Annalise Murphy will start racing in Florida today at her first competitive event since the London Olympics, the start of a four year campaign to Rio 2016.
The 22-year-old is competing at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami on Biscayne Bay where 300 of the world’s best sailors, representing 35 countries, will compete across six classes over the six day regatta.
Murphy will face competition from three of the world’s top Radial sailors in the 29 boat fleet including four-time Olympian Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR), 2012 Olympic rival Paige Railey (USA) and Finland’s Tuula Tenkanen who is ranked 5th in the world.
Marking the mid-point in her winter training programme, Annalise will use this event to sharpen her race skills ahead of the Laser European Championships, the main target for the 2013 season, which will be held in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin in September.
Commenting from Miami, Murphy remarked: "I am just getting back into training after taking a long break. All my plans for the next four years start here and it’s great to do it in Miami."
Joining Murphy in Miami for his first ever senior world cup event is 19-year-old Philip Doran from Gorey, Wexford.
The young sailor has risen through the ranks of the ISA’s Junior Pathway Programme and is now taking his first steps towards a campaign for Rio.
James O’Callaghan commented: "This is the beginning of a long road for Philip. The senior circuit will be a huge challenge for him but he certainly has the talent and dedication to get there."
In the Paralympic classes, ten-time Paralympic athlete and newly elected President of the International Association for Disabled Sailing, Corkonian John Twomey will be sailing in the Sonar class.
He is joined by fellow 2012 Paralympic teammate Ian Costello from Kerry and American sailor Bradley Johnson in the three-man boat.