Day 5: Australian sailors in Tokyo

It was a huge day for our Aussie sailors in Tokyo today, hear from them below and remember that you can a full list of results here.

Men’s two person dinghy (470)

Days don’t get much better at an Olympic regatta than posting back-to-back bullets when you are already wearing the gold bib, but that is exactly what out Men’s 470 team of Mat Belcher and Will Ryan did today.
“Today was one of those days where it felt like we sailed really well and did what we are capable of doing,” said Rio silver medallist Ryan. “Mat did a really good job of keeping us fast through all the racetrack on a pretty changeable day. He and I are working on a united strategy, one where we always challenge each other to make sure you are getting the best out of each situation.”
The pair have set themselves up nicely, but with only four of eleven races in the books they know they must be on their toes no matter the conditions. “Risk management on a day like today is the other big one,” continued Ryan. “It was a really large course so a lot of separation with a few unfamiliar faces leading the pack at times. It really showed the volatility, but we are happy with today and ready to move on.”

470 men are 1st overall
With two wins under their belt, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan are now first overall in the 470 fleet. Pic – Australian Sailing / Sailing Energy

Women’s two person dinghy (470)

The Women’s 470 fleet is one of the tightest being contested in Tokyo. Fremantle Sailing Club’s Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries now find themselves on the bubble of a big group vying for contention for the medal race after four races.
“It was definitely quite tough and challenging with the wave state and we had a lot of seaweed out there as well today,” noted Jerwood, the team’s helm.
“We could have done better in the first race. We got quite far forward in the first part of the race and then lost control of the fleet on one of the up winds and went the wrong way and lost a few places there. We learned from those mistakes and did a lot better in the second race. We were able to re-set, implement those improvements and put together a more complete race in the second.”

470 women are 11th overall
Nia Jerwood and Monique De Vries are looking to improve on their 11th place in the Women’s 470. Pic – Australian Sailing / Sailing Energy

Men’s one person dinghy (Laser)

Matt Wearn showed the world what he is made of today, with the Western Australian sailor adding two bullets to his scorecard that now sees him leading the Laser competition by 15 points with three races to come.
“You’re never going to feel bad coming off the water after two wins,” said Wearn in his usual understated manner. “There was a bit more breeze today which made for great sailing. It felt like I had underperformed earlier in the week so it was nice to be able to go out put together some performances like I would expect myself to do.”
The weather played in to Wearn’s hands, but he was more than ready to make the most of them when they presented.
“You get days like that which Australians absolutely love with a bit of breeze and some nice waves,” he concluded. “It was nice to unleash a bit of speed and do what I want to do. I had a couple of good starts which helped set up my races, but I know that there is still plenty of racing left.”

Matt Wearn got two first places
Matt Wearn bounced back from a much needed day of rest to get two wins in the Men’s Laser. Pic- Australian Sailing / Sailing Energy

Women’s one person dinghy (Laser)

Young Laser Radial sailor Mara Stransky is still sitting in the top 20 at her debut Olympic Games and is sitting ready to attack her final day of fleet races tomorrow.

Some youthful exuberance saw her fall afoul of the judges in the first race to collect a black flag, but was able to collect herself to post a solid 24th in the second race of the day.
Mara will hit the start line for Race 9 at 1:05pm AEST tomorrow.

Mara Stransky 20th overall Laser Radial
Laser Radial sailor Mara Stransky is looking to work her way up the leaderboard, after a receiving a black flag in race seven. Pic – Australian Sailing / Sailing Energy

Mixed multihull (Nacra 17)

Australia’s Rio 2016 Nacra 17 silver medallists know that their chances of producing a repeat podium performance in Tokyo will come down to a big second half of the regatta after a “tricky” day in Enoshima today.
“We got off the line really well but we’re just struggling a little bit for pace upwind,” said Darmanin. “It was just a tricky day for us. We couldn’t really get our head around the racetrack and not having sailed with this calibre fleet for some time means we are playing a bit of catchup.”
How are they feeling as they hit the half-way point of their regatta? “The overall feeling is that it would be nice to be leading the Olympics, but it is definitely not over by any means.”

Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin are 5th overall in the Nacra 17
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin have their work cut out for them in the Nacra 17 fleet. Pic – Australian Sailing / Sailing Energy

Men’s skiff (49er)

The pursuit of consistency is the key to winning any sailing regatta, and unfortunately today Australia’s 49er team of Will and Sam Phillips couldn’t quite back up their strong results from yesterday that had them in third place coming into today.
“It was funny because we had quite a few holes on the course and unfortunately we seemed to find most of them,” said younger brother Sam. “It was a course bias type of day and we just got a few wrong.
“You make a wrong call to begin with and you think you might get the next one right but unfortunately we just kept getting them wrong today. We are at the midpoint of the regatta now and there is still heaps of racing to go and you just need to hang in there to make sure you are there at the end.”

49er sailors are 8th overall
Brothers Will and Sam Phillips weren’t quite able to replicate their fantastic results from the day before. Pic – Australian Sailing / Sailing Energy

Men’s one person dinghy heavyweight (Finn)

Big conditions mean big hiking for the heavyweight Finn class, so Jake Lilley was happy enough to post two solid results today to keep himself in the hunt just past the half way point of his regatta.
“Brutal,” was the word used by Lilley to describe the day when he came ashore. “It was classic Finn conditions with full hiking and a bit of warfare really. It’s those conditions where it’s physical racing and really tight and you’ve just got to give it everything you’ve got.”
The Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron product is in Tokyo for one thing only though.
“This is the Olympics, it’s not an elimination race it’s an execution one,” he concluded. “You’ve got to come and take the medal, not wait for others to fall over.”

Jake Lilley is 8th overall in the Finn
Jake Lilley is going to do his best to “take the medal” in the Finn class. Pic – Australian Sailing / Sailing Energy

For more, see:

– Australian Sailing

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