Racing gets underway at the 2023 Mixed 470 European Championship on Monday local time at Marina degli Aregai, on the waters of San Remo in Italy, where three teams will represent Australia.
Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas, Australian Sailing Squad) (ASS) are the top ranked Australians having recently been selected to represent Australia at the 2024 Olympic Test Event in Marseille from 9-16 July. Jerwood competed in the now defunct Women’s 470 class at the 2020 Tokyo Games and Nicholas is a past F18 world champion.
Jerwood and Nicholas, from Western Australia, are joined in Italy by Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) athletes, Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins along with James Jackson and Lily Richardson, promising stars of the future.
All three teams have come into the Europeans fresh from competing at the Hyeres Regatta in France in late April, where despite suffering damage to their boat, Jerwood and Nicholas made it into the Gold fleet finals and finished 30th.
The duo won the 470 class at Sail Melbourne and then won the national championship. Jackson and Higgins finished runners-up at both events.
“The 470 Mixed Europeans are an important step within each of the Australian entries’ 2023 international campaigns. We are looking forward to seeing each boat building from their experiences in Hyeres and are keen to witness a decisive step forward into the Gold fleet and towards the Medal Race,” High Performance Director, Iain Brambell says.
The Paris Games marks the debut of the Mixed 470 class, replacing individual Men’s and Women’s 470 competition. The end result means some past Olympic medallists as well as world and European champions have since joined forces to make potent pairings.
Among the competition are defending European champions Anton Dahlberg and Lovisa Karlsson (SWE), reigning world champions Luise Wanser and Philipp Autenrieth (GER) and the top three from recent international competitions in Palma and Hyeres.
Two names that stand out since the advent of the Mixed 470 are Tokyo Men’s bronze medallist Jordi Xammar and Nora Brugman. The Spanish team are frequently on the podium, making them the benchmarks of the class.
Australia has a rich Olympic history in the 470 Men’s and Women’s classes having successfully podiumed at eight Olympic Games with six gold medals and one each of silver and bronze medals.
The 470 European Championship Opening Series begins on Monday 15 May local time. The Medal Race, on Saturday 20 May, will bring the event to a conclusion.
Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) sailors in Italy:
Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS)
Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (ASF)
James Jackson and Lily Richardson
Full entry list and all information: https://2023europeans.470.org/en/default/races/race
By Di Pearson/AST media