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Displaying items by tag: Annalise Murphy

With silver and gold from the past two Olympic Games, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) looks well placed to score a hat trick of medals in the Laser Radial at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition.

However, the Dutch sailor will be hard pushed to match gold from Rio 2016, with a strong field ready to push the 31-year-old all the way. No one can question her commitment to the cause. She has won four world titles over the past 10 years, most recently in 2020.

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When she won the Hempel World Cup Series in Enoshima two years ago, Bouwmeester celebrated at a karaoke bar (favourite song: Barbie Girl by Aqua, since you ask). This time though, with COVID-19 rules in place, Bouwmeester is looking to make her boat sing and carry her to another gold medal.

Holland's Marit BouwmeesterHolland's Marit Bouwmeester

Perhaps the biggest threat to Dutch victory comes from Denmark and Anne-Marie Rindom who looks to improve on her bronze medal from Rio 2016. This will be her third Games and the Dane believes her best years are still ahead of her.

“In London I was young, and I was there to learn as much as possible,” commented Rindom. “For me just going there was a big thing and the result didn’t matter so much. It was a big experience just to go to the Olympics, especially when it was so close to Denmark. Rio was different. My goal was to go home with a medal and I knew that I had a real chance if everything came together. Everything became about how I could achieve this goal. I was preparing a lot. The whole experience after winning the bronze medal was amazing.”

Denmark's Anne-Marie RindomDenmark's Anne-Marie Rindom

Since Rio, Rindom has put together a stunning few years of world-beating results including world titles in 2015 and 2019, along with a silver medal at last year’s European Championships and the Hempel World Cup Series in Enoshima two years ago. She knows that she will have to put in a complete performance at the Games.

Rindom said, “The conditions in Tokyo are difficult, so learning how the wind reacts is very important. Besides that, I think that mental preparation is the key in winning a medal at the Olympics. At least 10 sailors have the sailing skills to win, but what puts you ahead are your mental skills. In my sailing, I try to make everything as simple as possible. And I see that as one of my strengths.”

Rindom is one of a number of female sailors who have enjoyed spending some time training on the SailGP professional circuit, on multimillion-dollar 50ft hydrofoiling catamarans capable of speed at least five times what she might expect to achieve on her humble Laser Radial. “I’ve been sailing the Laser for 12 years, and I needed a new perspective on the sport.” Joining the Danish SailGP team on the mid-Atlantic island of Bermuda just a couple of months before Tokyo was a bit of a departure from a typical build-up to an Olympic Games, but no regrets from Rindom. “SailGP is a great opportunity to be a part of and learn from.”

There are bound to be difficult moments during the Games, but Rindom is ready for whatever comes her way. “I am working with a sport psychologist and adversity during big events is something that we prepare for. To be able to visualise those difficult situations and find a strategy to overcome them are crucial. Sailing is not about winning every race but about turning those difficult situations into ‘okay races.’ At the end of the regatta, that is what puts you on the podium.”

Emma Plasschaert’s big breakthrough came in 2018 with victory at the World Championships in Denmark. In 2019 the Belgian sailor first won the READY STEADY TOKYO – Sailing, Olympic test event and then also the Hempel World Cup. A double win on Olympic waters which surely bodes well for her hopes of standing on the podium. The last Belgian to reach the Radial podium was Evi van Acker who took bronze after a breathtaking Medal Race battle at London 2012, and van Acker will be head coach for the Belgian sailors in Tokyo.

“After a difficult year the pieces of the puzzle are slowly falling into place,” says the 27-year-old. Somehow, I was a little relieved the Games got postponed. Before it felt I still lacked some confidence in some areas, especially with tactics, race planning and starts. With the extra time we were able to figure it all out.”

As for her ambitions for Tokyo 2020, “I want to be able to look back on my race with no regrets, knowing that the sailor I showed is the best possible version of myself. Sailing is so unpredictable that sometimes you really can't control the outcome."

Ireland’s Annalise Murphy

Talking of that London 2012 Medal Race, where China took gold, the Netherlands (Marit Bouwmeester) silver, and Belgium (Evi van Acker) bronze, the one that missed out was Ireland’s Annalise Murphy.

Having led for much of the competition, the medal slipped away on that occasion. Murphy’s towering height - 1.86m - gives her a huge advantage in strong breeze but the Irish sailor worked really hard on her all-round skills and against all expectations came away from Rio 2016 with Olympic silver. She then turned her attention towards Tokyo 2020 but in a different class, the high-speed 49erFX. Murphy discovered there was too much to learn in too short a time, so she has come back to the Radial and is working hard to be race ready for Enoshima.

Ireland’s Annalise MurphyIreland’s Annalise Murphy

“I’m going to the Olympic Games for the third time, it’s just mad!” says the ever-enthusiastic Murphy. “After Rio, I spent some time in the Volvo Ocean Race, and really enjoyed being part of a crew so I competed for a while with Katie Tingle in the 49erFX. But as Tokyo came closer, I switched the focus back to the Laser Radial. I think the conditions in Tokyo could suit me, and I know I work harder than anyone else out there – so I’m ready for a good competition.”

Someone who has been working longer and harder on this quest is Paige Railey who has been part of the US National Sailing Team since 2005. Now aged 34, Railey has shifted her focus from the podium to the performance. "I just want to perform well. I want to go out there and execute the things I've been training for. If I do that, everything will fall into place."

Narrowly beaten to Olympic selection in 2008, when the woman that beat her - Anna Tunnicliffe - went on to win the gold medal for USA, Railey has suffered many other setbacks along the way. Not long after the Rio Games where she finished tenth, Railey was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that forced her to take time away from the sport. But she bounced back and remains as dedicated as ever to the task. In 2008 her older brother Zach won Olympic silver in the Finn, and Paige could make it a double.

Like Railey, Great Britain’s Alison Young is a veteran of the past two Olympic Sailing Competitions, finishing fifth in London and eighth in Rio. World Champion in 2016 and world bronze medallist in 2019, Young has always been hard to beat in a breeze and in the right conditions could contend for a medal.

Local fans will be wishing Manami Doi all the best in her bid to win a first ever women’s singlehanded medal for Japan. She is a veteran of two Olympic Games and is still only 27 years old. An eighth place at last year’s World Championship suggests the podium is within reach.

Japan's Manami DoiJapan's Manami Doi

Oldest sailor in the fleet, Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR), has competed at four Games going back as far as Sydney 2000. In 2007 the Belarusian sailor won the World Championship and 14 years later, aged 42, Drozdovskaya still craves Olympic competition.

At the other end of the age spectrum is Vasileia Karachaliou who at the age of 24 represents Greece at her first Games. A fourth place at last year’s Europeans along with podium finishes at warm-up regattas in Lanzarote earlier this year suggest she could be hitting her stride in time for Tokyo.

Switzerland’s Maud Jayet says she’s ready for the biggest regatta of her life. “The goal is to fight for the medals as long as possible in the competition,” says the 25-year-old who was fifth at last year’s European Championship. “I don't want to blow my chances on the first or second day, which has happened to me in the past. This means that I will have to be consistent and avoid big mistakes. We'll see where it takes me at the end of the competition.”

In 2020 Nethra Kumanan became India's first woman to claim a World Cup medal in sailing. She clinched bronze at the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami. The engineering student is breaking new ground in a country that shows little interest in sailing. “Most people don’t know sailing exists in India," she says, but adds, “I think it’s looking good because now we have more people competing in it at a higher level so I think more and more people are getting attracted to it. I am 22 and if someone younger were to come up to me, I’d tell them that this sport takes a lot of time, a lot of hours in the water but it’s all worth it. And you get to travel the world, meet people from different countries and experience them trying to do their best and you try to do better than them.”

The Laser Radial, Women’s One Person Dinghy, is the largest fleet in Tokyo with 44-boats confirmed to take to the start line. On the Kamakura racing area, their first race will commence at 1200 JST on Sunday 25 July. Ten races will follow ahead of the Medal Race on Sunday 1 August.

A full list of competitors is here

-Andy Rice

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Annalise Murphy has taken delivery of her competition supplied Laser dinghy in Japan but there's no clue yet as to what she has christened her new boat for next week's competition.

Regular Afloat readers will recall that her silver medal-winning boat from Rio 2016 was named 'Good Egg' and there's no doubting how prophetic that moniker was five years ago.

This season the National Yacht Club sailor had success in her boat 'CHAZZ', a campaign that saw her making it to the podium in Sail Melbourne in January 2020 and winning the Italian Olympic Week Regatta that September. Of course, there have been harder times for Annalise and CHAZZ more recently including a silver fleet finish at April's European Qualifier in Portugal.

Here's hoping that sort of finish is behind her as the nation gets behind Ireland's most successful ever Olympic sailor.

The hope now is that the 'Irish Breeze Queen' can make good on her RTE Late Late Show promise of five years ago, as her favoured big wind conditions are expected in Tokyo.

Annalise, and Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove in the 49er, have completed their stay in the Team Ireland holding camp in Fukuroi and arrived in Enoshima this week, where the Olympic Regatta will take place. With their Olympic boats picked up the Irish sailors have been out on water taking their first tacks on the 2021 Olympic courses.

Published in Annalise Murphy

Olympic silver medal-winning sailor, Annalise Murphy has expressed her appreciation to Mercedes-Benz for their support in her build-up preparations for the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, where she will compete in the Laser Radial class.

Visiting the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz, on Naas Road, Annalise outlined to their commercial vehicles sales manager, Fergus Conheady, the valued contribution her use of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup has made in enabling her to transport equipment and participate in high ranking events, that are a necessary part of the Irish Olympic training programme in the lead up to the Games.

Congratulating Annalise on being ‘set fair’ to compete against the world’s best sailors in her class, Fergus Conheady conveyed to her the best wishes of the entire Mercedes-Benz organisation.

Published in Annalise Murphy
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Team Ireland has officially selected a team of three sailors to compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy is set to compete in her third Olympic Games in the Laser Radial Women, and her teammates Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove will compete in the 49er Men.

The sailing events in Tokyo will run from 25 July – 2 August 2021 at Enoshima Yacht Harbour.

Murphy will be competing in her third Olympic Games; in London 2012 she came agonisingly close to a medal, finishing fourth. Against the odds the Dun Laoghaire based sailor finished second in Rio 2016, winning an Olympic silver medal for Team Ireland. Murphy is back competing in this Olympic category after taking a short break after Rio, when she temporarily switched her focus to the Volvo Ocean Race.

Heading into their first Olympic Games, Dickson and Waddilove are no strangers to success, in 2018 they won the 49er Under 23 Junior World title in Marseille, France making them Irish Sailors of the Year. 

Their qualification for Tokyo came courtesy of a stellar performance in the 49er Olympic Qualifying event in Lanzarote last March, the last opportunity to secure an Olympic berth. A dominant start to the event saw the crew gain enough points to win the Olympic berth in the preliminary rounds, before they competed in the medal race.

Laser Radial Women – Annalise Murphy (Dublin)Laser Radial Women – Annalise Murphy (Dublin)

On the day she collected her official kit Murphy said, “Getting your gear, that’s when it all becomes a reality. It’s all happening now! It’s when you can believe that I’m going to the Olympic Games for the third time, it’s just mad! After Rio I spent some time in the Volvo Ocean Race, and really enjoyed being part of a crew so I competed for a while with Katie Tingle in the 49er FX, but as Tokyo came closer, I switched the focus back to the Laser Radial. I think the conditions in Tokyo could suit me, and I know I work harder than anyone else out there – so I’m ready for a good competition, and we have a good team out there, with Rob and Seán as well.”

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle said, “I’m really pleased to be announcing this sailing team today, they have pedigree and talent. On one hand, we have Annalise who is already an Olympic medallist, bringing the experience to the team heading into her third Olympics. On the other, we have Rob and Seán who are really exciting prospects. They showed their class at the qualifiers in Lanzarote earlier this year, and we are really looking forward to watching them perform in Tokyo."


Laser Radial Women – Annalise Murphy (Dublin)

49er Men – Robert Dickson (Dublin), Seán Waddilove (Dublin)

Team Ireland now consists of 50 officially selected athletes, with over 100 athletes spots confirmed across nineteen sports. The final team announcement is scheduled for the beginning of July.

The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Tokyo bound Annalise Murphy ended a tough week at Medemblik with a black flag disqualification in race eight this afternoon in her final international ILCA 6/Radial event before the Olympic regatta in less than fifty days time.

The Irish Rio silver medalist ended up 37th overall from 58 starters after an exceptionally tricky light and medium winds event on the Dutch ijsselmeer.

A similar black flag fate beset Howth Yacht Club teenager Eve McMahon who had been as high as 11th overall earlier in the series.  The Paris 2024 prospect finished top Irish sailor in 32nd overall.

McMahon's clubmate Aoife Hopkins, also campaigning for Paris was 42nd overall.

Howth's Eve McMahon was as high as 11th at the Allianz Regatta this week before finishing 32nd overall and highest place Irish finisherHowth's Eve McMahon was as high as 11th at the Allianz Regatta this week before finishing 32nd overall and highest place Irish finisher Photo: Sander van der Borch

The Medal Race line ups have been confirmed for the Allianz Regatta tomorrow in which Ireland will play no part.

Marie Barrue (FRA) has dominated the ILCA 6 all week long and also has a strong lead over the fleet. On 39 points, she is 17 points clear of Maria Erdi (HUN), and a top performance in the Medal Race will confirm gold.

Erdi is just six points ahead of the third-placed Agata Barwinska (POL). Ekaterina Zyuzina (RUS) and Marit Bouwmeester (NED) are in contention for the medals but will need to put several boats between themselves, Erdi and Barwinska to overturn the deficit.

Medal Races are scheduled to commence at 11:00 local time.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Howth Yacht Club teenager Eve McMahon leads Irish hopes at the final international event before the Olympic Games at the Allianz regatta at Medemblik, Holland this week and lies in 11th place in the 58-boat women's ILCA 6/Radial fleet.

Ireland's Tokyo nominated Annalise Murphy is 32nd and McMahon's clubmate Aoife Hopkins is 45th.

The second day of racing at the Hempel World Cup Series - Allianz Regatta saw the leaderboards take shape in the ILCA 6, ILCA 7, Men's and Women's RS:X and the Nacra 17.

Having been in the top ten after the first day's racing, McMahon stays on target for a gold fleet place just two points outside the top ten.

For the ILCA 7, it saw an end to their qualification phase with the top half of the pack progressing to the gold fleet and the lower half settling for the silver.

Thursday's racing played out in a stronger breeze than the day before with 7-10 knots prevalent across the two racing areas in Medemblik, The Netherlands.

Sailors looked to play some of the shifts on the water to maintain their position in the fleet as they target the Medal Races this coming Sunday.

The seven-boat Women's RS:X fleet is compiled of seven Tokyo 2020 athletes, all of whom who have their eyes on a medal at the Olympic Games.

Katy Spychakov (ISR) snapped up two races wins and leads on six points. Marta Maggetti (ITA) won the days other race and is second on seven points.

Tokyo 2020 will be Patricia Freitas' fourth Olympic Games. She is using Medemblik to continue her Games preparations and is currently in fourth, two points off the third placed Lilian de Geus (NED).

Racing continues on Friday 4 June from 10:30 local time.

Full results here

Published in Tokyo 2020

Ireland's Annalise Murphy finds herself in a Rio replay of five years ago this week when she confronts fellow 2016 podium finishers, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) as the 2021 Hempel World Cup Series kicks off at the Allianz Regatta in Medemblik, The Netherlands today. 

Murphy and Rindom will test themselves in the ILCA 6 against Bouwmeester as they aim to upgrade their silver and bronze medals from five years ago at Tokyo 2020.

Also racing from Ireland in the ILCA 6 are Aoife Hopkins and Eve McMahon, both of Howth Yacht Club.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the battle is well and truly on for the National Yacht Club's Murphy to improve her consistency as she finished 46th in April at the Vilamoura International Regatta, an event which Rindom won in convincing style.

There are no Irish men competing in the ILCA 7 class in Holland, just over a month on from the disappointment of failing to qualify for Tokyo at Vilamoura.

The Dutch regatta runs through to 13 June with eight Olympic classes and world-class talent on the water.

A total of 350 sailors from 47 countries will race across eight Olympic classes, in what will be the first Hempel World Cup Series event since the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

For many sailors, the Hempel World Cup Series – Allianz Regatta will serve as the final major competition before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Hempel World Cup Series – Allianz Regatta has a rich past, building on the legacy of the Spa, Holland and Delta Lloyd Regatta. Since 1985, it has been a leader in the list of European Olympic sailing events, and is renowned amongst Olympic sailors as providing a tough test on a competitive racecourse.

The Hempel World Cup Series – Allianz Regatta will take place over two weeks, to allow sufficient time and space for sailors to compete while abiding by coronavirus restrictions regarding social distancing.

From Wednesday 2 to Sunday 6 June, the ILCA 6, ILCA 7, Men’s and Women’s RS:X and the Nacra 17 fleets will all take to the water. The 49er, 49erFX and Finn will follow from Wednesday 9 to Sunday 13 June. The Men’s and Women’s 470 were cancelled due to insufficient numbers but large fleets are expected in all other classes.

Dutch hopes for the Hempel World Cup Series – Allianz Regatta will be pinned on home favourite Marit Bouwmeester (NED) in the ILCA 6. The Dutch racer, gold medallist at Rio 2016, has faced injury setbacks throughout the Tokyo quadrennial but is focusing on returning to winning ways.

2018 World Champion Emma Plasschaert (BEL) joins the 69-boat fleet alongside Olympic medal hopefuls Paige Railey (USA), Tuula Tenkanen (FIN), Josefin Olsson (SWE) and Maria Erdi (HUN).

The ILCA 7 will feature 80 world class racers aiming for bragging rights ahead of Tokyo 2020. The fleet will be spearheaded by Rio 2016 silver medallist, Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) and London 2012 silver medallist, Pavlos Kontides (CYP). Further contenders include Juan Ignacio Maegli (GUA), Charlie Buckingham (USA) and Hermann Tomasgaard (NOR).

Dutch windsurfers Kiran Badloe and Lilian de Geus have been the dominant force in the Men’s and Women’s RS:X in recent years and will be firm favourites in their respective fleets.

Badloe will race in a 21-boat fleet that includes Tokyo 2020 rivals Tom Squires (GBR), Piotr Myszka (POL) and Thomas Goyard (FRA). A small, yet competitive 8-boat fleet will race in the Women’s RS:X.

In the Nacra 17, Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Nacra 15 gold medallists Dante Cittadini and Teresa Romairone (ARG) will make their Nacra 17 senior debut. They will compete in a 13-boat fleet that features five strong French teams.

40-boats will face-off in the 49er fleet with strong presence from Danish, Dutch, French and German teams. Meanwhile in the 49erFX 28-boats will line up.

The 12-boat Finn fleet will include ten Dutch sailors, including the Tokyo 2020 bound Nicholas Heiner (NED). Overseas competitors include Facundo Olezza (ARG) and Vasilii Kravachenko (RUS).

Racing will take place across two race areas from 11:00 every day. The Medal Races will follow back to back on both Sunday’s to conclude the competition.

Published in Annalise Murphy
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As the Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) confirms its third athlete for Tokyo 2020 last week, Annalise Murphy, who was nominated for the team 11 months ago is still awaiting official OFI selection.

Murphy was nominated by Irish Sailing in controversial circumstances when trials were cut short cut in June 2020.

One of the reasons given for the termination of the trial then was that "by nominating her now the Irish Sailing Board have ensured that team preparations can move focus to the Olympics".

Nearly, a year later, however, there is still no ratification of the silver medalist's place even though other athletes have been confirmed.

Afloat enquiries to the OFI back in February were told: "she has been nominated for the spot by her National Federation but not officially selected yet, so the next step is once the OFI convene and all the protocol has been satisfied, she can be considered for official selection".

Flyweight boxer Brendan Irvine was officially selected to represent Team Ireland at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer last week.

The Rio Olympian from Belfast secured his Olympic berth at the European Olympic boxing qualifier in London in March 2020, shortly before the event was postponed. 

This is the third official Team Ireland Tokyo team announcement, and currently, Team Ireland has achieved 65 quota spots across thirteen sports, with many athletes and sports at various stages on that qualification journey. 

Twenty-four-year-old Irvine joins Canoe Slalom racer Liam Jegou and Jack Woolley from Taekwondo as officially selected Team Ireland members for the Games which run from the 23rd July to 8th August.

Irish Sailing Team manager James O'Callaghan told Afloat that the pandemic has delayed the process of a sailing team announcement. "It's going to happen shortly we've just not been able to coordinate a date that suits OFI, Radial team and 49er team as they've been busy in prep. It will be announced very soon". 

Ireland's 2016 sailing star is currently focusing on training in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and Vilamoura in Portugal as she turns her attention to the Olympic Regatta on Enoshima Bay in two months time.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Annalise Murphy (National YC) revelled in the strong wind conditions winning four consecutive races in the Radial Silver fleet of the Vilamoura International Regatta to win the second fleet overall.

It will be small consolation for  Ireland's Olympic silver medallist, however, who knows full well that with less than 70 days to go to Tokyo, the battle is well and truly on to improve her consistency if she is to deliver on her gold medal ambition. The point was reinforced by the fact that the Rio bronze medalist, Anne Marie Rindom won overall by a significant margin (39 points) in the Danish girl's own preparations for Enoshima Bay. 

Aoife Hopkins and Eve McMahon, both of Howth YC finished 6th and 9th respectively in the 44-boat Silver fleet.

Full results here

Published in Annalise Murphy
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A building southwesterly sea breeze did not seem to suit the Irish women on day three of the 2021 ILCA Vilamoura European Continental qualifier for the Olympic single-handed dinghy.

In the two races, the best any of the three could manage was the 20th place scored by HYC's Aoife Hopkins who paired that with a 32nd to lie in 51st place overall. Annalise Murphy (NYC) (25,43) is four places behind in 55th, while Eve McMahon (HYC) is in 77th following a 43rd and 20th in the 89-boat fleet.

None of the Irish women qualifies for gold fleet racing tomorrow.

A race start of the 2021 ILCA 6 Vilamoura European Continental qualifier for the Olympic single-handed dinghyA race start of the 2021 ILCA 6 Vilamoura European Continental qualifier for the Olympic single-handed dinghy Photo: Joao Costa Ferreira

Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindom, bronze medallist in Rio in 2016, continued to exert her dominance adding a fourth race win and discarding an 11th place to give her an eight point lead at the halfway stage.

Racing continues tomorrow. Full results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
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