Ireland’s three qualified Olympic sailors Annalise Murphy, Peter O’Leary and David Burrows began racing at the Rolex Miami OCR on Monday of this week. It seems the success of 2011 looks set to continue as at the halfway point both teams are positioned in the top 10 of their respective fleets.
Murphy in the Laser Radial and O’Leary and Burrows in the Star will have further races both today and tomorrow before the Medal Races on Saturday where only the top 10 battle for a spot on the podium.
The first ISAF World Cup event of 2012 is a return to high performance competition after the quiet Christmas period. Day 1 saw steady starts for both teams with all results within the top 20 but it didn’t take long for them to find their form. On Day 2 Peter O’Leary and David Burrows broke into the top 10 with a 2nd place finish in their final race of the day which put them in 9th overall. Building on this they posted two 3rd places in the two races of Day 3. This leaves them 6th overall from the fleet of 29 boats. Annalise Murphy also continued to improve on her performance from Day 1, winning her first race of the regatta yesterday which moved her up the leader board to 9th overall in the fleet of 60 Laser Radials.
James O’Callaghan, ISA Performance Director remarked “It was always going to be difficult to reproduce top form after such a major peak with the Worlds in Perth. Miami is really the start of the lead in to the Olympics so the teams are more focussed on process than results at this stage of the season“.
Also competing at the event are the Irish Paralympic team, John Twomey, Ian Costello and a local sailor who is standing in for their third team member Anthony Hegarty as well as independent non-carded Laser sailor James Espey. Espey has also been accomplishing top 10 results. He maintains his position at 19th overall following a 6th and a 9th in his two races yesterday in the largest fleet of the regatta, the 78 boat Laser fleet. The Paralympic team slipped one place to 8th overall yesterday in the Sonar fleet of 11.