ANNALISE Murphy produced a fairytale win in Dun Laoghaire last Sunday, claiming the Laser European title, landing the first major title since last summer’s Olympic Games in Weymouth.
There, she agonisingly missed out on a medal in the final but the 23-year-old made no mistake this time around on her home waters to bounce back from that disappointment in stunning style.
Murphy had led overall after the first two days of her first Olympic regatta, winning four races in succession and went into the medal race finale as one of four girls who were only one point apart.
Just over a year ago Murphy proved to be the one who finished empty handed and disappointed.
But she triumphantly topped the European Championship standings last Sunday, with eight wins from 12 starts, to leave Holland’s 2012 silver medallist Marit Bowmeester in her wake as runner up, a conclusive 22 points behind, and Belgium’s bronze medallist Evi van Acker 31 points adrift.
Murphy was carried up the slip of the National Yacht Club shoulder high by her fellow Irish sailors still in her Laser, smiling broadly.
“It was pretty tough after the Olympics,” she said afterwards. “It hurt to have finished fourth, especially to have been in a medal position all the way through. It made me train pretty hard this year, I have been pretty focused these last few months and I knew I had a goal here. I was not too sure how everyone else was going to perform. I am so delighted.
“It is so special to win here at my home club. My mum and dad are here, my sister is here. It is awesome, it is great to see all the club members here sharing it with me. They have been such a huge support for me over the last two years.
“It is great. Rio is still three years away. I have a lot of training to do but this feels great to win my first big event.”
“I have not done any more or less training here or before Weymouth. I have always done plenty. I have another year’s experience. I was extremely nervous after my first two days at the Olympics after winning the first four races.
“But here, after winning so many races, I did not have that same nervous feeling, because I knew what not to do. I was a bit apprehensive today but mostly I wanted to just prove I could go out and have another good day.”
In the Men’s Laser Radial fleet, 17-year-old local ace Finn Lynch, who won silver at last year’s ISAF Youth World Championships, sailed consistently throughout, notching up nine top five finishes including two race wins.