Australian Laser youth sailors compete at major overseas events

Across July and August, 22 young Australian sailors are competing in world championship level events overseas in ILCA class Youth events for under 19-year old’s, the third and final of which is the ILCA4 Youth World Championships in Portugal from 13 -20 August.

Fifteen from Australia have entered (eight males, seven females) in a huge fleet of 445 entries from 44 countries. Most were to arrive with supporting parents a week before for the pre- event regatta and training. Two class coaches, Annie Eastgate (Queensland) and Luke Elliott (Western Australia) are the travelling coaches for the Australian group, with a total of 104 coaches registered.

Across the last week of July six ILCA6 youth sailors from Australia sailed in the ILCA6 Youth Worlds from the Houston Yacht Club, in Texas, USA.

Australian team at ILCA6 youth worlds with their coach Brody Riley – Jon Rawlings pic

Anneke Meyer , Hugo Ralph, Myles Wilson (Queensland) Patrick Cummin and Hamish Gilsenan (Victoria), Liam Cox (Western Australia) sailed in a fleet of 212 from 35 countries. Hamish, Patrick and Myles were the best placed of the Australians. The two sailed the second half of the series in the Silver fleet and finished top 15 for under 17 competitors.

The Australians benefitted significantly from the coaching of Brody Reilly, a Victorian Laser Association coach and Australian 2020 Men’s Laser Radial champion. Reilly, as travelling coach, spent five solid training days with them in Houston, Texas before the start of the regatta, providing pre and post-race debriefs each day.

Reports back was that the racing was very close and competitive. The Australians improved their sailing with plenty learned. Most of the sailors from European and American countries had benefited from larger fleet experience, particularly during the last two pandemic disrupted years.

In mid-July, Evie Saunders and Jack Eickmeyer were Australia’s representatives in the Men’s and Women’s single-handed events in the World Sailing’s Youth World Championships sailed in the Netherlands in ILCA6’s.

Evie, who sails from the Manly Yacht Club in Sydney, finished second overall in the 56-boat fleet from 56 countries. Jack, from Mornington Yacht Club in Melbourne, finished with a sixth and a 10th on the last day to finish 27th overall in a fleet of 61 boats from 61 countries.

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