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On Tuesday 19th March Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy will be doing a very special talk about her Olympic success when she headlines a fundraising event for Olympic campaigners and 49er sailing hopefuls Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove.

The fundraiser takes place just ten days before the pair go into action at the Princess Sofia Palma Regatta in Spain from 30th March.

The Northside sailors recently won the Afloat.ie Irish ‘Sailors of the Year’ title and are sailing full-time as part of their training and event regime in an effort to secure a qualification place for Tokyo in 2020.

The event will be hosted by the Marine Hotel in Sutton and sees Howth Yacht Club and Sutton Dinghy Club combining to promote the fundraiser for the local sailors.

All are welcome to attend and tickets (€10 for adults, €5 for students) will be available at the door and the event begins at 8 pm.

The 2019/20 racing calendar for the Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove campaign is a packed one: 

Princess Sofia Palma Spain 30th March - 6th April 2019
Sailing World Series Genoa Italy 22nd April - 28th April 2019
Europeans Weymouth UK 13th May - 19th May 2019
Kiel Week Kiel Germany 26th - 30th June 2019
Junior Worlds Risor Norway 4th - 7th July 2019
Sailing World Series Enoshima Japan 25th August-1st September 2019
Worlds Auckland New Zealand 29th November-8th December 2019
Sail Melbourne Melbourne Australia 17th-21st January 2020
Sailing World Series Miami USA 26th January - 2nd February 2020
Oceania Championship Geelong Australia 30th January - 3rd February 2020
Worlds Geelong Australia 9th-15th February 2020
Princess Sofia Palma Spain 28th March-4th April 2020
Sailing World Series Genoa Italy 19th-26th April 2020
Hyeres France 25th April-2nd May 2020
Medemblik Netherlands 26th-30th May 2020
Kiel Week Kiel Germany 22nd-28th June 2020, Kiel
Enoshima Japan Olympic Venue Opens 14th July 2020
Tokyo Olympics Japan 26th July - 6th August 2020
Junior Worlds Lake Como Italy 18th - 24th August 2020

Published in Howth YC
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The Irish Times reported earlier this month that Irish Olympic medallist Annalise Murphy no longer has her direct funding support from Sport Ireland.

Performance in competition is a prerequisite for the €40,000-per-annum support under the international carding scheme, also known as the ‘podium’ grand.

However, 29-year-old Annalise moved on from the Laser Radial class after her silver medal win in Rio in 2016.

She spent a number of months in 2017 and 2018 sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race before taking up the 49erFX with a view to qualifying for the Olympics in Tokyo next year.

Annalise recently resumed winter trials with her new boat in Portugal, joined by sailing partner Katie Tingle now recovered from an arm injury sustained last year.

Their first competition as a duo is expected be the Sailing World Cup series regatta in Genoa, Italy this April.

And both will continue to be supported by Irish Sailing, with high performance director James O’Callaghan saying: “The important thing is that [Annalise is] full on campaigning for Tokyo, and we’re delighted to have her back.”

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in ISA

The sailing community’s notable diversity is dependent on how you’re trying to analyse it writes W M Nixon. For many, it’s the community aspect, the shared love of boats and sailing and interacting with sea or lake, which is the sport’s greatest appeal. But for others, the greatest attraction is because it’s a competitive vehicle sport.

In fact, it could be argued that a useful indicator of where you fit into the complex sailing world is your place along the boats-to-people continuum. At one extreme, there are those for whom the boat and her equipment is everything. And at the other end of this boats-to-people line, there are those for whom the successful interaction of the crew, the people management side, is paramount – organising the boat and dealing with her technical problems is something for specialized members of the team.

Not so long ago, while cruising the Hebrides, we met up with one of the purest boat nuts I’ve ever encountered, even if he did offset this tendency by using his superbly-maintained boat for very interesting projects.

We liked the look of his 34ft cutter, and as we were in a sublimely beautiful anchorage where no-one was in a hurry to move on in the morning, we inveigled an invitation aboard and were bowled over by the quality of everything on his boat, the maintenance, and the careful way it had been thought through to make his cruising as comfortable and practical as possible.

ainmara sula2 1“ Sailing” as its cruising participants like it – an idyllic summer morning in the Hebrides for the veteran Ainmara (left) and the superbly organised Victoria 34 cutter Sula. Photo: W M Nixon

For instance, he’d re-wired the boat completely by himself, and had done it in such a way that although everything seemed invisible and skilfully done, the simple opening of accessible locker doors in key areas revealed all the parts that needed to be easily reached.

It was a pure case of single-minded perfection, so much so that we were thinking of ways to entice him to Ireland some time to give our own boats the same treatment. But in his case, “single-minded” was the essence of it all. He’d once sailed alone in a Wayfarer from Scotland across the North Sea to Norway, but few knew of it because he did it for his own satisfaction – publicity wasn’t of interest to him.

And now, after we’d had coffee together, he was off across to Skye to climb in the Cuillins. On his own, of course, and using that perfect solo-sailed boat as a handy base camp. This was indeed a man who marched to the beat of a different drum. For our part, we were nipping across to Plockton on Loch Carron, a notably convivial place, to continue a cruise of sociable celebrations.

As far as we were concerned, this was cruising as it should be, and cruising lends itself to accommodating every level of direct or indirect boat technical involvement. However, cruising is a world in itself. But in racing, the fact of sailing being a vehicle sport immediately puts a wall between it and most other sports, particularly those stadium sports of greatest public interest.

americas 2013 cup3Is this sailing’s Formula 1? The America’s Cup boats of 2013 were foiling multihulls

next americas cup4The America’s Cup rings the changes – and whatever they are, they’re always expensive. The next series in New Zealand will be raced in 75ft foiling mono-hulls

So in trying to increase sailing’s public awareness, we quickly find people referencing Formula 1 car racing, and claiming that sailing will only find universal appeal if its major events are staged in the most spectacular boats available.

Certainly, this has long been the way of the America’s Cup. But that’s quite obviously a sailing spectacular for people to stare at in wonderment, rather than expect any sense or possibility of personal involvement.

However, the Olympics are different. Olympic sailing is arguably the kind of sailing we can do at club level but carried to the ultimate extremes of personal high performance. But is that necessarily the way that sailing should go? In a tech-obsessed era - a state we’ve arguably lived in since man chipped his first flint axe-head – there are those who would argue that the boats used in the Olympics should be at the furthest edge of technological development.

laser fleet5For club sailors, the fact that their popular Laser is an Olympic Class is seen as a bonus. But for the casual viewing public, could it possibly be that a large fleet of Lasers is not the most exciting or comprehensible sporting vista in the world?
This is their point in arguing that today’s boats are getting in the way of developing sailing’s popularity. In a sense, they argue that by using popular everyday boats for a television spectacular like the Olympics, the powers-that-be are making the images decidedly humdrum for an audience steeped in technological wizardry.

It’s an approach which came to a head a month ago when, thanks to the remarkably high Irish representation in the committees of World Sailing – a priceless inheritance from the determinedly internationalist days of Dun Laoghaire’s Ken Ryan – we were among the first to be able to report the confirmation about the inclusion of an offshore racer (to be crewed by a woman and a man) in the lineup for the 2024 Olympics at Paris, when the sailing will be at Marseille.

The boat proposed will be between 6 and 10 metres overall, and non-foiling. With the course planned to have them at sea for three days and two nights, it will be the longest event in the Olympics, and all boats will be connected for sound and vision 24/7, so the human interest levels should be very high indeed.

smurfit kappa6Tom Dolan with his Figaro 2 Smurfit-Kappa. This highly-regarded 2002 Marc Lombard design is now categorized by the builders as a “Heritage Boat”

This confirmation (at last) marked such a change to the Olympic sailing format that it provoked a considerable immediate reaction. But working on the policy that second thoughts are often best and usually less harmful, we persuaded some of our more outspoken reactors to tone it down a little with the promise that we’d keep them anonymous for the time being, and would publish after a reasonable interval.

However, now we’re in the buildup to Christmas when true sailors rely on the thought of the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race to preserve their sanity in the midst of smothering seasonal cheer. So here’s something else altogether - shot from both barrels - to provide something similar:

“I am no doubtless connected with the ‘higher governance level’ of our beloved sport than yourself or others, but the ‘design’ brief of the intended boat for Paris 2024 Offshore event (quote:“…..boat which will be used, the length overall will be between 6 metres and 10 metres, definitely non-foiling, and currently talked of as sloop rig with spinnaker…”) shows, yet again, how out of touch World Sailing is with its own sport!

The IMOCA 60 Class is progressively shifting to foil (see Route du Rhum 2018) and the Mini 6.50 class rules now allow foils, wingsails and even kites, while the new America’s Cup boat won’t even have a keel but 2 foils (etc etc…there are many other examples). Thus the notion that ‘what the public wants to see in the Olympics are non-foiling monohulls of 6 to 10m LOA’ baffles me!!!

mini 650 foils7The Mini 6.50 class now permits foils, and even with three on board, the little boat lifts and flies
Paris won the 2024 Olympic Games. Sailing is one of the Olympic Sports. Olympic Sailing attracts very little spectators and/or much less TV audience than the ‘professionally organised circuits’ (Minis, Figaros, IMOCAs, big multihulls, Route du Rhum, Vendee Globe etc etc…).

The aim is to change this and for once, France as the organiser and for all sailing nations, may stand a chance to make some Olympic sailing look sexy! And as you mention, there already had been an attempt – scheduled for June 2018 – to preview a potential Olympic offshore race

Nicolas Hénard, President of the Federation Francaise de Voile, declared:

« …We are the nation of offshore sailing, we can’t afford to miss this (opportunity). This is why I am doing the forcing on this with the organisation of a showcase event in Marseilles in June (2018) in parallel with the finals of the Worlds Cup with five Figaro 3 on loan from Beneteau…”

Unfortunately, due to funding issues, this demo event was cancelled…but of course the demo support was the Figaro 3.

Staging a new Olympic discipline in 2024 on a boat that, though not yet selected, is already outdated in 2018 for the intended purpose is ludicrous.

This is even more so for the Figaro 2 as the article suggests, a boat launched in 2002 and classified on the Beneteau website itself under the heading ‘Heritage” 

Also, my understanding is that, for an Olympic sailing event, boats have to be supplied (I guess new?!) by the organisers…hardly Figaro 2s then…

The reality is that:
• The Figaro Class and Circuit is the ‘only game in town’ worldwide for an ‘affordable’ (€210k ex. VAT including sails, electronics and safety equipment), one-design, short-handed, offshore racing class
• The Figaro Class is moving to foiling from 2019 onwards with the F3 because this is:
◦ What the competitors (read athletes for the Olympics) want!
◦ What the sport, as an offshore discipline, is at…right now, let alone in 2024
◦ What the viewing public demands

figaro three8It could be argued that the foiling Figaro 3 is no longer an extreme concept, and by 2024 it may even seem a little dated
The current ’design brief’ of the World Sailing Equipment Committee for the new proposed event in Marseilles 2024 can only be explained by either

  • A complete misunderstanding of the sport (really?) or
  • Anything BUT a Beneteau Figaro 3 attitude resulting from pressure/lobbying from other National Sailing Federations or other boat manufacturers who do not have an ‘affordable’ one-design offshore sailing boat in production or even in draft (J Composite?) in an attempt to ‘not give an unfair advantage to French Figaro sailors starting on this support from March 2019!
  • If there are doubts that a new boat like the Figaro 3 will be available in sufficient number, FYI, Beneteau is rolling out one new Figaro 3 per week as we speak! That’s further good news, So the question for World Sailing is:
  • Do we specify the boat that’s required and expected (FYI, I do not have any interest whatsoever in Beneteau ?)?
  • Do we specify another one for political reasons and launch a new discipline in 2024 on an outdated support?

As for my ‘dream team’: Tom Dolan (French offshore circuit ‘veteran’, inc. Figaro circuit) and Annalise Murphy (3 Olympic campaigns by 2020, Moth sailor, Volvo Ocean Race veteran etc, would bring this event very much alive if they were racing a Figaro 3, or perhaps even its 2024 development.”

annalise murphy9

tom dolan10Dream team – Olympic Medallist Annalise Murphy and Figaro veteran Tom Dolan

Well, that’s telling it like it is – or might be. Instead of trying to minimise Olympic sailing’s vehicle sport aspect (which the 49er turns on its head anyway), World Sailing and the Paris/Marseille Olympics should go hell for leather for the most technologically-advanced yet economically-feasible boat possible.

It’s quite a challenge in itself. And if it seems a very long way from our agreeable meanderings about a perfect little cruising boat met with in the Hebrides, well, that’s the way it is – sailing is a very complex sport however you look at it.

Published in W M Nixon

Mexican Laser sailor Yanic Gentry helped Annalise Murphy christen her new boat on its first day out on the water in Cadiz for winter training yesterday (Thursday 15 November).

The Olympic silver medalist announced earlier this month that she and her 49erFX partner Katie Tingle would be on the move to “somewhere warmer” after spending recent months getting to grips with the class on Dublin Bay — a situation that paused in the autumn due to Katie's arm injury.

While Katie is still on the mend, Annalise could not have have picked anywhere better than the Andalusian coast, near the gateway to the Mediterranean, to make every day count in her campaign to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Published in Annalise Murphy

At last night's popular 'Speakers Supper' at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, the club's own Olympic Silver Medalist Annalise Murphy gave a first-hand account of her personal experience and reflections in the Volvo Ocean Race that she completed in June.

The NYC superstar is now back into Olympic sailing mode having launched her new 49erFX campaign in a busy summer for the 28–year–old Dubliner. She is currently training on Dublin Bay most days from her base at the NYC.

This week in the Budget increased funding was announced for Olympic athletes. Hopefully, it is another boost before Tokyo 2020 so Annalise can realise her ambition to go one better and win Gold for Ireland in two years time.

Published in Annalise Murphy
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Olympic Silver Medalist Annalise Murphy's bid for Tokyo 2020 glory has been set back with the injury news that her new sailing partner in the 49erFX dinghy campaign, Katie Tingle, suffered a broken arm during training.

Tingle, of Royal Cork Yacht Club, was brought ashore to the National Yacht Club in a RIB having suffered the fracture in training on Dublin Bay at the weekend.

NYC sailors attended to Tingle on the slipway and an ambulance was called to the East Pier club that is currently co-hosting the Laser Master World Championships.

A spokeswoman for the Olympic Sailing Team said Tingle 'broke her arm while she was out on the water' but no other update was available.

Murphy and Tingle, who did not travel to Japan with team–mates for the World Cup event on 2020 Olympic Waters, were instead due to sail this weekend at a 'Speed' event on Belfast Lough.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Annalise Murphy will launch her new Olympic sailing campaign in the 49erFx at Ballyholme Yacht Club's 'Weekend of Speed' on Saturday and Sunday, 15th and 16th September.

The Rio Olympic silver medalist will race under handicap against men's high-performance Olympic 49er teams as she and crew Katie Tingle are one of perhaps only two 49erFx's sailed in the country.

Ballyholme's Irish Open Multihull Championships incorporates the Irish F18 Championships and the Irish 49er Championships and a  29er event will also be held. According to organiser Richard Swanston, boats will be attending from 'across Ireland'.

Annalise Murphy 49erFx 0766Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle at speed on Dublin Bay in the 49er FX dinghy Photo: Afloat.ie

The four F18’s that attended the recent European Championships in Spain will test their skills against the best of the Irish fleet in an open championship. This fleet will include everything catamaran; Dart 16, Catapult, Hurricane 5.9 and F18s.

Murphy and Tingle, meanwhile, begin their trail to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in their new 49er FX along with the 49er fleet which includes Olympians Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton expecting to have their first competitive match since going separate their ways after Rio.

The 49ers are expecting eight boats for the Belfast Lough competition.

Annalise Murphy Katie tingle 1000Annalise Murphy (left) and Katie Tingle review footage of a training run with coach Rory Fitzpatrick Photo: Afloat.ie

Currently, Murphy and Tingle are perfecting technique on their home waters of Dublin Bay where sometimes not everything goes to plan, even for Irish sailing's superstar.

The Ballyholme weekend will also feature seven to eight 29ers for a warm-up event for their National Championships.

If the weather is suitable the club will be running a speed challenge on the Friday evening, according to Swanston.

Published in Belfast Lough
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Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle had a bit of a moment while training with their 49erFX on Dublin Bay earlier this week.

“We have everything under control here as you can see,” said Olympic Laser silver medallist Annalise as she shared the mishap on social media on Tuesday evening (17 July).

But capsizes are all part and parcel of getting to grips with a new sailing class, as fans and fellow sailors have commented.

And as the video below from the previous day shows, the new duo are already on to a promising start in their campaign for a Tokyo 2020 berth.

Published in Annalise Murphy
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Olympic Silver medalist, Annalise Murphy may well be on board fifth placed  'Turn the Tide on Plastic' as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet hurtles towards the finish line in Cardiff but her recently announced Olympic 49er FX campaign is gaining momentum in her absence, as Afloat.ie's photo from the National Yacht Club reveals today.

Sporting the sail number IRL1372, Murphy's coach Rory Fitzpatrick was out on Dublin Bay in the 49erFX dinghy, training in anticipation of the return of the Rio superstar, now teamed up with Katie Tingle of Royal Cork in the double-handed women's class.

Murphy's full-on Tokyo 2020 campaign commences as soon as she gets free of VOR duties and it certainly looks like she wants to waste no time in ensuring her new campaign is up to speed.

The skiff is currently based at her NYC club but will shortly transfer to Irish Sailing's new 'Performance HQ' elsewhere in the harbour, where work started on a new floating dock last Friday.

Published in Annalise Murphy
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Olympic Silver Medalist Annalise Murphy has quit the Laser Radial dinghy and launched a two–year campaign for the Tokyo Olympics in the 49er FX skiff dinghy.

The news is revealed in this morning's Irish Times Sailing Column here and it follows Murphy's two year hiatus from the class since Rio that had left everyone wondering, including team management, what the former European Radial Champion, would do next.

Ireland's most successful Olympic sailor, famously fourth in London and second in Rio, is currently competing in the Volvo Ocean Race as a crew member on Dee Caffari's Turn the Tide on Plastic, placed last in the seven boat fleet.

During this time Murphy (28) missed two important Radial World Championships, one through injury and more recently in April when she clarified why she would not attend this year's Danish Worlds in August, claiming she wanted more time following the end of the VOR to prepare for a 'return to the Radial'.

“If I was to go to Aarhus [Denmark] I wouldn’t have sailed the boat for almost a full year. I know how much work is needed to prepare for an event like that – I’m not stupid – you have to work hard and prepare, and I want to be winning events and in the hunt for medals rather than just making up the numbers.”

Regardless of her supreme achievements in the single–handed Radial spanning some 15–years, this short campaign will inevitably mean she will have to be content 'to be making up the numbers', at least at the beginning of the 49erFX bid, in a fleet where international competition in the class has been building steadily since Rio. 

Murphy previously hinted at some switch when she said last month she was determined to complete her VOR commitment before deciding the 'best route' back to the Olympics.

Whichever way it is viewed, the switch is a big one for the National Yacht Club sailor who vowed to win Gold for Ireland during her homecoming celebrations in September 2016.  

While details of the fledgling campaign are still scant, what is known is that Murphy must get up to competition speed in a new twin–trapezing skiff and negotiate sailing with a new partner as opposed to single–handed sailing; all this within a 24–month time–frame.

She intends to train every day with new team–mate Katie Tingle of Royal Cork Yacht Club, when the pair commence in July. 

Murphy is not the only Dun Laoghaire sailor racing the 49erFX for Tokyo. She will be competing against former Rio team mate, Saskia Tidey who now sails for Team GB for 2020, on the circuit.

The 49er FX dinghy is a true high performance skiff, demanding athleticism, balance, skill and daring. The FX was developed to show to the world how spectacular sailing as a sport is and what 'amazing athletes' women sailors are.

Murphy's sister, Claudine was previously involved in a short–lived a Skiff for Rio in 2013.

Murphy now follows a path chosen by Brazilian Robert Scheidt, who has two Olympic gold Laser medals to his name, and who chose to campaign a mens 49er skiff for Tokyo, albeit late in his career. Sheidt was no stranger to sailing in Two Person fleets having taking Olympic silver and bronze medals in the Star, but the High Performance Skiff presented the 44–year–old champion with a different challenge that turned out to be short–lived one as he announced his retirement in 2017.

Much more in the Irish Times here

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Page 2 of 34

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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