Displaying items by tag: Radial
21-year-old Olympic sailing hopeful, Aoife Hopkins will attempt to qualify for the forthcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo this month and is supported in her bid by Mercedes-Benz.
From Howth, Aoife has been sailing since the age of nine and has held the Women’s Laser Radial Irish national champion and under-21 European champion titles, amongst other accolades.
The first of three Olympic trials for Irish selection, the World Championships, will see Aoife compete in Melbourne, Australia.
While sailing is the main priority at the moment, balancing study and sport is a talent Aoife has learned to master over the years. Recently, the Howth Yacht Club star became a University College Dublin financial maths student, having previously studied at Trinity College Dublin for two years.
With Ireland having secured one of the last places in the Laser Radial class at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and with four sailors now set to contest a trials series for the single place, the Irish Sailing procedures for the 2020 Olympic Games Trials have been ratified by the Olympic Federation of Ireland and are downloadable below as a PDF document.
Ireland’s Laser Radial Olympic Berth
- ILCA Laser Radial Women’s World Championship, Melbourne, Australia, 21-28 February 2020 (this replaces the Genoa WC Round 2020)
- Trofeo Princesa Sofia, Palma, Spain. 28 March – 4 April 2020
- Hyéres Regatta, France, 18 – 25 April 2020
Lasers and 49ers Chasing Final Olympic Places
While neither the Laser Men or the 49ers have yet secured country qualification, both will compete in Genoa this April at the European qualifier with two final Olympic places available in the Laser class and one in the 49er. Whoever qualifies Ireland for an Olympic spot will automatically represent the nation in Tokyo this Summer.
Download the full nomination document below.
Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club, current Gold Medal holder in the Laser Radial U17s World League after success in Canada last summer, has added yet more valuable metal to her collection by emerging as U17 Gold Medal winner in this week’s Sail Melbourne Regatta, in which a total of 85 Lasers took part.
Not bad, given there were just one or two Radials a couple of years ago and it’s a great accolade for the versatility of the mid-sized Laser rig. Series Two kicks off this Sunday, January 5th and sailors can enter here at effectively half price. New arrivals for the second series include Marco Sorgassi (who took a short break after an excellent 5th overall in the 50-boat Italian Masters in October) and John O’Driscoll, SOD and SB20 supremo, who will return after a nasty skiing injury twelve months ago.
With our sibling 4.7 and Standard rigs also out in healthy numbers, total Dun Laoghaire Laser numbers on the water each Winter Sunday are in the 40-50 range.
"Total Dun Laoghaire Laser numbers on the water each Winter Sunday are in the 40-50 range"
Somewhat accidentally, the Radials are also very on-point in terms of the buzzy catchphrases and promotions you hear bandied about. “Women on the Water” ? Box ticked, with ten female entries so far! “Sport for Life” and “Sport for All”? Well, yes indeed, with sailors aged 15-60 + and weights from 50 to (at least) 85 kgs.
Finally, we can rightfully claim some of that much sought-after “Youth Retention”, with graduates from 4.7s, some more experienced Radial Youths practising for the Europeans in Ballyholme in July and also some twenty-somethings getting back in after a few years out.
So….Retirees, Boomers, Generations X to Z, Millennials and even Frostbiting Snowflakes (sorry, couldn’t resist)….we’ve got them all ! The fleet breaks down into 80% adults and 20% youths.
Anyway, regardless of how we all arrive on the starting line together, it’s certainly been super racing before Christmas, great fun and as competitive back in the twenties as it is in the top ten. Alas for the older guard, the young ‘uns have won the day so far. These guys are in fact anything but “Flaky Snowflakes”! They train hard on Sunday mornings before joining in for the Frostbites, seemingly oblivious to low temperatures. Under the stewardship of rotating DMYC Race Officers, Cormac Bradley and Ben Mulligan, race-management has been top-notch. At the sharp end of the fleet, Conor Gorman and Alana Coakley have taken most race wins. Ex-Topper star Hugh O’Connor has a bullet too, but a “Master” (over 35) has won one race only. Other young guns showing really well are Adam Walsh and Adam Leddy.
Overall, it was Conor Gorman (NYC) who took Series 1 with a very commanding points lead, discarding a 2nd place! Judy O’Beirne (RStGYC) was the first lady in 6th overall. Other Master sailors have had their moments and here there’s plenty of newcomers in the more mature category. DBSC Laser Class captain Gav Murphy has been trying out the Radial and plenty of other new Masters have appeared, but are well known in other classes, including Owen Laverty, Pierre Long and Hugh Cahill. Some may be long-term Radial converts, while others will just be staying fit and sharp for Summer campaigns in other fleets.
With mainly light winds so far, the bigger grislier sailors will surely feature when the Sundays turn squally and nasty. Or at least that’s what they’ve been saying in the bar after sailing!
Series 1 Results here
It brings to four the number of helmswomen now planning to contest the series, including the return of the Rio Olympic silver medalist, Annalise Murphy.
Following the final two races at the Laser Radial World Championship this morning, Ireland has qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing regatta in the women’s single-handed event, the only sailing discipline so far in which Ireland has qualified.
The berth was secured by the current Irish Radial Champion, Lough Derg Yacht Club’s Aisling Keller (Nenagh, Co. Tipperary) who had her best day in the Gold fleet final series to finish 46th overall in the 56-boat Gold fleet.
“This is a weight off my shoulders for sure, it’s probably the hardest regatta I’ve ever sailed,” Keller said. “To come in off the water and know that it’s done and dusted is just amazing (I’m) so happy.”
Howth Yacht Club’s Aoife Hopkins placed 48th and both Irish sailors were inside the qualification criteria with Keller taking the seventh of ten-nation places decided at the championship. Hopkins would otherwise have been in the ninth nation place.
“It’s been a really long road to this moment. We’ve been working for a year towards this event particularly and even longer towards Olympic qualification,” said Hopkins. “It’s really nice to come away with the outcome we wanted.”
The world championship was won by Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom who led overall going into to the final day of Gold fleet racing on Wednesday. Ten nation places for Tokyo 2020 were also decided at the event in addition to the 20 already won in 2018.
Now that Ireland has qualified, an Irish Olympic Trials Series will be held to determine which sailor represents Ireland in Tokyo. More details on the Olympic Trials format is here.
“Qualification was something that had to happen so that ended up being the focus here at the end of the regatta,” said Rory Fitzpatrick, Irish Sailing’s Head Coach. “Next we go to the Olympic venue (at) Enoshima… now that we know we’re going to be there (at the Games) we’ve got to make the most of it.”
The sailing venue for next year’s Olympic regatta will host national representatives in all events next month for a scheduled test series for competitors and organisers alike.
With just two races remaining at the Laser Radial World Championships in Sakaiminato, Japan to be sailed on Wednesday, both Irish Olympic campaigners are within reach of the single Irish qualification place for Tokyo 2020. Ten nation places are being decided this week.
Aoife Hopkins (Howth, Co. Dublin) moved up a place after the penultimate day’s racing to 41st place while team-mate Aisling Keller (Nenagh, Co. Tiperary) slipped down the standings from 40th to 49th.
However, Hopkins’ overall position equates to fifth nation while Keller’s result would be tenth nation: mathematically, it is still possible that both sailors could slip outside the criteria on the final day.
The Howth sailor was disqualified for premature starting in the opening race of the day though sailed the course amongst the leading boats. She then scored a 25th in the race that followed while using the single discard to drop the earlier disqualification.
Meanwhile, her team-mate from Lough Derg sailed well in the opening stages of both races but suffered on the downwind legs as conditions were the freshest of the series so far.
“Aoife did exactly what she needed to do after the disqualification - get stuck in and get a good result,” said Rory Fitzpatrick, Irish Sailing’s Head Coach. “Her confidence and momentum are growing with the experience of racing at this level.”
Two final races are scheduled for Wednesday (early-morning Irish time) that will decide the world championship that is currently led by Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom.
Subject to qualification for Tokyo 2020 at this opportunity, a selection trial series will follow next year. A further qualification opportunity also exists for European nations in Genoa in April.
Genoa will also be the qualification opportunity for the men’s single-handed Laser event while Ireland’s skiff sailors will seek qualification for the Olympics at the 49er and 49erFX men and womens’ world championships in New Zealand in November.
Results are here
With just four races remaining at the Laser Radial World Championship in Japan, Ireland’s Aisling Keller and Aoife Hopkins are on target to secure Ireland's berth on the Tokyo startline in the Laser Radial class.
Both Keller (Nenagh, Co. Tipperary) and Hopkins (Howth, Co. Dublin) are placed 40th and 42nd in the 56-boat Gold fleet final round of the championship that started last Friday.
Hopkins had the stronger day on Monday with two top 30 results while Keller had two 42nd places, one of which she drops using the discard system. Another discard comes into force if the series achieves ten races.
Keller had been in 15th place in the second race but received a 'yellow flag' penalty for excessive propulsion technique and dropped back after taking the mandatory turn.
Conditions on Miho Bay, Sakaiminato have proven tricky for competitors and organisers alike with light, shifty winds delaying racing and causing the qualification series to miss one race.
Both Irish women competing at the World Championships in Sakaiminato, Japan achieved top 20 results as the pair aim to secure the single place for Ireland at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Aisling Keller (Nenagh, Co. Tipperary) had a 14th place while Aoife Hopkins (Howth, Co. Dublin) was 17th in the single race day for their 55-boat Blue flight.
The moderate breeze that the two qualification flights started in proved quite unstable and soon eased to near calm conditions. Plans for a second race were dropped.
As Afloat reported previously, a second day of slack winds on Miho Bay has put the qualification round behind schedule and while three races may be attempted on Sunday, the finals series must begin on Monday regardless.
Two races on Sunday would see the series discard come into force and allow Hopkins to drop her 34th place from the opening day to maximise her potential to achieve Gold fleet for the finals.
“We have good momentum now so I’m pretty happy that Aisling and Aoife have settled in,” said Rory Fitzpatrick, Irish Sailing’s Head Coach.
Ten nation places for the women’s single-handed dinghy in Tokyo will be decided at this world championship in addition to the 20 already allocated from 2018 events. Either or both Irish sailors must first qualify for Gold fleet on Sunday and score well by Wednesday’s final race to achieve Irish qualification.
The 60-boat event began with a windy and wavy first day, a tricky second day with very confused seas in 8-10 knots and finished with no wind today and no racing.
The winner was Ian Jones, who was second in the Masters Division at the Dun Laoghaire World Championships last September.
The Spaniard in second is also in the Grand Master Division like Craig. Next weekend's Roses event has 120 Radials entered and is expected to be a much more competitive affair.