A third Olympic appearance for Annalise Murphy is not going to plan after four races of the women’s single-handed event were completed on Monday.
A shaky start on Sunday was compounded by a 24th place followed by a 37th in her 44-strong class the next day, dropping her to 32nd overall.
Her form from both the London and Rio Olympics would atypically have her winning at least some of the early races. So far, after just four races she has been unable to break into the top ten.
Six races remain that will decide Sunday’s medal race final for the top ten boats.
Her first race of the day started well, in clear air on the front row of the fleet so well placed to make gains at the first mark – as her past form would have delivered.
Instead, a cautious approach saw others crews make gains on either extreme of the course while an encounter with the Italian boats saw her obliged to give way and compound her standing.
Her midfleet result in that race was followed by one of her worst ever – a 37th place after being unable to reel in the back-markers as she had shown only the previous day when she had a 12th place.
A tearful Murphy came ashore to face the reality of her scoreline.
“I made some big mistakes in the last upwind which cost me a good few places,” Murphy admitted. “I’ve been saying work pays off - well it’s not paying off this week.” Meanwhile, Tuesday will see a further two races before a rest day for Murphy’s event while it also marks the debut for Rob Dickson and Sean Waddilove in the 49er skiff event.
The Dublin pair had been prospects for Paris 2024 but the Covid crisis and subsequent postponement of the Games added to their growing performance curve.
As Olympic newcomers, like most events they face a mature line-up at the most senior level with the favourites for the event centred on Peter Burling and Blair Tuke from New Zealand, not only the Rio 2016 Gold medallists but with added double America’s Cup victories for good measure.
Three races are the norm for the 49er skiffs and 12 races are planned before the class medal race final on Monday.