Sail Sydney’s Olympic class section has ended with national team and squad members winning six of the eight fleets.
Australian Sailing Squad members Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries made a late charge to win the women’s 470 ahead of Rio Olympians Carrie Smith and Jaime Ryan, Marlena Berzins finished with two bullets to secure the Laser Radial title and Australian Sailing Team members David Gilmour and Joel Turner emerged victorious in the 49er.
Jake Lilley took out the Finn class, while Mat Belcher and Will Ryan maintained a perfect scorecard to take out the 470 men’s class.
“The racing was tighter than the scorecard indicated,” Belcher said. “Sometimes the scorecard doesn’t reflect how tight the racing really is. It was just great to be out there with the young up and coming crews getting some good racing in.”
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin sealed the Nacra 17 series, though it wasn’t all plain sailing with the Rio silver medallists, “going down a mine” during final day racing.
“To find the limit you’ve got to push the limit and we did that a bit this week,” Waterhouse said. “We had a capsize in the last race yesterday as well [as today]. We’re just trying to get the 100 per cent fly time. I’m sure there will be plenty more.”
Darmanin said the pair was learning more about the foiling Nacra each time they raced and predicted more changes to come.
“I think the way we’re sailing now is going to be different to the way you’ll see us sailing in Tokyo,” she said. “I’m hoping we’re going to improve a lot.”
Kiwi Olympic silver medallists Alex Maloney and Molly Meech finished comfortably ahead of the 49erFX fleet, winning every race except a discarded second, while countrymen Sam Meech and Tom Saunders went one-two in the Laser class.
Finn World Champion Max Salminen was a popular addition to the Sail Melbourne and Sail Sydney regattas, making the most of a short stay in Australia.
“I came to Australia because my training partner recently had his second child, so he was out of action, and my coach was coming down here to see family and it was the only way that I could access him,” he said.
“It’s been a great time at Sail Melbourne and Sail Sydney. Sydney Harbour was tricky and I think for the locals, having that knowledge was beneficial. But the competition overall was better than I expected and I’m glad I came.”