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Displaying items by tag: Aoife Hopkins

19–year–old Aoife Hopkins from Howth Yacht Club started the her first day in gold fleet at the Laser European Championships in Barcelona with a mid-fleet result in race one followed by a 31st (discarded) in race two. Hopkins currently lies 20th overall in the 90 boat fleet.

Today’s racing started with a postponement, as the gradient wind that had been there from early morning died away. The sailors settled in and waited for the thermal wind to come in eventually launching at 2:30pm to light shifty conditions.

The Irish sailors that had made Gold fleet discovered that the rumours are true – it is indeed tough at the top! 

Rio Olympian Finn Lynch from the National Yacht Club in the Men’s standard rig fleet scored a 54th (discarded) and 33rd and currently lies 31st overall in the 125 boat fleet. Ireland only other gold fleet competitor Ronan Wallace in the men’s radial division is currently scored DNC on the score sheet.

A protest yesterday pushed Aisling Keller from Lough Derg Yacht Club into silver fleet in the women’s radial. Aisling scored a 38th and an 18th leaving her 59th overall. Sally Bell in her first senior European event scored a 45th and 44th . In the men’s standard rig Ewan McMahon also in his first senior event enjoyed some racing at the top of silver fleet to score a 12th and a 4th bringing him up the score sheet nicely to 65th overall.

Results are here.

Published in Laser

How do you strike a balance between the sport you love and a life outside it? How do you achieve great results but still have other strings to your bow? A criticism that is often levelled at performance athletes is that they have to sacrifice everything for their sport, which means that they lose the balance in their life between sport and their education or career. Rory Fitzpatrick, Irish Sailing’s Youth & Development Manager has long argued that the most successful sailors are those who strike the correct balance. One such athlete he points to is Irish Sailing Performance Pathway’s Aoife Hopkins, winner of the U21 Laser Radial European Championships this July who achieved a whopping 601 points in her Leaving Cert and is now studying maths at Trinity College Dublin.

We talked to Aoife of Howth Yacht Club about her very busy summer, and how she balances sailing and studying.

Aoife, this summer you managed to score over 600 points in your Leaving Certificate and win the U21 Laser Radial European Championship just a few weeks later. You must be delighted but did this come as a surprise to you?
I was absolutely thrilled as both my exam results and sailing performance reflected two years of hard work put into balancing both. While I was delighted, I wasn’t surprised, as the processes had been in place all along.

Knowing that it would be a busy time how far out were you planning for this?
I actually started planning at the beginning of fifth year when it became clear that I’d be missing a lot of school for sailing. So I guess a full two years!

When you first put the plan together what made it look achievable and worthwhile?
The goal was to get enough time on the water and enough study time to excel at both aspects. The plan, while definitely a challenge, had at least 3 (but usually 4 or 5) days on the water a week while still allowing me to have enough study time (also fitting in an extra subject, applied maths, every day before school). I could see that although my sailing sessions wouldn’t necessarily be long (some were only 1 hour), it was enough that I was keeping touch with the feeling of the boat while continuing to train in a range of conditions. That to me seemed like a success and I was sure that the results would eventually reflect that.

Was there much compromise in your normal school time to balance in sailing over the same time?
Definitely! I missed a huge amount of school in fifth year. I competed in the U21 Europeans (1 week), La Rochelle Olympic Week (1 week), Copa da Brazil (2 weeks), Miami World Cup (2 weeks), Senior Worlds (2 weeks) and Senior Europeans (2 weeks). This was all during term time and doesn’t include all the half days taken to head out to Dun Laoghaire for training. I still got the highest grades in my year in my summer exams that year (613 points). Academics isn’t just about being present in class, it’s about applying yourself to it. I found that if I caught up on homework/study every night, even having missed class, while also writing notes and doing exam questions then I was in the clear. I studied at all the events, my school organised for me to get ebooks for all my subjects. I think with athletes, we’re more focused than the regular student and manage time much more effectively. This means getting more study done in less hours (put down the phones people!). While I missed less school in sixth year (only competing in the Andalusian Olympic Week and Hyeres World Cup during term time), I still had the routines in place to be able to sail 4 days a week, while still getting in gym sessions, cycles (usually as commutes) and study time.

What kind of supports did you have around you to help during the time?
At the start of fifth year I sat down with my year head, vice principal and my coach Rory Fitzpatrick to go through my weekly routine in order to address any conflicts cropping up (eg. I was missing double accounting every single week for training on a Wednesday afternoon, not really a subject you can teach yourself!). This helped as both parties understood how much was expected from me on either side…and both could then make adjustments! I also worked with Eoin Reinisch, Athlete Advisor at Sport Ireland Institute, who had me plan out my week every Sunday night in half hour blocks to ensure I had the correct balance of sailing/fitness/study/relaxation. This made me a lot more efficient and time that I might have wasted otherwise could now be used constructively, obviously I deviated at times but it definitely made me more aware of the opportunities I had to get more work done. Sportsmed were also great, whenever I thought the programme wasn’t doable I let Mark McCabe know and he adjusted it. For example, instead of sitting on a bike for two hours at the weekend I just cycled to/from school, Sportsmed, Dun Laoghaire etc to get that cycling time in without it compromising study. Mark also understood that for this period, sailing had to take priority over shore-based fitness training and he changed my TrainingPeaks to reflect that.

In addition to the support I received from my school and all in Irish Sailing, my parents were a huge help. They took on the role of campaign manager, ultimately giving me the time to train and study as I did. Mum did all the logistics involved in the events (flights, accommodation, boat charter, finding coaching support etc) as well as continuing to fundraise and find private sponsors. All of this is incredibly time consuming (as I've now realised having left school and taking on the job!). My parents' unrelenting support was what got me through two tough years of balancing an Olympic campaign and the Leaving Cert. The value of education has been emphasized in our household for years and has given me the drive to do my best in both school and sport.

What did your normal day and week look like over the period? Was it always the same or were you able to adjust it and if so how?
Sailing 4 times a week, gym twice, cycling for commutes and studying as much as possible. I definitely adjusted at times, depending on the weather forecast (if it was really good I’d sail 6 days in the week, if it was bad it might only be 2 or 3) and also on how close we got to exams. I did the Hyeres World Cup one month before the Leaving Cert started which I actually found great. It got me out of that ‘LC funk’ that starts to creep up in April and May of sixth year. I came home to be on the ‘home run’ and had enough energy to get me through the exams in one piece. I used school breaks as a good opportunity to get 6-8 hours of study done a day plus short sails, those breaks are gold dust…use them wisely!

If you had any advice for any sailors doing the final school year with exams at the start of the next summer what would it be?
First off, keep working! The year does actually fly by (between Halloween, Christmas, mocks, February midterm, St Patrick’s, Easter and then Graduation you’re not actually in school that much!). Use sailing as a tool, remember that the Leaving Cert isn’t a measure of how good a student you are, it’s a measure of how much you apply yourself compared to the rest of the country. The 50,000 other students taking exams don’t have the outlet that you have, to be able to get on the water for 2 hours getting fresh air and a workout, completely switching out of ‘school mode’. Everyone else will ‘halfway study’ for the whole year, doing a few hours then going for a walk, then another few hours, then watching a movie, then another bit, then having dinner. They get so fed up with studying (because they can never switch off like we can) that they never do it right. Use sailing to your advantage, go midweek training so that you can get proper time at a desk without feeling derived, fed up or depressed. Don’t see either academics or sailing as a chore but more as two sides to a coin that can balance each other out perfectly if done right. I can guarantee that if you don’t give one aspect the time it deserves, neither will go as well as they could have.

Go to Irish Sailing’s Facebook page to see a list of Top 10 tips and tricks to balancing sport and studying, and getting the best from both!

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

In a big step up for under–21 Irish stars, Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller embarked on the Laser Radial World Championships in Holland yesterday.

Absent, through injury is Ireland's sailing star Annalise Murphy who had earmarked the event as the start of her Olympic Tokyo 2020 campaign. 

The first day of racing at Medemblik was delayed due to light winds.

The 100 competitors raced in two flights with race wins going to Brenda Bowskill (1,16) CAN and Isebella Bertold (1,25) CAN in the first races, and to Monika Mikkola (15,1) FIN and Isebella Maegli (15,1) GUA in the second.

After two races for the women, Kim Pletikos (3,2) of Slovinia tops the leaderboard with five points.

Lough Derg's Keller is 70th and Howth Yacht Club's Hopkins is 82nd.

Making Gold Fleet would be a great achievement for the Irish girls in the journey towards Tokyo 2020.

Top five women after two races:

1. Kim Pletikos, SLO, 5 points
2. Evi Van Acker, BEL, 7
3. Svenja Weger, GER, 10
4. Dolores Moreira Fraschini, URU, 12
5. Maria Erdi, HUN, 12

Top five men after two races:
1. Andrew Godoy, BRA, 5 points
2. Alfonso Fernandez, ESP, 8
3. Daniil Krutskikh, RUS, 13
4. Marco Villani, ITA, 24
5. Axel Rahm, SWE, 25

Published in Laser

Lough Derg Yacht Club's Aisling Keller took seventh place overall at the under–21 Laser Radial World Championships closely followed by Irish team mate Aoife Hopkins of Howth YC in ninth place overall.

The encouraging results achieved at the Nieuwpoort, Belgium venue from 26 July – 2 August followed Euro title success in this age category for Hopkins the preceding week in Douarnenez, France. That was a result that earned the Howth youth sailor an Afloat Sailor of the Month Award.

The calendar is now so packed it's no longer possible to attend all the events. For example, Hopkins had turned down her invite from World Sailing to attend the Aarhus Test Event as three events in a row are too much. Instead it's a well deserved recovery period.

Results from Belgium are here

Published in Laser

When that definitive image of young Aoife Hopkins leppin’ her Laser with rocket power out of a breaking wave at the European Women’s Laser Radials Under 21 Championship 2017 (July 17th to 24th) at Douarnenez in Brittany went viral, we all knew something very special was going on.

But though the young Howth sailor clearly revelled in the heavy going, she proved well able for conditions of all sorts, and had the mental strength to withstand an entire crucial day lost to calm. With three races packed into the final day, she took three firsts to clinch the trophy by a country mile.

An outstanding Sailor of the Month for July among our potential Olympians.

aoife hopkins2Aoife Hopkins

Published in Sailor of the Month

Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller have strengthened Ireland’s dominance of the U21 Women’s Laser Radial Europeans at Douarnenez in Brittany today writes W M Nixon. With one race still to sail in the ten-race series, Hopkins has taken two more firsts to put her clear ahead on only 12 points (she discarded a 4th), while Keller logged a second and third and sits second overall on 21pts, with her discard being an 8th.

Third placed Clementine Thompson of GB is back on 32 points, so the two Irish sailors really have worked out a substantial breathing space. As for the rest of the Irish squad, Sally Bell has had best places of a 3rd and a 4th, and lies 7th overall on 48pts.

Published in Laser
Tagged under

#Laser - Aoife Hopkins took the lead at the U21 Laser Radial Women’s Euros in Douarnenez yesterday (Thursday 20 July).

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Olympic triallist from Howth Yacht Club had been just a single point off the lead after the first two races.

But two strong performances in yesterday’s two races and this morning’s single outing have put Hopkins on top, two points ahead of fellow Irish sailor Aisling Keller of Lough Derg YC.

Racing was postponed after race five due to strong winds with gusts of 35 knots. The event is set to resume with the start of the final series tomorrow (Saturday 22 July). 

Elsewhere in Douarnenez, former Topper World Champion Liam Glynn from Ballyholme YC has climbed up the rankings of the boy’s Laser fleet to seventh overall after five races.

Keep track of the results HERE.

Published in Laser

In the Laser Radial fleet Howth Yacht Club sailor Aoife Hopkins has placed 40th after the first day of the live medal races in Hyères, France writes Nathaniel Ogden. Showing a consistent mid-fleet performance throughout the week, Hopkins has placed ahead of fellow Irish sailor Aisling Keller of Lough Derg Yacht Club, who finished in 42nd today after a similarly consistent week in the middle of the pack. These are important results for the young Irish sailors in an early Olympic preparation event. As Aoife says, "I wasn't looking for a result at this regatta as its near my Leaving Cert but my process goal was to improve my starts. I've made massive progress on them and am getting a good start in most races now. So it's been successful all round."

The success story of the week came from the women's 49erFX fleet when RIYC sailor Saskia Tidey and helm Charlotte Dobson came in 3rd overall, winning a bronze medal in the 20 boat fleet. Having only sailed together for team GBR for 4 months, the young pair have proven to be major contenders in this year's Sailing World Cup, and will be ones to watch during the quadrennial leading up to Tokyo 2020, which will be Tidey's second Olympics in the 49erFX, but first crewing with Dobson.

NYC's Finn Lynch is sitting in 32nd place, out of 60 boats, in the men's Laser class after the first day of live medal racing at Hyères, as NE winds continued to hover around 10 knots.

Seven medals were confirmed today (Saturday) at Sailing's World Cup Series in Hyères, France.

In the first of two live Medal Race days, France's southern coast was blessed with glorious sunshine. Coupled with an 11-13 knot breeze from the west, the day was virtually perfect.

The skiffs, windsurfers, multihulls, foiling kiteboarders and the Para World Sailing 2.4 Norlin OD concluded racing.

As the Medal Races played out, there was also fighting for the top ten positions in the one person and two person dinghies ahead of Sunday's live final day of racing.

Spain's 49er team, Diego Botin and Iago Lopez, had the luxury of knowing that whatever happened in the Medal Race the gold medal was theirs. With an unassailable overnight lead, even with the double points on offer in the final race, they could not be beaten.

Reflecting on the impressive win, skipper Botin said, "It's been a really good week for us. We hope every time we come in to a Championship that we will be in with a chance at the end of the regatta and this time around we were really surprised that we were top with a day to spare.”

Digging deeper to find their secret to success, Botin confirmed a simple fact of sport, "It was a lot of things. But it really came down to yesterday when we sailed well and everyone else didn't.”

Holding on to silver was Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stu Bithell (GBR) who finished third in the Medal Race. The bronze medal went to Sweden's Carl Sylvan and Marcus Anjemark who just needed to stay ahead of nearest rivals Yago and Klaus Lange (ARG) which they did with ease as the Argentinean brothers fell to the back of the fleet finishing tenth.

In the 49erFX, Rio 2016 golden girls, Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) have done it again as they claim another Medal Race and 2017 World Cup Series win. Backing up the gold they took in Miami, USA in Round One, the Brazilian girls were just too good for the fleet.

"We have nailed the year now with Miami and now Hyères,” said a smiling Grael, "but we have to keep our feet on the ground as we know there will be big competition ahead.”

One of those big competition's is the Final in Santander, Spain this coming June. So, could it be a clean sweep? "It would be awesome,” said Grael, "let's see what happens. The FX is a tough competition.”

Germany's Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz win silver and the new 2017 pairing of Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) claim their first World Cup Series medal with a bronze.

Whatever Grael and Kunze can do, France's Louis Giard can do too. Just like the Brazilian FX sailors, the French windsurfer has also added the Hyères title to the Round One Miami gold.

Despite a nervy start, Giard has slowly but surely climbed the ladder to the top of the podium racing better and better throughout the regatta, as he explains, "It's another win for me after Miami. It wasn't an easy week of racing and I had to improve my level throughout the week. I did that so I am happy.”

One sailor in the Men's RS:X not happy is Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI). While Giard started slow and gained confidence, Sanz Lanz seemingly did the opposite. With a tenth place finish in the double point Medal Race, Sanz Lanz missed out on the medals altogether allowing Piotr Myszka (POL) to take silver and Kiran Badloe (NED) to sneak in to take bronze.

Taking the Women's RS:X gold was Poland's Zofia Noceti-Klepacka. It has been a mixed bag of results from the Polish windsurfer, but in the end a string of high finishes throughout the week was enough to claim the title, "Today I enjoyed the racing. It was stable conditions and great planing. Compare that to yesterday when it was very hard.

"Overall though I have sailed consistent. If you think I haven't won a race but I have won gold. It was all about consistency.”

That consistency equated to a 23-point win over second placed Yunxiu Lu (CHN) who takes silver and a 32-point margin over third placed, and bronze medallist, Noga Geller (ISR).

If you are going to win a gold medal, you may as well win it with a first place in the Medal Race. That is what Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco (ESP) did in the Nacra 17.

For the Spanish team it seems that Hyères has been a collection of puzzle pieces fitting to make one golden picture, as Echavarri explains, "It's a good prize for a lot of things coming together. We are enjoying our sailing and have a solid base. We are putting everything we have learned in the last two years together and it is working well.”

French medal hopefuls Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet secured silver when they finished ahead of Lin Ea Cenholt and Christian Peter Lubeck (DEN). That meant the Danes had to settle for the bronze medal.

It would seem that the mechanical issue that kept Damien Seguin (FRA) out of day four action was well and truly fixed. The impressive Frenchman returned to action in style to claim all three bullets on offer and close out the 2.4 Norlin OD series.

Summing up the regatta Seguin said, "We had ten beautiful races, especially today with an east wind and big waves. I'm happy because I love this place.”

Seguin's love has increased even more with a 17-point gap back to nearest rival Antonio Squizzato (ITA) in second. Xavier Dagault (FRA) claimed the bronze medal with 30 points.

If Seguin loves Hyères, just imagine how Nico Parlier (FRA) feels. The Frenchman has won all but one race in the Formula Foiling Kiteboarding, including the final three Medal Races.

Despite the dominance, Parlier still felt it was closer than the results suggest, "It's been tough with really close racing. I've been really dialled in with my equipment though and had the wind I like so I am really happy with everything.”

Parlier's compatriot, training partner and friend, Axel Mazella (FRA), has always been one step behind, but still secured the silver with room to spare ahead of Monaco's Maxime Nocher.

Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan will have a Hyères gold medal around their neck in the Men's 470 no matter where they finish in the final Medal Race. With two bullets from two races, they opened up a 24-point lead to second placed Carl-Fredrik Fock and Marcus Dackhammar (SWE).

In the Women's 470, Afrodite Zegers and Annaloes van Veen (NED) and Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) have been neck and neck all week. Not anymore. The Dutch team took two bullets compared to a tenth and 11th from the Swiss. Zegers and van Veen now hold a 19-point advantage.

With a 1-2 finish on day five, Alican Kayner (TUR) remains top of the Finn fleet going in to Sunday's live Medal Race. Nicholas Heiner (NED) holds second and Ed Wright (GBR) third.

Six points separate the top two in the fight for Laser gold. Italy's Francesco Marrai is the current leader on 53 points from a 2-9 day, bettering second placed Cypriot Pavlos Kontides who scored a 2-11. Australia's Matt Wearn is in third.

Evi van Acker (BEL) has secured at least a silver medal ahead of the final Medal Race in the Laser Radial. Fighting the Belgian all the way will be second placed Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) who is 12 points behind.

Racing continues on Sunday 30 April at 12:05 local time as the final five Olympic classes race in the second and final day of Live Medal Races.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Royal Irish Yacht Club's Saskia Tidey and Charlotte Dobson continued to deliver top results on day three at Hyeres, France today writes Nathaniel Ogden. The pair, competing for team GBR in the 49erFX fleet, are placing 3rd overall after a long day’s racing. The RIYC crew and her helm had a fantastic round–up, placing in the top 10 in every race (excluding an 11th place discard) and taking home two impressive first place finishes for the second day in a row.

Tidey and Dobson are going into the fourth day with hopes of maintaining their medal position, for the live medal races on Saturday & Sunday, and closing the gap between Germany’s Victoria Jurczok in 2nd, and Brazil’s Martine Soffiatti Grael, currently in 1st place.

A much better day for the National Yacht Club’s Finn Lynch saw him rise to 28th position in the men’s Laser fleet. Taking home a 7th and a 10th out of 6 races throughout the day, he was unlucky to have been given a Black Flag Disqualification in the final race. But with two top 10 finishes in the 60-strong fleet, he has shown how a new day can mean all the difference, as conditions continue to hover around 7-13 knots.

In the women’s Laser Radial fleet Aisling Keller continued to maintain her mid fleet position, finishing day 3 at Hyeres in 32nd overall. Lough Derg’s Aoife Hopkins is placing 44th as the second regatta of the 2017 World Cup Series reached its midpoint.

Nicholas Heiner's (NED) consistency in the Finn is equalling success at Sailing's World Cup Series in Hyères, France.

Out of the 534 racers from 52 nations, racing across the ten Olympic events, Foiling Formula Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, Heiner has been one of the most reliable performers with a string of top five finishes to lead in the Finn.

Racing in a 7-13 knot breeze that took some time to fill in, the second regatta of the 2017 World Cup Series reached its mid-point and the battle to make Saturday and Sunday's live Medal Races is on.

In only his third Finn regatta, Heiner had another consistent day of racing to take the lead in a fleet packed full of experienced racers.

Although he's a fresh face in the Finn, the Dutchman is no stranger to competitive racing. He is a former Laser World Champion and used to racing in competitive fleets. Moving into a new boat can always be challenging for a sailor but Heiner has thrived in the Finn after making the crossover.

From Thursday's racing, he picked up a second and a fifth and made all the right calls on a challenging day. "The wind was coming in and falling out all the time, but when we finally started it really kicked in to around 12 knots. Close to the start though I made a quick call to change the sail from the light wind to the medium heavy and I think that paid off well for me.”

Heiner is staying conservative in his racing, ensuring he has good boat handling and technique amongst the experienced pack. The natural, talented fearless sailor that sailed his way to an emphatic Laser world title in 2014 is yet to come out in Heiner. But for now, he is happy with his progress, "At moments, I think I saw some pressure coming and maybe tacked a bit early when I could have taken more risks. The idea is to keep it really conservative and stay with the pack right now.”

Fabian Pic (FRA) and Ben Cornish (GBR) trail Heiner by nine points with Alican Kaynar (TUR) a further point back. There is plenty still to play for with four fleet races and Sunday's Medal Race to follow. Kaynar is targeting Heiner and will be aiming to climb up the leaderboard, "I think Nicholas extended his points lead today but we are still close. I just have to keep in contention and then attack in the last races.

"Today Nicholas sailed very conservatively I think and always caught the good shifts. He had good down winds today as well so he was always there at the front.”

Damien Seguin (FRA) continues on the path to glory in the 2.4 Norlin OD. The Rio 2016 and Athens 2004 Paralympic gold medallist has won all but one race this week and is firmly in control to win another title in Hyères. "I don't know how many times I have won here,” laughed Seguin, "but I have been sailing in Hyères for a long time. I think I was 21 when I first sailed a Tornado here.”

Seguin has won six titles in Hyères and is in line to make that seven. But with new sailors in the fleet, Seguin is preparing for the upcoming Para World Sailing Championships in Kiel, Germany.

"It's a smaller fleet but we have some new people which is great. One from Guatemala and two younger people, so it's great to have some new guys to race against.

"It's great practice for me for the Worlds. There aren't so many events in 2.4 so if I need to practice I prefer to do it against good competitors. And there are good competitors here.”

French sailors Xavier Dagault and Bruno Jourdren follow Seguin with four races remaining.

The sail of the day goes to Germany's Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz who took all three wins in the 49erFX. That perfect performance moves the German team up in to silver medal position. They will need to continue that winning form though if they are to overhaul Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) who are 10 points ahead.

Great Britain's Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stu Bithell edged ahead in the 49er with a 1-8-4. Those results give the Britons a slender two-point advantage over Spain's Diego Botin and Iago Lopez.

Rio 2016 silver medallists Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) have cut the gap at the top of the leaderboard to one point behind the Rio 2016 bronze medal winning Greeks, Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis who currently occupy top spot in the Men's 470. Mantis and Kagialis had to discard a 27th place before picking up a bullet in race two as they came under pressure from the Aussies who took a second and third for the day.

The Women's 470 leaders mimicked the men's with a discard in the first race and a bullet in the second. Dutch racers Afrodite Zegers and Annaloes van Veen discard their 16th and as a result are now tied on 15 points with Switzerland's Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler. Silvia Mas Depares and Patricia Cantero Reina (ESP) are three points back in third.

Swiss windsurfer Mateo Sanz Lanz remains top of the Men's RS:X despite slipping outside of the top five in a race for the first time. Thanks to his consistency so far in Hyères, Sanz Lanz could discard his 23rd place to hold a six-point lead over Israel's Shahar Zubari and a 20-point lead over France's Louis Giard.

Zofia Noceti-Klepacka (POL) leapfrogged overnight Women's RS:X leader Noga Geller (ISR), opening up a 10-point cushion to lead the fleet. Brazil's Patricia Freitas continues to climb the leaderboard and now sits in third with a day three score card which included a bullet, second and discarded 23rd.

In a day of catch up for the Laser fleet it was Australia's Matt Wearn who came out on top with a bullet, second and fourth place from three races. With the schedule back on track it will be Wearn's job to keep second placed Pavlos Kontides (CYP), third placed Francesco Marrai (ITA) and the rest of a strong dinghy fleet at bay.

Despite a black flag in the final race of the day, Hungary's Maria Erdi heads the Laser Radial fleet, but only just. The young Olympian will need to be careful there are no more slip ups if she wants to end the regatta with a medal. Waiting for any possible slip is Evi Van Acker (BEL) just one point behind in second.

Home support will be aimed toward the Nacra 17 fleet as Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet (FRA) are tied at the top with Spain's Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco on 23 points. Lin Ea Cenholt and Christian Peter Lubeck are in third on 28.

As the breeze died later on in the evening, the Kitesurfers were unable to hit the water but they will resume tomorrow for their finals.

Racing resumes at 11:00 local time on Friday 28 April. The forecast shows big breeze and the RS:X, 49er, Nacra 17 and Kitesurfers will be aiming to grab a spot in the Medal Race.

Live Medal Races will be shown on the World Sailing YouTube Channel on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April, bringing the penultimate event before the Santander Final to a close.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Royal Irish Yacht Club's Saskia Tidey and helm Charlotte Dobson had an outstanding second day of racing at Hyères this afternoon, bagging two firsts and one second position out of six races (with one discard) in the 49erFX fleet writes Nathaniel Ogden. Finishing the day in second place overall, the pair are in a strong position going into day three, and with stronger winds forecast it will be interesting to see if they can maintain their impressive standing as conditions change!

Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club had another mixed day in the men’s Laser class as light winds continued into day two at Hyères. A 13th place finish was sadly brought down by two disappointing results later in the day. Holding down a respectable 41st place overall at day’s end, the young NYC sailor will be looking forward to a change in conditions, forecast now to fill in on the third day of the Sailing World Cup.

Tokyo 2020 hopeful Aisling Keller from Lough Derg YC ended the day in 31st place overall following a solid set of mid fleet results in the women’s Laser Radial fleet. Two impressive results in the first and last races were unfortunately brought down by two poorer finishes in the 2nd and 3rd of the day for Aoife Hopkins of Howth Yacht Club. Currently taking time out from studying for the Leaving Certificate, the Dubliner finished up in 39th overall, as light winds prevailed.

If day one was about 'Laying down a marker' then day two is about settling down to the job at hand as the discard comes in to play for every fleet. A grey, overcast morning welcomed the sailors from the ten Olympic classes as well as Open Kiteboarding and the 2.4 Norlin OD, a Para World Sailing event, to the boat park with an expected morning breeze of 7-12 knots from the west.

Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen (NED) were unstoppable on day two of Sailing's World Cup Series in Hyères, France, winning both Women's 470 races in convincing style.

Out of the 534 competitors from 52 nations racing across ten Olympic events, Open Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, the Dutch team were the standout performers.

Following a brief morning postponement due to a wait for the wind, the 470 fleets got out for a 12:30 start, sailing in a westerly 10-15 knot breeze.

Zegers and van Veen were unrelenting, sailing their way to two convincingly victories to leapfrog Switzerland's Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler into first place.

The Dutch duo are on a hot streak in the Women's 470, winning gold at the opening 2017 World Cup Series event in Miami, USA before securing the Trofeo Princesa Sofia title in March.

They were agonisingly close to claiming a medal at Rio 2016, missing out by a single point and as their rivals have gone onto new ventures or taken time out of the boat, Zegers and van Veen were quick to get straight back into action.

"We already knew we wanted to continue as a team,” explained van Veen. "It was an easy choice to carry on.

"Since the beginning of the year at the World Cup in Miami we have made a lot of improvements, we still know there is a lot of work to be done but we feel like great improvements have been made.”

Zegers and van Veen got off to a strong start in both of their races and when compared to their rivals they were simply faster as van Veen explained, "We had good boat speed in the first race and from there we just tried to defend the lead and stay in front of the fleet which we did well.

"In the second race, we had a really good start from the pin and got the lead straight from that. We just played the shifts then.”

A familiar battle is developing in the Men's 470 with Rio 2016 silver and bronze medallists separated by small margins. Greece's Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis were made to settle for bronze at Rio 2016, beaten to silver by Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS).

The tables have turned, for now, in Hyères as the Greek team hold the lead on five points to the Australia's seven. Both crews posted identical results on day two, recording a first and a third but the Greek team had a better opening day with a race win and a fifth to take the lead.

On the rivalry with the Australians, Kagialis said, "It is always nice to race against people like Mat and Will as they are top athletes. When the level is higher you try more and you push more so it's nice.

"It makes the sport better.

"Our goal is always to get a medal. You do your best in the regatta and if you are up there near the end you then get to choose which medal you can push for. It's still early though, we have three days of racing before we get to that point.”

An interesting battle is developing in the Nacra 17 as the top three continue to fight for supremacy.

Five points separate Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet (FRA), Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco (ESP) and Lin Ea Cenholt and Christian Peter Lubeck (DEN). The trio shared the day's race wins and have put some points between themselves and fourth place.

"We had good starts and took the right side so it was a good day for us,” said Lubeck who had a steady day with a 1-(8)-2 scoreline. Ea Cenholt added, "We had an offshore tricky wind but we succeeded in what was important for us, to be at near the top of the fleet at the top mark.”

From a three-way fight to a three-way tie, Great Britain's Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stu Bithell, Argentina's Yago and Klaus Lange and Spain's Diego Botin and Iago Lopez are all locked on 16-points apiece in the 49er.

The trio scored a good set of 'keepers' on the second day, discarding their worst race which for all three was race one.

Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) had another consistent day to consolidate their lead. Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) shone the brightest, however, winning a pair of races and claiming a fifth. As a result, they move into second place ahead of Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz (GER).

Six further races were conducted in the Foiling Formula Kiteboarding and the perfect records held by Axel Mazella (FRA) and Nicolas Parlier (FRA) were crushed in the opening race of the day. Mazella finished second in the blue fleet and Parlier third in yellow.

That was, however, just one blip on the record as they got back to winning ways immediately after, taking the remaining five victories in their respective fleets. They are tied on 10 points at the top with Maxime Nocher (MON) following nine points behind.

From two Finn races, a 5-4 from Ben Cornish (GBR) and a 4-2 from Nicholas Heiner (NED) sees the pair tied at the top on ten points. The day's race victories went the way of Jorge Zarif (BRA) who is 11th overall and the sixth placed Ed Wright (GBR).

Finland's Tuula Tenkanen is making her first competitive appearance back in the Laser Radial after finishing fifth at Rio 2016. Any cobwebs were blown off on the opening day as she won the opening race. A mid-fleet finish followed but Tenkanen was back on form on Wednesday, winning another race. She leads on ten points, two ahead of Belgium's Evi Van Acker. Maria Erdi (HUN) and Viktorija Andrulyte (LTU) are tied for third on 13 points.

Damien Seguin (FRA) and Xavier Dagault (FRA) shared the 2.4 Norlin OD race wins. Seguin, the Rio 2016 and Athens 2004 Paralympic gold medallist leads the 12-boat fleet on three points and is trailed by Dagault and Bruno Jourdren (FRA).

As the day progressed in Hyères, the breeze began to decrease meaning the Laser and RS:X fleets could only complete one race in a challenging, fickle afternoon session.

Shahar Zubari (ISR) took the men's race win and moves to second overall, one point behind Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI) who consolidated first place with a third. Overnight Women's RS:X leader Noga Geller (ISR) remains in control following a third. Zofia Noceti-Klepacka (POL) pulled within one point of the Israeli with a second. The single race win went the way of Patricia Freitas (BRA).

Sam Meech (NZL) moved from 11th to fourth overall as he took the single Laser race win. Pavlos Kontides (CYP) retains his lead by discarding his 14th. Nick Thompson (GBR) follows and Francesco Marrai (ITA) is in third.

Racing continues Thursday 26 April at 11:00 local time. Live Medal Races will be shown on the World Sailing YouTube Channel on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April, bringing the penultimate event before the Santander Final to a close.

Published in Tokyo 2020
Page 2 of 5

Olympic Sailing features a variety of craft, from dinghies and keelboats to windsurfing boards. The programme at Tokyo 2020 will include two events for both men and women, three for men only, two for women only and one for mixed crews:

Event Programme

RS:X - Windsurfer (Men/Women)
Laser - One Person Dinghy (Men)
Laser Radial - One Person Dinghy (Women)
Finn - One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) (Men)
470 - Two Person Dinghy (Men/Women)
49er - Skiff (Men)
49er FX - Skiff (Women)
Nacra 17 Foiling - Mixed Multihull

The mixed Nacra 17 Foiling - Mixed Multihull and women-only 49er FX - Skiff, events were first staged at Rio 2016.

Each event consists of a series of races. Points in each race are awarded according to position: the winner gets one point, the second-placed finisher scores two, and so on. The final race is called the medal race, for which points are doubled. Following the medal race, the individual or crew with the fewest total points is declared the winner.

During races, boats navigate a course shaped like an enormous triangle, heading for the finish line after they contend with the wind from all three directions. They must pass marker buoys a certain number of times and in a predetermined order.

Sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from 27 July to 6 August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. 

Venues: Enoshima Yacht Harbor

No. of events: 10

Dates: 27 July – 6 August

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Dates

Sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from 27 July to 6 August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. 

Venue: Enoshima Yacht Harbour

No. of events: 10

Dates: 27 July – 6 August

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