Irish competitors show the way on Dublin Bay
Remaining races will decide the splits into Gold and Silver fleets for the Laser Radial
Annalise Murphy: no mistaking her ability in the windier conditions. Photograph: Inpho/Cathal Noonan
Fresh and shifty winds yesterday added to Dublin Bay’s notoriety as a championship venue when the 320 competitors across three disciplines in the Laser European Championships sailed their second day of qualification races.
Today’s remaining two races will decide the splits into Gold and Silver fleets for the Laser Radial men and women’s events while the Laser Standard rig with 124 entries will have a Bronze fleet also.
So far, after the four races sailed, Irish sailors lead the standings on the combined results of their respective flights though tomorrow’s first races in the Gold fleet will be the true measure of performance.
London 2012 Olympian Annalise Murphy placed second and first yesterday and was able to use the first event discard to drop the lower result so is counting race wins to date.
After enjoying a substantial lead at the first mark in the opening race, the fresh breeze dropped substantially just after she rounded the mark.
The pursuing pack then brought new wind down the run with them and she dropped back to third place before reeling in France’s Mathilde de Kerangat to finish just behind Britain’s Hannah Snellgrove.
In the next race, there was no mistaking her ability in the windier conditions as she added to her early tally of race wins.
Commenting on what is sometimes seen as Murphy’s flaw, that she only has this edge in stronger conditions, her coach conceded that “her results when there is breeze are exceptional. “She is 100 per cent consistent in breeze but probably 80 per cent in lighter conditions which is where most of the other sailors are too,” said Rory Fitzpatrick. As for home advantage, it is nice to sail in usual shifts, it definitely helps, he said referring to the wind pattern coming off Dublin city in a fresh westerly wind.
Meanwhile, Baltimore Sailing Club’s Fionn Lyden was also enjoying the conditions in the Men’s Laser Radial event that is also a world championship. His consistent form sees him counting two second places and a race win to top the combined flights.
On the Men’s Standard rig course, five times Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt is rapidly reacquiring his past form in his former class that he has just returned to at this event. Race by race, he has improved his placings by one spot so far. From fourth on Sunday to first yesterday afternoon, a result he is likely to repeat again this week.