With temperatures in the high twenties and sizeable swell across the racecourse, Kiel felt like Queensland for the Australian Sailing Team (AST) and Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) athletes competing in Germany where the top performer again was Tokyo Olympian, Mara Stransky, who continues to lead the ILCA 6 class.
“I had a good start yesterday and it is a long regatta so a lot can happen,” said Stransky. “I went out to have the best day I could, to continue learning and working on my speed skills. The key was keeping it simple, sailing long tacks and sailing fast and I ended yesterday with a first, and started today with a first.”
Assistant National ILCA 6 Coach Ben Walkemeyer has high praise for the squad: “It was another consistent day overall. The athletes are following their processes out on the racecourse.
“It’s been awesome to see them break through into that front group in the world and that is very exciting. Today’s breeze was stronger and patchier, which meant bigger pressure differences across the course.”
Mara confessed to some nerves before today’s racing: “I was a little bit nervous that I’d get Yellow Bib fever (worn by the leaders each day) and have a shocker, so I was happy to start out strong.
“There’s real quality here, so it is great to refine our skills and gain the tools to use moving forwards. The gods were smiling at me because in the last race I ducked the entire fleet and nobody tacked on me.”
Highlighting the growing depth of the ILCA 6 squad, Western Australian Zoe Thomson finished the day in fifth place overall.
“Three races today and some good size waves with some quite surfable, which is great on the ILCA 6, but hard work upwind,” noted Thomson.
“Initially I thought it would be a speed race and grinding that out, but it ended up being much tricker, managing the long tack and then staying in phase with the shifts. Getting a good lane was hard and so the start was really the key today.”
Asked why the ILCA 6 team is performing so well in Kiel, Thomson was quite clear: “This squad is pushing each other to do better and be better, and so it is fun to race each other amongst top international sailors.”
In the 49erFX, Olympian Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine continue to perform well with another four races sailed today.
“We got out there and saw gusts of up to 18 knots pretty early, and it was quite choppy with swell so it was difficult to find the best power zone as the breeze settled to pulse between 9-17 knots. As there wasn’t any racing on day one, we only had one day of qualifying and we made the cut, making into our first gold fleet which is a different style of racing,” Price said.
49erFX Coach Victor Paya added; “For us the Championship is quite new and we normally don’t race in three fleets, so mistakes are penalised a lot. With one day of qualifying, it was tough. Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot were very close to making it into the Gold fleet.
For the Australian 49er fleet, Kiel week is providing some harsh lessons, as National Coach Euan McNicol summed up after a tough day: “Both Tom Needham and Joel Turner and Jack Ferguson and Max Paul had keeper scores inside the top 10 in the first race, adjusting well to the pace of Gold fleet.
“In the second race there were a couple of errors heavily penalising both teams and the scores reflected accordingly. Unfortunately, the north-east breeze then shut down as a westerly change passed over and we had no more racing for the day.”
For the Nacra 17 fleet this is also a time of learning as Lisa Darmanin explained: “We are still learning to foil upwind with this new rudder system, so we tried a few things that both worked and didn’t work.
“Four races again tomorrow and a lot lighter, which will favour us racing-wise, but not learning-wise. We want breeze, even if it hurts us short term with our results, because we want to learn as much as possible from this event,” she ended.
Reflecting on today’s performance, Darmanin was clear on the variables involved: “Certainly we don’t want to be in 11th place, but we haven’t done enough training yet and Kiel Week is about getting as much leaning as we can before the big events; the European and Worlds.
“When you’re foiling, there is so much of your head in the boat, so it is great to have a good coach. You are able to see what we are doing and what the rest of the fleet is doing, learning as much as we can in such a short time of international competition.”
Chris Charlwood and Amelia Catt are the best placed Mixed 470 team after two solid races, but race three was impacted at the start when they hooked up to the pin end boat.
“It was just an error of judgement with the wave state and considerable water movement,” Charlwood said. “We both thought we were making it with thirty seconds to go, as two boats bailed to give us room. It was an error of judgement and next time it is about playing lower risk.”
Mixed 470 Coach Malcolm Page commented, “Chris and Amelia had a good day, they could have had a great day as they took on the pin boat at the last start and got tangled up there, meaning penalty turns impacted that result.”
Racing continues from 11am local time Saturday with athletes all pushing hard to qualify for the Medal Races on Sunday.
Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) entries at Kiel Week 2022:
470 Mixed (40 entries)
12th- Chris Charlwood and Amelia Catt (ASS) 3, 20, 15, 8, 4, (24) = 50 points
14th – Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS) 14, (30), 24, 5, 13, 4 = 60
30th- Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (ASF) (36), 31, 22, 25, 26, 31 = 135
49er (91 entries)
13th Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) 1, 3, 10, 9, 8. (17) = 31 points
20th Jack Ferguson and Max Paul (ASS) 5, 12, 8, 9, 9, (21) = 43
28th Jim Colley and Shaun O’Connor (ASS) 5, (12), 8, 10, 1, 11 = 35
39th Otto Henry and Flynn Twomey (ASF) 18, 8, 10, 18, 11 (19) = 65
40th Thomas Cunich and Miles Davey (ASF) (17),13, 12, 16, 10, (21) = 68
55th Tom Burton and Simon Hoffmann (ASS) (31 UFD), 9, 7, 22, 27, 30 = 95
62nd Ryan Littlechild and Jack Hildebrand (ASF) 24, (26), 18, 19, 5, 4, 3 = 73
49erFX (71 entries)
13th Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (ASS) (11), 8, 3, 8, 9, 15, (23) 6 = 60 points
27th Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) (12), 7, 6, 10, 5, 9, 1, 1 = 39
28th Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) 7, (15),10, 5, 7, 4, 6, 4 = 43
34th Mina Ferguson and Madeleine McLeay (ASF),15, 11, 1, 23 (RET), 12,11,15,10 = 75
49th Lilly Richardson and Matilda Richardson (ASF) 15, (19), 16, 14, 5, 1, 8 = 59
50th Chloe Fisher and Laura Thomson (ASF) 18, 18, (20), 13,1, 10,4 = 64
ILCA 7 (105 entries)
85th Luke Elliott (AST) 50 DNC, 50 DNC, 50 STP, 50 DNC, 50 DNF, 1, = 201
ILCA 6 (42 entries)
1st Mara Stransky (AST) (4), 2,1, 1, (5) 1 = 9 points
5th Zoe Thomson (ASS) (6), 6, 2, 3, (8),7 = 24
9th Elyse Ainsworth (ASS) 7, (9), 5, (12), 11, 5 = 37
10th Casey Imeneo (ASS) 2, 12, (22), 8, 7, 11 = 40
22nd Evie Saunders (ASF) (30), 25, 19,17, 25, 18 = 104
Nacra 17 (34 entries)
11th Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) 2, 3, 9, 17, (18), 13,15,16 = 75 points
17th Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland (ASS) 21, 19, 14, 11, (22), 18, 19, 12 = 114
21st Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown (ASF) 11 STP, 18, 20, 23, (29), 20, 23, 17 = 132
28th Archie Garrett and Sarah Hoffman (ASF) 20, 25, (30), 29, 26, 30, 27, 26 = 183
Full results at: https://kieler-woche.de/en/sailing/results.php
Blue Robinson/Australian Sailing