McMillan and Bryant into Gold fleets at iQFOiL European Championships

On Day 3 at the iQFOiL European Championships on Lake Garda in Italy, Australian Sailing Futures program (ASF) athletes Natasha Bryant and Will McMillan made it into their respective Gold fleets for the Final Series.

The qualifying series came to an end overnight and the top half of the Men’s and Women’s leaderboards moved into their respective Gold fleets, with the remaining competitors racing in the Silver fleets.   

Competitors have been spoilt with ideal sailing conditions so far. Day 3 proved no different, with 15-17 knots pervading the Torbole course area on the north shore of Lake Garda, as 249 athletes from around the world contested two Course Races and a double points Marathon.

Fleet sailing upwind after race start.
Jack Marquardt (AUS 5225) in the mix at the start. Pic – Moan Photos[17].jpeg

Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) athlete McMillan moved 21 places up the board to 52nd overall, but was forced to spend time in the protest room to hold onto this result. Fellow ASF sailor, Natasha Bryant, recovered nicely from a Black Flag in the first race of the day to score a trio of 45th places. 

Fleet sailing upwind.
Natasha Bryant (right). Pic – Moan Photos

Eighteen-year-old Australian Sailing Squad athlete Grae Morris had a stunning day in the Silver fleet. He sits atop that leaderboard after scoring 5, 2, 1, 1 results.

“I had a better day,” a happier Morris said. “It’s good to practice sailing in the front (of the fleet). I still wish I had made the Gold fleet, but all I can do is learn from here,” the Woollahra Sailing Club member said.

Fleet sailing towards camera.
Grae Morris (right). Pic – credit Moan Photos

Commenting ahead of the Marathon race, coach Arthur Brett said, “Will is into the Gold fleet. He’s going really well. Grae just missed out, but is sailing well, with a fifth and a second in the first two Silver fleet races today.” 

“The racing experiences in Italy, including the Silver fleet, are invaluable. The numbers on the start lines alone you don’t see in Australia. It’s essential for them all to have this sort of practice,” Brett ended.

The iFOiL Europeans continue tomorrow and conclude on Sunday local time.

Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) results and overall placings:

iQFOiL Men’s Gold fleet  – 8 races (two drops) 

52nd – Will McMillan (ASF) DSQ, 11, 17, 2, (43), (73), 20, 8, (43), 37,29, 29  = 215 points

iQFOiL Men’s Silver fleet  – 8 races (two drops) 

78th – Grae Morris (ASS) 23, 19, 17, (35), (53), 29, 19, 30, (5), 2, 1, 1 = 141 points

110th – Harry Joyner (ASF) 11, 11, 21, 23, (68), (65), 61, 61, 35, (36), 32, 32 = 277 

111th – Caelin Winchcombe (ASS) (31), 25, 23, 11, (65), 49, (59). 46, (57), 27, 33, 33 = 278

134th – Jack Marquardt (ASF) 29, 27, 35, 39, 51, (67), (70), 59, 46, 45, (64), 64  = 395

iQFOiL Women’s Gold fleet – 8 races (two drops)

48th – Natasha Bryant (ASF) 19, 25, 13, (DNC), 25, (RDG), 12, (27), (BFD), 45, 45, 45 = 250.33 points

iQFOiL Women’s Silver fleet – 8 races (two drops)

56th – Samantha Costin (ASF) (29), 21, 27, (DNF), 29, 26, 25, 26, (18), 8, 8, 8 = 178

Follow the regatta, including full results at: https://iqfoilclass.org/iqeuropeans2022/  

By Di Pearson/Australian Sailing Team media

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