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#49erfx – After four opening races at the 2015 49er & 49erFX European Championships in Portugal Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey who are campaigning for next year's Rio Olympic regatta will be disappointed to be 33rd in a fleet of 39. The sun rose, sailors rigged, and the championship started on time under blue skies, light winds, and fair swell. Two fleet of the worlds best skiff sailors took to the water to compete in the 49erFX, with the men's 49er scheduled to start this morning.

This championship is the second most important event of the year behind the World Championship, and decides much in the way of funding, team selection, and bragging rights.

The first races had lighter wind with teams double trapezing but surging in and out with the ocean swell, searching for power. As the sea breeze built so did the power and teams scored themselves some wild rides. It was an interesting combination of shifty and side dominated racing.

Having the best of the day was the Netherlands Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz.

The 49erFX schedule is Qualifying July 6-8, Gold Fleet 9-11 and medal race also on 11th.

The 49er schedule is Qualifying July 7-9, Gold Fleet 10-12 and medal race also on 12th.

Results are here

Published in Olympic

#isafworldcup - Another two race wins put Annalise Murphy's arch rival Marit Boumeester into another league at the ISAF World Cup in Weymouth today while the Dubliner dropped three places to sixth overall in the 12 knot breezes. Howth's Aoife Hopkins is 36th.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) were the stand out performers in the 49erFX, taking a pair of bullets and a second. Ireland's Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey made it out on the water today after yesterday's vomiting bug caused them to miss the first three races yesterday. Sickness appears to be well and truly behind the Dublin Bay pair who scored a seven and a second today.

In the mens 49er class, fortunes also improved for Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern who took a sith and a third in the final two rounds today to move  up to 16th overall. 

In advance of the docking out a few of the 49erFX sailors had helmets at the ready in anticipation of big breeze but things turned out a little differently as Meech explained, "Most of the weather forecasts today said we were expecting 30 knots. I know for our fleet most of the girls don't handle that stuff so well so we were all nervous heading out. In the end it turned out to be a glamour day with 12 knots and really nice waves. It was perfect."

Maloney and Meech are amongst the leading competitors in the 49erFX and have the potential and know how to medal at each event. Most recently they finished seventh at World Cup Hyeres and have been working hard to get back on the podium, "We've got a few things to work on for the rest of this regatta. Our starts have been a focus for us and things are starting to come together. We'll look to push on from that and try to get a great result from this regatta."

Grael and Kunze, 2014 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year, are snapping at the heels of the Kiwis and trail by three points. They took the day's other race victory and coupled with a second and a third remain firmly in the hunt.

Overnight leaders Maiken Foght Schütt and Anne-Julie Schütt (DEN) slip to third overall following a 6-(8)-4 scoreline.

Six fleet races remain in advance of Sunday's Live Medal Races so anything can and will happen.

Victor Bergstrom and Victor Vasternas (SWE) have amassed three bullets from six races in the 49er and subsequently lead. They took the first two race victories on the second day and discard their 12th to sit on 23 points.

Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (NZL) claimed the days other race victory and are second overall on 26 points. Their compatriots Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) are third overall on 30 points.

Laser and Laser Radial

It would seem that Marit Bouwmeester (NED) is taking the experience she has gained from the London 2012 Olympics in Weymouth and Portland and applying it to the fullest effect taking both bullets.

Those two wins have kept Bouwmeester's score down to three points with an unbeaten run of four from four races so far this World Cup.

Her nearest challenger is Belgium's Evi Van Acker who finishes the day in second overall on nine points after a 9-4 finish.

Ireland's Annalise Murphy dropped to sixth with an eighth and a discarded 16th. Murphy's third place is now held by Great Britain's Alison Young on ten points following a strong 4-2 day to help move her up the leader board.

In the Laser, New Zealand's Andy Maloney is still in top spot despite a sixth and an 18th. He drops his 18th and remains at the top of the pile with nine points.

Jesper Stalheim of Sweden had a good day moving up from fourth to second with a 2-10, dropping his 14th from the opening day. His 13 points sits him alongside Germany's Philipp Buhl on the same points tally. The German finished with a 7-3 scoreline for the day.

Sitting just behind on 14 points is Charlie Buckingham (USA). The bullets went to New Zealand's Michael Bullot and Australia's Matthew Wearn.

Men's and Women's 470

The Women's 470 also feature a couple of Kiwi girls topping the billing after a steady day of racing. Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) lead the way by a single point over Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) following a second and a fourth, which they discard.

"It was an okay day," explained Aleh. "We weren't really that happy with it as there were a few missed opportunities. The results are okay still but we're still not that happy."

After their opening day double bullets the Kiwis posted a second and fourth. "An okay day" for them, an outstanding day for others. But when you're Olympic gold medallists racing on the same waters as your glory, standards remain high.

Aleh continued, "It's great to be back here. It's been three years since we've been here and it's not changed that much. It's nice to be back and everything's really familiar. We spent so much time here last time that it's like another home.

"I guess Weymouth is a lot like New Zealand. There's the cold breeze and the cold water. It's a lot like Takapuna where we sail at home. We're all quite comfortable here. It's been offshore for the last couple of days and we've always found that Weymouth is like home and we fit into it pretty easily."

London 2012 Olympic silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) sit in second overall following a sixth, which they discard, and a bullet. Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol (SLO) remain in third overall.

In the Men's 470 Stu McNay and Dave Hughes (USA) and Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) shared first and second in both of the day's races. The Americans took the first bullet followed by the Aussies whilst the roles were reversed for the day's other race.

The Americans lead on five points followed by the Australians on 10 points. Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (NZL) are third on 14 points.


Giles Scott (GBR) was back on the money in the Finn, doing what he does best, winning sailboat races.

He opened the day with a second and hit back with a bullet to move into first overall. "We've had two very similar days now with 10-15 knots and it's very very physical racing," commented Scott on the competition.

"I think everyone is feeling pretty tired today. But today for me was a bit better than yesterday. I managed to come away with a 1 and a 2, so I can't really grumble."

The Finn fleet features 24-boats in Weymouth and Portland and with the Rio 2016 Olympic fleet comprising of one less it's the perfect opportunity to race in an Olympic sized pack with an exceptional calibre of competitors, "We have 24 boats, so it surprising how everything seems to be close up and everyone is super punchy on the start line. So you have to watch that a little bit.

"Of course everyone here is quick so it is very easy to find yourself on the back foot and not so many people behind you. But with that said it makes the racing super good. I think in one of the races today the whole fleet was round in 30 seconds. It's tight street fighting really."

Jonathan Lobert (FRA) took the days other race victory and coupled with a third he sits second overall, two points off Scott. Josh Junior (NZL) is pushed from first to third by the British and French racers.

Men's and Women's RS:X

In the Women's RS:X, Great Britain's Isobel Hamilton stays ahead of the field following another consistent day on the water. From the day's three races she notched up three second place finishes.

Maintaining the British 1-2 is Bryony Shaw who is two points behind her compatriot.

But while Shaw had another good day with a 3-3-1, Italy's Flavia Tartaglini moved up to joint second on 12 points with two bullets and a fourth place finish.

London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Tuuli Petaja-Siren drops down to fourth on 16 points.

In the Men's RS:X Tom Squires (GBR) moved a point ahead in the battle of the Brits with a 1-2-4 scoreline. Squires is above fellow Briton Nick Dempsey who was on a 6-5 on the day until a win in the last race improved his fortunes.

Italy's Mattia Camboni stays in third position whilst Brazil's Ricardo Santos had a much better day, taking first place in the second race to go with his 2-3 finishes. The Brazilian sits in fourth.

Nacra 17

Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) had a strong day in the Nacra 17 posting a 7-1-5 scoreline. They lead on 19 points.

Switzerland's Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger are second on 21 points followed by Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT), who claimed the final race victory of the day.

Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis (AUS) claimed the days other race honours and are fourth overall.

Paralympic Events

In the Sonar, double bullets for Australia's Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden move them to the top of the leaderboard with four points ahead of Norway's Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen on six.

The Norwegians are just one point in front of Great Britain's John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas who lay in third on seven points following a fourth and second place finish.

In the SKUD18 nothing separates Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) and Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) who each take a bullet and second, yet again mirroring the opening day results. They both sit on four points with Will Street and Megan Pascoe (GBR) third overall on nine.

London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas (GBR) controlled the 2.4mR again with four wins from four races following her two bullets today.

Sitting behind and taking four consecutive second places is Antonio Squizzato of Italy on six points.

Malaysia's Al Mustakim Matrin remains third overall with a third place finish and a discarded fifth.

Racing resumes at 11:00 local time on Friday 12 June.

Published in Olympic

#isafworldcup – Annalise Murphy is in the top three of the women's Laser Radial fleet at the ISAF World Cup fleet in Weymouth after today's two opening races in an 'uncommon' 15–knot easterly breeze. The Dun Laoghaire star scored a second in the first race and a sixth this afternoon in her 36–boat fleet. 16–year–old Aoife Hopkins of Howth Yacht Club, who earned her place by virtue of her performance (40th overall in an 82–boat fleet) at last month's Delta Lloyd regatta in Holland, lies 35th.

Belfast Lough's Ryan Seaton and Matt Mc Govern are 27th from 39th in the 49er skiff dinghy after counting a 13 and a disappointing 35 this afternoon. 

In the women's skiff, Royal Irish pair Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey are scored as 'did not compete' in the first three races of the 49erFX class. Unfortunately the Dun Laoghaire pair were unable to race as a result of Tidey's 'suspected food poisoning' or 'some sort of vomiting bug'.

Ranging from 10-15 knots, the breeze coupled with glorious sunshine, resulted in some exceptional racing on the 2012 Olympic waters.

The stakes have been described as high by the competitors competing in Great Britain and rightly so with internal Rio qualification battles on-going, ISAF Sailing World Cup honours, a share of the prize fund and Abu Dhabi Final spots up for grab.

Racing commenced at 11:00 local time and wrapped up early evening with the ten Olympic, three Paralympic and Kiteboarding events completing their race schedule.


New Zealand's Andy Maloney came out with intent in the Laser, taking the day one lead with a strong performance as he explained, "We had good breeze between 10 and 15 knots. It was pretty shifty on the course but I had good pace and played the shifts and managed to come away with a first and second which is pretty solid. It was a good day."

The Road to Rio is a hard one and as well as international threats, Maloney also has to contend with domestic rivals on his journey. With the likes of his compatriots Sam Meech, Mike Bullot and Thomas Saunders all capable of challenging for medals, Maloney feels no internal pressure, "It's good for us and the Australians to have a good squad and we're all pushing each other hard.

"It's exciting more than anything now in the Laser because it's coming down to the final part of the cycle so it's crunch time now."

Yachting New Zealand named six crews for the Olympic Test Event on 18 May – see release here - . And as stated, will consider nominations the Laser following the World Cup Weymouth and Portland. A good performance by Maloney could go a long way for selection with Bullot in 15th, Saunders 20th and Sam Meech 21st after the opening day.

Nick Thompson (GBR) was not far off of Maloney's pace, finishing behind him in both races to sit in second.

London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Pavlos Kontides (CYP) was almost as strong in Weymouth and Portland's conditions as he did so well three years prior. A seventh and a fourth puts him third overall but he's got his eye on the top, "I'm satisfied with my performance and races today but there's still a long way to go and I hope to move up. Having 40 top guys with this new ISAF World Cup, the stakes are high.

"You have to push to the end and every race counts. You can win this event without winning any races. Consistency will prove vital in the end."

The day's remaining race win went the way of Jesper Stalheim (SWE) who is fourth overall.

Laser Radial

The last time Marit Bouwmeester (NED), Evi Van Acker (BEL) and Annalise Murphy (IRL) competed against each other at Weymouth and Portland they were locked in a battle for Olympic medals.

Fast forward three years and they're fighting it out again at the ISAF Sailing World Cup.
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) was assertive on the race course, winning both races by a comfortable margin. The Dutch sailor, who won silver at London 2012, sits atop the pile with Evi Van Acker, London 2012 bronze medallist, trailing on five points following a 3-2 scoreline.

Murphy came through in second in the opening race and followed it up with a sixth in Race 2. She is third on eight points.

Great Britain's Alison Young sits fourth on 13 points.

49er and 49erFX

On the face of the 49er results it would be quick to assume that leaders Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski (POL) were the stand out performers of the day. However, regattas aren't won on the first they. It takes a consistent performance across five days of racing to come out on top and the most consistent team of the day were the first placed John Pink and Stu Bithell (GBR).

The pair recorded a 8-3-9 scoreline and were the only team to record three single digit scores. "On the first day of the regatta it's always nice to start well and we're thrilled to bits with three top tens. We're fifth overall which is great and tomorrow brings another challenge because it's going to be windy and we'll be pushing on and hopefully get into that top three.

"It's a great fleet, the top boats in the world are here and no one is really missing. It's great that everyone is competing in the ISAF Sailing World Cup."

Bithell won silver in the Men's 470 at London 2012 and on his home waters he knows what the venue is all about, "You could argue that I know Weymouth fairly well," he said with a smile. "I've lived here for some years now, did the Olympic Games here and is there a home advantage," he pondered, "yes there probably is but incidentally we don't always get the wind direction we had today."

The Polish crew lead on seven points with Pink and Bithell four points off the leaders. Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) and Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) are tied on 8 points in second and third.

Maiken Foght Schutt and Anne-Julie Schutt (DEN) lead the way in the 49erFX on three points following scores of 6-2-1. Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) follow in second place on six points.

Sarah Steyaert and Aude Compan (FRA), Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos (ESP) and Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) are tied on seven points from third to fifth.

Men's and Women's RS:X

It's a British 1-2 in the Men's RS:X and Women's RS:X. Nick Dempsey and Tom Squires are locked on three points apiece in the men's whilst Isobel Hamilton leads Bryony Shaw by a single point in the women's.

From three races Dempsey and Squires took a race victory each with the third place Mattia Camboni (ITA) taking the other.

"We had nice racing, very close," exclaimed Dempsey. "Tom and I are quicker than the fleet. Our training's gone really well and we're starting to sail well. It's nice and quite good fun racing."

The pair train together on a daily basis which has helped them in the build-up to the regatta as Dempsey explained, "It's nice having a competitive training partner. When we train we know we're training against one of the fastest people in the world.

"You never have to compensate. If you're beating Tom then you know you're going fast. That is what we've always missed having with our training partners so it's brilliant news."

"It's nice and quite good fun racing Tom."

In the Women's RS:X, Hamilton enjoyed a solid day on the water, staying at the front of the pack notching up a 6-2-2 scoreline. "It was definitely my best first day at a World Cup so far," said the smiling Hamilton, "I would love to be able to hold on to first for the whole week.

"It was really good racing and it's really nice to be racing at home. Weymouth is a fantastic venue and it's really great to be back here."

Shaw is a point off of Hamitlon after her 4-1-4 with London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Tuuli Petaja-Siren third overall. The day's race wins went to Joanna Sterling (AUS), Shaw and Ingrid Puusta (EST).


Andrew Murdoch (NZL) opened his Weymouth and Portland account with a strong display in the Finn, notching up a 3-2 to lead the 24-boat fleet.

Murdoch, a 2012 OIympian in the Laser, used his experience to full effect at the front of the fleet. He has opened up a four point lead over Jonathan Lobert (FRA).

Giles Scott (GBR) took the opening race victory of the day and followed it up with a 12th. He is third overall. The remaining race victory went the way of Josh Junior (NZL) who is sixth overall but just three points off the third placed Scott.

Men's and Women's 470

It's like London 2012 repeated in the Women's 470 with the gold and silver medallists occupying the spots they claimed three years ago.

Gold medallists Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) dominated the day by taking both bullets whilst silver Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) were forced to look at the back of the Kiwi boat in both races as they settled for two seconds.

Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol (SLO) sit in third after the opening two races following a 4-3.

In the Men's 470, Stu McNay and David Hughes (USA) have a tasty six point lead over World #1 Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE). A fourth and a second gives them the lead at the early stage but with their experience, they won't be getting carried away.

Victories on the day went to the Greeks and Ferdinand Gerz and Oliver Szymanski (GER) who are sixth overall.

Nacra 17

As of 19:20 local time Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT) lead the way in the Nacra 17. However, many of the competitors sailed the wrong course in Race 1 with Race Committee protests and vice versa. A handful of protests remain open that may result in further amendments.

As it stands the Austrians top the pile on four points followed by Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger (SUI) and Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS).

Paralympic Events

London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas (GBR) began her World Cup campaign with intent. Double bullets give her a two point lead over Antonio Squizzato (ITA) who finished directly behind the Briton in both of the days races.

Malaysia's Al Mustakim Matrin sits in third overall.

In the SKUD18, Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) and Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) are level on three points.

The Italian and British teams shared the top two places on the day, taking a bullet and a second apiece.

Will Street and Megan Pascoe (GBR) are third overall.

It is tight at the top in the Sonar with four crews locked on five points.

Norway's Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen took the opening bullet of the day and followed it up by a fourth.

John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas (GBR) took the second bullet of the day but like the Norwegians also count a fourth.

Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden (AUS) and John Twomey, Austrin O'Carroll and Ian Costelloe (IRL) notched up a second and a third each and are also tied with the Norwegian and Irish crews.

Racing resumes at 11:00 local time on Thursday 11 July with some great race action on the cards.

Published in Olympic

#49erfxirl – Second in today's medal race and eighth overall at Lake Garda Olympic week, a Eurosaf event, is a welcome boost for Irish Olympic 49erfx campaigners Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. The race was streamed live via this morning. 

It's a promising performance for Ireland's newest Olympic sailing duo and further improvement on last year's mid–fleet result that came to a dramatic halt in a race course crash.

 After four days of racing the sole Irish women's skiff made the top 10 medal race cut by a single point. Today they sailed the medal race taking second in this double points non-discardable race to boost  their overall result to a credible eighth place.

'We are happy with our week, feel that have learnt lots from the racing and also managed to practise our boat handling with all those tacks and gybes along the cliffs as well as plenty of "gybe sets" at the windward marks which were very hectic at times', Brewster said on facebook.

It's a realistic assessment from the realtively new duo who still seek country qualification for Ireland at the world championships in Argentina in November. Before then, the pair will also take in the Olympic test event 'Aqueece Rio' in August.

The duo return home tomorrow before setting up in Weymouth for the ISAF World Cup event to be held there in June. They will not contest Eurosaf, Medemblik in a fortnight.

Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2015 (49erfx overall)

1 ITA 3 CONTI GIULIA, CLAPCICH FRANCESCA, C.C.ANIENE 33,0 1 1 2 (8) 1 1 3 1 8 1 7
3 FIN 17 KURTBAY SINEM, KANERVA SILJA, NJK 60,0 2 8 4 9 (12) 8 7 8 6 2 3
4 SWE 25 JULIA GROSS, CECILIA JONSSON, ROYAL SWEDISH YACHT CLUB 60,0 4 4 13 3 5 2 5 3 11 (ufd) 5
5 GER 777 LEONIE MEYER, ELENA STOFFERS, NRV 63,0 10 9 10 1 3 3 2 (15) 1 6 9
7 GBR 11 DOBSON CHARLOTTE, AINSWORTH SOPHIE, RNCYC 78,0 6 3 1 6 7 5 18 11 5 (ufd) 8
8 IRL 997 BREWSTER ANDREA, TIDEY SASKIA, ROYAL IRISH YACHT CLUB 80,0 14 11 12 10 6 6 (17) 2 4 11 2
9 SWE 9 ERICSON LISA, KLINGA HANNA, GKSS 84,0 16 6 5 18 4 9 1 4 9 (ufd) 6
10 SIN 33 KHNG GRISELDA, TAN SARA, SAFYC 84,0 5 5 17 4 10 11 (22) 5 3 4 10

Published in Olympic

#49erfx – Saskia Tidey and Andrea Brewster's Olympic skiff campaign has been boosted by support from Club commodore James Horan of the Royal Irish Yacht Club

The RIYC duo are currently seeking Olympic selection in the 49er FX Skiff Class for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016, when, for the first time, the all-female Skiff Class will be included in the Games.

The pair have been training in Australia and in Florida and competing internationally in order to acquire the appropriate ranking to represent Ireland at the Olympics.

Despite joining the ranking process later than others, they are now ranked as the 14th Nation and the 24th Boat in the world. There are many more competitions yet to take place before the selection for an Olympic place, but this place is now within their grasp.

In an open letter to members, Commodore Horan explains that the Royal Irish Yacht Club is planning to host a fundraising event to assist them in the considerable expense involved in renewing and updating their equipment and continuing their training.

Upcoming events in Palma de Mallorca, France, Italy, Holland, the UK and Portugal will lead to the World Championships in Argentina in October/November of this year and ultimately the aim is the Olympic Games in 2016.

'Apart from the fact that the Olympic Games take place only every four years, it is an even rarer event to have young Members of the Royal Irish Yacht Club attempting to compete in them. I therefore urge the membership to get solidly behind this initiative and support the efforts of these two young ladies, of whom we are immensely proud' Horan says. 


Published in Olympic

#SailingWCMiami – First it was sunny and bright then It was storming and raining sideways and then It was sunny and bright. Just like home. Those familiar conditions may have helped Ireland's Annalise Murphy get the 2015 Olympic saiing season off to an auspicious start in Miami yesterday posting two second places to lie third overall in the women's Laser radial class. Erica Ruigrok finished 74th from 77th, not completing the second race.

Murphy's National Yacht Club club–mate Finn Lynch also stole a march on the Irish sailors racing in the 104–boat Mens Laser fleet. The 21–year–old trialist is 33rd, three places ahead of 2012 Olympic representative James Espey. Cork's Darragh o'Sullivan is 88th with Strangford's Chris Russell not competing in either of yesterday's opening rounds. 

Belfast's Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern are 36th from 54 in the 49er skiff. Disappointingly, Ireland's womens skiff pair of Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey did not finish in their 40– boat fleet with only eight teams crossing the finish line.

Numerous challenges were posed to the competitors in wet and windy day of action. Racing commenced shortly after 10:00 local time with a confirmed number of 856 sailors from 63 nations competing across the ten Olympic and three Paralympic events.

Results here.



Robert Scheidt, winner of five medals in five Olympiads, two of them gold, described the series opener as, "Windy. Tough. What you have to do this early in the regatta is avoid the big problems."

Which is not so easy when a squall is the takeaway.

"In the first race there was a time on the second weather leg where we couldn't see through the rain, couldn't find the marks," Scheidt said. "Finally Bruno (Fontes) saw a bit of colour out there in the grey stuff, and we both went for it, and we made big gains."

Figure the breeze at the moment was high 20s or perhaps even 30 knots, so a boat aimed the right direction - and on its feet - had a lot going for it. "After that," Scheidt said "I didn't have a special second race, but I didn't need to. I was happy with a second and a fourth." Those finishes left Scheidt second to Fontes, first, and New Zealand's Andy Maloney, second at 4-1 in the other division of the split fleet.

The other piece of Laser class news happened in the other division of the split fleet, where the Aussie, Tom Burton, who has been on a winning streak, dug himself a hole with finishes of 18th and 20th.

Men's 470

Perennial threats Luke Patience and crew Elliot Willis of the UK comfortably topped a fleet of 45 entries in the 470 class, on a challenging day, on scores of first and second.

As in other fleets, the people at or near the top of the leaderboard were grateful to be just that. Australian 470 skipper Mat Belcher figured, "The job was to get around the course. We were happy with a first and a fifth and a boat that was still working. We have the whole week to make points." Perhaps it is fair to add, Belcher was busy gluing and screwing new parts onto his "still working" mast as he spoke.

And Belcher has earned whatever confidence he can muster. A five time world champion - all in a row - he and crew Will Ryan won the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final title in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in November.

Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson of the Republic of South Africa stand second off a 4-6 day, followed by the French threat of Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion, 3-8. They're the defending champions. At this regatta one year ago, Bouvet and Mion broke a seventeen-regatta winning streak that Belcher and Ryan had been riding.

Stories stories, everybody had a story. The Japanese duo of Tetsuya Matsunaga (a second generation sailor) and Yugo Yoshida used both sides of the course, "sometimes" to good effect, said Matsunaga, "It was very shifty. It the second race, we went left and the wind came from the right. We rounded the top mark 20th or so. I really don't know." But that "20th or so" turned into a 10th for a 2-10 day and fifth in the standings.

Women's 470

In the Women's 470 racing, London 2012 gold medalists Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie of New Zealand, "had just made it around the gybe mark" of race one, Aleh said, when THE SQUALL hit.

"We looked back and the blast was fairly flattening the fleet. You wanted to ask, where did everybody go? But we got the kite down, we stayed on our feet and we made some nice gains."

The day wrapped up with Aleh and Powrie leading the standings off a pair of seconds.

Two top British teams, Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark and Sophie Weguelin, won a race apiece and stand second and third, respectively.

"The team of the moment," in the words of a close series observer, fared less well. That would be Austria's Lara Vadlau and crew Jolanta Ogar The 2014 World and World Cup champions presently stand ninth off finishes of 15th and 16th - remarkably consistent, but.

Again, stories and stories. Americans Anna Haeger and Briana Provancha were gybing at the mark when squall's blast arrived. It did not go well. Haeger and Provancha had an 11-10 day and some body pain to take home.

Men's RS:X

Louis Giard (FRA), conqueror of the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final title, resumed in Miami from where he left off in Abu Dhabi - leading the way.

Although he sits pretty on two points at the top, he discards an 11th, which could prove deadly to his points total if he finishes lower than that as the week pans out. A scoreline of 3-1-2 is more of a solid foundation to build upon and second placed Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) is the proud owner of that run.

"All the races were good with lots of shifts and a lot of ups and downs," commented Kokkalanis. "I managed to do well by finishing third, first and second. I had to catch up in the first and third race but the second race was really good. I had a good start and was fighting hard with Nick Dempsey, it was really fun and a good day."

Solid foundations are key for a week long RS:X competition. Races are short, frequent, intense and compelling. Thirteen more are scheduled for the week with gold fleet racing commencing on Wednesday and Kokkalanis knows he has to be in top shape to defend his title, "Tomorrow I will take the same approach and try to do my best as always. That's what everybody is trying to do.

"I'll try to stay on top and then the real racing, gold fleet, starts on Wednesday. All the good guys will be together so until then I'll try and get as few points as possible."

Tom Squires (GBR) laid an equally impressive foundation, a 1-3-3, rounding off the top three after day one.

Women's RS:X

In a field that features Olympic medallists, World Champions and an ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, home nation sailor Marion Lepert had a dream start.

From two races Lepert notched up a fourth and a bullet to top the pack of 37. She holds off Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) and Olga Maslivets (RUS), who are second and third respectively.

A recent graduate from youth competition, Lepert made in-roads in the Techno 293 where she claimed a silver medal at the 2011 World Championship. She moved up to the RS:X and a fourth at the 2013 Sail First ISAF Youth Worlds confirmed her promise. Albeit a dream start, Lepert will have her work cut out to maintain such a performance it in amongst a field of seasoned professionals.

Nacra 17

Taming the Nacra 17 beast came as a challenge to many of the 49-boat Mixed Multihull fleet. With gusts hitting the 30 knot mark, thrills and spills were inevitable and that was certainly the case with as many as 26 boats either unable to finish the second race or deciding enough was enough in advance of the start.

A night of boat work and maintenance will be in order for several of the competitors whilst leaders Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL), Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) and Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) will all rest easy after a job well done from three races.


Like the Nacra 17 sailors, the Women's Skiff competitors on the 49erFX also found the Miami breeze extremely tough to handle.

Of the 40 teams, just eight of them successfully worked their way around the course to complete the single race of the day.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) are two of the most experienced 49erFX competitors around, with well over two years of boat experience behind them. With a range of knowledge behind them they comprehensively claimed the day's race win by more than a minute.

Nina Keijzer and Claire Blom (NED) came through in second with ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne winners Tess Lloyd and Caitlin Elks (AUS) in third.


Spain's Diego Botin and Iago Lopez got off to a flying start in the 49er, controlling the proceedings in the blue fleet. Right from the off they put in a composed performance in a competitive pack to take the opening race bullet.

They remained at the front for the next bout, coming through in second behind John Pink and Stuart Bithell (GBR) before they rounded off a superb day by taking the final race victory

Being at the top of the 49er leader board, after the opening day, is not uncommon ground for Botin. The young Spaniard had an outstanding start at the 2014 editions of World Cup Mallorca and Hyères. However, he was unable to convert that into consistent results over a gruelling six day ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta.

For now, Botin and Lopez lead, but with five days and 13 races remaining, time will tell if Botin can continue his form.

Results were mixed in the yellow fleet with no team taking the bull by the horns. Federico and Arturo Alonso (ESP) sit second after they recorded a discarded 20th and a second and a third. David Gilmour and Rhys Mara (AUS) occupy the final podium sport at the early stages.


Hand it to hardy Briton Giles Scott, who has taken over the throne of the longest-serving dinghy class in Olympic sailing. The Finn has been raced in 16 Olympiads. It is known as the boat in which Paul Elvstrom redefined the racing sailor as an athlete. And it is known as the boat that tests athletes as no other.

Scott has not lost in 15 months, and he didn't do it through cherry-picking the easy stuff. He won seven ranked regattas in that time, and on Monday Scott won both races. His countryman, Ed Wright, has often come closest to unseating him, but following the opening day of racing here Wright stands fourth on scores of 3-7.

In second is Australia's Jake Lilley, 2-3, with Croatia's Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic third, 8-2.
American hope Caleb Payne retired from the second race.

Paralympic Events

It was a double bullet day for John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas (GBR) the Sonar. They dominant Brits top the leader board and are followed by Paul Tingley, Logan Campbell and Scott Lutes (CAN) who saw the back of the British boat on two occasions with a pair of seconds.

John McRoberts and Jackie Gay (CAN) started well in the SKUD18 with a second and a first. They lead on three points with Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) second on five points.

Racing is scheduled to resume at 10:00 local time on Tuesday 27 January.

Published in Olympic

#49erfx – Royal Irish skiff duo Andrea Brewster & Saskia Tidey who made a breakthrough in their Olympic campaign by making the gold fleet this week at the ISAF Worlds in Santander have narrowly missed out on a spot for Rio this afternoon. The pair finished 24th place from 55 and crucially 13th nation, just outside the top 10 qualifying places which would have earned Ireland its fourth place in Rio.

The Irish campaign is far from over however. The new partnership sail on to the next opportunity to qualify for the Rio Games at the 2015 World Championships. The remaining places in each event shall be qualified from the 2015 Class World Championship and in a series of Continental Qualification Events sanctioned by ISAF, to finish by 1 June 2016 at the latest.

The 49erFX class finish in Santander is going to be a barn burner, as the two most consistent boats all year will go head to head making it a winner takes all for the Championship title. Ida Nielsen and Marie Olsen (DEN) are on 33 points after sailing well today with a 5, 3, 9. That could not compete with the day that Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) had, with a 3, 2, 1. The race area was right hand favoured, so it was vital to get an early lane to the right and have the boat speed to hold. The Brazilians started excellently and were able to apply the pressure.

Giulia Conti and Fancesca Clapcich (ITA) are fresh back from some time off due to injury but it hasn't held them back. Clapcich injured her ankle in Helsinki for the Europeans and has been out of the boat since July. They seem to have done the right thing and rested enough that they have been able to race well this week where they find themselves locked into the Bronze medal position for the final Medal Race.


One more team worth noting are Vicky Jurczok and Anika Lorenz (GER). This team were 25th after qualifying, the last team to make it into gold fleet and have been on fire since then moving all the way up to sixth place, with a chance to move up to fourth tomorrow if the cards line up.


Published in Olympic

#Santander2014 - Both of Ireland’s 49er teams pulled out the necessary results on Day 7 of the ISAF Sailing World Championships to stay in contention for Olympic qualification.

Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey qualified for the female 49erFX Gold Fleet while their teammates Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern moved up to sixth overall in the 49er Gold Fleet.

Today was the final day of the qualifying series for the 55 boats in the 49erFX fleet. Brewster and Tidey had a fifth and a sixth, which boosted them significantly from 35th overnight to 17th, and meant they made Gold Fleet along with the other top 24 teams.

The ISA development sailors will now fight it out with the 14 other nations in Gold to try and secure one of the 10 coveted Olympic spots available.

Commenting after racing, Brewster said: “We needed to have two really good races today and we nailed it.”

Tidey added: “It was really gusty but we found all our skills were really good on the course. Everything we’d been practising really paid off and we’re so thrilled with today.”

Meanwhile, Seaton and McGovern last night finished the 49er qualifying series in 12th position, making the cut for their class Gold Fleet.

In order to earn Ireland another place at Rio 2016, the Northern Irish pair must also finish the regatta within the top 10 nations. A total of 88 teams from 33 nations are competing in the men’s skiff class so every result counts.

Sailing in 20 knots this afternoon, the boys warmed up with an 11th in Race 6. From there they kept on an upward trajectory with a ninth in Race 7, followed by a sixth in Race 8 and finally a second in Race 9. These solid results were enough to move them up three places in the leader board to sixth overall.

ISA performance director James O’Callaghan said it was “a really solid day from the skiff teams today. Both are now really well positioned going into Gold and the fight to secure nation qualification."

Published in Olympic

#49erfx – A promising mid–fleet performance for Ireland's newest Olympic sailing duo came to a dramatic halt on Lake Garda, Italy yesterday when a race course crash put paid to a stronger performance for  49erFX pair, Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey in the ladies skiff class. 

Luckily a suspected broken arm for crew Saskia Tidey has turned out to be only heavy bruising following a crash in yesterday's high winds at the climax of the Italian Olympic regatta.

The team tweet as below:

Published in Olympic

#olympicsailing – Annalise Murphy took another race win to make it three in a row for the Laser Radial European champion on Lake Garda yesterday but a 16th in race six yesterday evening may yet prove costly for the Dubliner who is defending her Eurosaf crown at Vela Garda Trentino, Italian Olympic week. She counts 23 points overall, just three points off overall leader, the Italian Silvia Zennaro.

Conditions were lighter than normal on the lake with the local Ora wind not as strong as had been forecast.

In the mens 49er, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern dropped to fourth yesterday in their 23–boat fleet having previously held second overall.  

In the women's 49erfx Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey are 17th after nine races in their 28–boat fleet.

Full results here. Racing continues this morning.

Published in Olympic
Page 7 of 8

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.


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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