Australian Sailing Squad athlete Grae Morris will enter tomorrow’s Medal Race at the iQFOiL European Championships in fifth place, after a complex final day of fleet racing in Patras, Greece.
“Light wind course racing in around 13 knots today, but it went well,” said Morris. “A lot of the top guys in Gold fleet hit trouble today, but I kept it simple for a 7th and a 2nd, so really happy with that consistency. Now it is all about the reset for tomorrow’s Medal Races, where I will give it my best.”
With a forecast of thirty knots for Sunday’s Medal Race, this iQFOiL European Championships continues to be a supreme test of the physical and mental skills of the athletes, as coach Arthur Brett explained.
“This regatta has covered an extreme of wind ranges, fully testing the athletes. It is always a test of psychological and physical strength to get through a regatta like this, and the brutal conditions we started with means these athletes have been tested both physically and emotionally.”
Harry Joyner (Australian Sailing Squad) finished this event on a high note, leading the Gold fleet in the final race on the day, which was eventually abandoned due to light winds.
“It was a complex day,” said Joyner. “In race one I got a reasonable start but came off the foil after getting tangled up with competitors, but managed to fight back on the next upwind. It was light for all three races, but in the third, I split with another sailor and we crossed the fleet, then rounded first and second at the top mark just before the race was cancelled.”
Samantha Costin (Australian Sailing Squad) outlined a very tricky day, with light conditions which faded fast.
“We managed to get three races in, but from the first race it started dropping,” noted Costin. “Race three saw carnage on the start line, then the glassy conditions meant a lot of the fleet finished outside the time limit.”
After a condensed block of regattas in Europe, Costin heads home having gained a significant amount of learning, particularly from this event.
“I came in pretty mentally fatigued, so I am really happy with how I performed here. My key take-away from this regatta is the girls that have done well here are not the quickest – but the most all-round athletes, executing well in the extreme range of conditions we experienced. That mental side was the key here.”
Commenting on tomorrow’s medal races, Australian Sailing Team Coach Arthur Brett was cautiously optimistic.
“Tomorrow will be huge for Grae, executing skills with absolute precision will be the test. It is unbelievable to get this exposure, and this is something that is absolutely required for this squad to get to the next level. We are gaining a lot of experience – and good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
The Medal Races will commence from 12 noon local time for the women and 12:15 for the men (7:15pm AEST).
Medal series format:
- Quarter finals – A race between 4-10th overall (7 boards). The first two advance.
- Semi finals – A race between 2nd & 3rd overall and 1 & 2 from the Quarters (4 boards)
- Grand final – A race between 1st overall and 1 & 2 from the Semis (3 boards)
Visit the event website for full results.
Australian Sailing Squad (ASS), Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) and other Australian (AUS) entries:
iQFOiL Men – 14 races (four drops)
5th Grae Morris (ASS) (NSWIS) 11, (12), 4, 7, (16), 1, 4, 3, (11), 1, 11 (18), 3, 1, 11, 5, 7, 2 = 71
53rd Harry Joyner (ASS) (WAIS) (34), 16, 11, 16, 14, 28, (32), 25, 41, (46), 45, (54), BFD 39, 33, 35, 35, 37, 35 = 410
79th Steve Allen (ASS) 28, (40), 35, 26, (37), 30, 24, 34, 9, DNC (58), 12, DNC (58), BFD (58) 3 = 317
96th Jack Marquardt (AUS) (VIS) 45, 42, 44, (50), (50), DNF (58), 47, 46, 29, 38, (41), 29, 22, 40 = 432
iQFOiL Women – 14 races (four drops)
69th Samantha Costin (ASS) (QAS) 31, (39), (32), 32, 31, 29, 28, 31, 20, 24, 20, 15, 23, 21, (33), 27, 19, DNF (45) = 351
Words by Blue Robinson.
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