Wednesday 24 May 2017

Murphy defies wind and waves to coast into early lead

Murphy placed fifth in the first race of the day but followed this with a second place. Photo: David Branigan/Sportsfile
Murphy placed fifth in the first race of the day but followed this with a second place. Photo: David Branigan/Sportsfile

James Hall

Ireland's Annalise Murphy took over first place in the qualification round of the women's single-handed event in Rio last night following a breezy day off the famous Copacabana beach.

The Rathfarnham sailor has steadily progressed through the three days of racing, from bronze and silver positions to displace the Chinese gold medallist from London 2012 from the leader's position.

The 36-boat fleet takes a well-earned break from racing today.

However, Rio's reputation as a light airs venue has not stopped the programme and even blew up to 20 knots of wind yesterday with waves reportedly several metres high.

Murphy placed fifth in the first race of the day but followed this with a second place; both results are inside her consistency goal needed to secure a place in next Monday's medal race final.

Four more races remain, two each tomorrow and on Saturday with a further rest day on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Ireland's newcomer to the men's single-handed class, Finn Lynch, had another mixed day but still has managed to maintain an overall position close to the top half of the 46-boat fleet.

In the opening race, he placed as high as eighth during the 50-minute race before slipping back to 18th place. A 27th place in the following race leaves him 24th place overall.

Meanwhile, Ireland's remaining sailors will also be in action tomorrow as the first races in both the men's and women's skiff events get underway.

London 2012 veterans Ryan Seaton with Matt McGovern in the 49er class and Andrea Brewster with Saskia Tidey in the 49erFX will each start racing at 5.0pm.

Irish Independent

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