ISAF World Sailing

Both of Ireland’s 49er teams pulled out the necessary results at the ISAF Sailing World Championships to stay in contention for Olympic qualification. Andrea Brewster & Saskia Tidey qualified for the female 49erFX Gold fleet while their teammates - Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern from Providence Team IRL - moved up to 6th overall in the 49er Gold fleet.

Today was the final day of the qualifying series for the 55 boats in the 49erFX fleet. The Irish team; Andrea Brewster & Saskia Tidey had a 5th and a 6th which boosted them significantly from 35th overnight to 17th. They make Gold fleet along with the other top 24 teams. The ISA Development sailors will now fight it out with the 14 other nations in Gold to try and secure one of the 10 coveted spots available.

Commenting after racing Andrea Brewster remarked “We needed to have two really good races today and we nailed it”. “It was really gusty but we found all our skills were really good on the course. Everything we’d been practising really paid off and we’re so thrilled with today” followed Saskia Tidey.

Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern last night finished the qualifying series in 12th position, making the cut for the 49er Gold fleet. In order to earn Ireland a place at the 2016 Games, the Northern Irish pair must also finish the regatta within the top 10 nations. A total of 88 teams from 33 nations are competing in the men’s skiff class so every result counts.

Sailing in 20 knots this afternoon, the boys warmed up with an 11th in Race 6. From there they kept on an upward trajectory with a 9th in Race 7 followed by a 6th in Race 8 and finally a 2nd in Race 9. These solid results were enough to move them up three places in the leader board to 6th overall.

ISA Performance Director James O’Callaghan stated “A really solid day from the skiff teams today. Both are now really well positioned going into Gold and the fight to secure nation qualification“.

All results provisional
*** *** ***
17th of September

Annalise Murphy from Providence Team IRL has today become the second sailor to qualify Ireland for the 2016 Olympics. Competing at the first Olympic Qualifier in Spain, Murphy has finished 20th overall from 120 boats and 16th nation. Only the top 19 nations, from a total of 58, earned their country the chance to compete at the Games in Brazil in two years’ time.

“I started the regatta pretty badly so it was difficult to back out on the second day and make Gold fleet. But I had a really good day and then continued to claw my way back up the fleet” commented Murphy. She went on to say “My primary goal for competing here was to win a medal but my secondary goal was to qualify to county. Unfortunately I didn’t quite reach my first goal but it’s great to have been able to qualify Ireland in the Laser Radial”.

The 23 year old from Rathfarnham, who competes in the Laser Radial class, had a mixed performance at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander where 50% of the Olympic places were awarded. Her results ranged from a 5th to a 43rd in what were light conditions for the majority of the regatta. Today was the final day of racing and the final chance for Murphy to qualify. Overnight she was 28th and 21st nation so everything hinged on her performance in today’s scheduled three races.

The wind had arrived this morning averaging about 20 knots. With no room for error, Murphy catapulted herself to the top pf the fleet in the first race of the day. Neck and neck with the world’s best, she crossed the finish line in 13th place. This was exactly what she needed boosting her up to 20th overall and 16th nation. Two further races had been scheduled but at 18.05 CEST the decision was made to cancel due to the lack of wind.

James O’Callaghan commented “While the overall result was not her best, you can’t but be impressed with the way Annalise fought back after a disastrous first day. We are delighted with nation qualification“.

There was a sense of déjà vu for Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern today. The Providence Team IRL skiff sailors had been reseeded to the 49er Yellow fleet but perfectly mimicked yesterday’s results; a 2nd and a 15th. One further race will have to be sailed tomorrow by the Blue fleet in order to make a qualifying series. At that time the overall positions will be known and the Gold and Silver fleet cut will be made.

The 20 knot breeze in the early afternoon caused plenty of drama for Ireland’s 49erFX pair. Andrea Brewster & Saskia Tidey broke their mast before the first race of the day had even begun. They raced ashore where real sportsmanship quickly became apparent. Team USA and fellow teammates Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern, as well as numerous others, rushed to their assistance. Within moments they had replaced their mast and were making their way back out to the race course. Within that time the race had been riddled with capsizes and was ultimately abandoned which meant no penalty for the girls.

The FX fleets then had one race a piece in the afternoon. Brewster & Tidey finished 14th and now lie 35th overall. They’ll have two more qualifying races tomorrow before they separate into Gold and Silver.

There was only one final fleet race today for James Espey and the Laser Standard Gold fleet. He finished 44th in Race 8 and 38th overall. The Providence Team IRL sailor qualified Ireland for the 2016 Olympics in the men’s single-handed class earlier in the week.

Finn Lynch and the Laser Bronze fleet had no racing again today for their final day of the regatta. Lynch finishes his first Laser Standard World Championship in 101st place out of 147 sailors. No mean feat for the 18 year old who only graduated to this highly competitive senior class earlier this year.

Ross Hamilton sailed three races today in the Finn class. He had a 33rd, 32nd and 30th leaving him 64th overall and qualifying for the Silver fleet for the rest of the Championship. Racing will continue for the Finn class until the 21st of September.

All results provisional


Yesterday was a very busy day at the ISAF Sailing World Championship in Santander.

Thankfully the wind had arrived by late morning and the 1,000+ sailors enjoyed between 7-12 knots depending on which of the seven courses they were on. However it did die off again later in the afternoon causing postponements and abandonments all round.

Following their rest day yesterday, Team IRL’s James Espey and Annalise Murphy were back on the water again with the Laser Gold fleets.

Annalise Murphy was on form for her first Laser Radial Gold race of the day. She dominated at the top of the 60 boat fleet finishing in 5th place – an important result in such light, tricky conditions. Later in the afternoon Race 7 was attempted and then abandoned as the wind dropped. She’s now 28th overall and 21st nation. After tomorrow’s final day of fleet racing, the top 19 nations will earn a place for their country at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern kicked off their 49er World Championship in style with an impressive 2nd place in Race 1 for the Blue fleet.  Team IRL duo’s 15th in Race 2 was also a good result but they slipped to the back of the fleet in Race 3 to finish 38th. They have one more day of qualification fleet racing tomorrow before the Gold, Silver and Bronze split.

In the Gold Laser Standard, Espey had two mid-fleet results. Lying 26th overnight, he slipped to 34th overall after a 28th and 36th in races 6 and 7. He will continue racing tomorrow with the top 10 from the 147 competitors then progressing to the Medal Race on Thursday to fight for the world title.

The ISA’s 49erFX Development sailors Andrea Brewster & Saskia Tidey finally made their Santander debut this morning. Initially they sailed two races in the Yellow fleet placing a respectable 16th followed with an encouraging 11th. This put them 29th overall from 55 once the Blue fleet had also sailed. Just before 7pm local time the pair sailed one more race in very difficult, light conditions. The entire fleet were struggling and the course was shortened but later abandoned.

The Finn class also began racing today which included one Irish sailor; Ross Hamilton. He had a 27th in his first race putting him 53rd overall. Not further races were successful completed.

Finn Lynch and the Laser Bronze fleet attempted one race in the early evening which was promptly abandoned.

Racing is scheduled tomorrow for all fleets.


All results are provisional

For full results see

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*** *** ***
15th of September

Only two of the scheduled 35 races were successfully sailed today at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Spain. The fickle breeze failed to lift above the required 4 knots for the majority of the day meaning the 1,000+ competitors had a lot of waiting around either ashore or afloat or both. The thousands of spectators, although disappointed in the lack of action, made the most of the beautiful sun and incredible shore-side entertainment and variety of stalls along Santander’s promenade.

The Laser Gold fleets, which include James Espey and Annalise Murphy, were on a rest day but Finn Lynch in the Laser Standard Bronze fleet had been scheduled for afternoon racing. Luckily, the decision was made early in the afternoon by the Race Management team to cancel.

Still on the agenda were the first races for the 49er, 49erFX and Finn classes who had only been practising up until this point. Unluckily for Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern (49er), Andrea Brewster & Saskia Tidey (49erFX) and Ross Hamilton (Finn), they spent more than six hours either under postponement or attempting races which had to be abandoned.

At 18.45 CEST was the decision finally made to cancel the rest of the proposed races.

Racing is scheduled for all fleets for tomorrow.

*** *** ***
14th of September

Another day of light winds today at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in northern Spain. Only a few fleets managed to race and, in some cases, competitors experienced delays of more than five hours before the decision was finally made to abandon racing.

James Espey made the most of his chance to compete. After two nervy starts by his fellow competitors - resulting in nine sailors’ disqualification for being over the start line early - the Gold fleet finally got underway on the third attempt. Espey was rewarded for his composure. The 4-8 knot breeze saw him strong off the start line and jostling for position in among the leaders. At the mid-point he was in 4th place but slipped a few places in the second half of the race to finish a respectable 10th. He now lies in 26th overall, an impressive climb from last night’s 40th.

The Laser Radial Gold fleet got their fifth race underway at 15.50. Annalise Murphy’s gritty performance yesterday looked set to be repeated when she rounded the first mark in 9th but such are the difficulties with the conditions - she got caught out on the wrong side and ended up 37th. She now lies 45th overall within the 60 boat fleet.

Racing was abandoned for Finn Lynch and the Laser Standard Bronze fleet at 18.30 having failed to even start a race.

Tomorrow is a rest day for the Laser classes, however this may change given they dropped a race today.

Three new classes will begin racing tomorrow for the first time. Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern will be representing Ireland in the men’s 49er class, Andrea Brewster & Saskia Tidey will compete in the female 49erFX while Ross Hamilton will take on the dinghy heavyweights in the Finn fleet.


All results are provisional

For full results see

Live Tweeting
We'll be tweeting in real time throughout every race.     #Santander2014     #ISAFWorlds
Find all the latest news, updates and sailor biographies online:

*** *** ***

13th of September

London 2012 Olympic veteran James Espey has today become the first sailor to qualify Ireland for the 2016 Olympics. Espey began competing yesterday at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain where 50% of the Rio Olympic places are being awarded. Only two days into the six-day regatta and he has qualified for the Gold fleet in the Laser Standard class. With 22 nations being represented in the Gold fleet but a total of 23 nation places available Espey has now guaranteed Ireland a spot in Rio.

Today was an important day for the Irish Laser sailors competing at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain. James Espey, Annalise Murphy and Finn Lynch each had two fleet races to sail before the Gold, Silver and Bronze splits were decided for the remainder of the regatta.

The men’s Laser Standard Blue fleet had a general recall in Race 3 which delayed proceedings slightly. However a successful second attempt saw the 49 boats get a clear start over the line at 14.10. James Espey finished 33rd to sit comfortably in the top third of the 150 boat fleet in 38th. Finn Lynch finished 27th moving him up to 100th overall.

Race 4 got underway at 17.15 and Espey had another solid performance. His 15th saw him climb to 40th overall and within the top 49 which qualified him for the Gold fleet and as only 22 nations will be represented in the Gold fleet Espey has now guaranteed Ireland a spot in Rio.

“James is building momentum. He’s jumped the qualification hurdle and will now be focusing on getting a personal best” enthused ISA Performance Director James O’Callaghan.

Finn Lynch finished 29th, dropped one place to 101st and will now compete within the Bronze fleet.

Race 3 got underway at 13.35 CEST for Annalise Murphy and the Laser Radial Blue fleet, in light conditions. Yesterday Murphy struggled to get off the line, but today she had a great start and was free to make good tactical decisions. Drastically improving on her previous performance, Murphy finished 9th to jump up the leader board from 86th to 58th.

The female Laser competitors then had a long and frustrating wait on the water as they watched the wind completely die off. An attempt at a second race was made at 14.55 but abandoned 15 minutes later when the wind dropped to 2 knots. At 17.15 the breeze filled in to between 7-10 knots and Race 4 finally got underway. Murphy pulled in another top 10 result, finishing 7th to leap even further up the leader board to 41st overall and guaranteeing her the all-important place in the top 60 boat Gold fleet.

James O’Callaghan, the ISA’s Performance Director commented “Annalise showed her maturity today in blocking out a bad day yesterday and focussing on what was in her control. In light, tricky conditions she did what was needed to keep in the hunt for nation qualification“.

Racing continues for both Laser classes until the medal races on the 18th of September.

All results are provisional

For full results see

Live Tweeting
We'll be tweeting in real time throughout every race.     #Santander2014     #ISAFWorlds
Find all the latest news, updates and sailor biographies online:


*** *** ***
13th of September

Ten days of action packed racing kicked off in Spain today at the ISAF Sailing World Championships; the peak event for high performance sailing since the London Olympics.
The scheduled 1pm start in Santander was postponed for 90 minutes as Race Officials waited for the 2 knot wind to fill out to a light 6-7 knot breeze.
First up to represent Ireland were James Espey and Finn Lynch who are both competing in the Laser Standard class of 150 sailors. The fleet has been separated based on world rankings into three groups; Blue, Yellow and Red. Both Irish men are sailing in the Blue fleet until Sunday (14 Sept) when they will split to Gold, Silver and Bronze based on the initial results.
Race 1 began at 14.25 CEST. Providence Team IRL’s James Espey got off to a strong start leading the top of the fleet alongside the UK’s Nick Thompson. He fought hard but slipped a few places to finish 6th with Thompson taking the win. 18 year old Finn Lynch, who is current U19 World Champion, finished a notable 27th in this very senior and experienced class.
Espey finished 16th in Race 2 to move him to 26th overall while Lynch followed his 27th with a 43rd and lies 109th.
Annalise Murphy got off to a slow start finishing 37th in her first race. She followed that with a 44th in Race 2 leaving her 86th overall from 120 boat Laser Radial class.
“As expected it was a difficult day on the water. James has made a very solid start and will hope for a repeat tomorrow. Annalise will be disappointed but focused on tomorrow" remarked ISA Performance Director James O’Callaghan.
Racing continues until the 18th September for both Laser classes.
All results are provisionalFor full results see

Live Tweeting
We'll be tweeting in real time throughout every race.     #Santander2014     #ISAFWorlds
Find all the latest news, updates and sailor biographies online:

*** *** ***
11th of September

1,250 sailors in over 900 boats from 84 nations will begin competing at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Spain tomorrow. 50% of Rio 2016 Olympic places will be up for grabs at the regatta as well as numerous World Titles.
The ISAF Worlds, hosted in Santander in northern Spain, is the event every sailor has been aiming to peak at since the London 2012 Olympic Games and the competition will be fierce. Among the sailing talent will be eight Irish sailors, competing across five different classes.
This event will be the first opportunity for Team IRL and the other Irish sailors to qualify Ireland for the 2016 Games in the following classes:
 Team IRL (sailors that competed in London 2012)
Laser Radial – Annalise Murphy
Laser Standard – James Espey
49er – Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern
ISA Development Academy (sailors in training for 2016)
Laser Standard – Finn Lynch
49erFX – Andrea Brewster & Saskia Tidey
Other (Sailor campaigning independently of the ISA and Irish Sports Council’s Programme)
Finn – Ross Hamilton
First to compete will be the Laser classes. This will include Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial and James Espey and Finn Lynch both in the Laser Standard. Racing for these classes will begin tomorrow and continue until the top 10 boats qualify for the Medal Races on Thursday the 18th of September. The top 19 nations will qualify their country for the Games in the Radial fleet and the top 23 will qualify in the men’s Standard fleet.
The 49er, 49erFX and Finn classes will begin racing on Monday the 15th of September, concluding the regatta with their Medal Races on Sunday the 21st of September. Ireland will have three teams competing in these classes including duos Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern and Andrea Brewster & Saskia Tidey. Both of these teams must finish in the top 10 nations to qualify for the Games in two years’ time.
ISA Performance Director James O’Callaghan remarked “If we can get three boats qualified for the Games at this regatta it would be a huge achievement. Qualifying early sets up the cycle very well".

Live Tweeting
We'll be tweeting in real time throughout every race.     #Santander2014     #ISAFWorlds
Find all the latest news, updates and sailor biographies online:
Full Results & Event Website
For full results and further information on the ISAF Sailing World Championships & Olympic Qualifiers

Race Schedule

Sailor(s) Class Fleet Racing Medal Race Competitors Nations Olympic Qualification
Annalise Murphy Laser Radial 12, 13, 14, 16, 17 Sept 18 Sept 120 58 Top 19 Nations
James Espey Laser Standard 12, 13, 14, 16, 17 Sept 18 Sept 150 72 Top 23 Nations
Finn Lynch Laser Standard 12, 13, 14, 16, 17 Sept 18 Sept 150 72 Top 23 Nations
Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern 49er 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 Sept 21 Sept 88 33 Top 10 Nations
Andrea Brewster & Saskia Tidey 49erFX 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 Sept 21 Sept 62 29 Top 10 Nations
Ross Hamilton Finn 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 Sept 21 Sept 76 32 Top 12 Nations



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