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In the finals of the Laser Radial Worlds in Scotland yesterday two of Ireland's three reps in the Women's division are racing in the gold fleet. Finland's defending champion stepped further clear of the chasing pack today when she sailed to a well earned fifth place from another difficult race on the Clyde off Largs. Both Women's and Men's current title holders lead their championships. Ireland's AnnaLise Murphy of the National YC is 26th and Tiffany Brien of Belfast Lough is 35th. Debbie Hannah, also of Belfast, is eighth in the silver division. 

As the women's fleet entered the Finals phase today there was little in the way of extra cooperation from the fickle and shifty breezes which finally thwarted all attempts to complete the scheduled two races when the easterly expired to nothing.


Try as might we can't pick out an Irish sail but there are three here somewhere. Photo: Marc Turner/RYA

Multala's fifth gives her a seven points advantage over the young Dutch sailor Marit Bouwmeester who sailed to an eighth today.

In the Men's fleet, racing on the adjacent race area, conditions were just as tricky as evidenced when Poland's Marcin Rudawski broke his erstwhile perfect string of wins with a seventh place, but the 2009 title holder goes forward to the Men's Finals with a margin of six points.

When the fleets set off in the morning in a promising NW'ly breeze which was not showing on most of the forecasts, then perhaps that was a foresight of what was likely to happen. Early sunshine was the bonus, but after an initial rain shower the Men got away best in the westerly breeze which perhaps mustered all of six knots. The women took longer to get their start away as the breeze swung around.

But the dark clouds over Largs town soon took effect, shifting the breeze around in direction, developing holes and areas of light pressure.
On the first downwind for the Women's gold fleet, the breeze died nearly completely and on the second upwind the extra pressure had started to push in, finally true to the forecast from east, but when it did come in, the course ended slightly skewed.
Indeed on the final beat the wind had finally clocked through the best part of 100 degrees since the start direction.

With three races now planned for Tuesday, the penultimate day, Multala's sights are set firmly on just repeating the same kind of consistent assured strategies that have served her well so far.
"I think I have become more steady as a sailor, better able to sail in whatever comes along, and I can perform well no matter what the conditions are." Remarked the Finnish sailor, 32, who won the world title across a breezy regatta in Japan last year in the late afternoon sunshine.

China's Dongshuang Zhang read the big advantage to the left on the first beat, where there was more wind pressure, and won the women's race with a lead of about 200 metres over Anna Tunnicliffe (USA), the Olympic gold medallist and Paige Railey (USA) in third.  Railey holds third overall with France's Sarah Steyaert in fourth.

Laser Radial Womens World Championship
Gold Flight Overall After race 6 Inc. 1 discard
1 S Multala (FIN)  4,3,1,(49),2,5, Nett = 15pts,
2 M Bouwmeester (NED) 2,1,5,(7),6,8,= 22pts,
3 P Railey (USA) 3,1,4,16,(17),3 = 27pts,
4  S Steyaert (FRA) 23,4,1,3(DSQ [58),4, = 35pts,
5 T Drozdovskaya (BLR) 1,5,14,3,(32),13, = 36pts,
6 T Mihelic (CRO) 15,8,3,8,(35),6, = 40pts,
7 A Tunnicliffe (USA) 1,2,37,(49),5,2, = 47pts,
8  E Van Acker (BEL) 6,11,(21),14,1,15, = 47pts,
9 G Scheidt (LTU) 13,19,2,4,(40),11, = 49pts,
10 M de Kerangat (FRA) 18,7,15,5,(19),10 = 55pts,

Silver Flight, Overall After Race 6 inc. 1discard.
1 R Yuan  (CHN) 9,(18),3,8,5,1, Nett = 26pts,
2 C Gjerpen (NOR) 13,1,2,15,(21),2 = 33pts,
3 C Martin (GBR) 4,5,1,(10),8,16,44 = 34pts,
4 J Maksymiuk (POL) 10,15,7,(DSQ[32]),1,3 = 36pts,
5 N Szymczyk (POL) 3,4,(24),3,19,9 = 38pts,

Laser Radial Mens World Championship 2010
Overall After Race 6 Inc. 1 Discard
1 M Rudawski (POL) 1,2,1,1,1,(7), Nett = 6pts,
2 W Zemke (POL) 1,1,2,1,7,(OCS[48]), = 12pts,
3 M Kiss (USA) 4,10,3,(29),2,2, = 21pts ,
4 B Koppelaar (NED)  9,4,1,(37),4,4, = 35pts,
5 I Kim (KOR) ,5,8,4,2,(32),16, = 35pts,

In Quotes:

Sari Multala (FIN): "It was variable, a bit challenging really. The first upwind was OK, it was still quite steady but then the wind started to die first, then shift to the right slowly. And then in the end it had gone around about 180 degrees. But it was always quite obvious something was happening to the right because there was some really dark clouds but it juts took a while until the wind reached us, we were close to the second top mark by then and so the top sailors were pretty much OK by that stage.  I was in the top ten and then I came up a few places on the second upwind because I saw the line of breeze coming across on the right and got there before some other girls ."
" Overall for me it is still about getting steady, good result for me in the top flight.
Today was a bit strange for sure, but many places get a bit strange on some days. But certainly it is a bit different to how it was when we were training here. Then it was a lot steadier."
"For me if they do more than two races tomorrow it is really just about focussing on staying solid."
" I think I have become more steady, more regular and can perform well no matter what the conditions are. I hope that comes with the training, and maybe some of it is age and experience."

Tina Mihelic (CRO): "It was really hard to sail. The wind was changing a lot. The first upwind was still OK, but the first downwind the wind dropped and I thought they would abandon it, but then in the upwind the wind changed 30 or 40 degrees to the right and then we started to hike and I thought it was going to be OK, but then the last downwind it was reaching and on the reaching it was upwind.
But overall I did OK, I lost a couple of places because of a wind shift. Sixth for me is OK just now."

Sarah Steyaert (FRA): " It was shifty. The wind was NW and then it turned to the east but because I was good on the first upwind and downwind then I was OK. I just really had to be aware. Once you were in the top group there you could be OK. I have a disqualification from the jury which I am looking to get reopened but that is not good for me. I had a protest against me which I did not know. So I did not go to the hearing and so hopefully it can be reopened tonight."

Racing Schedule

Laser Radial Women's and Men's World Championships

Qualification Series                      Friday 9th to Sunday 11th July
Final Series                                  Monday 12th to Wednesday 14th July
Prize Giving                                 Wednesday 14th July

Published in Olympics 2012

Largs, Scotland Sunday 11th July: With a second place from today’s only race on the Clyde off Largs, Finland’s reigning champion Sari Multala emerges at the top of the leaderboard of the Laser Radial World Championships as the fleet move into the Finals phase. Ireland's Annalise Murphy lies 20th and Tiffany Brien 37th.

Holland’s Marit Bouwmeester was a woman in a hurry despite the fading breeze. 

She staged a great comeback after lying very deep in the fleet after struggling on the very difficult opening beat, but making great gains on the downwind legs she rallied to sixth place which keeps the world ranked two sailor just four points behind Multala. 


Not only was Bouwmeester quick and smart enough in the testing, shifty and increasingly fluky conditions, with the breeze dying from 12 to 5 knots, to rescue a solid finish but the Dutch sailor was ashore and tidied away sufficiently rapidly to be just ready on cue to watch the start of her nation’s football world cup final challenge. 


Patience was required over the duration of what proved to be a very long day ashore, with successive postponements required from morning until the strong westerly breeze subsided to allow racing. It was only at 1700hrs that both Men’s and Women’s fleets had their warning signal finally scheduled. 


The breeze died progressively leaving big differences in strength across the race tracks on both race areas and, once again, shifts in wind direction offered opportunities for big gains and losses. 


Photo: Mark Turner


Evie Van Acker (BEL) started off the pin end of the start line and was able to get into the best of the early wind pressure, leading the yellow flight race from start to finish with Multala second and Poland’s Joanna Maksymiuk taking third. 


While the yellow fleet got away with perhaps the better breeze, the blue fleet suffered a big left wind shift immediately after the start and then a big shift to the right at the top end of their beat.  But the most important challenge was to knit together the strands of best wind pressure.  


Singapore’s Elizabeth Yin won the blue flight race ahead of Spain’s Fatima Reyes, while fifth place for Mexico’s Tania Elias Calles Wolf ensures her consistent string of scores remains intact and she now lies third. 


Largs has proven a testing challenge in brisker winds, but with the breezes now expected to drop to the lower end of the scale for the second half of the regatta, perhaps it is only likely to get more difficult. In a very high standard of fleet the stakes get higher and higher. 


The host country’s Skandia Team GBR sailors had a mixed day. Ali Young finished in 28th but holds 12th overall, whilst Scotland’s Charlotte Dobson’s 20th leaves her lying 23rd overall. 


In the Men’s championship Poland’s Marcin Rudawski scored his fourth win from five starts to sit one point clear of his compatriot Wojciech Zemke, while Holland’s Ben Kopelaar lies third. 


Laser Radial World Championships, Largs, Scotland

Women's Overall after Day 3, including one discard.


1  S Multala (FIN) 4,3,1,(49),2 = 10pts

2  M Bouwmeester (NED) 2,1,5,(7), 6 = 14pts

3  T Elias Calles Wolf (MEX) 4,(10),7,5,5 = 21pts

4  S Steyaert (FRA) (23), 4, 1, 3, 15 = 23pts

5  T Drozdovskaya (BLR) 1,5,14,3,(32) = 23pts

6  P Railey (USA) 3,1,4,16,(18) = 24pts

7  V Fenclova (CZE) 17,5,3,(22),3 = 28pts 

8  S Lihan (USA) 8,3,10,10,(25) = 31pts

9  E Van Acker (BEL) 6,11,(21),14,1 = 32pts

10 T Mhelic (CRO) 15,8,3,8,(35) = 34pts


Men Overall after Day 3, including one discard.

1 M Rudawski (POL) 1,(2),1,1,1  Nett = 4pts

2 W Zemke (POL) 1,1,2,1,(7.0) = 5pts

3 B Koppelaar (NED) 9,4,1,(37),4 = 18pts

4 Y Hummel (NED) 9,1,(24),2,7 = 19pts

5 M Kiss (USA) 4,10,3,(29),2 = 19pts



Evie Van Acker (BEL): “I had a good start at the pin end of the line. There were not so many people there and I was able to pull out a little bit. I tacked again to get the fresher pressure and then I was leading at the first mark from Laura Baldwin and Sari Multala behind her.”

“Downwind I was really fast and on the right side with the current. When the wind dropped and dropped the current became more and more important and from there I was just defending.” 


Marit Bouwmeester (NED): “It was  big funny, and very difficult at times. I made a good recovery, mostly on the downwinds.”


Sari Multala (FIN): “ I was starting in the middle and had clear air and so could choose where I wanted to go. There looked to be some pressure on the right and in fact the people who were in it actually did not seem to get very far in it. So actually I got into the first pressure from the left, and there were actually a couple of boats from the far left who did better. So both the sides were OK. On the run I got from third to second where I stayed. I needed a good race and got one.” 

I had hoped we could have got out a little earlier because really it was not so strong and it would have been good to get a second race. 


Charlotte Dobson (GBR): “It was very patchy off the start line and I managed to miss the first puff and then struggled from there but managed to catch up from there, and had a good last beat. But really with the forecast we have I think racing pretty much starts all over again”



Racing Schedule


Laser Radial Women’s and Men’s World Championships 


Qualification Series                      Friday 9th to Sunday 11th July

Final Series                                  Monday 12th to Wednesday 14th July

Prize Giving                                 Wednesday 14th July

Published in Olympics 2012

A bullet in race six has pushed Dun Laoghaire sailor Annalise Murphy up the rankings at the European Laser Radial Championships in Estonia. Two top rive results have seen Annalise boosted to 17th overall in the 81-boat fleet. The regatta is still in the group stage, but Murphy's position will see her coast into the Gold Fleet.

Compatriots Debbie Hanna and Tiffany Brien lie in 37th and 43rd respectively.

The event was dogged by thick fog on Monday and competitors were confined to shore until 2pm. 

Racing continues until Friday.


Published in Olympics 2012
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