470 Euros – Lessons learned as Medal Race approaches

In the three races completed on Day 4 of the 2023 Mixed 470 European Championship, Australia’s top ranked team of Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (Australian Sailing Squad), dropped just one place and learned some valuable lessons with just one day of Gold fleet racing remaining ahead of Saturday’s Medal Race for the top ten.

For the first time, San Remo, Italy dished up ideal conditions and ones perfectly suited to the Australian temperament; a 15-knot easterly and big waves. Perfect surfing conditions on the trapezoid course.

“It was fantastic, a lot of fun out there,” Nicholas said. “The only trick was a big lefthand shift right on the righthand layline. You could go from first to 10th by tacking one lane too short.

“It was quite a tricky day. We had our moments,” the West Australian said of a best result of ninth in the last race of the day. “We were fast upwind but lost on the downwinds.”

However, he and Jerwood took a lot away from the day: “The biggest thing was we were being too cautious. We didn’t dial up when we needed to. When you step into the Gold fleet, everyone dials it up to 100 and you see a different mindset in the top teams.

“There are still a lot of positives to take from our day. We are not pleased but we’re not disheartened either,” Nicholas shared.

“We’re coming along. Having a new coach (Andrea Mannini) has been a real blessing.

“We’re very proud of how we’ve come along and proud to have our training partners (eighth placed Giacomo Ferrari and Bianca Caruso, ITA) who push us along,” Nicholas ended.

The penultimate day of Gold fleet finals has been a revelation to the Australians and given them new zest.

“The game plan tomorrow is simple; go out and win. We are the fastest in the world upwind, but stringing a whole good race together is the key for us. As we said to our coach, ’We have nothing to lose and have to go out there and take risks like the big guys.”

Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (Australian Sailing Futures) dropped a few places down to 32nd, disqualification for a premature start in Race 7 proving costly.

In the Silver fleet, James Jackson and Lily Richardson have picked up two places after scoring a trio of 24th places.

Three more races are scheduled to start from 1100am local time tomorrow. Those races will decide the top ten to go into the Medal Race on Saturday to decide the champions.

Australian Sailing Squad (ASS), Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) and Australian sailors’ results:

470 – Gold fleet – 8 races (one drop)

17th Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS) 18, (19), 7, 1, 9, 14, 19, 9 = 77 points

32nd Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (ASF) 25, 14, 18, 7, 5, 32, (UFD), 32 = 133

470 – Silver fleet – 8 races (one drop)

60th James Jackson and Lily Richardson 26, 29, 32, 29, (DNC), 24, 24, 24 = 188 points

Full entry list and all information: https://2023europeans.470.org/en/default/races/race

By Di Pearson/AST media

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Web: www.australiansailingteam.com.au

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