Consistency challenges Australians at ILCA 7 World Championship

Building consistency is the greatest challenge for the Australian ILCA 7 squad, as they battle it out with the world’s best on Banderas Bay at the 2022 World Championship.

Luke Elliott continued to show he knows how to make it to the front of the fleet with a third place in the final race of the day. The 28-year-old from Fremantle Sailing Club has struggled with consistency on the first two days of racing but has pinpointed arriving at the first mark in good shape as critical to a good result.

“The top group is pretty well decided by the top mark, as making ground up in the race is very hard to do with limited passing lanes,” Elliott commented.

The racetrack has been difficult to read for the sailors and in the condensed ILCA fleet being on the wrong side of the course is punishing.

Fleet on reach.
Luke Elliott is the top placed Australian following two days of racing. Pic – John Pounder / JLDigitalMedia

“It’s very hard to know what’s going to pay off even after the start so it’s quite nerve-racking racing. A little good luck never hurts.

“My first race I went right and got burnt for it, so I changed tactics on the second and started near the pin and made a little ground after a 13 or so top mark rounding to finish third,” Elliott finished.

Fellow Western Australian Ethan McAullay moved up 10 positions in the overall rankings today, putting him as the second-placed Australian in 37th overall. The young sailor from Royal Perth Yacht Club and Fremantle Sailing Club found his form in the final race of the day, coming away with a fourth place.

Sydneysider Finn Alexander also followed suit by having a great race four by finishing sixth and jumping 15 places in the overall leader board ahead of the final qualifying day tomorrow.

Australian Sailing Team athlete Zac Littlewood has struggled with collecting numbers this week with a DSQ due to a port starboard incident yesterday and a DNC due to a black flag penalty in a recalled start today.

A discard race came into play today with sailors able to drop their worst score off their overall points, a second discard will be applied once 10 races are completed.

Qualifying continues tomorrow with two more races scheduled before the sailors split into Gold and Silver fleets for the Final Series.

Olympic ILCA 7 champion Matt Wearn isn’t taking part in the championships, as he continues his recovery from an illness contracted at the Hyeres regatta last month.

Full results:

Australian Sailing Team (AST)Australian Sailing Squad (ASS),  and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) entries:

ILCA 7 (126 Boats)

26th – Luke Elliott (AST) 1, (32), 32, 3 – 36 points

37th – Ethan McAullay (ASS) (34), 16, 26, 4 – 46 points

39th – Finn Alexander (ASS) 20, (23), 20, 6 – 49 points

52nd – Sam King (ASF) 24, 13, 28, (47) – 65 points

86th – Zac Littlewood (AST) (DSQ), 26, 21, DNC – 111 points

Matt Wearn (AST) – DNC (withdrawn from competition)

By Lisa Darmanin

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