'Ireland’s Olympic Sailors - London 2012 Olympic Games'Finbarr O'Rourke/ Sail World

The Irish Sailing Association has recently declared the sailing team “genuine prospects” for the upcoming Olympic Games, presenting the full team line-up last week and winding down competition in preparation for the ultimate test in London.

 Following exceptional performances at the ISAF World Cup regatta in Weymouth last week, expectations are high that the team will deliver in August especially with the recent gold medal result of Peter O’Leary and David Burrows in Star keelboat fuelling a keen sense of anticipation and prospect. Annalise Murphy has also been in and around the medals in the Laser Radical single-handler with the Irish team said to have at least one boat which is consistently in the medal zone.

Overall the team is one of the strongest in Irish history with Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern competing in 49er skiff,  Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan in 470 and James Espey in the Laser who finished fourth in his Silver Fleet. All five of these boats have been put forward by the Olympic council to compete in London while veteran paralympian John Twomey from Kinsale will also compete in the Paralympics starting September 10th. Formerly a 6 time discuss competitor, Twomey represents a talented crew eager for more success on the biggest stage.

As the clock counts down to the games, preparations for the next six weeks will take place at Weymouth where the team will continue to push forward with fitness and endurance, aided by the continuous support of the ISC and the Irish Sports Council. Of course at the Olympic Games nothing is guaranteed, such is the uniqueness of the competition. However, the Irish Sailing team, who were recently ranked 5th by nation in terms of medal count at the regatta in Weymouth, will indeed be a force to be reckoned with.