The 49er/FX South American Championships wrapped up in Buenos Aires, Argentina over night with Australian Sailing Team’s David Gilmour (WA) and Rhys Mara (VIC) finishing the event in fifth and as the top ranked Australian crew.
The event served as a warm-up and welcome training opportunity in the lead-up to the World Championships from 16-22 November 2015 with unexpected light and shifty conditions throughout the regatta.
“We’re really happy how this Worlds pre-regatta went for us. We had limited training time before hand and finished fifth, which is really good leading into the Worlds. We’ve got to keep training though and have a lot to improve on and will hopefully see some different conditions too. We only had six to seven knots last week but hope to get out there when it’s a bit windier and choppier,” Rhys Mara said about the event.
Olympic gold medallists Nathan Outteridge (NSW) and Iain Jensen (NSW), who have only just returned to 49er Sailing after another stint with their Artemis America's Cup team, just missed out of the top-ten medal race to finish the regatta in eleventh.
“We just missed the medal race finishing in eleventh, but had some good performances. A lot of top fives but also a lot towards the back of the Gold Fleet, so we’ve got quite a bit to work on next week. It’s been a very light wind regatta, mostly three to seven knots. Nothing to what we were expecting here, but we have to work with the weather whatever it is. We haven’t had the best week and struggled in the super light conditions and as always, it takes a few days to dive into rig settings and get everything going again,” Nathan Outteridge said.
“For Goobs (Iain Jensen) and I it was good to be back in the boat as we haven’t really had much time since Rio (August test event). We arrived here just in time for racing so we didn’t get any day of training in before the actual event and used this for some racing training in the lead up to the Worlds. We’ve now got a week between this regatta finishing and the World’s starting in eight days,” Nathan Outteridge added.
With Victorian brothers Will and Sam Phillips finishing the event in 13th and Joel Turner (QLD) and Lewis Brake (QLD) in 19th, all four Australian Sailing crews finished in the top-20 of the 54-boat fleet, with all in the top-15 for most of the regatta.
“We’ve all achieved some really good results so hopefully we can convert that into the Worlds and all finish in that top bunch. All of us are very excited for the Worlds. It’s the pinnacle regatta for this year, Rhys Mara said.
“Dave and I sailed really well over the last five days and have been working together really closely with the rest of the squad and are looking forward to the Worlds next.”
In the women’s fleet Australian Sailing Squad’s Tess Lloyd (VIC) and Caitlin Elks (WA) wrapped up the build-up regatta in 18th overall.
The pair have only been back on the water for a couple of months after Tess recovered from the ankle injury she sustained at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Weymouth/Portland in June.
“The South American Champs were our first proper regatta since Weymouth. We had a good start to the event but didn’t perform very well on the last day having a little bit of trouble with the tide and our starts. But it just highlights what we need to work on for the Worlds coming up and it was a really good lead-up regatta. We are actually feeling quite confident going into the Worlds now,” Tess Lloyd said.
Sailed over the past four days, the regatta acted as a build up for this month’s 2015 49er and 49erFX World Championships, which will follow from 16-22 November 2015 at the same venue out of the Club Nautico San Isidro in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The 49er/FX South American Championships were raced over four days, Thursday 5 November through to Sunday 8 November 2015 with two days of qualifying series and two days of final series, Gold Fleet racing and a final top-ten Medal race.
The 49er/FX World Championships are scheduled to start racing on Monday, 16 November from 10:55 local time (AEDT +14hrs) with Qualifying Races over three days. Opening Series over three days. Fleet Races are scheduled for Thursday, 19 – Saturday, 21 November. The Medal Race is scheduled for 14:55 local time on Saturday, 21 November (AEDT Sunday, 22 November 3:55 a.m.).
Australian Sailing at 49er/FX South American Championships:
Men’s Skiff – 49er
– David Gilmour (WA/WAIS) & Rhys Mara (VIC/VIS) – AST: 4, 6, (8). 7, 11, 3, 1, 10 7, (25), 6 – 5th
– Nathan Outteridge (NSW) & Iain Jensen (NSW) – AST: (11), 1, 11, 8, 1, 16, (22), 4, 10, 18 – 11th
– Will Phillips (ASS – VIC/VIS) & Sam Phillips (VIC): (18), 12, 3, 10, (18), 9, 10, 8, 15, 9 – 13th
– Joel Turner (AST – QLD/QAS) & Lewis Brake (ASS – QLD/QAS) – ASS: 3, 4, (6), 5, 6, 15, 20, (23), 22, 23 – 19th
Women's Skiff – 49erFX
– Tess Lloyd (VIC/VIS) & Caitlin Elks (WA/WAIS) – ASS: 1, 3, (15), 11, 7, 19, 12, (23), 16, 17 – 18th
– Cora Zillich