News

07
7th August 2012

Today was the final day of competition for the Irish sailors at the 2012 London Olympics. Last to sail on the Weymouth racecourses were Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan in the 470 class. The pair sailed their best day of the regatta to end on a high. They began Race 9 in 23rd but utilising pure skill and determination they climbed seven places to finish mid-fleet in 16th place. 

Race 10 saw an outstanding performance from the duo. They lead the majority of the 27 boat fleet rounding the first mark in 7th place only to climb further up the fleet ultimately finishing in 5th. These two fantastic results meant the pair moved up four places to finish the Games in 23rd overall. 

Sadly there were no medals for the Irish sailors at the 2012 Games but 22 year old Annalise Murphy came agonisingly close. She finished her Olympic debut, following a nail bitingly close medal race, in 4th overall; the best result for an Irish sailor since 1980. Peter O’Leary and David Burrows qualified for the Star medal race but were not medal contenders due to their accumulated points. They finished in 10th overall; the best result Ireland has had in the Star class. 

In the 49er class, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern got off to a great start last week but the most physically demanding boat in the Games coupled with the relentless schedule of 15 races took its toll. The pair missed out on medal race qualification on the final day finishing in 14th overall; also the best result Ireland has had in that class. James Espey in the Laser class was the first of the Irish sailors to complete his regatta. He finished his Olympic debut in 36th overall.
 
All results are provisional.

*** *** ***
6th August 2012

At 1300 today the 10 boats in the Laser Radial class started their final decisive race for Olympic medals. Ireland’s hope for an Olympic sailing medal was cheered on by hundreds of Irish sailing supporters on ‘Murphy Mound’ on the Nothe course who had travelled to Weymouth to witness Ireland’s best Olympic sailing result in 32 years.

Going in to the medal race Annalise was 3rd overall on 34 points along with Evi Van Acker (BEL) in fourth, also on 34 points. The lead was held jointly by 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Liljia Xu (CHN) and the world champion Marit Boumeester (NED) both on 33 points. These were the only contenders for medals because of the number of points accumulated by the other six competitors going in to the double point medal race.
Annalise started the race mid line and rounded the first mark in gold medal position.  In steady 12 knot conditions Annalise fought hard but China's Lijia Xu quickly passed her on the downwind leg closely followed by Bouwmeester (NED).

As Ireland held its breath Annalise rounded the second mark in 9th place with Belgium’s Van Acker behind her. Throughout the race Annalise moved from gold to bronze to silver and back to bronze at the final mark until she was caught by Van Acker on the final leg to the finish.

Only 21 seconds separated the first five boats to cross the finish line with China taking the gun followed by Marit Bouwmeester in silver, Van Acker bronze, Alison Young (GBR) in 4th but not a medal contender and Annalise in 5th to finish her Olympic campaign in 4th position overall.

After the race Annalise commented "Coming fourth was definitely the worst result. I kept losing out downwind because I kept going left downwind and there was less wind. Things just didn't work my way. I'm only 22. I'm going to work so hard and be back for 2016".

Annalise started sailing at the age of 10 in the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire in an Optimist, later progressing to a Laser 4.7 and then into the Radial class. She has been on the ISA Academy for the last * years and her career highlights before London 2012 were bronze medals at both the 2011 and 2012 Sail for Gold regattas in the Olympic venue in Weymouth. At 22 years of age Annalise is the youngest of her competitors. The average age of a medallist in the Radial class is 28 years.

Commenting on her performance ISA Performance Director James O’Callaghan stated “We are hugely proud of Annalise and her performance at the Games. Her target for her first Olympics was to make the medal race but she came out fighting with 4 race wins at the beginning of the week and heart-breaking for the final medal positions to be decided in one race when she fought so hard for the week.  However she should be extremely proud of the hard work and commitment that she gave this campaign and acknowledge that she has achieved the best Olympic sailing result in 32 years. Without a doubt she will be back for 2016. She is such a great ambassador for our sport and an inspiration to young Irish sailors particularly the girls”. 

On the 49er course, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern had their final day of fleet racing. This was their last opportunity to hold on to their top 10 position before the medal race on Wednesday. The pair were 10th overall heading in to Race 14 but only four points separated them from 13th place. The race got off to a bad start with the boys crossing the start line early; resulting in immediate disqualification. Luckily only moments later the entire race was abandoned due to the shifting winds. This meant their disqualification was void. The race was rescheduled but unfortunately Seaton and McGovern finished in 16th which saw them drop to 11th overall. Sadly Race 15 had an equally frustrating ending, seeing the boys finish in 16th and 14th overall ultimately ending their dreams of sailing in the medal race.

“Ryan and Matt have worked so hard to get here and they will understandably be disappointed with narrowly missing out on the medal race. But they’ll be able to put everything they learned here in to their 2016 campaign” remarked O’Callaghan.

Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan had their penultimate day of racing in the 470 class. They had a 25th and a 27th which leaves them 27th overall. They will sail two further races tomorrow but due to the points they have accumulated so far they will not be in contention for the medal race on Thursday.
 
O’Callaghan remarked “This has been a fantastic experience for Scott. He has come to the Games at the age of 19 and sailed with his coach and former Olympic sailor Ger. They achieved so much even qualifying for the Games as they only began campaigning a year ago once Scott had finished his Leaving Cert”.

The 470 fleet will continue racing tomorrow.  Sailing action starts at 12 noon in Weymouth.
 
All results are provisional.

*** *** ***
5th August 2012

Peter O’Leary and David Burrows have finished 10th in the medal race and 10th overall in the Star class at the London 2012 Olympics. Although not the results they had hoped for entering the Games, it is still the best results Ireland has ever had in the Star class. The pair were 9th overall beginning the medal race this afternoon but due to their points on the leader board, they were not be in contention for a medal. In what was a very closely fought race, the favourites and 2008 Olympic gold medallists, Percy and Simpson (GBR) finished in 8th place and subsequently only won silver. The overall win, and ultimately gold medal, went to the Swedish pairing of Loof and Salminen while Scheidt and Prada (BRA) took the bronze. 

ISA Performance Director, James O’Callaghan remarked “While it is the best result we have achieved in the Star class it is still disappointing. We came here hoping to be fighting for a medal. That plan has not worked out in a way we could have foreseen“.
 
On the 49er course, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern had their penultimate day of fleet racing. The pair finished yesterday in 11th overall, just outside the top 10 for the first time in the competition. The pressure was on them to perform well today ahead of tomorrow’s final two fleet races and medal race qualification. And they did just that.

Conditions in Weymouth were the lightest they’ve been during the Games, with winds of just 7 knots at times. Race 12 got off to a good start with the pair in 10th but they continued to progress steadily up the fleet to finish in 7th place, moving them up to 10th overall.  

Race 13 got off to a similar start with the duo in 11th but they had slipped back to 16th by the second mark. Knowing that they had to maintain their position in the top 10 to earn a place in the medal race the two boys dug deep and overtook three fellow competitors to finish in 13th and hold on to their spot as 10th overall.

“Ryan and Matt are just one day away from achieving their Olympic goal; to sail in the medal race. There are only four points between them and 13th place so they really need two great results tomorrow to hold on to their position” remarked O’Callaghan.

Annalise Murphy, who has qualified for the Laser Radial medal race tomorrow, is on a rest day. The top 10 sailors will be competing in the double points race which begins at 13.00 tomorrow in Weymouth. Murphy is currently in 3rd place but incredibly only one point separates the top four sailors. Leader Xu (CHN) is on 33 points, in 2nd is Bouwmeester (NED) also on 33 points, in 3rd is Murphy (IRL) on 34 points and in 4th is Van Acker (BEL) also on 34 points.

Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan are also on a rest day. They lie 25th overall in the 470 class. Racing will resume tomorrow.
 
James Espey has finished competing at the 2012 Olympics. He ended the competition in 36th place in the Laser class.

The 49ers and 470 will continue fleet racing tomorrow.  Sailing action starts at 12 noon in Weymouth. The Laser Radial medal race will be at 13.00 and will be covered live on RTE 2.
 
All results are provisional.

*** *** ***
4th August 2012

Today was the medal race qualification day for Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial class. She reclaimed the overall lead after a 3rd place in Race 9. The lead was brief as a 7th place in Race 10 means she is now 3rd overall. Incredibly only one point separates the top four sailors in what will undoubtedly be a nail biting medal race on Monday. James Espey has finished his Olympic competition finishing 36th overall in the 49 boat Laser class. Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan continued racing in the third day of the 470 class finishing 36th overall before their rest day tomorrow.
 
Annalise Murphy briefly regained her position at the top of the Laser Radial fleet in what was a dramatic Race 9. Two general recalls saw her opponent Alison Young (GBR) disqualified along with the sailors from BLR, NZL, GER, TUR and IOA. Murphy got off to a great start at the top of the fleet in 5th . By the third mark she had taken 40 seconds off the Chinese leader to lie in 2nd place. She continued to fight hard within the top three against Xu (CHN) and Cebrian (ESP) to finished in 3rd place, reclaiming her spot as 1st overall. Her closest competitors Bouwmeester (NED) finished 6th while Van Acker (BEL) finished in 8th which gave Murphy a four point lead on 2nd place overall Van Acker and 3rd place Xu who both had 31 points to Murphy’s 27.
 
Race 10 certainly proved to be a nerve racking way to finish the fleet racing. The first five boats to round the first and second marks were the top five medal contenders; Murphy (IRL), Van Acker (BEL), Xu (CHN), Bouwmeester (NED) and Young (GBR). Murphy then separated from the rest of the fleet taking the right hand gate while the others went left. It was a risky move but her gutsy tactics kept her in the top five. She then had a tough reach to the fourth mark and slipped back to 7th and stayed there, costing her the overall lead. Murphy finishes the fleet racing in 3rd overall with just an incredible one point separating the top four sailors. As the medal race is worth double points everything will hinge on Monday’s race. Leader Xu (CHN) is on 33 points, in 2nd is Bouwmeester (NED) also on 33 points, in 3rd is Murphy (IRL) on 34 points and in 4th is Van Acker (BEL) also on 34 points.
 
ISA Performance Director, James O’Callaghan remarked “Everything now depends on the medal race. I don’t think anyone could have predicted how close it would be at the top, it’s unbelievable. Annalise has a lay day tomorrow to gather her composure and come out fighting on Monday. She’s proved she has what it takes so now all we can do is support her and let her do what she’s spent the last four years preparing for“.
 
On the Laser course, James Espey had his final day of racing at the Games. Espey got off to a brilliant start in Race 9. He worked hard amongst the leaders of the fleet, holding his position within the top 10 and even reaching 7th as he rounded the third mark. Only at the final mark did he slip back to finish a disappointing 25th but still his best result so far. Espey’s tenth and final race saw him finish 35th leaving him to finish 36th overall in the Laser class at the 2012 London Olympics.
 
“James sailed brilliantly at many points during the Games. This was his Olympic debut and no doubt he’ll have learned so much from the experience which he can take home and put in to practice for his 2016 campaign. Time now for him to relax, enjoy the atmosphere and cheer on the rest of his teammates” remarked O’Callaghan.
 
The 470 duo, Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan had a further two races today. The pair rounded the first mark of Race 5 in 23rd position but pulled it back, climbing eight places, to finish in 15th. They finished in their second race of the day in 22nd leaving them 25th overall. The 470 class have a rest day tomorrow before resuming racing on Monday.
 
Today was a rest day for Peter O’Leary and David Burrows in the Star class. They have successfully qualified for the medal race which will take place tomorrow. Unfortunately their position and points on the leader board means that they will not be in contention for a medal.
 
Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern are also on a rest day. They currently lie in 11th place in the 49er class. They will have four final fleet races before the top 10 progress to Wednesday’s medal race.
 
The 49er class will be the only class with fleet racing tomorrow. All other classes will be on a rest day except for the Star class who will sail their medal race. 49er sailing action starts at 12 noon in Weymouth. The Star medal race will be at 13.00.
 
All results are provisional.

*** *** ***
3rd August 2012

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 9th and thanks to a 11th and a 7th they remained 9th 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 2nd overall with only one point separating her from the leader. Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern had a busy day with three 49er fleet races. They had a 14th, 7th 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 5th within the fleet. They held their position at the front of this incredibly competitive fleet to finish in 7th place, less than 90 seconds behind the leaders Percy & Simpson (GBR). 

O’Leary and Burrows will finish the fleet racing in 9th 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 2 points, second place receiving 4 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”.

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 4th, 6th and 8th 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 2nd 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, 7th and 15th respectively. Race 10 was one of their most impressive races of the event. Even though they ultimately finished in 7th place, they held their own with the best in the world shifting from 4th to 5th 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 Weymouth.

All results are provisional.

*** *** ***
2nd August 2012

Today saw the return of the Star class, following their rest day, and with them Peter O’Leary and David Burrows. The pair placed 9th and 7th in their two races which sees them remain 9th overall. Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern continued racing in the 49er class. They sailed Race 7 and 8 where they placed 11th and 9th respectively, also remaining 9th overall. Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan began sailing in the 470 class and now lie 23rd overall after two races.

Peter O’Leary and David Burrows had a strong start in Race 7 this afternoon. Rounding the second mark they were in 4th, ahead of rivals Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) but while the Brazilians progressed up the fleet to finish 3rd, O’Leary and Burrows slipped back to finish in 9th.  Race 8 was similar with the duo starting in 5th but finishing in 7th. They sit 9th overall on 51 points. Leaders Percy and Simpson (GBR) are on 13 points while the Brazilians in 2nd are on 22 points. The Star class have a final two fleet races tomorrow before the top 10 progress to the double points medal race on Sunday, 5th August.

James O’Callaghan, ISA Performance Director commented “It was incredibly close racing within the fleet today. In Race 7 there was only 80 seconds between the first nine boats on the finish line and two minutes between them in Race 8”.

Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern, who have been sailing for four consecutive days, put in another solid performance to hold on to their spot as 9th overall on the leader board. They began Race 7 in 16th place but quickly moved up the ranks to finish just outside the top 10 in 11th. Race 8 saw them better themselves further, finishing a respectable 9th, which was enough for them to remain in 9th overall on 61 points. The Australians, Outteridge and Jensen, hold the lead on 24 points followed by Morrison and Rhodes (GBR) on 35 and Burling and Tuke (GBR) on 41. The 49er class will continue to race tomorrow before their well-earned rest day on Saturday.

“Ryan and Matt have been sailing flat out for four days and they’ve remained within the top 10 every day. They’re sailing really well and are intent on keeping it that way” remarked O’Callaghan. 

Today was the long awaited first day of racing for the Irish 470 duo, Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan. The pair only began their Olympic campaign a year ago, altering their former relationship of coach (Owens) and student (Flanigan) to that of Olympic teammates. Flanigan is also the youngest of the Irish sailors at just 19. They got off to a solid start holding position in the middle of the 27 boat fleet, working their way up to 15th during the middle of the race. They didn’t quite manage to hold on to their spot and slipped back to finished 18th. They didn’t fare as well in Race 2 finishing in 25thplace. They will continue sailing tomorrow, beginning the day in 23rd overall.  

“The guys were delighted to finally get out on the water today. It’s only day one for them so there’ll be plenty more sailing during the week. Ger is an experienced Olympian so this is a great way for Scott to get his introduction to the Games” explained O’Callaghan.

Today was the rest day for both the Laser Radial and the Laser fleets. Annalise Murphy remains in 1st overall and James Espey remains in 45th overall. Both classes will resume racing tomorrow.
Racing will continue tomorrow for all classes with a total of 11 races being sailed by Irish competitors. Sailing action starts at 12 noon in Weymouth.

All results are provisional.

*** *** ***
1st August 2012

Three of the Irish sailing teams were competing today in Weymouth. Annalise Murphy remains at the top of the Laser Radial fleet having placed 8th and 19th today. Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern slipped to 9th overall in the 49er fleet and James Espey is 45th overall in the Laser class. The Star class were on a rest day and remain 9th overall whilst the last of the Irish sailors, Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan, will begin racing in the 470 class tomorrow. 
 
Racing was tricky today for most fleets with frequent postponements and recalls. Race 5 for the Laser Radials had to be abandoned and rescheduled for 20 minutes later. Annalise Murphy got off to a good start towards the top of the fleet and she rounded the first mark in 8th place. Her position fluctuated slightly throughout the race but ultimately she finished in 8th place while Evi Van Acker (BEL) took 1st and Alison Young (GBR) took 2nd.

Race 6 saw Murphy get off to a great start at the top of the pack but she chose, along with many others, to take the left side of the course. Her rivals veered to the right which, within moments, was clear to be the correct choice and very quickly gained a 50 meter lead. Murphy then had the difficult task of making her way back across the fleet. It cost her 150 meters and left her in 22nd rounding the first mark. She fought hard throughout the rest of the race but just couldn’t make up the distance and finished in 19th. 

The discard came in to play today for the Radials after the fifth race. This means that Murphy can discard her 19th which still leaves her 1st overall on 12 points. In 2nd place is Evi Van Acker (BEL) on 14 points with Marit Bouwmeester (NED) in 3rd on 19 points. Tomorrow will be a rest day for the fleet. They will sail a further four fleet races on Friday and Saturday with the medal race taking place on Monday, 6th August.

James O’Callaghan, ISA Performance Director commented “Tomorrow is a lay day for Annalise and we’ll use the time to analyse today’s racing and regroup for Friday. She’s still top of the pack and even though the results don’t reflect her effort she’s still sailing extremely well”.

Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern had a similarly challenging day in the 49er class. They rounded the first mark of Race 5 in 15th place but thanks to some tactical sailing they overtook three of their competitors to finish the race in 12th.  Unfortunately Race 6 proved to be their most difficult to date and they finished towards the back of the fleet in 19th. The 49er discard also came in to play today so the pair discount the 19th and now sit 9th overall on the leader board on 41 points. The leaders Outteridge & Jensen (AUS) are on 10 points followed by Burling & Tuke (NZL) on 23 points and Dyen & Christidis (FRA) on 30 points. The 49er class will continue to race tomorrow and still have a further nine races to sail before the medal race.

“The boys aren’t even half way through the fleet races and are still within the top 10. Everything is still up for grabs” remarked O’Callaghan. 

James Espey also had his third day of racing today in the Laser class. The Laser fleet also had to contend with undoubtedly frustrating postponements and recalls. Espey finished 47th in Race 5 and an improved 42nd in race 6. With his discard he lies 45th overall. The Laser class will also have a rest day tomorrow with racing resuming on Friday.  
 
Today was the rest day for Peter O’Leary and David Burrows and the rest of the Star class. The Irish pair remain in 9th overall and will resume racing tomorrow.
Racing will continue tomorrow for the Star and 49er. Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan will also make their debut in the 470 class. The Laser Radial and Laser are on a rest day. Sailing action starts at 12 noon in Weymouth.

All results are provisional.

*** *** ***
31st July 2012

Another strong performance by the Irish Olympic sailors today 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 10 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 1st place maintaining a fluctuating lead of up to 70 meters at times. She won the race with an 8 second lead.

Race 4 saw Murphy start off in 5th 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 8 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 2 with a staggering four race wins from four races. She continues to lead the Laser Radial class heading in to Day 3 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.  

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 2nd and 3rd position. Rounding the final mark and on the downwind run to the finish, Nathan Outteridge & Iain Jensenof (AUS) had a huge lead on Erik Storck & Trevor Moore (USA) and the Irish boys but the Aussies capsized at the very last minute. Seaton & McGovern capitalised on the error and moved up one place to finished 2nd. They maintain their position of 6th 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 9th 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 9th overall with Iain Percy & Andrew Simpson (GBR) in 1st and Robert Scheidt & Bruno Prada (BRA) in 2nd. 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. 
 
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.

*** *** ***
30th July 2012

A strong performance by the Irish Olympic sailors today in Weymouth sees three of the four campaigns lying in top 10 positions. Today was the first day of racing for the Laser Radial, Laser and 49er campaigns, while the Star went in to today’s racing in 2nd place after a strong performance yesterday. The 470 campaign commences on Thursday 02 August. 
 
The moderate south westerly 15 knot breeze saw Annalise Murphy get off to an impressive start in the Laser Radial class. She won both races today, leading Race 1 from start to finish. Race 2 saw her battle it out with rival Evi Van Acker (BEL) who had a strong lead on the downwind but Murphy continued to put the pressure on Van Acker. Approaching the lay mark, Murphy made her move overtaking Van Acker and really pulling away to win her second race with ease. She now leads the Laser Radial fleet heading in to Day 2 tomorrow. Murphy still has eight more races to sail followed by the double points medal race which will take place on Monday the 6th.

Annalise commented "I am delighted with today but it’s only the first day. There is a lot of racing ahead". "I had a good start and tacked across the beat and pulled away. It was great. I couldn't do much wrong today. I have got brilliant upwind speed. It's all coming together."

James O’Callaghan, ISA Performance Director remarked “Annalise got off to a good solid start but she still has five more days of racing ahead of her. This is her first Olympics and her competitors are well experienced with the Games. She needs to continue to focus as it’s still very early days”.

Today was the second day of racing for the Irish Star pairing, Peter O’Leary and David Burrows. They rounded the first mark of Race 3 in 10th position but dropped down to 13th for the second and third marks, finishing in 14th. They maintained their position in the middle of the fleet in Race 4 until they rounded the last mark and climbed from 9th to finish in 5th position leaving them 5th overall.

“The Star is a hugely competitive fleet as was seen by today’s racing. At the first mark all boats rounded within 60 seconds. This class is wide open but a good performance by Peter and David” stated O’Callaghan. 

The Irish 49er duo Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern got off to a solid start in their debut at the Games this afternoon. In Race 1 of their three lap windward-leeward course, they fought hard to climb up the fleet from 7th place to finish 4th overall.  They started Race 2 in 9th, dropping back to 12th mid-way through only to return near the top of the fleet and finish in 8th. They currently lie 6th overall but still have a further 13 more races to sail followed by the medal race.

“This is a great start for the boys” commented O’Callaghan. “They’ve a long road ahead with another 13 races to sail before the medal race but they’ve shown they can perform under pressure.”

James Espey also began racing today in the 49 boat Laser fleet. He had a 38th and a 44th which sees him in 42nd overall. Espey has a further 8 races to sail before the top ten in the fleet sail the medal race. 
 
Racing will continue tomorrow for the Star, Laser Radial, 49er and Laser. Sailing action starts at 12 noon in Weymouth.

All results are provisional.

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29th July 2012

After a thirty minute delay sailing got underway for Ireland’s Peter O’Leary and David Burrows in the Star class in Weymouth.
 
Sailing was very close in the first leg but Germany rounded the first mark of the course in first place followed by Croatia and Norway. Ireland was in 14th place. On the second upwind leg there was an upheavel in the fleet with France moving in to pole position followed by Ireland in 2nd place, the position both countries held to the finish line. 
 
The reverse upheavel occurred in the second race of the day which saw Ireland lead for the first half only to be caught by current Olympic champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) and the World Champions Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada. GBR and BRA battled it out to the finish line with BRA claiming victory meanwhile O’Leary and Burrows slipped down the fleet to finish in 6th place which leaves them in 2nd place overall overnight with 8 points. The leader is Scheidt/Prada with 5 points and two countries Poland and Norway are in joint third with 12 points. GBR has 13 points. (All results are provisional at time of issue)
 
Commenting on today's performance ISA Olympic Performance Director stated ' This is a good start to the event. A solid performance by Peter and David in testing conditions in a hugely competitive fleet. It is very early days but great to see that the guys have settled down quickly.'
 
Racing continues tomorrow for the Star class with 2 races starting at 1405. The medal race will be held on 05 August.
 
Competition at the Games starts for 3 other Irish sailing campaigns tomorrow with Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern in the 49er, James Espey in the Laser and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial class. Sailing actions starts at 12 noon. 
 

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