Close finishes set for final day of Sail Sydney

Multiple classes will have to wait until the last day of racing to decide their winners at Sail Sydney, after wet and windy conditions saw racing delayed or cancelled today on Sydney Harbour.

One class that did get racing in today was the iQFOiL, with Sydney local Grae Morris securing the lead after posting three straight bullets in today’s competition.

“Today was a pretty up-down kind of day with a bit of waiting for the wind to come to begin with. It came through super hard which made for some pretty tight and fun racing with lots of overtaking lanes,” Morris said.

We’ve got three races left tomorrow and a bit of an earlier start so I’m just excited for the last little leg of the regatta.”

Racing was delayed for an hour this morning as poor visibility and extreme sea conditions swept the course. The 49er and 49erFX fleets got one race in before conditions deteriorated again and they were sent ashore for the day.

The 49er, 49erFX, Optimist Open, ILCA 4, ILCA 6 and ILCA 7 are among the many classes that will have their winners decided on the final day of competition, with competition tight atop their respective leader boards.

Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan CREDIT Beau Outteridge
Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan CREDIT Beau Outteridge

Victorians Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan maintained their lead in the 49erFX, with 25-30 knot gusts causing multiple capsizes for skiffs across the board.

“Every time when Sail Sydney comes around, we always expect a windy regatta just coming into summer,” started Lloyd.

“At the moment we’re just trying to be nice and consistent on the racecourse and save some energy when we can because it’s just going to be a really windy regatta all round.”

Tom Needham and Joel Turner CREDIT Beau Outteridge
Tom Needham and Joel Turner CREDIT Beau Outteridge

The conditions worsened towards the start of the second shift, seeing afternoon racing cancelled across all classes.

Despite the day three cancellations, a successful first two days navigating the waves has seen Australian Sailing Futures athlete and Australian Sailing 2022 Youth Sailor of the Year, Evie Saunders secure her spot among the leaders of the ILCA 6 class.

Just one spot behind Tokyo Olympian Mara Stransky on the overall leader board, Saunders is relishing the regatta experience in the lead-up to the ILCA Nationals in January.

“I’m going pretty well so far, we’ve got a big fleet of 40 boats which is really great,” Saunders said before she launched.

“On the first day we got out on the Sound which was awesome racing with massive waves. It’s been pretty important to get on the recovery which I’ve been doing pretty well so I’m feeling good to go.”

The wind is forecast to continue over the remainder of the regatta, with racing on the final day of Sail Sydney still scheduled to go ahead.

Racing is scheduled to commence from 11am AEDT tomorrow, with many classes playing catch-up with multiple races scheduled to complete their regattas.

Visit the Sail Sydney website for more information on the regatta, and view a full list of results here.

Rebekah Thornton / Australian Sailing

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