Matt Wearn wins back-to-back ILCA 7 World Champs

It is party time in Adelaide today for Matt Wearn, with the reigning Olympic Champion dominating the ILCA 7 World Championship Medal Race on his way to securing a second consecutive world title.

The Perth-based athlete took an 8-point lead into today’s race, where he found a clean lane off the start which catapulted him to a lead he held at every mark. He is the first Australian to win back-to-back world titles since Tom Slingsby in 2012.

“To win a Worlds is pretty incredible, and to go back-to-back just makes it that much more special. To do it in Australia with family and friends around is awesome” said Wearn after racing.

Wearn will now turn his focus to defending his Olympic Gold, with the Paris Games commencing in less than six months.

“It’s obviously a really good step towards Paris. The progression I have been making with (coach) Rafa (Trujillo) has been good, and we’re happy with the way I’m sailing at the moment.

“We get a bit of a break now where we can look at the things we can improve on and really set our sights on the Palma regatta in a couple of months’ time and ultimately Paris.”

Wearn led by just one point from British rival Micky Beckett and four from Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard after day four, before a dream day yesterday opened up some breathing room leading into today’s final race.

“I think the three of us brought the best out in each other and yesterday was the epitome of that. In both races it was just the three of us going at it after the start which made for some great racing.”

The result puts a final stamp on Wearn’s recovery from Long Covid, which all but ruined his 2022 season and had him questioning whether he would be able to continue his Paris campaign.

Along with new coach Rafa Trujillo he has put together an almighty seven months, winning the Paris Olympic Test Event, World Championship, Australian Sailing Male Sailor of the Year and AIS Male Athlete of the Year Award all in the second half of 2023 and now another World Championship to start the Olympic year.

Trujillo pointed to the strength of the squad behind Wearn, with Luke Elliott finishing tenth and Ethan McAullay, Zac Littlewood and Finn Alexander all finishing in the top twenty-three.

“Ethan, Zac and Finn are all under 23-years-old, so we not only have a World Championship winner, but we can also see the future there pushing strongly,” said Trujillo.

“Wearny was excellent in how he managed the Medal Race. It wasn’t an easy position because we didn’t only have one boat to worry about, we had two (Beckett and Tomasgaard). Matt was solid from the start, he was able to get away well and that was it.”

Fellow Western Australian Elliott was happy to qualify for the Medal Race on his way to finishing tenth.

“It was my first ever Medal Race at a normal World Championships for an ILCA 7 so that was cool,” said Elliott.

“It was the dream sea breeze of sixteen knots. I was trying to just control the Irish sailor who was my closest competitor, but he just pipped me on the final run so that was that.”

The squad will enjoy a few weeks’ break and then head to a camp in Perth as they continue preparations for the European season, which will start with the Palma regatta at the start of April.

The Paris Olympics will open on July 26, with the sailing regatta commencing in Marseille on the 28th.

Visit the event website for more details or see full results here.

Australian Sailing Team (AST)Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) results at the 2024 ILCA 7 World Championships:

Gold Fleet:

1st – Matt Wearn (AST/WA) – 6, 1, 2, 2, 1, 3, (11), 1, 2, 4, 2 (24 pts)

2nd – Hermann Tomasgaard (NOR) – 1, 1, 1, 5, 5, 7, 1, 6, 3, (21), 4 (34 pts)

3rd – Michael Beckett (GBR) – (17), 6, 1, 3, 1, 1, 3, 2, 12, 2, 10 (41 points)

10th – Luke Elliott (ASS/WA) – 1, 2, 5, 10, 18, 10, 18, (20), 5, 12, 20 (101 pts)

20th – Ethan McAullay (ASS/WA) – 5, 9, 1, 8, 22, 3, 28, 26, (36), 13 (115 pts)

22nd – Zac Littlewood (ASS/WA) – 12, 5, 16, 4, 12, 6, (52 BFD), 18, 32, 15 (120 pts)

23rd – Finn Alexander (ASS/NSW) – 9, 7, 11, 12, 28, 26, (41), 4, 17, 7 (121 pts)

50th – Stefan Elliott-Shircore (ASF/WA) – 16, 18, 20, 9, 42, 12, (52 BFD), 43, 29, 45 (234 pts)

Silver Fleet:

87th – Sam King (ASF/TAS) – 20, 29, 27, 26, (36), 19, 22, 33, 32, 36 (244 pts)

90th – Michael Compton (ASF/WA) – 15, 32, 23, 15, 22, 30, 35, 43, (44), 39 (254 pts)

Bronze Fleet:

103rd – Lawson McAullay (ASF/WA) – 20, 29 RDG, 34, (39), 34, 36, 4, 2, 1, 1 (161 pts)

120th – Will Sargent (ASF/TAS) – (47), 43, 35, 40, 45, 35, 9, 27, 18, 10 (262 pts)

Follow the Australian Sailing Team:

Instagram: @aussailingteam
Facebook: @aussailingteam
Twitter: @aussailingteam
YouTube: AusSailingTeam

About Australian Sailing
Australian Sailing is the governing body for the sport of Sailing in Australia. We are responsible for the administration, promotion and development of sailing. We are a member-based organisation that represent the interests and provides services and support to over 360 clubs across Australia as well as more than 160 accredited Discover Sailing Centres.

Information: contact Michael Martin, Australian Sailing

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