ILCA Australian & Oceania Championships – Final Day

Matt Wearn has clinched the Australian & Oceania Championships after a tight battle with New Zealand sailor Tom Saunders.

A cracking 18-22 knot southerly with a big steep swell meant it was a physical day on the water.

“It’s always really nice to get that one under the belt. And it’s obviously a really nice way to start off the year too, to get the ball rolling into hopefully what is a big season.” said ILCA 7 sailor and current World Champion Matt Wearn.

After a slow start to the regatta, Matt really finished strong and with the bigger breezes he really stretched his legs in the first two races today.

“It was a bit of a slow start for myself. So, hopefully, be looking to resurrect for the Worlds because you just won’t get away with it. Obviously a new venue for a lot of people this week. So, they were still just learning a bit on those first couple of days.”

“It’s just super important to start off the year well and obviously go into the world with a bit of confidence.”

In the ILCA 6 class Brooke Wilson led the regatta for the first few days before Frances Beebe really threw down the challenge, leading into the final race.

“I guess coming into this, we knew it was going to be really tight and I think we all could have put bets down that it was going to come down to the last few races.

So, yeah, I was really happy with how I was going at the start of the week and it was kind of my conditions, a bit light, a bit shifty. And then yesterday, had a bit of a rough a day. First race was a bit of a shocker.” said Brooke Wilson, ILCA 6 sailor.

Brooke was able to take the final race win, with Frances right on her heals in second race to take out the championship by 1 point.

“Coming into today, we’re all ready for battle and it was just survival of the fittest and who can push the hardest on the upwind. Going into the second race, I was under a bit of pressure and it was really tight in points and normally these aren’t typically my favourite conditions, but yeah, managed to win. It’s pretty cool.”

Aidan Simmons put together the perfect regatta in the ILCA 4 class, leading from start to finish.

“It’s pretty good to win back to back. I’m very happy with how the week played out. So, yeah, pretty honoured to win it twice in a row. I think only one other person’s done it, so pretty happy.” said ILCA 4 Sailor Aidan Simmons.

Never outside the top 3, Aidan was one of the few sailors in all fleets to really master all conditions this week.

“So I was pretty happy to have the consistency there, which definitely helped me out, you always had a backup. So if you had a bad race, you knew you still had the drops to cover it.”

With the Australian & Oceania Championships all wrapped up, we turn our attention to the ILCA 7 World Championships starting on the 24th January.

Can Matt Wearn go back to back World Championships in an Olympic year? Will Tom Saunders continue his great start to 2024 and challenge for the title?

It’s going to be an exciting championships, and we cannot wait!

For more information and to enter into the event, head to 

https://www.adelaidesailingclub.com.au/majorevents/ilca-2024/

AUTHOR: Down Under Sail – Jack Fletcher

PHOTOS: Down Under Sail – Jack Fletcher

VIDEO: Down Under Sail – Jordan Roberts

www.downundersail.com

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