Bullets mark Aussie sailors’ arrival into medal races at Palma

Four Australians will be racing for medals at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia tomorrow, with many of them collecting first place finishes (bullets) in the final gold fleet races.

Among those winning races were Tom Burton OAM and Max Paul in the 49er, who now find themselves in third place, a stark contrast to the U Flag 34 they collected in the first race of the series. That score will be their drop (discard), with everything else a 12 or better, which against this level of international talent is a statement.

That fellow ‘skiffies’ Jim Colley and Shaun Connor collected the win in the first race of the day and will join Burton and Paul in the medal race is a solid underscore for the whole team.

Back ashore Burton said, “Today we had some very nice scores, and saved what could have been a blowout in the middle race after missing the first major shift.

“We have had some good top mark roundings in the gold fleet, but never managed to do a horizon job. It was finally nice to lead around the top and sail away in the final race to know that we can do it, as well.

“My motto has always been ‘to be in with a shot of winning going into the final day.’ And it’s really pleasing to have that feeling in the 49er for the first time.”

ILCA 6 sailor Zoe Thomson goes into the all-important medal race in second place, and commented afterwards, “I’m really happy with how the fleet racing played out. I had a tough first day of finals, so went out today with a few processes to work through. The points are super close into the medal race so all to fight for out there tomorrow.”

The Australian Sailing Team (AST) is now using Element 6 Evolution ILCA boats, of which Thomson said, “They are reliable and fast, so we can’t really ask for much more.”

Fellow ILCA 6 sailor, Mara Stransky, also collected a bullet in the last race of the day in Gold Fleet to keep the theme going for the Aussies.

Matt Wearn OAM is the other Aussie into tomorrow’s medal races, as he finished the ILCA 7 qualifying series in seventh place.

Australian Sailing Technical Director, Michael Blackburn said of the team’s efforts so far, “Really happy with the team’s overall performance. Obvious bright lights in there, but also some hidden gems where these efforts will come out in the ensuing regattas this season.”

Shane Smith is the AST Formula Kite Coach and said after racing, “Palma has presented many challenges this week as the racing in light air has seen close racing and many good lessons for us adapting to the big fleet starting and tangles.”

“Brei (Whitehead) climbed up the scores with a solid day to sit in 14th place overall. In the third race today Brei was in 6th place at bottom gate, but a kite tangle saw her avoid the situation and lose positions to finish in 24th. Hector (Paturau) delivered his best starts of the regatta on final day to score a first and third in his last two races.”

AST iQFOiL coach, Arthur Brett, commented, “Grae (Morris) had a great regatta and continued to improve throughout. He missed the medal race by a couple of places, but there were some significant steps forward for both he and the sport in Australia. The squad will have a few days off before engaging in some specific training in preparation for the European Championships in Greece (May 8-14).”

Victor Paya Canal is the AST 49erFX Coach and commented, “We have been working on improving in the light, and we have had plenty of that here. If you don’t start well, it is hard to come back. Positioning on the course is critical, and this has been part of the learnings here.”

After Palma most of the squad will be heading off to race in Hyeres, France from April 22-29.

Visit the event website for full results.

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS), Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) and Australian sailors at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta:

Women’s ILCA 6 – 112 Entries

2nd – Zoe Thomson (AST) – 6, 2, 1, 3, 17, (39), 21, 20, 7, 6 (83 points)

12th – Elyse Ainsworth (ASS) – 15, 9, 17, 4, 10, 4, 19, 7, 29, (31) (114 points)

23rd – Mara Stransky (ASS) – 12, 21, 33, 4, 3, UFD 55, 7, RET (55), 4, 1 (140 points)

26th – Casey Imeneo (ASS) – 12, 17, 10, 6, 18, (38), 30, 31, 24, 4 (152 points)

72nd – Sylvie Stannage (ASF) – 39, 26, 13, 36, 21, 27, (44), 38, 27, 8 (235 Points)

76th – Paige Caldecoat (ASF) – 35, 27, 43, 26, 33, 40, 14, 30, 2, BFD (55) (251 points)

Men’s 49er – 101 Entries

3rd – Tom Burton OAM and Max Paul (ASS) – UFD (34), 8, 7, 5, 6, 12, 3, 3, 5, 3, 11, 1 (64 points)

9th – Jim Colley and Shaun Connor (AST) – STP 11, STP 3, 9, 9, 13, 4, 5, (21), 15, 1, 10, 5 (85 points)

28th – Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) – STP 17, UFD (34), 12, 8, 9, 3, 1, 6, 8, 18, 12, 6 (100 points)

44th – David Gilmour and Simon Hoffman (AUS) – 4, 5, 21, 22, 19, 28, 22, (35), 7, 26, 16, 13 (183 points)

45th – Tom Cunich and Miles Davey (ASF) – 13, 18, 18, 8, 18, (34), 10, 21, 27, 25, 6, 21 (185 points)

Men’s ILCA 7 – 188 Entries

7th – Matt Wearn OAM (AST) – 4, 1, BFD (63), 4, 13, 3, 11, 7, 27, 6 (76 points)

20th – Finn Alexander (ASS) – 9, 6, 11, 11, 13, 25, (51), 31, 13, 32 (151 points)

33rd – Ethan Mcaullay (ASS) – 1, 18, (53), 22, 7, 32, 33, 24, 42, 8 (187 points)

57th – Luke Elliott (ASS) – 3, 6, 31, 20, 19, 51, BFD (63), 39, 48, 55 (275 points)

75th – Stefan Elliott-Shircore (ASF) – 28, 31, DNC (63), 20, 21, BFD 63, 30, 12, 6, 1 (212 points)

95th – Zac Littlewood (ASS) – BFD (63), 3, 12, 33, 30, BFD 63, BFD 63, 30, 13, 2 (249 points)

137th – Will Sargent (ASF) – 48, 35, 42, 49, 49, BFD (63), 3, 5, 24, 27 (282 points)

Mixed Nacra 17 – 53 Entries

11th – Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) – 3, 10, 10, 5, 5, 16, 2, 16, 7, 10, 14, (20) (98 points)

18th – Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland (ASS) – 4, 8, 5, 8, 6, 18, 17, (24), 20, 12, 22, 15 (135 points)

20th – Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown (ASF) – 9, 13, 6, 10, 13, 21, 7, 11, 17, 22, 20, (24) (149 points)

22nd – Rueben and Rita Booth (AUS) – 12, 9, 7, 13, 12, 11, 12, 23, 11, 23, (24), 22 (155 points)

36th – Archie Gargett and Sarah Hoffman (ASF) – 9, DNC (27), 15, 17, 14, 11, 1, 7, UFD 27, 2, UFD 27, 12 (142 points)

Women’s 49erFX – 64 Entries

12th – Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (ASS) – 17, 5, 18, 2, 5, 9, 10, 9, (21), 9, 11, 20 (115 points)

30th – Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) – 11, 11, 12, 9, 19, 22, UFD (36), 4, 10, 20, 3, 1 (122 points)

38th – Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) – 15, 10, 11, 14, 19, (26), 15, 19, 22, 15, 2, 7 (159 points)

Men’s iQFOiL – 138 Entries

12th – Grae Morris (ASS) – 15, 5, 16, 12, (29), 7, 5, (39), 7, 3, 2, DNC (69), 8, 5 (124 points)

66th – Stephen Allen (ASS) – 35, (39), 22, 35, 21, 9, 7, 33, (39), 21, 61, 42, DNC (69), DNC (69) (394 points)

72nd – Harry Joyner (ASS) – 17, 25, 41, 33, 33, 26, (48), 1, 8, (13) (184 points)

120th – Jack Marquardt (AUS) – 39, 29, (62), 47, 45, 58, 62, DNC 47, 41, (52) (368 points)

Mixed 470 – 72 Entries

17th – Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS) – 11, 12, 5, 12, 3, 18, 28, 6, UFD (37), 25 (120 points)

60th – Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (ASF) – 21, 24, 25, 5, RET (37), 34, 29, 31, 26, 24 (219 points)

Women’s Formula Kite – 53 Entries

14th – Breiana Whitehead (AST) – (13), 11, 4, 8, 10, 4, DNC (28), 13, 7, 15, DNC (29), DNC (29), 11, 11, 24, 4 (135 points)

Men’s Formula Kite – 81 Entries

33rd – Hector Paturau (ASS) – 7, 5, 7, (12), 10, 6, 9, (11), 5, DNC (30), 10, 7, (19), 14, 1, 3 (95 points)

66th – Oscar Timm (ASF) – 13, 11, (19), DNC (30), 15, 15, 12, 14, 11, (16), 5, 13 (109 points)

Women’s iQFOiL – 100 Entries

83rd – Samantha Costin (ASS) – DNF (51), 39, 29, 41, 28, 36, (47), 42, 41, 32, 26 (314 points)

By John Curnow

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