Annalise Murphy battles it out with six of the best in first official test event for Rio 2016

National Yacht Club sailor hopes to get a better understanding of venue for Olympics

Olympic single-hander Annalise Murphy will do battle with six of the world's top 10, including world number one Marit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands, in a fleet of 28 sailors on Rio's 2016 Olympic waters tomorrow.

Many of the Radial competitors already have Rio experience under their belt but this is the first official test event for the Olympic regatta, now just over 700 days away.

The 23-year-old Dubliner went to Rio for three weeks training last year and experienced a big mix of conditions, including strong tides, and Murphy admits she is expecting a “tricky event”.

"I hope to get a better understanding of Rio; get a feel for the bay and the different conditions we will experience," the National Yacht Club sailor said.

“Everything is important to get used to; the wind, the tide, the food and finding a gym,” added Murphy.

Joining Bouwmeester and Murphy in the fleet will be world number two and ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres victor Evi Van Acker (Belgium), ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao gold medallist Dongshuang Zhang (China) and World Cup Miami winner Paige Railey (USA).

Black flag

A black flag disqualification in the second race of the Laser Radial Youth Worlds in Poland may yet ruin Seafra Guilfoyle’s ambition of a second youth medal this summer. The Crosshaven under-18 sailor, who took silver at the ISAF Youth Worlds in Portugal a fortnight ago, has scored a series of top-10 results again this week in a strong 159-boat fleet and lies 16th. Racing continues in Dziwnow until Saturday.

Stefan Hyde and brothers Jerry and Jimmy Dowling are the new SB20 sportsboat national champions by a single point after a nine-race series at Royal Cork Yacht Club last weekend. Strangford trio Darren Martin, Roger Pannell and Simon Murray were runners-up.

Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club is the venue for this month's Irish Squib one design keelboat championships. Kinsale's James and Bruce Matthews will defend their title.

In the Shetland Islands, the Royal St George's Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella are lying fourth after six races at a four nation Fireball European Championships.

The Dún Laoghaire crew, who count a hat-trick of provincial wins at home this season, are 12 points off the lead in a modest fleet of 25 boats. Racing concludes today.

In Italy, Emmet Ryan and Jay Stacy lie 10th on Lake Garda at the RS400 Euro-Cup.

David O'Brien

David O'Brien

David O'Brien, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a former world Fireball sailing champion and represented Ireland in the Star keelboat at the 2000 Olympics

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