The Laser European Championships start tomorrow (Thursday 8 October) in Gdańsk, Poland. Representing Ireland will be Rio 2016 silver medallist Annalise Murphy, Aoife Hopkins and Eve McMahon who compete against 109 other sailors from 36 countries in the women’s Laser Radial fleet. In the men’s Laser Standard, Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon are racing in a field of 133 sailors from 39 countries.
This is the first opportunity since the World Championships in Melbourne last February for the Laser class to compete in a large scale-format. Competition is set to be fierce with nearly 300 sailors due to compete at the event on Gdańsk Bay. Despite being on the Baltic Sea, Gdańsk Bay usually has warm weather at this time of the year, but unusual off-shore conditions.
All three of the 2016 Rio Olympic medallists will be competing in the Laser Radial: Ireland’s Annalise Murphy (Silver), Marit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands (Gold), and Anne Marie Rindom of Denmark (Bronze). Competing alongside Annalise are teammates Aoife Hopkins and Eve McMahon who at 16 will be one of the youngest competitors in the fleet.
Gdańsk will be familiar territory for Liam Glynn, who won the bronze medal here at the U21 Laser World Championships in 2018. He’ll be competing alongside teammate and 2016 Olympian Finn Lynch, and Ewan McMahon (brother to Eve).
The European Championships represent the last opportunity of 2020 to compete at the highest level of sailing. Once finished the team go into winter training in preparation for 2021 and all that it brings.
You can follow the results here: http://eurilca.org/2020-laser-senior-european-championships/ and racing concludes on Tuesday 13 October.