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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 28 December, 2014

London 2012: Annalise Murphy leads the way on strong sailing day for Team Ireland

A number of encouraging results have flowed in from Weymouth. Long may it continue.

Ireland's Annalise Murphy competes in the Laser Radial on her way to a second win of the day during today's Olympic racing at Weymouth.
Ireland's Annalise Murphy competes in the Laser Radial on her way to a second win of the day during today's Olympic racing at Weymouth.
Image: David Jones/PA Wire

A STRONG PERFORMANCE by the Irish Olympic sailors today in Weymouth sees three of the four campaigns lying in top 10 positions.

Monday was the first day of racing for the Laser Radial, Laser and 49er campaigns, while the Star went in to today’s racing in second place after a strong performance yesterday. The 470 campaign commences on Thursday.

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.

Long way to go

Murphy still has eight more races to sail followed by the double points medal race which will take place on Monday the 6th. She 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, Irish Sailing Association performance director commented, “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.”

Monday 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 ninth to finish in fifth position, leaving them fifth overall. O’Callaghan said:

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.”

Good start in the 49er

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 seventh place to finish fourth overall.

They started Race 2 in ninth, dropping back to 12th mid-way through only to return near the top of the fleet and finish in eighth. They currently lie sixth 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 eight races to sail before the top ten in the fleet sail the medal race.

Racing will continue on Tuesday for the Star, Laser Radial, 49er and Laser. Sailing action starts at midday in Weymouth.

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