Morris makes his move on Day Two of iQFOiL Europeans

Athletes were greeted with wild winds gusting to over 40 knots on arrival at the venue on day two of the iQFOiL European Championships in Patras, Greece.

When the conditions eased enough to allow the fleets out onto the water just over two hours later, it was Grae Morris (Australian Sailing Squad and NSWIS) who was best able to combine pushing hard with the delicate art of reducing the risk of crashing.

His race win in the second race of the day along with a third in the final race moved him up to 11th position overall.

“It was a pretty good day, and really windy,” said Morris. “My strategy today was nothing too fancy, just keep it consistent, keep it simple, and if I could do that without making any mistakes it was all going to add up, and that worked.”

Sixteen-year-old Harry Joyner (Australian Sailing Squad and WAIS) has qualified for the Gold fleet for the first time in his short career in 42nd position.

“It was full on with a lot happening,” said Joyner. “I am pretty comfortable in those conditions, performing better than I would in a lighter breeze. There was a lot going on, and I had a couple of crashes in the second and third race today but had some good starts and upwind legs.”

With consistently high winds and gusts up to 30 knots, to minimise incidents in the starting area, the race committee decided to implement starboard tack starts in all fleet races today. Sailors were restricted to tacking until at least ten seconds after their start, a sailing instruction that caught many athletes off guard, but not Joyner.

“I saw the green flag for a starboard start and so did well in the first race with a 14th but in the last two I was lacking a little bit of accuracy. But to qualify in Gold fleet, this being my first main year in the seniors, I am pretty stoked to get that.”

For Australian Sailing Squad athlete Samantha Costin, her key goals for the day were picking her opportunities to push hard and selecting the moments to recover. By sailing smart, she could see that athletes were struggling in the big conditions, where it was critical to focus and stay upright.

“Today we had four back-to-back races, with about eight minutes before going into the next race, just cranking them out,” said Costin. “A big thing in these top-end conditions is to manage the lift on the foil around the waves, where you need enough lift to get over the top of them, but not so much that you are fighting the board. That was important today”.

With the qualifying racing wrapped up, Gold and Silver fleet racing starts Thursday 11th at midday local time, with a strong breeze still forecast across the region.

Visit the event website for full results.

Australian Sailing Squad (ASS), Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) and other Australian (AUS) entries:

iQFOiL Men – 14 races (two drops)

11th Grae Morris (ASS) (NSWIS) 11, (12), 4, 7, (16), 1, 4, 3 = 30

42nd Harry Joyner (ASS) (WAIS) (34), 16, 11, 16, 14, 28, (32), 25 = 110

66th Steve Allen (ASS) 28, (40), 35, 26, (37),30, 24, 37 = 180

101st Jack Marquardt (AUS) (VIS) 45, 42, 44, (50) 50, DNF (58), 48, 49 = 278

iQFOiL Women – 14 races (two drops)

71st Samantha Costin (ASS) (QAS) 31, (39), (32), 32, 31, 29, 29, 31 = 183

Words by Blue Robinson.

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