Competition heats up at ILCA 6 World Championship

USA: Racing levelled up on day four of the ILCA 6 World Championships as three races were completed on the first day of the final series in a variable 6 to 13-knot wind.

Conditions settled on Galveston Bay in Kemah, Texas, with no rain or clouds in sight and the north-easterly breeze shifting to the south-east throughout the day to make for a more pleasant day for both the sailors and the race committee.

Tokyo 2020 Olympian Mara Stransky had the best day out of the Australian contingent. Stransky came away with two top-ten results. However, unfortunately she also collected her worst score, which she can discard.

The Queenslander, who now sits in 18th overall, expressed just how challenging this regatta has been. Stransky explained, “It was a tough day out there. I’m glad we finally got some racing in, but it was by no means straightforward. It was quite patchy and super choppy, a good day to be clean and bold, neither of which I was.”

Off the start on Galveston Bay – Helen Galli pic

Despite having to take a penalty due to an infringement in the final race, Stransky is staying positive, “It not over yet though and the whole squad is looking forward to a moving day.”

Zoe Thomson is the second placed Australian following a tough day on the water for the young WAIS athlete. Thomson collected her second yellow flag in race three today, which required her to retire from the race. Regardless of the penalties, she still moved up overall and sits in 21st in the rankings after seven races.

Australian Coach Ben Walkemeyer commented on the penalties, “It was a shame for Zoe, the jury was very quiet on the first few days and then today they went pretty ham, so that came as a bit of a surprise to a lot of people I think.”

Walkemeyer, who has been coaching the squad over the past year observed, “Our squad had some good moments and some moments caught on the wrong side of shifts or in some density which was costly getting bounced around the fleet.”

McCrae Yacht Club sailor Casey Imeneo struggled in the first two races collecting some big points, however, she improved throughout the day, coming away with 15th in the final race of the day.

Imeneo shared, “Gold fleet racing means there is no margin for error. When you hit the front row life becomes a bit simpler and the water you race in is a lot smoother.”

She continued, “In the short depth of Galveston bay the fleet creates a huge amount of messy chop so it was difficult to find passing lanes.”

Twenty-three-year-old Elyse Ainsworth had a challenging day out on the bay in the Gold fleet and sits in 33rd overall after struggling to find her rhythm in the intense Gold fleet racing.

Evie Saunders, part of the Australian Sailing Futures program, is also fighting it out in 36th place in the Gold fleet, following her Silver medal at the Youth World Championships earlier this year.

Three more races are scheduled tomorrow for the penultimate day of the World Championships in Texas. If all three races are completed, the regatta will be back on schedule after some delays over the past two days.

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS), Australian Sailing Futures and other Australian (AUS) entries:
ILCA6 (85 Boats)

Gold fleet (43 Boats)
18th – Mara Stransky (AST) – 8,10, 20, 12, 9, 7, (23) (66pts)
21st – Zoe Thomson (ASS) – 12, 11, 17, 9, 28, 6, (RET) (83pts)
25th – Casey Imeneo (ASS) – 11, 8, 12, 13, (41), 33, 15 (92pts)
33rd – Elyse Ainsworth (ASS) – 16, 12, 17, 11, (34), 30, 27 (113pts)
36th – Evie Saunders (ASF) – 9, (25), 10, 14, 32, (43), 34 (124pts)

Silver fleet (42 Boats)
9th – Sylvie Stannage (AUS) – 29, 21,25, (29), 14, 8, 13 (110pts)

Full results : https://jpvm.org/results/2022/ilca6_men_women/ILCA_6_Women_results.html

Lisa Darmanin /AST media

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