Five Australian crews competing at 49er Worlds in Argentina

Five Australian Sailing crews, including Olympic gold medallists Nathan Outteridge (NSW) and Iain Jensen (NSW) will contest the 2015 49er/FX World Championships with racing starting today, Monday, 16 November 2015 local time (AEDT = +14hrs). 

The 2015 49er/FX World Championships are the men’s and women’s skiff season highlight and will be held at Club Nautico San Isidro in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

A total of four Australian Sailing men’s skiff crews will be competing including Australian Sailing Team’s (AST) Olympic gold medallists Nathan Outteridge (NSW) and Iain Jensen (NSW), David Gilmour (WA) and Rhys Mara (VIC) as well as Joel Turner (QLD) and Lewis Brake (QLD). Australian Sailing Squad’s Will Phillips (VIC) will be joined by his brother Sam Phillips (VIC). The 49erFX crew of Tess Lloyd (VIC) and Caitlin Elks (WA) complete the Australian contingent in Argentina. 

Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen will look to build their performance in the lead up to the Rio Olympic Games after a silver medal at this year’s ISAF Sailing World Cup in Hyères and finishing outside the podium at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Weymouth and Portland (sixth), Open European Championships (fourth) as well as a sixth place the Rio Olympic Test Event in August.

At the warm-up event, the South-American Championship (5-8 November), the pair finished eleventh. Australian Sailing Team’s David Gilmour (WA) and Rhys Mara (VIC) finished the South American Championship in fifth and as the top ranked Australian crew.The event served as a warm-up and training opportunity in the lead-up to the World Championships.

Dave and I sailed really well over the South American Champs, have been working together really closely with the rest of the squad and are now looking forward to the Worlds,” Rhys Mara said. “We’ve all achieved some really good results so hopefully we can convert that into the Worlds and all finish in that top bunch. We’re all very excited for the Worlds. It’s the pinnacle regatta for this year.”

A total of five 49er athletes are currently on the Australian Sailing Team showing the depth of talent in Australia and the depth of the squad coached by Olympic gold medallist winning coach Emmett Lazich (NSW) as crew Iain Jensen explains: “The Australian training squad has definitely been getting a lot stronger over the last four years. We’ve got Dave and Rhys who’ve come through and got seventh at the last Worlds and there are Joel and Lewis, who’ve had some really good events. And the Phillips brothers have been around for a while and have always been quick. It’s the strongest Aussies squad we’ve had, at least in the time I’ve sailed the 49ers. It’s the first time we’ve had three 49ers in the AST.  

And about the significance of the World Championships Jensen added: “The Worlds are a pretty important regatta for us. It’s got to do with funding and Olympic selection. And generally, we have to make use of every regatta from here to the Games, trying to learn as much as we can along the way and start posting some good results.”  

In the 49erFX Australian Sailing Squad’s Tess Lloyd (VIC) and Caitlin Elks (WA) have been back on the water for a couple of months after Tess recovered from the ankle injury she sustained at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Weymouth/Portland in June. They will be the only Australian 49er FX crew to represent Australian Sailing in Argentina.

“The South American Champs were our first proper regatta since Weymouth. We had a good start to the event but didn’t perform very well on the last day having had a little bit of trouble with the tide and our starts. But it just highlighted what we needed to work on going into the Worlds and it was a really good lead-up regatta. We are actually feeling quite confident going into the Worlds now,” Tess Lloyd said.

Australian Sailing Squad’s Olympic silver medallist Olivia Price (NSW) and Eliza Solly (VIC) will not be competing at the World Championships, but will continue their on-water rehab training in Australia after a knee injury had sidelined crew Eliza Solly following the Weymouth/Portland World Cup.   The 49er/FX World Championships are scheduled to start racing on Monday, 16 November from 10:55 local time (AEDT +14hrs) with Qualifying Races over three days. Fleet Races are scheduled for Thursday, 19 – Saturday, 21 November. The Medal Race is scheduled for 14:55 local time on Saturday, 21 November (AEDT Sunday, 22 November 3:55 a.m.).

More World Title events for Australian Sailing

The 49er/FX World Championships kick-off a couple of busy weeks for Australian Sailing with more World Championship title events following from the end of this week.

The 2015 Laser Radial World Championship in Oman will be up next with racing starting on Friday 20 November.Four days of Qualification series (20-24 November, one reserve day) are scheduled, followed by a Final Series and racing to conclude on Thursday, November 26 2015. Australian Sailing Squad’s Ashley Stoddart (QLD) will be contesting the event with the opportunity to secure country qualification for the Laser Radial for Rio 2016.

Australian Sailing Squad’s Finn sailors Jake Lilley (QLD) and Oliver Tweddell (VIC) have arrived in New Zealand for their world title event, the 2015 Finn Gold Cup, which will start in Takapuna, New Zealand next week and with a pre-worlds regatta running from this Tuesday 17 to Thursday 19 November. The Finn Gold Cup runs from Saturday 21 to Sunday 29 November. Ten races are scheduled from Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 November, with the medal race and final race on Sunday 29 November.

All of Australian Sailing’s Paralympic class sailors will be at the start line in Melbourne for their World Championships in Melbourne on November 28 with medal winners decided on Thursday, 3 December 2015. For more info on Australia hosting the Para World Sailing Championships see here: http://www.australiansailing.org/paralympic-sailing-highlight-2015-para-world-sailing-champs-november/

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