Aussies bounce back at 470 Worlds

Conditions got funky in Sdot Yam, Israel for the second day of the 470 World Championships, with a rare offshore breeze making for shifty racing.

After a disappointing first day for the Australian Sailing Squad members, Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas came back fighting today in an attempt to squeeze into the Gold fleet.

Nicholas was extremely proud of how they approached the day and thoroughly enjoyed the changeable conditions.

“Today was an offshore breeze, really tricky, really punchy conditions, it topped out about 18 knots and dead flat water, so ripping around was fantastic,” Nicholas said.

“We’re really happy with today with a seventh and a ninth after yesterday’s heartbreaker day. We showed a lot of grit and fight to come back and show our mental strength. We’re really proud of the effort that we put in even to get close (to Gold fleet).”

The pair were just 8 points off the Gold fleet cut, with the previous day’s results stinging just a little more. However, the WAIS athletes are focusing heavily on skill development and mental resilience this week.

Jerwood commented, “After a really tough day yesterday Conor and I had some pretty honest conversations and decided that our starts were good, yet we got the priorities for the day wrong. So today we got out on the race course a little earlier and really worked out what sort of day it was.

“It was an offshore breeze, quite flicky and unpredictable, a little bit like Freo in an easterly actually,” joked the Fremantle Sailing Club local.

“Tomorrow we will be in Silver fleet, and there is no changing that after the first day but we still have three days of racing to go. It’s our first Worlds together so it’s about continuing to learn, keep our chins up and do the best we can.”

Australian 470 national coach Malcolm Page was pleased with how the team took to the water on the second day of racing.

“They had phenomenal speed upwind to match everybody, they are a little slow on the downwind, but the little things we wanted to focus on from yesterday they executed really well,” observed Page.

“The results show we have a lot more work to do. The potential is there, but we all know the 2024 Olympic Games are very close, so the clock is ticking and we just got to keep working hard and not give up.”

The Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be the debut of the Mixed 470, after traditionally racing the men and women separately. With this format, most teams are new teams, making for an exciting regatta to see who is crowned World Champion.

The Final series kicks off tomorrow with the German team of Luise Wanser and Phillipp Autenrieth currently leading ahead of Lara Vadlau and Lukas Mahr of Austria.

A live stream of the racing will be available from tomorrow so make sure to visit the event website to catch the racing and check the full results.

Jerwood and Nicholas pushing hard CREDIT Nikos Alevromytis Int. 470 Class
Jerwood and Nicholas pushing hard CREDIT Nikos Alevromytis Int. 470 Class

Australian Sailing Squad (ASS), and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) entries at the 2022 470 World Championships:

470 Mixed (60 entries)

36th – Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS) – (24), 24, 18, 7, 9 (58 points)

52nd – Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (ASF) – 28, 29, 20, (UFD), 23 (100 points)

Words by Lisa Darmanin

Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas in fleet CREDIT Nikos Alevromytis Int. 470 Class
Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas in fleet CREDIT Nikos Alevromytis Int. 470 Class
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JPK 11.80 July 2024