Australians lift at iQFOiL European Championships

Australians Will McMillan and Grae Morris produced their best on Day 4 of the iQFOiL European Championships overnight, as Lake Garda, Italy continued to offer up conditions to appeal to the masses.

Four Course races were held in a wide range of winds that built up early and competitors found 15-17 knots at the bottom of the course. The top end was markedly different, with a variable 7 to 15 knots. This translated to big losses and big gains to be made, making it imperative to be aware of where the pressure was.

Will McMillan lifted up to 41st overall. Putting two high scores behind him, the Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) athlete reset and scored a regatta best of second in the third race of the day and 16th in the final race of the Gold fleet.

Will McMillan placed second in the third race of the day – credit Moan Photos

“I started off the day with two pretty average races,” McMillan remarked, “bad starts and wrong decisions up the course left me at the back of the fleet. I had a good third race though; I was leading until the last lap and finished second. I had a solid last race to finish off the day.”

The 16-year-old from NSW added, “It feels good to be at the front (of the fleet) and nice to know I have the speed to keep up with everyone.”

In the Women’s Gold fleet, ASF athlete, Natasha Bryant, preserved her 48th place overall following a day of mixed results.

Women’s start on Day 4 – credit Moan Photos

National iQFOiL coach, Arthur Brett commented, “Seeing the athletes grow in their racing and maturity has been gratifying, and to see them immerse into the fleet early in their international competition in this new Olympic class.

“Consistency and in a wider wind range is the next thing. We have a lot to work on. In certain conditions the team is fairly competitive, but we’re not in the stage yet where they can be at the top end in all conditions and disciplines.”

To that end, Grae Morris said, “This week is all in preparation for the Worlds. I’ve just got to learn and train and make sure I get it right there.”

Samantha Costin holds her own in the Silver fleet – credit Moan Photos

Having found his rhythm, the Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) athlete held onto the Men’s Silver fleet lead after adding a further win and a pair of fourth places to his tally.

The iFOiL Europeans continue tomorrow and end on Sunday local time when the first 10 overall ranked athletes from the Opening Series advance to the Medal Series.

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

iQFOiL Men’s Gold fleet –16 races (four drops)
41st – Will McMillan (ASF) DSQ, 11, 17, 2, (43), (73), 20, 8, (43), 37,29, 29, (67), (65), 2, 16 = 276 points

iQFOiL Men’s Silver fleet – 16 races (four drops)
78th – Grae Morris (ASS) 23, 19, 17, (35), (53), 29, 19, 30, (5), 2, 1, 1, 1, 4, 4, (12) = 150 points
110th – Caelin Winchcombe (ASS) (31), 25, 23, 11, (65), 49, (59). 46, (57), 27, 33, 33, 40, 17, (41), 37 = 372
115th – Harry Joyner (ASF) 11, 11, 21, 23, (68), (65), 61, 61, 25, (36), 32, 32, (47), (61), 33, 35 = 381
134th – Jack Marquardt (ASF) 29, 27, 35, 39, 51, (67), (70), 59, 46, 45, (64), 64, 50, 60, 47, (DNF) = 552

iQFOiL Women’s Gold fleet – 16 races (four drops)
48th – Natasha Bryant (ASF) 19, 25, 13, (DNC), 25, (RDG), 12, (27), (BFD), 45, 44, 44, (46), 31, 44, 37 = 360.33 points

iQFOiL Women’s Silver fleet – 16 races (four drops)
62nd – Samantha Costin (ASF) (29), 21, 27, (DNF), 29, 26, 25, 26, (18), 8, 8, 8, 28, (DNF), 23, (29) = 247

Follow the regatta, including full results at: https://iqfoilclass.org/iqeuropeans2022/

Di Pearson/Australian Sailing Team media

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