London 2012 Olympics - Irish sailors maintain good form

by ISA 
Annalise Murphy (IRL), Laser Radial - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition
At the London 2012 Olympics, it was another strong performance by the Irish Olympic sailors in Weymouth. Annalise Murphy remains at the top of the Laser Radial fleet while two of the other three campaigns have maintained their position in the top ten of their respective fleets. Today was the second day of racing for the Laser Radial, Laser and 49ers, while the Star had Race 5 and 6. The 470 campaign commences on Thursday, 02 August.

Annalise Murphy got off to another outstanding start in Race 3 of the Laser Radial class. She was first over the start line and held the lead, once again, for the entire race. Trying desperately to close the gap were Alison Young (GBR) and Evi Van Acker (BEL) but Murphy kept a firm grasp on first place maintaining a fluctuating lead of up to 70 meters at times. She won the race with an eight second lead.

Race 4 saw Murphy start off in fifth place but that didn’t last long. Before the fleet even reached the first mark, Murphy was back in pole position and making a break for it. She quickly put distance between herself and her nearest rival, Young (GBR) and kept it that way. By mark eight, she had put an incredible 200 meter gap between herself and the rest of the fleet. Murphy finished Race 4 in style with a 30 second lead, rounding up day two with a staggering four race wins from four races. She continues to lead the Laser Radial class heading in to day three tomorrow. Murphy still has six more races to sail followed by the double points medal race which will take place on Monday, 6th August.

Annalise Murphy had this to say about her performance so far 'It can’t get much better than winning the first four races but there’s still six fleet races left so it’s going to be really tough. All of the girls are really good and I think I’ve had a bit of luck and things have gone my way but that doesn’t always happen in sailing'.

James O’Callaghan, ISA Performance Director remarked 'Annalise’s performance at her Olympic debut has so far been remarkable. She has spent three years training full-time for this and her knowledge and experience of this venue is obvious. But there’s still a long way to go and her competitors will have no intention of letting her run away with this. She needs to keep her head down and take every day as it comes'.

Race 3 for the Irish 49er duo Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern didn’t get off to an ideal start this afternoon. The pair were 18th off the line and up until they rounded the second mark but they battled hard and moved up the fleet to finish in 15th.

49er Seaton and McGovern - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition
They didn’t dwell on the result though and came out guns blazing in Race 4. They were at the top of the fleet for the entire race, alternating between second and third position.

Rounding the final mark and on the downwind run to the finish, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensenof (AUS) had a huge lead on Erik Storck and Trevor Moore (USA) and the Irish boys but the Aussies capsized at the very last minute. Seaton and McGovern capitalised on the error and moved up one place to finished second. They maintain their position of sixth overall with a further 11 races to sail followed by the medal race.

'The boys showed both their resilience and determination today. They had a quick turnaround between races but they remained focused solely on the job at hand which saw them get their best result so far. Coming in second place is a great achievement so early in the game for them' commented O’Callaghan.

Today was the third day of racing for the Irish Star sailors, Peter O’Leary and David Burrows. They began Race 5 toward the back of the fleet but moved up five places to ninth by the final mark. Unfortunately on the final run they lost two places to finish 11th.

There was an individual recall for some of the competitors who were over the start line in Race 6 and the Irish pair were amongst them. They penalty cost them and they finished the race in 11th. They finish the day in ninth overall with Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) in first and Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) in second. A further four races must still be sailed so it’s still all to play for before the medal race on Sunday, 5th August.

'It was a tough day for the guys today and the recall didn’t help but there are still plenty of races left. Nothing has been decided yet' stated O’Callaghan.

James Espey also had his second day of racing today in the Laser class. He had a solid start in his first race but dropped eight places to finish 39th. He had his best start of the Games so far in Race 4 where he spent the first half of the race in 12th but slipped to finish 36th. Espey moves up two places to 40th overall with a further six races to sail before the top ten in the fleet sail the medal race.

London 2012 - Olympic Games Day 2 - IRL
Carlo Borlenghi/FIV - copyright

Racing will continue tomorrow for the Laser Radial, 49er and Laser. The Star class are on a rest day. Sailing action starts at 12 noon in Weymouth.

All results are provisional.

ISA website
http://www.sail-world.com/100415