Morris moves up to sixth at iQFOiL Europeans

Sydneysider Grae Morris is stitching together a stunning set of results at the iQFOiL European Championships, with yet another race win has moving him up to sixth overall with two days of racing to come in Greece.

In lighter conditions of 8-10 knots, Morris (Australian Sailing Squad and NSWIS) also posted a third, fifth and 11th to his impressive scorecard today. His win came in the slalom discipline, involving four races divided into heats of twenty-three sailors per heat.

“It was a light wind slalom today after a delay onshore, and with such short racing the start is incredibly important,” said Morris. “If you can do that well then really everything lines up, but if you struggle at the start, there is a whole lot of work to try to come back.”

A day of tight racing saw plenty of general recalls, as iQFOiL coach Arthur Brett explained.

“These slalom races today were frenetic, with the races only lasting about three and a half minutes, and so there is very little room for error. Grae had a really good day, moving up to 6th place overall, which is fantastic. Today was about being super accurate with your judgment, and if I were to sum it up, you really needed courage and poise.”

The women’s fleet with Samantha Costin (Australian Sailing Squad and QAS) was scheduled late in the afternoon, where the light conditions saw many of the fleet unable to foil in race one. With the sea breeze finally kicking in, three slalom races were run for the women’s fleet. The race committee tried for a fourth, but bad light prevented them from being able to follow through.

“Three races today, and the last one for me was a bit of a dud,” said Costin.

“I didn’t get off the start line as it was more congested than the previous two races. Today saw just a couple of small errors that I will work on to clean up, and that includes just being a little more assertive on the start line on these short course events.”

Harry Joyner (Australian Sailing Squad and WAIS) had a mixed day, black flagged in his first race of the day. “It was tricky out there in light conditions and I pushed a little too hard in that first start, but it was good to come back after that,” noted Joyner.

Coach Arthur Brett summed up the squad’s progress so far at this event.

“All these sailors are learning a massive amount, whether they are at the front of the fleet or the middle. For Harry to be in Gold fleet and mixing it up with the best in the world, you just can’t get that in the small amount of racing we do in Australia. We need this exposure to the big fleets and to compete in as many regattas as we can. They train well and they are enjoying the success that Grae is having because they are a tight group of dedicated teammates.”

Racing continues on Saturday 13th May, and with conditions again forecast to be light, with racing due to start at 1pm local time.

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)

6th Grae Morris (ASS) (NSWIS) 11, (12), 4, 7, (16), 1, 4, 3, (11), 1, 11 (18), 3, 1, 11, 5 = 62

56th Harry Joyner (ASS) (WAIS) (34), 16, 11, 16, 14, 28, (32), 25, 41, (46), 45, (54), BFD 39, 33, 35, 35 = 338

75th Steve Allen (ASS) 28, (40), 35, 26, (37), 30, 24, 34, 9, DNC (58), 12, DNC (58) = 256

99th Jack Marquardt (AUS) (VIS) 45, 42, 44, (50) 50, DNF (58), 47, 46, 29, 38, (41), 29 = 370

iQFOiL Women – 14 races (three drops)

69th Samantha Costin (ASS) (QAS) 31, (39), (32), 32, 31, 29, 28, 31, 20, 24, 20, 15, 23, 21, (33) = 305

Words by Blue Robinson.

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