Challenges continue with ‘long day at the office’ for Aussies at Palma

More shifts, more pressure changes, and even more clouds made Day Two in the Bay of Palma no less challenging and exciting for the Australian sailors and Olympic hopefuls at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta.

This followed on almost precisely from the first day, and whilst all classes got races in today the number of races conducted is still small, adding even more pressure to each and every result collected by the athletes.

Michael Blackburn, the Technical Director of the Australian Sailing Team (AST) said, “A super long day on the water for all our team – around seven hours for the ILCAs, and without getting all races planned.

“However, as they say, everyone is in the same boat. Really pleasing for Zoe (Thomson) to score well today, as she’s been a little under the weather. Collectively, our 49er and 49erFX teams had a tough day, and will look to improving their starting accuracy tomorrow.”

AST sailor Zoe Thomson said after racing, “I had a nice day. We had two onshore races before the storm clouds made the wind swing all over, eventually cancelling the day. The races in my fleet were pretty steady, but had a right hand trend, so a clean lane off the start helped to sail fast to the next pressure.

“We’ll see what we get tomorrow, but so far it seems to be all about patience and taking the opportunities when they come.”

The lack of racing was a sentiment expressed by many, including Matt Wearn OAM who posted a bullet (first place) in the only race of the day for the ILCA 7s. Obviously in good form, Wearn simply said after racing, “Shame not to get a couple in today.”

The Australian armada in Palma ranges from gold medallists like Wearn, through to aspiring Olympians.

Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins CREDIT Beau Outteridge

Australian Sailing Futures sailors, Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins, are competing in the Mixed 470 class. Jackson commented, “Our day was ok. Reasonable first race around mid-fleet, and we were up the front in the second one, but didn’t manage to consolidate it in the shifty, cloud driven weather, so didn’t finish up so well (back in the middle).“

AST iQFOiL Coach Arthur Brett was another to note the impact the changing conditions had on the fleets.

“The IQFOiL Women managed to get four slalom rounds in during the first session of the day. There were big variations in the wind, but the race management did a good job in punching out the Women’s heats. Sammie Costin found the going tough early but improved throughout the day.”

“It was a very long day for not much action for the IQFOiL Men during the second session of the day. Grae Morris had one slalom race and secured a third place, but there weren’t any other races completed for the men.”

Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland finished in seventh place in the Mixed Nacra 17 foiling catamaran after amassing a fourth and eighth place for the day.

Copeland said, “It was a super funky day. When we launched it was a nice sea breeze, but we did not manage to get any racing in before the breeze swung a whole 180 degrees to be a Nor’easter, which was all cloud driven as a thunderstorm came over Palma. Jake and I were very happy with our pace and race management in some shifty conditions, as too our results.”

Highlighting the desire to go racing, Copeland added, “We are looking forward to some good sea breeze conditions tomorrow.”

Nacra 17s launching CREDIT Beau Outteridge
Nacra 17s launching CREDIT Beau Outteridge

Ostensibly, the weather forecast would indicate that there are clouds to remain for a couple of days before it clears up by Friday. The wind will remain light and will blow from the West then Southerly quadrant as the week progresses.

Racing in the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta in Palma is from April 3, and concludes with the medal races on April 8, 2023.

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:

Men’s ILCA 7 – 188 Entries

3rd – Matt Wearn (AST) – 4, 1 (5 points)

7th – Luke Elliott (ASS) – 3, 6 (9 points)

13th – Finn Alexander (ASS) – 9, 6 (15 points)

18th – Ethan Mcaullay (ASS) – 1, 17 (18 points)

87th – Stefan Elliott-Shircore (ASF) – 28, 31 (59 points)

98th – Zac Littlewood (ASS) – BFD 63, 3 (66 points)

127th – Will Sargent (ASF) – 48, 35 (83 points)

Women’s ILCA 6 – 112 Entries

4th – Zoe Thomson (AST) – 6, 2 (8 points)

19th – Elyse Ainsworth (ASS) – 15, 9 (24 points)

21st – Casey Imeneo (ASS) – 12, 17 (29 points)

25th – Mara Stransky (ASS) – 12, 21 (33 points)

67th – Paige Caldecoat (ASF) – 35, 27 (62 points)

72nd – Sylvie Stannage (ASF) – 39, 26 (65 Points)

Mixed 470 – 72 Entries

19th – Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS) – 11, 11 (22 points)

47th – Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (ASF) – 21, 23 (44 points)

Men’s 49er – 101 Entries

7th – David Gilmour and Simon Hoffman (AUS) – 4, 5 (9 points)

16th – Jim Colley and Shaun Connor (AST) – STP 11, STP 3 (14 points)

41st – Tom Cunich and Miles Davey (ASF) – 13, 18 (31 points)

67th – Tom Burton OAM and Max Paul (ASS) – UFD 34, 9 (43 points)

81st – Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) – STP 17, UFD 34 (51points)

Women’s 49erFX – 64 Entries

17th – Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) – 11, 10 (21 points)

18th – Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (ASS) – 17, 5, (22 points)

22nd – Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) – 15, 10, (25 points)

Mixed Nacra 17 – 53 Entries

7th – Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland (ASS) – 4, 8 (12 points)

9th – Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) – 3, 10 (13 points)

22nd – Rueben and Rita Booth (AUS) – 12, 9 (21 points)

23rd – Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown (ASF) – 9, 13 (22 points)

33rd – Archie Gargett and Sarah Hoffman (ASF) – 9, DNC 27, (36 points)

Men’s iQFOiL – 138 Entries

43rd – Grae Morris (ASS) – 15

49th – Harry Joyner (ASS) – 17

103rd – Stephen Allen (ASS) – 35

113th – Jack Marquardt (AUS) – 39

Women’s iQFOiL – 100 Entries

85th – Samantha Costin (ASS) – DNF 51, 39, 29, 41 (109 points)

Men’s Formula Kite – 81 Entries

20th – Hector Paturau (ASS) – 8, 5, 7 (20 points)

52nd – Oscar Timm (ASF) – 13, 11, 18 (43 points)

Women’s Formula Kite – 53 Entries

12th – Breiana Whitehead (AST) – 13, 12, 4 (29 points)

By John Curnow

M.O.S.S Australia
Race Yachts
NAV at Home
West Systems