London 2012 Olympics - Battle continues for Irish sailors
by ISA on 4 Aug 2012
At the London 2012 Olympics, today was the final day of fleet racing for Peter O’Leary and David Burrow in the Star class. Qualification to Sunday’s medal race hinged on the two races. O’Leary and Burrows began the day in ninth and thanks to an 11th and a seventh; they remained ninth overall entitling them to compete in the medal race. Annalise Murphy was back on the water following the Radial fleet’s rest day. She put in another solid performance and now sits second overall with only one point separating her from the leader.
Weymouth, England - Laser Radial © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern had a busy day with three 49er fleet races. They had a 14th, seventh and 15th leaving them 11th overall. James Espey had his penultimate day in the Laser class. He’s currently 38th overall following a 27th and 28th.Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan had their second day of racing leaving them 25th overall after four races.
The pressure was on Peter O’Leary and David Burrows to remain in the top 10 and win their place in the Star medal race. The pair rounded the first mark of Race 9 in 10th place. However, they were 14th rounding the second mark and just didn’t manage to break the top 10 again finishing the race in 11th. Not letting that deter them, O’Leary and Burrows came out fighting in Race 10; the final fleet race. In the first leg they moved swiftly from 11th to fifth within the fleet. They held their position at the front of this incredibly competitive fleet to finish in seventh place, less than 90 seconds behind the leaders Percy and Simpson (GBR).
O’Leary and Burrows will finish the fleet racing in ninth overall and with 75 points. The leaders Percy and Simpson (GBR) have 18 points, followed by Scheidt and Prada (BRA) on 26 points and Loof and Salminen (SEW) on 30 points. The medal race is worth double point with the winner receiving two points, second place receiving four points and so on. Unfortunately, this means that O’Leary and Burrows will not be in contention for a medal.
James O’Callaghan, ISA Performance Director commented 'The boys will undoubtedly be disappointed with the overall standings but they’ll want to come out with the best possible result in the medal race'.
It was day four of racing for Annalise Murphy. She dominated the fleet in her first race of the day maintaining pole position until the third mark when Lijia Xu (CHN) just edged in front of her. The pair continued to battle it out for the top spot for the rest of the race, never allowing the other competitors to challenge them. Ultimately it was Xu (CHN) who crossed the line in first place but she was followed by Murphy in a close second. Murphy’s main rivals Bouwmeester (NED), Young (GBR) and Van Acker (BEL) finished fourth, sixth and eighth respectively meaning Murphy extended her lead to eight points. Race 8 saw Murphy finished in 10th place and lose pole position for the first time in the competition. She’s now second overall but only one point behind Van Acker (BEL) on 24 points and with the final two fleet races tomorrow.
O’Callaghan remarked 'Annalise has had such a remarkable performance so far. She’s one point off the leader and only relinquished the top spot after four days of racing. Her main competitors are world champions and experienced Olympians. There’s no doubt about it, she’s the one to watch'.
Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern wrapped up their fifth consecutive day of racing in 11th overall. The punishing 49er fleet will sail a total of 15 races unlike the other classes who will only sail 10. The pair had three races this afternoon, Race 9, 10 and 11 where they placed 14th, seventh and 15th respectively. Race 10 was one of their most impressive races of the event. Even though they ultimately finished in seventh place, they held their own with the best in the world shifting from fourth to fifth place and keeping ahead of the overall leaders; Outteridge and Jensen (AUS) until the very end of the race. Seaton and McGovern are currently 11th overall on 97 points. The Australians, Outteridge and Jensen, hold the lead on 42 points followed by Burling and Tuke (GBR) on 51 and Lehtinen and Bask (FIN) on 66 points. The 49er class have a rest day tomorrow and will resume racing on Sunday.
'I’m really pleased with how Ryan and Matt are doing. The 49er is a very physically demanding boat and they’ve been racing for five days. The rest tomorrow will allow their bodies recuperate so they can come out revitalised for Sunday and Monday' remarked O’Callaghan.
Meanwhile James Espey had his penultimate day of racing in the largest of the fleets, the Laser class. Espey had a 28th in Race 7, at one point reaching 19th in the fleet. He also climbed high during Race 8 fluctuating between 12th and 15th for the first half but ultimately crossed the line in 27th only two minutes behind the leader. Espey moves up seven places to 38th overall and will sail his final two races tomorrow.
The 470 duo, Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan had a further two races today. The pair had a 24th and 25th leaving them 25th overall after four races. They will continue to compete tomorrow.
Racing will continue tomorrow for the Laser Radial, 470 and Laser. The 49ers are on a rest day. The Stars are also on a rest day before their medal race on Sunday. Sailing action starts at 12 noon in ISA website
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