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Dun Laoghaire's National Yacht Club gathered on Saturday to salute top club achievements from 2016. Ten annual awards for outstanding sailing were presented ranging from cruising endeavours to Olympic campaigns. There is no surprise that club member Annalise Murphy topped the awards with her Olympic Silver Medal being the defining moment of the Irish sailing year.

In cruising, The Township Cup went to Jim Gorman for his cruise to Norway. Marcus Higgins was awarded The Muglins Cup for his adventurous cruise on his Vega 27 thorugh the Canal du Midi to Sardinia.

In the offshore racing category, Brian and John Hall  were awarded the Boyne Regatta Cup for their victory in the Scottish Series.

In one design racing, The O'Leary Cup went to Mick Leahy and John Power for their performance in the Beneteau 31.7 Levante in both DBSC and regattas in 2016.

View a slide show of the 2016 recipients by Joe Fallon below:

Published in National YC

The Dublin St Patrick’s Day Parade has become such a colourful extravaganza that having an Olympic Sailing Silver Medallist as Grand Marshall is something which a almost got lost in the crowd. But Irish sailing’s own Annalise Murphy, heroine of Rio, bravely stepped up to the plate to lead the way in a classic vintage car, accompanied by her mother Cathy, herself a former Olympian sailor. They gallantly saw it through in style, and our photo shows Annalise with some of her newfound fellow Paraders having a quick visit to Liffeyside, which maybe wasn’t quite the same as Rio de Janeiro in regatta mode, but the mood was good.

Published in Annalise Murphy
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#AnnaliseMurphy - Annalise Murphy can add the honour of grand marshalling this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin to her list of accolades, as The Irish Times reports.

“I’ve spent so many Patrick’s Days away or competing or training, so it’s going to be brilliant just to be at home in Dublin,” said Afloat’s Irish Sailor of the Year for 2016 at the launch of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival, which runs from 16-19 March.

According to festival chief executive Susan Kirby, the Olympic Laser silver medallist was chosen to lead the parade as “she very much personifies the best of Ireland on a global stage and she certainly flew the flag for us all in Rio.”

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Annalise Murphy
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Afloat.ie's Sailor of the Year, Annalise Murphy, the 2016 Laser Radial Olympic Silver Medallist and 2014 Women's Moth World Champion, leads the charge in the growing women's fleet of this year's Moth World Championships scheduled for Malcesine, Italy.

Murphy's Rio performance was rewarded at home last Friday in a packed gathering at the RDS, Dublin. See photos and report here.

Murphy will be up against reigning champion Wakako Tabata (JPN) and 2013 Women's Champion Emma Gravare (SWE). With 6 months remaining, the 2017 Moth Worlds has already attracted a record number of entrants. Earlybird entries closed on Tuesday with 190 competitors from 25 countries registered for the event to be held at the Fraglia vela Malcesine on Lake Garda in late July.

The record line–up features a daunting who's who of top sailors.

At the top of the list is the Olympic Laser shoot out, with reigning Moth World Champion, 2008 Gold Medallist and Artemis Racing helmsman Paul Goodison (GBR) going up against 2012 Gold Medallist and Oracle Team USA tactician Tom Slingsby (AUS) and 2016 Gold Medallist Tom Burton (AUS).

Among the past champions, 2009 & 2013 Moth World Champion Bora Gulari (USA) makes a comeback to the class after taking time out to compete in the Nacra 17 at the Rio Olympics. Also making a return after Olympic and Americas Cup commitments, dual medallist Iain Jensen (AUS) will be looking to improve on his top 10 result in 2015.

Published in Moth
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In public perception terms, sailing had never been higher on the scale of national interest in Ireland than it was in August 2016 when Annalise Murphy’s Olympic Silver Medal victory had an entire nation and its widespread diaspora on the edge of their seats as the final seconds were sailed out in the Medals Race at Rio writes W M Nixon.

But popular attention is a very fickle thing which has now turned to other matters. And with Annalise Murphy since being garlanded with well-earned major national awards under just about every category you could think of, there wasn’t undue concern that the biggest non-surprise for a long time – her elevation to become the Volvo Sailor of the Year 2016 – would simply be taken for granted, and as such, would be regarded as non-news by mainstream media.

So whether it was a mature acceptance of this reality by sailing’s organizers, or whether or not it was just pure serendipity, is neither here nor there. But the fact is that holding the awards ceremony on the last Friday night of January in Dublin may have been the sentence of death of terms of popular news coverage. But for the true faithful of the sailing community from every last corner of Ireland, it was the perfect opportunity for an extraordinarily diverse crowd of people to gather and celebrate their sport in all its forms, and hail their heroes.

Of course the ultimate spotlights were on our supreme award winner Annalise Murphy, and the Youth Sailor of the Year Ewan MacMahon. But with other youth awards, training centre awards, and the very elastically-interpreted Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” awards with 27 winners coming into focus, that same spotlight shone brightly if briefly on remarkable achievements in every part of Ireland and abroad, all of them contributing to the fabulous tapestry which is Ireland’s world of boats.

Normally the world of boats and sailing is well aware that it is a minority sport. But on Friday night, it wasn’t a case of it briefly becoming a majority sport. It was the only sport. The camaraderie was palpable. The shared enthusiasm was energising. And the way that people from near and far instantly connected was heartening to behold.

For me, it was summed up by one brief but eloquent encounter. I was talking with Ted Crosbie, who was Admiral of the Royal Cork in 1984-86, and long before that he was the All Ireland Helmsmans Champion, racing in IDRA 14s in 1950. He was there to see his grand-daughter Sophie receive proper recognition for her achievements in Topper racing. As we chatted, Peter Ryan of the National YC hove into view with his shipmate Stephen Tudor of Pwllheli in North Wales, whose overall victory in the ISORA Championship 2016 with his J/109 made him Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” for September.

The fact that a top Welsh skipper should win an Irish Sailor of the Month award says all that needs to be said about the creative flexibility of the Afloat system. But equally, here were two top sailors from very different places and backgrounds and generations instantly hitting it off in their shared joy in our sport. The divine spark was undoubtedly present. It was that kind of night.

Published in News Update

#SailorOfTheYearOlympic hero Annalise Murphy has been named Afloat Irish Sailor of the Year for 2016.

August’s Sailor of the Month for her silver medal victory at Rio 2016 was presented with her prize by Irish Sailing Association (ISA) president David Lovegrove at the Volvo Irish Sailing Awards gala in Dublin’s RDS Concert Hall this evening (Friday 27 January).

Murphy was saluted by more than 300 of her fellow sailors, one of Irish sailing’s largest ever turnouts, for her Olympic triumph in the Laser Radial class – Ireland’s best achievement in sailing at the Games since David Wilkins and James Wilkinson won the Flying Dutchman silver at Moscow 1980.

That the National Yacht Club stalwart rallied from her heartbreak at London 2012, where she just barely missed out on a bronze medal, with an incredible display on the waters of Guanabara Bay made her success all the sweeter.

As Afloat.ie’s WM Nixon wrote in November, Murphy’s Olympic performance came after a 10-week transformation on the heels of a poor showing at the 2016 Worlds in Mexico:

“With her dedicated support team, she ensured that she’d become a hugely improved sailor, a fitter athlete and psychologically in a very good place, as she took on the Olympic challenge on August 8th with a cool confidence which in due course received its proper reward.”

It was an achievement that rightly captured the public’s imagination, too, providing Irish sailing with the greatest mainstream profile it’s enjoyed in years.

It’s already seen her recognised as The Irish Times/Sports Council of Ireland Sportswoman of the Year, Irish Tatler’s Woman of the Year, the Evening Echo’s Sports Star of the Year, and as one of Rehab’s two Sportspersons of the Year, not to mention her honorary membership of the Irish Sailing Foundation.

So it was surely to be expected that ‘Our Annalise’ would capture the public vote on Afloat.ie, as well as the votes of the judging panel to earn the prestigious award for a second time upon its 20th anniversary – two decades after first honouring that year’s own Olympic dinghy hero Mark Little, and four years on from her first win in recognition for her stellar efforts in London.

Accepting her prize, Annalise Murphy said: “As a kid I learned that maybe I wasn't the most talented, but I worked the hardest and that’s how I handled my sailing at the Olympics, and that’s what I’d advise all sailors to do now.”

Adding that the standing ovation from the ISA “means a lot to me”, she noted that it was “great to see all the Irish sailing achievements here, and that’s what I love in our great sport. It’s not all about the racing.”

Racing is still very much on Annalise’s agenda, however, with the first stage of her Tokyo 2020 campaign set for the Laser Radial Worlds this August.

Annalise’s accolade must also be seen in light of her fellow deserving nominees, all winners of Afloat.ie’s Sailor of the Month awards, and all of whom made remarkable and significant contributions to Irish sailing throughout the year.

Among them are a GP14 world champion in Shane MacCarthy, a Round Ireland record by Damian Foxall, a pioneering Vendée Globe effort by Enda O’Coineen, and youth sailor and future Olympic medal prospect Finn Lynch.

Irish sailing’s next generation was recognised in its own right on the night with the presentation of the Youth Sailor of the Year prize to Afloat’s racing Sailor of the Month for July, Ewan McMahon, alongside the Training Centre of the Year gong that this year went to Foynes Yacht Club, and two ISA President’s Awards – to Scottish Series racer Colin Moore, and Annalise Murphy's coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the latter of whom said of his eventful year: “It’s not just the Olympic result, it’s the inspiration of Annalise’s discipline routine in Dun Laoghaire that drives on our Laser sailors.”

 

In his address earlier this evening, ISA president David Lovegrove said he was “bowled over by the achievements of our sailors both at home and abroad.

“For such a small country, we achieve great things and our sailors are truly inspirational ambassadors for our sports and our country. 2016 was a year to make us all proud.”

But Lovegrove also took time to “celebrate the everyday heroes in sailing who don’t always get recognised by awards and cups – the volunteers who dedicate so much time, energy and passion to our sport, and who share their knowledge and expertise with other sailors.

“From the race officials to the instructors, to the coaches and the mark layers, the safety crews and those who carry out a multitude of tasks onshore: we simply could not enjoy sailing the way we do without you. Thank you.”

Hosted by master of ceremonies Fiona Bolger, chief executive of Spinal Injuries Ireland, along with Lovegrove and Afloat.ie’s own WM Nixon, the evening welcomed guests including members of the ISA Olympic and youth sailing squads, training centre principal, national senior and youth champions, class captains and club commodores, and a number of past Olympians and Sailors of the Year.

Among the crowd were the Royal Cork's Sally O’Leary and her husband Anthony, 2010's Sailor of the Year, who are looking forward to the club’s dinghy fest, along with a band of club mates including Gavin Deane, Admiral John Roche and Rear Admiral Kieran O'Connell and Tom Durcan, who has just welcomed home his son Johnny from Australia, and Ted Crosbie who recently retired from racing.

Brian O’Sullivan and Francis Clifford represented Tralee Bay Sailing Club in the audience this evening, while Paddy Boyd, who was returned from a stint as CEO of Sail Canada, was also present, as were Chris and Sandra Moore of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Peter Ryan of ISORA, ICRA Commodore Simon McGibney from Foynes Yacht Club, and Martin McCarthy of Annalise’s home club, the National YC in Dun Laoghaire.

Others in attendance included Cormac Devlin, Cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, and Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy.

Published in News Update

How do you relax after the most intense year of your life, in which the highlight was winning an Olympic Silver Medal racing a Laser Radial at the incredibly demanding sailing venue of Rio de Janeiro? Well, you do something different writes W M Nixon.

Something very different. But anyone who thinks the world-famous 12–week culinary course run by the Allen family at Ballymaloe House in the fertile countryside of East Cork is a relaxing experience really has no idea what a formidable though rewarding challenge it is.

The daily dedication of participants has to be total. And when Annalise Murphy attends the Volvo Sailor of the Year ceremony this Friday night in Dublin, she’ll be only a quarter of the way through the course – she still has nine weeks to go. Yet she’s keen as mustard to get back to work on Monday.

She’s loving it because cooking has always been a favourite hobby, and as her mother Cathy says, she has a genuine natural talent and interest for it. But “doing a Ballymaloe” takes it all to a different level. Anyone who thinks it’s a matter of young ladies swanning around in a sort of finishing school for cuisine is totally mistaken.

Your concentration on food and everything to do with it is expected to be all-excluding. So much so, in fact, that when Annalise was spotted taking a quick look at her mobile phone during lunch, it was confiscated...Did we hear somebody talk about a foodie boot camp?

Published in Annalise Murphy
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#Annalise - 2016 draws to a close with another accolade for Ireland’s Olympic hero Annalise Murphy, who was named The Irish Times/Sports Council of Ireland's Sportswoman of the Year in Dublin this afternoon.

The Laser Radial silver medallist was Sportswoman of the Month for August, the same month of that outstanding achievement for Irish sport in Rio de Janeiro.

And that’s not counting her Sailor of the Month nod from Afloat.ie in August, as well as Irish Tatler’s Woman of the Year gong last month, her honorary membership of the Irish Sailing Foundation, the Sports Star of the Year Honour at last night's Echo Sports Awards, and a share of Rehab’s Sportsperson of the Year Award.

The last one she couldn’t accept in person as she enjoyed a well-earned break, dabbling in her ‘hobby’ of Moth sailing at competition level in Bermuda.

That dedication to her craft — which included a 24-hour whirlwind round trip to bring home her medal-winning dinghy — is what we’ve come to expect from our Annalise over the years.

And this latest award shows how the rest of Ireland’s sporting world is catching on. Well done, Annalise!

More from David O'Brien in the Irish Times HERE

Published in Annalise Murphy

Ireland's Laser Radial Olympic medalist Annalise Murphy who was competing at a Moth event in Bermuda lat week will have been keeping a close eye on the Sailing World Cup Final in Melbourne, Australia where her Radial competitors were in action for the first time since Rio.

It was advantage to Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) in the Laser Radial fleet heading into the Medal Race. The Dutch racer took a 12-point lead over Rio 2016 bronze medallist Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) into the final day and played her cards perfectly to walk away with World Cup gold.

Bouwmeester stayed close to Rindom, remaining risk free and allowing the Dane to win which confirmed Boumeester's gold medal and Rindom's silver.

"I should have been a bit more aggressive to win the race,” said Bouwmeester. "I thought if I stayed close to Anne-Marie I would be fine. I don't think I sailed my quickest but I'm happy to be here and finish the year off with a win. I'm going to have a nice break, put some proper work in and then I'll be back next year.”

Emma Plasschaert (BEL) overhauled Silvia Zennaro (ITA) to complete the podium.

Published in Olympic

Annalise Murphy picked up another well deserved reward at the weekend when she shared the REHAB Sportsperson of the Year Award at the weekend. The Dun Laoghaire Olympic Silver medalist couldn't be there in person to pick her award at the Dublin ceremony because as soon as she arrived home her medal winning Laser she jetted off to Bermuda to sail her foiling Moth where there's been plenty of action over the last few days. Just look at Annalise in the pink Moth go...

Published in Moth
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Page 5 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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