Australia’s Matt Wearn, the reigning Olympic gold medallist in the ILCA 7 class, has won the opening race of the ILCA European Championships in the ILCA 7 (ex-Laser Men’s) being held at Andora in Italy.
The ILCA 7 fleet numbers 192, so has been split into three, with Wearn sailing in the Blue fleet. Winner of the 2018 and 2019 Europeans, the West Australian sailor mastered the light, shifty winds and strong current that flummoxed so many others on a long Day 1.
Because of the testing conditions and long delays, just the one race of the planned two was sailed. Wearn shares the lead with reigning ILCA 7 world champion Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) from the Red fleet and reigning world champion, Philipp Buhl (GER), from the Yellow fleet.
As such, there is no second place and third places, so the scores jump from first, to fourth, to seventh to 10th places and so on.
Ethan McAullay is the next best placed Australian in seventh place, followed by Finn Alexander in 25th place.
Michael Blackburn, the Australian Sailing Technical Director said, “Andora is really turning on the light and lumpy conditions this week and Wearny will be really happy to get a good result out of day one.”
There was no racing for the Women’s ILCA 6 class, organisers forced to abandon for the day following the one ILCA 7 race. Organisers have planned for three races for both classes on Monday local time.
“Meanwhile, ILCA6 squad coped well with five somewhat frustrating hours on the water and are eager to get racing tomorrow. The start tomorrow has been delayed until 1300 hours to wait for the Italian sea breeze to gather some momentum,” Blackburn said.
There are six Australians representing in the Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) competing in the ILCA 7 class and four women in the ILCA 6.
Organised by Circolo Nautico Andora (CNA) and EurILCA, the ILCA Euorpeans conclude on Friday 17 March local time.
Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) results and overall placings:
ILCA 7 – 1 race
1st Matt Wearn (AST)
7th Ethan McAullay (ASS)
25th Finn Alexander (ASS)
49th Luke Elliott (ASS)
64th Zac Littlewood (ASS)
153rd Stefan Elliott Shircore (ASF)
ILCA 6 – no racing
Zoe Thomson (AST)
Mara Stranksy (ASS)
Elyse Ainsworth (ASS)
Casey Imeneo (ASS)
For entry list and to follow the regatta, including full results, go to: https://2023-senior.eurilca-europeans.org/#
By Di Pearson/AST media