Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern have won Gold at the Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth, home of the London 2012 sailing Olympics. It is a breakthrough performance for the duo who, in the process of securing their first international medal, beat numerous World and European medallists. Going into today’s medal races they had a six point lead but could have been overtaken by any of the top 10 as three double point races were scheduled. In the end they sealed victory in style posting a 3rd and a 2nd respectively in the two races that were sailed and in fact stretched their outright lead.
ISA Performance Director James O’Callaghan enthused “I'm delighted for the guys to have kick-started their Rio campaign with a significant breakthrough. Any time you beat World and European medallist you get confidence but to win the event outright in convincing fashion will really boost their confidence“.
Meanwhile in the Laser Radial class Ireland had another medallist in the form of Annalise Murphy who Bronze. This is her third consecutive medal at a EUROSAF Sailing Cup having won gold at both the Italian Olympic Week and Delta Lloyd Regatta in May.
Annalise, who was sailing in the Laser Radial class, was one of five sailors in contention for the bronze medal during this afternoon’s medal race. Her Olympic rival Lijia Xu from China and Dongshuang Zhang, also from China, had already created enough of a points lead to guarantee gold and silver. But the odds were in Ireland’s favour as four of the five sailors vying for that final podium spot were Irish. Having been given the opportunity to sail in the Women’s Radial event at this regatta, some of the world’s top youth sailors including ISA Academy members all U18 Finn Lynch, Fionn Lyden and Seafra Guilfoyle showed they can compete with the best of them. The young Irish trio and Annalise battled it out against the UK’s Chloe Martin for the coveted medal in the final race with Annalise ultimately winning and claiming the bronze followed closely by Finn Lynch in second (4th overall) and Fionn Lyden in third (5th overall).
ISA Performance Director James O’Callaghan remarked “Although the event finished on a windy note it was predominantly a light wind event. The Chinese showed their dominance in these conditions but it was pleasing to see Annalise hang in there and still be able to secure a bronze medal in the final results“.
Both medal winning teams will have their sights set on bigger goals this season with Worlds and Europeans still to come but the confidence medals bring will do their preparations no harm.
Full results available on www.sailforgold.co.uk
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6th June 2013
Four of Ireland’s Olympic sailors will return the waters of Weymouth, the London 2012 sailing venue, this weekend to begin competing at the Sail for Gold Regatta. Annalise Murphy (Laser Radial), Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern (49er) and James Espey (Laser) will begin racing on Sunday in what will be the third of five instalments for the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup.
This will be the first regatta of the 2013 season for Seaton and McGovern who finished 14th overall at the Games last year. Back in familiar waters after months of physical and mental training, the duo are eager to once again feel the adrenaline of elite competition as they begin their campaign towards the Rio 2016 Olympics. Up against some of the top international 49er teams, the Northern Irish men will be looking to shake off the cobwebs after an extended break from competition.
Meanwhile Annalise Murphy, who has been in sparkling form this season winning the first two Eurosaf events, will be hoping her medal streak continues. Commenting on the event ISA Performance Director James O'Callaghan remarked "It will be a bit strange going back to Weymouth after all the highs and lows of last summer but in a way it is appropriate as this marks the beginning of the Rio campaign in earnest. It's the first time this year all campaigns will be together in the same venue".
Also campaigning for the Rio Games and competing for the first time in the 49er FX class will be two new all-female pairings. Claudine Murphy, older sister of Annalise Murphy, has teamed up with Andrea Brewster while Tiffany Brien and Saskia Tidey, both recent ISA Academy graduates, will be sailing the other Irish entry for the new Olympic class.
The current ISA Academy sailors will also be racing this event as the organisers have allowed the youth sailors compete in the Laser Radial category. Representing Ireland will be Fionn Lyden, Finn Lynch, Cian Byrne and Seafra Guilfoyle.
Sorcha Ni Shuilleabhain, Ross O’Sullivan and Darragh O’Sullivan who are on trial for the ISA Academy will also be competing.