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Howth's Aoife Hopkins in Top Half of Laser Radial (ILCA6) Worlds Fleet After Three Light Races Sailed

2nd December 2021
Howth's Aoife Hopkins competing in Oman at the Laser Radial (ILCA6) Worlds
Aoife Hopkins competing in Oman at the Laser Radial (ILCA6) Worlds Credit: Sander van der Borch

After three races sailed (under Irish Race Officer Con Murphy) at the Laser Radial (ILCA6) World Championships in Mussanah, Oman, Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins is in 28th place overall.

Hopkins is the only Irish sailor competing in the women's discipline despite the earlier official entry of Sienna Wright who does not appear on today's scoresheet downloadable below. 

The Howth sailor started well in all three races in the 63-boat fleet and went on to place 40th then 23rd and 20th in challenging light winds.

Hopkins also showed good speed downwind so will be looking to improve her first mark rounding in the coming races to utilise this strength more.

With only one fleet and none of the leading sailors escaping a double-digit result it already looks set to be a high scoring regatta. Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindom, the Tokyo 2020 Gold medallist, had been first overall but dropped to eighth after a 16th placing in race three.

Wright's brother Rocco who was also entered in the nine boat men's Radial division does not appear on the men's scorecard.

Following the Olympics, the ILCA 6 fleet first reconvened at the 2021 European Championships in Varna, Bulgaria where Agata Barwinska from Poland took the title, with Maxime Jonker (NED) and Vasiliea Karachaliou (GRE) standing beside her on the podium. These three are all competing in Oman, and they’ll be looking to repeat their performances at the World Championship level. The European Championship triumph for Barwinska came off the back of victory at the Kiel Week regatta, and it appears that she is firmly establishing herself as one of the top contenders in the ILCA 6 fleet.

Being part of the hugely successful Dutch ILCA 6 squad, Maxime Jonker has previously finished second at the 2020 ILCA 6 World Championships, so the top step of the podium has to be on her mind. Jonker makes up half of the smaller than usual Dutch squad, which has a noticeable absence from three-time Olympic medalist Marit Bouwmeester, who recently announced her pregnancy with a baby girl, but still plans to campaign toward Paris 2024. After her bronze-medal finish at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Bouwmeester is looking to add a fourth Olympic medal to her trophy cabinet, but she won’t be without competition from her previous podium rivals.

Danish Olympic Champion Anne-Marie Rindom is already featuring in Oman and it seems that her gold-medal glory in Tokyo has done nothing to distract her from further ILCA 6 success. Known as one of the hardest workers in the ILCA 6 fleet, the World Sailor of Year nominee is clearly determined to round out her outstanding year with an additional ILCA 6 World Championship title.

The championship organisers have again scheduled three back to back races for Friday which if completed will bring the event back on schedule with the final race planned for Monday.

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Published in Laser
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At A Glance – Laser Dinghy Specifications

Designer Bruce Kirby & Ian Bruce

Year 1969

Crew 1
Draft 0.787 m (2 ft 7.0 in)
Hull weight 58.97 kg (130.0 lb)
LOA 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in)
LWL 3.81 m (12 ft 6 in)
Beam 1.39 m (4 ft 7 in)
Mainsail area 7.06 m2 (76.0 sq ft)

Racing D-PN 91.1 RYA PN 1088 PHRF 217

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