Motivation remains high for Australian Mixed 470 squad

Another sunny day and a sea breeze greeted the sailors for the last day of Final racing at the 470 World Championships in Sdot-Yam, Israel where Western Australian pair, Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas, finished third in the Silver fleet, making them 33rd in the overall rankings.

“Today was our final day of racing and we finished solidly with two fifths,” Nicholas said. “It was really good racing with great tussles. It was nice to finish on a high, it may not have been what we wanted but it was still quite enjoyable racing.”

Jerwood shared the same sentiment, yet is encouraged by the synergy of their team, a value that cannot be overlooked in a two-person boat.

The Tokyo Olympian commented, “Definitely disappointed with the result overall but really proud how we managed to bounce back throughout the difficulties and mental challenges of it, stay together as a team and just keep fighting, every day for every point.”

National coach Malcolm Page is motivated to guide the squad forward and continue the illustrious legacy of the Australian 470 program.

Jackson and Higgins (AUS 12) at the start – Nikos Alevromytis pic

“The objective for today was to be on the (Silver fleet) podium and they scraped in by a point to do that,” Page said. “I feel like they had opportunities today and they took some but they also missed some.

“Some really good lessons from this week that we’ve got to cement them because if you want to be a winner you have to capitalise on those opportunities. So that is the real focus going forward.”

Australian Sailing Futures athlete Sophie Jackson who finished 50th overall alongside crew Angus Higgins is also enthused to put the work in.

“Every regatta we’ve done this year we finish more motivated than ever to want to do better and keep training hard, and this is no different,” Jackson shared.

The squad will have two weeks off before starting the charge over the Australian summer, including blocks at the National Training Centre in Sydney as well as valuable regatta experience with Sail Sydney, Sail Melbourne and the Australian 470 National Championships.

Australian Sailing High-Performance director Iain Brambell has been monitoring the squad’s progress and perseverance from afar.

Brambell observed, “The 470 Worlds presented our crews with challenges and difficult learnings. Nia and Connor were faced with the unenviable position of resetting and fighting their way back up the scoreboard from day one.”

Ahead of next year’s Olympic qualifying events, Brambell takes comfort in the spirit and mindset of the Mixed 470 squad.

“This fight showcased the resilience and determination that continues to define our Australian sailors and supported with the experience and leadership of Malcolm Page, we witnessed the tenacity and drive that will leave no stone unturned throughout the Australian summer.”

Whilst the competition is over for the Australians, there remains one day of racing for the top-ten teams with the double point Medal Race set to take place tomorrow.

Australian Sailing Squad (ASS), and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) entries at the 2022 470 World Championships:

Silver Fleet (30 boats)
33rd – Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS) – (24), 24, 18, 7, 9, 4, 13, 8, 5, 5, 5 (88 points)
50th – Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (ASF) – 28, 29, 20, (UFD), 23, 14, 9, 22, 23, 13, 16 (197 points)

Lisa Darmanin/AST media

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