Australians keeping dreams alive at 2022 Euros

Day 3 of the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships in Aarhus, Denmark and Australian Sailing Team (AST) and Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) athletes kept their dreams alive on the Bay of Aarhus, as they continued to manage the big shifts and pressure changes that have been prominent throughout the regatta.

Three 49er teams, led by Jim Colley and Shaun O’Connor (ASS), made it into the Gold fleet finals. The NSW athletes did not have their best day, but a fourth place in Race 8 equated to seventh overall and within striking distance of the top six overall.

Queenslanders Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) are eighth overall on countback to Colley and O’Connor, scoring third, fourth and 10th places. Jack Ferguson and Max Paul were solid too, scoring 8-1-9 results lifting them up to 14th overall.

“We’re pretty happy with our day,” Turner confirmed. “Tom and I have found some nice rhythm recently and we’re continuing to work on that. We’re also on top of our communication now.

“Today was wacky with large wind shifts. A lot of it has been recognising how big the shifts are. It’s easy to over complicate it, but we’ve been simplifying it. Starting was a goal today too. We managed to improve that a fair bit, so we didn’t have to fight back into the top of the fleet, we were there from the start.

“We’re in a pretty comfortable position going into the Gold fleet tomorrow, so we’ll attack over the next few days,” Turner ended.

Jack Ferguson and Max Paul at their first European regatta
Jack Ferguson and Max Paul at their first European regatta – credit Beau Outteridge

At 19 and 21 respectively, Jack Ferguson and Max Paul (ASS) have made an impressive debut at their first European event. The NSW sailors pulled off a win yesterday and added another one to their tally today.

“This is our first big step up. I didn’t really know what to expect of our first trip to Europe. We thought we may have a chance to get up there if we kept working hard. I’ve been around a lot of high pressure sailing in youth events and Max and I have done a lot of intense racing and training at home. It has allowed us to give it a good shot here.”

“We capitalised on a big right hander (90-degree shift) to win Race 8. We’ve had our moments, but we are still learning.”

Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin are back in the groove
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin are back in the groove – credit Beau Outterige

In the Nacra 17, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) moved up to 10th overall, firing off a fourth and an eighth. The Rio Olympic silver medallists were looking good in Race 9 until Darmanin’s trapeze belt hook gave way.

“Fortunately, it happened upwind so I didn’t go in the water. Had it been downwind, with speed, it could have ended very differently. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t a disaster. Two earlier glamours got us to the front.”

On their marked improvement, Darmanin said, “We are going way better. We’re getting a handle on upwind foiling, so we can race properly now. We’re so happy with our speed, because we’ve been on the back foot since Palma and we’re getting it back together now.

“It’s a baptism of fire being back on the campaign trail. We are halfway through this regatta, so we still have room to move up,” she said, as they aim to stay inside the top ten for Sunday’s Medal Race.

Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot amid the action on Day 3
Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot amid the action on Day 3 – credit Beau Outteridge

Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) continue to dominate the Australians competing in the 49erFX. The first race of the day resulted in 26th place, but the NSW pair rallied and reeled off fourth and sixth places in the next races.

“We were off the back of the fleet from the beginning in the first one and couldn’t find our way back through the fleet,” Harding, from Victoria said.

“Our other two races were tricky, with a bit more to play for, but we picked the shifts well and we were fast,”

In 11th place overall, Harding and Wilmot made the cut for the Gold fleet final series, as did Tokyo Olympian Tess Lloyd and her new crew Dervla Duggan (ASS), whose 20th overall qualifies them.

“It’s definitely nice to be back in the Gold fleet. A new regatta starts tomorrow and we have to keep picking the shifts,” Harding said.

The Olympic classes regatta continues Friday local time.

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) results and overall placings:

Nacra 17 (33 entries) – 9 races (one drop)

10th – Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) (15), 13, 10, 14, 7, 4,4, 8, 13 = 73pts

16th – Jack Liddell and Lucy Copeland (AST) 14, (23), 23, 13, 12, 18, 15, 17, 6 = 118

19th – Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown (ASF) (26), 16, 19, 25, 26, 22, 14, 19, 10 = 151

24th – Archie Gargett and Sarah Hoffman (ASF) 20, (28), 31, 20, 27, 27, 26, 16, 18 = 182

49erFX (70 entries) – 9 races (one drop)

11th – Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) 20, 2, 3, 23, 11, 2, (27), 4, 6 = 70pts

20th – Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) 12, 17, 5, 13, 9, 7, (18), 8, 13 = 83

34th – Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (ASS) 21, 14, 17, 10, (30), 22, 6, 17, 8 = 115

44th – Chloe Fisher and Laura Thomson (ASF) 16, 24, 18, 26, (28), 9, 14, 27, 18 = 152

64th – Mina Ferguson and Madeleine McLeay (ASF) (DNC), DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, 13, 27, 27 = 247

70th – Lilly Richardson and Matilda Richardson (ASF) DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC = 288

49er (93 entries) – 9 races (one drop)

7th – Jim Colley and Shaun O’Connor (ASS) 3, 5, 9, 4, 1, 3, (17), 4, 14 = 43pts

8th – Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) 11, 7, 2, 3, (14), 3, 3, 4, 10 = 43

14th – Jack Ferguson and Max Paul (ASS) 5, 6, (18), 10, 9, 1, 8, 1, 9 = 49

28th – Tom Burton and Simon Hoffman (ASS) (28), 7, 11, 14, 4, 10, 14, 5, 13 = 78

38th – Thomas Cunich and Miles Davey (ASF) 10, 13, 13, 15, 16, 16, 12, (26), 12 = 107

76th – Otto Henry and Flynn Twomey (ASF) 26, 29, 19, 19, 21, (DNC), 10, 25, 22 = 171

90th – Ryan Littlechild and Jack Hildebrand (ASF) (DNC), DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC = 256

Follow the regatta, including full results here:

By Di Pearson/Australian Sailing Team media

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