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Sailing: Magical Murphy hits Olympic standard


Ireland's Annalise Murphy delivered the qualifying standard for the London 2012 Olympic regatta in the Laser Radial class yesterday as the ISAF Sailing World Championship in Perth completed five races for the single-handed women's discipline.

The Dun Laoghaire sailor moved into second place overall, level on points with defending world champion Marit Boumeester (Netherlands).

Murphy scored a second place in the opening race of the day in light to moderate winds and followed this with an emphatic race win, her second of the week, and led the 50 boat fleet by three minutes. She was fourth in her third race of the day.

The result means she cannot finish worse than 29th overall; she is in strong contention for Sunday's medal race final that is open to the top 10.

"It's really easy to make mistakes out on the water because there are so many good people out racing and if you make a small mistake, all the other girls will capitalise on it," she said yesterday. "You just have to keep the 'making mistakes' to a minimum."

Conditions have varied considerably since the event started on Monday, including cancellation of the programme on Tuesday due to electrical storms. So far, the famed Fremantle Doctor has yet to pay a visit, though it is predicted to arrive today.

"I haven't been looking at the forecasts until the morning of the racing because its been changing every day so I'm just taking it one day at a time and whatever we get I'll hopefully race well," said Murphy (pictured left).

Yesterday, organisers issued a shark alert for the racing area after a sighting of "a large shark" inside the harbour area. There have been a number of attacks in recent weeks though no sailing boats have been involved.

Murphy was unaware of the warning going to sea yesterday but appeared unfazed afterwards, saying: "I'd love to see a shark -- that would be quite cool! If Jaws was chasing me I'd say I'd be sailing pretty fast."

Irish Independent