470 Euros – Two Aussie teams into Gold fleet finals

A superb Day 3 on the water for Australian teams competing at the 2023 Mixed 470 European Championship, Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (Australian Sailing Squad), along with Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (Australian Sailing Futures), making it into the Gold fleet finals that start tomorrow local time.

Winning Race 4 in the Yellow fleet, coupled with seventh and ninth places in the day’s three races, means Jerwood and Nicholas have rocketed up the board from 42nd into 16th place.

In the Blue fleet, Jackson and Higgins’ day was also successful, 18-7-5 results equating to a leap from 42nd up to 25th place and just nine points behind Jerwood and Nicholas.

The race area in San Remo, Italy was as unpredictable as ever. Concentration and boat handling skills had to be at a premium. Wind holes, gusts, big wind shifts and breezes ranging from 11 to 25 knots kept everyone on their toes as officials caught up the race schedule.

“In the first two races, in the lighter parts, it was easy for the boats behind you to get a gust or increase in pressure and pass you on the downwinds. In the last race you just had to keep the boat upright downwind. It was tricky,” Jerwood conceded.

“It was definitely quite strong wind, but patchy. In the first two races, the wind was coming off the land. It was gusty and we did lots of tacks. It was not straightforward windy racing. And then the wind bent right. You had to stay in the pressure in all three races.

Looking back, the West Australian athlete said, “Our first day was quite tough, but now we’re halfway through, doing a lot better and we’re into the Gold fleet. Sophie and Angus got into the Gold fleet too, so we’re all very happy.

“We had a much better day, thankfully, we’re relieved. We had two good starts and one not so good one – and that’s the race we won! We were first round the first mark in the first and second races and third in the third one, so our first upwind leg strategy and execution was good.”

Three races are on the schedule for the fleet tomorrow and Jerwood says, “The big thing is to recover and get a good sleep. The physio, Trina, had a busy afternoon with us and did a good job so I know we’ll get a good sleep,” Jerwood said, laughing.

Three races are scheduled to start from 1100am local time tomorrow and Jerwood says, “I hope we get a more normal weather day.”

The Mixed 470 European Championship is being conducted by Yacht Club Sanremo, in co-operation with the Italian 470 Class Association and the International 470 Class Association, and under the auspices of the Italian Sailing Federation (FIV).

Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) sailors results in Hyeres:

470 – 65 entries – 5 races (one drop)

16th Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS) 18, (19), 7, 1, 9 = 37 points

25th Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (ASF) (25), 14, 18, 7, 5 = 44

62nd James Jackson and Lily Richardson 26, 29, 32, 29, (DNC) = 116

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

By Di Pearson/AST media

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