia Zennaro ITA on the 11th place.

Canadian sailor Sarah Douglas CAN is best non-European sailor, holding the 6th place overall with 72 units.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020

Light breeze dominated the first Final series day at the 2020 Laser Radial Senior European Championships and Open European Trophy in Gdansk, Poland today that sees Annalise Murphy maintain her 18th position overall in the 107-boat fleet.

Howth Yacht Club teenager Eve McMahon, however, has moved up four places to be within four places of the Rio Silver Medalist in 22nd overall. Aoife Hopkins, also of Howth, lies 30th.

Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins Photo: Thom TouwHowth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins Photo: Thom Touw

Murphy says she is enjoying the regatta and its efficient organisation when she is interviewed briefly in the day 3 video highlights below, scrub to 0.13, 1.01 and 1.49 on the timeline to hear the Irish star. 

Reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4-1-1-2-2-7) shows determined to repeat the title, although scoring her worst race today on the single race contested, leading the Radial Women’s championship with 11 points.

Polish sailor Agata Barwinska POL (22-1-3-4-2-8-2) is also determined to fight for that Gold medal, scoring a great result today on very difficult conditions and following the leader just 9 points behind.

Third place is now for consistent 2018 World champion Emma Plasschaert BEL (7-5-4-5-11-4-6) with 31.

2020 World champion and overnight second Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3-2-7-23-3-20) is fourth now with 37, escorted by her teammates Maxime Jonker NED –41 pt– and Mirthe Akkerman NED –44 pt– on 5th and 6th.

Greek sailor Vasileia Karachaliou GRE has enter the top 10 now after winning the race today and holds the seventh position with 45.

The second day of finals racing continues tomorrow and the championships conclude on Tuesday.

Results here

Published in Annalise Murphy

Its gold fleet (or top 50% of the 107-boat fleet) for all three of Ireland’s female Radials sailors at the 2020 Laser Senior European Championships and Open European Trophy in Gdansk, Poland.

There’s little doubt Annalise Murphy, a former winner of this event in 2013, would have hoped for better than her current 18th overall as the fleet progresses to the final rounds of the championships tomorrow. A dip in performance in her last two races to give her a scoresheet of 9,5,11,9,50 and 22 means she is a full 49 points off the overall lead.

Murphy is already nominated for Tokyo next July 2021 but such is the calendar in these COVID-times, this Euro event represents the first big fleet sailing since the World Championships last January in Melbourne so it's an important one to register a top finish.

Talented teen - Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club is in gold fleet in GdanskTalented teen - Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club is in gold fleet in Gdansk Photo: Thom Touw

Joining Ireland’s Rio silver medalist in the gold fleet tomorrow is Howth teenager Eve McMahon and Aoife Hopkins in 26th and 34th place respectively.

Light wind conditions prevailed for the first time today and the reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4-1-1-2-2) conquered an interesting gap today for wrapping the Qualifying series, leading the Women’s championship now 10 points ahead of 2020 World champion Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3-2-7-23-3).

Polish sailor Agata Barwinska POL (22-1-3-4-2-8) is still on third and only 1 point behind Marit, based on great consistency showed in her last 5 races.

“It was tricky and especially the second race was very interesting with huge pressure differences. I had a good strategy and was able to exclude it so it turned out pretty well for me” declared Rindom after the races.

Talking about consistency, 2018 World champion Emma Plasschaert BEL (7-5-4-5-11-4) now places now fourth with 25 points. Maxime Jonker NED is fifth with 27.

The final series will start tomorrow, where the Radial Women’s fleet will be split in Gold and Silver.

The first warning signal for the Radial will be at 11:45

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Annalise Murphy has dropped five places to 15th overall in the 107-boat fleet of  Women's Laser Radial European Championships after the second day of racing on Gdansk Bay in Poland. 

Howth's Eve McMahon is in 24th and clubmate Aoife Hopkins is 30th. 

Tomorrow is another day of qualifying races before the fleets split for Sunday's final series.

Today was another day of great sailing conditions. A shifty NW breeze varying from 8-15 knots brought much longer waves than yesterday, although conditions were still choppy due to the 'unsteady' wind.

Reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4-1-1) scored perfectly today, leading the Radial Women’s championship with 3 points.

Second place for the reigning 2020 World champion Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3-2-7) with 7. One point behind her is now Polish Agata Barwinska POL (22-1-3-4) on third place with 8 points.

Murphy from the National Yacht Club will be aware of the gap widening with the leaders which she will need to close on Saturday to have a realistic chance of catching her Tokyo 2021 rivals. 

Third of overnight leaders Line Flem Host NOR (2-3-7-17) dropped to 7th overall (6th European) with 12 points.

Fourth and fifth places for Maxime Jonker NED and Maud Jayet SUI with 10.

Mirthe Akkerman NED and Emma Plasschaert BEL – both with 14 points–, Wiktoria Golebiowska POL –15 pt– and Ecem Guzel TUR –17 pt– complete the European top 10 list. 

Results here

Published in National YC
Page 1 of 38

Irish Olympic Sailing Team

Ireland has a proud representation in sailing at the Olympics dating back to 1948. Today there is a modern governing structure surrounding the selection of sailors the Olympic Regatta

Irish Olympic Sailing FAQs

Ireland’s representation in sailing at the Olympics dates back to 1948, when a team consisting of Jimmy Mooney (Firefly), Alf Delany and Hugh Allen (Swallow) competed in that year’s Summer Games in London (sailing off Torquay). Except for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Ireland has sent at least one sailor to every Summer Games since then.

  • 1948 – London (Torquay) — Firefly: Jimmy Mooney; Swallow: Alf Delany, Hugh Allen
  • 1952 – Helsinki — Finn: Alf Delany * 1956 – Melbourne — Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1960 – Rome — Flying Dutchman: Johnny Hooper, Peter Gray; Dragon: Jimmy Mooney, David Ryder, Robin Benson; Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1964 – Tokyo — Dragon: Eddie Kelliher, Harry Maguire, Rob Dalton; Finn: Johnny Hooper 
  • 1972 – Munich (Kiel) — Tempest: David Wilkins, Sean Whitaker; Dragon: Robin Hennessy, Harry Byrne, Owen Delany; Finn: Kevin McLaverty; Flying Dutchman: Harold Cudmore, Richard O’Shea
  • 1976 – Montreal (Kingston) — 470: Robert Dix, Peter Dix; Flying Dutchman: Barry O’Neill, Jamie Wilkinson; Tempest: David Wilkins, Derek Jago
  • 1980 – Moscow (Tallinn) — Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson (Silver medalists) * 1984 – Los Angeles — Finn: Bill O’Hara
  • 1988 – Seoul (Pusan) — Finn: Bill O’Hara; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; 470 (Women): Cathy MacAleavy, Aisling Byrne
  • 1992 – Barcelona — Europe: Denise Lyttle; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; Star: Mark Mansfield, Tom McWilliam
  • 1996 – Atlanta (Savannah) — Laser: Mark Lyttle; Europe: Aisling Bowman (Byrne); Finn: John Driscoll; Star: Mark Mansfield, David Burrows; 470 (Women): Denise Lyttle, Louise Cole; Soling: Marshall King, Dan O’Grady, Garrett Connolly
  • 2000 – Sydney — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, David O'Brien
  • 2004 – Athens — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, Killian Collins; 49er: Tom Fitzpatrick, Fraser Brown; 470: Gerald Owens, Ross Killian; Laser: Rory Fitzpatrick
  • 2008 – Beijing (Qingdao) — Star: Peter O’Leary, Stephen Milne; Finn: Tim Goodbody; Laser Radial: Ciara Peelo; 470: Gerald Owens, Phil Lawton
  • 2012 – London (Weymouth) — Star: Peter O’Leary, David Burrows; 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy; Laser: James Espey; 470: Gerald Owens, Scott Flanigan
  • 2016 – Rio — Laser Radial (Women): Annalise Murphy (Silver medalist); 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; 49erFX: Andrea Brewster, Saskia Tidey; Laser: Finn Lynch; Paralympic Sonar: John Twomey, Ian Costello & Austin O’Carroll

Ireland has won two Olympics medals in sailing events, both silver: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman at Moscow 1980, and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial at Rio 2016.

The current team, as of December 2020, consists of Laser sailors Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon, 49er pairs Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, and Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson, as well as Laser Radial sailors Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins.

Irish Sailing is the National Governing Body for sailing in Ireland.

Irish Sailing’s Performance division is responsible for selecting and nurturing Olympic contenders as part of its Performance Pathway.

The Performance Pathway is Irish Sailing’s Olympic talent pipeline. The Performance Pathway counts over 70 sailors from 11 years up in its programme.The Performance Pathway is made up of Junior, Youth, Academy, Development and Olympic squads. It provides young, talented and ambitious Irish sailors with opportunities to move up through the ranks from an early age. With up to 100 young athletes training with the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway, every aspect of their performance is planned and closely monitored while strong relationships are simultaneously built with the sailors and their families

Rory Fitzpatrick is the head coach of Irish Sailing Performance. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and was an Athens 2004 Olympian in the Laser class.

The Performance Director of Irish Sailing is James O’Callaghan. Since 2006 James has been responsible for the development and delivery of athlete-focused, coach-led, performance-measured programmes across the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway. A Business & Economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he is a Level 3 Qualified Coach and Level 2 Coach Tutor. He has coached at five Olympic Games and numerous European and World Championship events across multiple Olympic classes. He is also a member of the Irish Sailing Foundation board.

Annalise Murphy is by far and away the biggest Irish sailing star. Her fourth in London 2012 when she came so agonisingly close to a bronze medal followed by her superb silver medal performance four years later at Rio won the hearts of Ireland. Murphy is aiming to go one better in Tokyo 2021. 

Under head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the coaching staff consists of Laser Radial Academy coach Sean Evans, Olympic Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar and 49er team coach Matt McGovern.

The Irish Government provides funding to Irish Sailing. These funds are exclusively for the benefit of the Performance Pathway. However, this falls short of the amount required to fund the Performance Pathway in order to allow Ireland compete at the highest level. As a result the Performance Pathway programme currently receives around €850,000 per annum from Sport Ireland and €150,000 from sponsorship. A further €2 million per annum is needed to have a major impact at the highest level. The Irish Sailing Foundation was established to bridge the financial gap through securing philanthropic donations, corporate giving and sponsorship.

The vision of the Irish Sailing Foundation is to generate the required financial resources for Ireland to scale-up and execute its world-class sailing programme. Irish Sailing works tirelessly to promote sailing in Ireland and abroad and has been successful in securing funding of 1 million euro from Sport Ireland. However, to compete on a par with other nations, a further €2 million is required annually to realise the ambitions of our talented sailors. For this reason, the Irish Sailing Foundation was formed to seek philanthropic donations. Led by a Board of Directors and Head of Development Kathryn Grace, the foundation lads a campaign to bridge the financial gap to provide the Performance Pathway with the funds necessary to increase coaching hours, upgrade equipment and provide world class sport science support to a greater number of high-potential Irish sailors.

The Senior and Academy teams of the Performance Pathway are supported with the provision of a coach, vehicle, coach boat and boats. Even with this level of subsidy there is still a large financial burden on individual families due to travel costs, entry fees and accommodation. There are often compromises made on the amount of days a coach can be hired for and on many occasions it is necessary to opt out of major competitions outside Europe due to cost. Money raised by the Irish Sailing Foundation will go towards increased quality coaching time, world-class equipment, and subsiding entry fees and travel-related costs. It also goes towards broadening the base of talented sailors that can consider campaigning by removing financial hurdles, and the Performance HQ in Dublin to increase efficiency and reduce logistical issues.

The ethos of the Performance Pathway is progression. At each stage international performance benchmarks are utilised to ensure the sailors are meeting expectations set. The size of a sailor will generally dictate which boat they sail. The classes selected on the pathway have been identified as the best feeder classes for progression. Currently the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway consists of the following groups: * Pathway (U15) Optimist and Topper * Youth Academy (U19) Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 420 * Development Academy (U23) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX * Team IRL (direct-funded athletes) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX

The Irish Sailing performance director produces a detailed annual budget for the programme which is presented to Sport Ireland, Irish Sailing and the Foundation for detailed discussion and analysis of the programme, where each item of expenditure is reviewed and approved. Each year, the performance director drafts a Performance Plan and Budget designed to meet the objectives of Irish Performance Sailing based on an annual review of the Pathway Programmes from Junior to Olympic level. The plan is then presented to the Olympic Steering Group (OSG) where it is independently assessed and the budget is agreed. The OSG closely monitors the delivery of the plan ensuring it meets the agreed strategy, is within budget and in line with operational plans. The performance director communicates on an ongoing basis with the OSG throughout the year, reporting formally on a quarterly basis.

Due to the specialised nature of Performance Sport, Irish Sailing established an expert sub-committee which is referred to as the Olympic Steering Group (OSG). The OSG is chaired by Patrick Coveney and its objective is centred around winning Olympic medals so it oversees the delivery of the Irish Sailing’s Performance plan.

At Junior level (U15) sailors learn not only to be a sailor but also an athlete. They develop the discipline required to keep a training log while undertaking fitness programmes, attending coaching sessions and travelling to competitions. During the winter Regional Squads take place and then in spring the National Squads are selected for Summer Competitions. As sailors move into Youth level (U19) there is an exhaustive selection matrix used when considering a sailor for entry into the Performance Academy. Completion of club training programmes, attendance at the performance seminars, physical suitability and also progress at Junior and Youth competitions are assessed and reviewed. Once invited in to the Performance Academy, sailors are given a six-month trial before a final decision is made on their selection. Sailors in the Academy are very closely monitored and engage in a very well planned out sailing, training and competition programme. There are also defined international benchmarks which these sailors are required to meet by a certain age. Biannual reviews are conducted transparently with the sailors so they know exactly where they are performing well and they are made aware of where they may need to improve before the next review.

©Afloat 2020

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