Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy has shown she has lost none of her spark in Laser Radial racing by taking second overall in the women’s division in the Laser Radials in the major Sail Melbourne 2020 regatta which has concluded on Port Phillip Bay, a venue which served up some extremes of conditions to test both competitors and race organisers alike
Despite light winds and just one race on the final day when two had been planned, Murphy’s scoreline of 4, 11, 5, 2, 1, 2, 2 and (24) showed an underlying performance curve shaping up in the right direction, though at the end she was six-point astern of winner Merit Bouwmeester of The Netherlands. But then Bouwmeester was a leading contender for Rolex Woman Woman World Sailor of the Year thanks to her constant devotion and all-beating success in international Laser Radial racing. Aoife Hopkins was the only other Irish helm in the Gold Fleet, she placed 24th overall.
Reflecting on this important stage of her progression towards contention for Ireland’s already-secured Women’s Laser Radial place at the Tokyo Olympics in July, Murphy has spoken of her sheer enjoyment in racing a boat she loves among top competitors, many of whom are longtime friends. The Irish campaign in Melbourne involving four helms has been helped by home and local support, and Annalise is effusive in her thanks to her many supporters and sponsors in Ireland, and also to Ken and Colettte Clotworthy who provided her with a home-from-home in Melbourne.