Irish Olympic sailors Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern from Providence Team IRL have today (26 April) finished 2nd overall at the ISAF World Cup in Hyeres, France. The pair, who compete in the 49er class, sailed a total of 17 races over six consecutive days and against 79 of the world’s top sailors to claim the Silver medal. An impressive fifteen top 10 race finishes was enough to put the duo eight points clear of 2012 Olympic Gold medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen from Australia who finished 3rd overall. Kiwis Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who finished 2nd in the 2012 Games, ultimately took the Gold.
This was Seaton and McGovern’s second regatta of the 2014 season and the largest World Cup of the year with a total of 1,100 competitors over 12 Olympic and Paralympic classes. It was an important event, providing a good indicator of their ranking among the best sailors in the world as they prepare for the 49er European Championships in July before the focal event of the season - the Olympic qualifier in Spain in September.
Annalise Murphy was also competing in a medal race today. The Laser Radial class had one double-points race in which Murphy finished 6th moving her up one place to finish 7th overall from the 79 boat fleet. Commenting on her performance this week Annalise Murphy remarked “The Worlds and Olympic qualification in Santander this autumn is the main event of the year. All the other regattas are great race practice and good for figuring out what I need to work on in training in between events. This week has given me an insight on what I need to work on so when Santander comes around hopefully I’ll be ready to have a good regatta.”
Three other Irish teams also sailing at the World Cup. In the Paralympic Sonar class John Twomey, Ian Costelloe and Austin O'Carroll finished in 7th place overall. Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey finished a respectable 16th out of 42 boats. All the more impressive considering it's only their third regatta as a pairing. James Espey was sailing in the men’s Laser Standard fleet of 123 and finished 71st.
Highlights from the 2014 ISAF World Cup Hyeres from ISA Olympic on Vimeo.