Patience and persistence key at 470 Worlds

The conditions on the Mediterranean Sea are making for challenging and exciting racing at the 470 World Championships in Israel. A persistent offshore breeze has kept the sailors’ heads on a swivel as they seek to link the gusts together to advance up the patchy course.

Despite the two Australian teams now racing in the Silver fleet for the remainder of the Final series, there is still strong competition to test the young teams.

Australian National 470 coach Malcolm Page observed, “Silver fleet has some great quality sailors in it, there are two World Champions, the Kiwis that placed fourth at the Tokyo Games and past European Champions. That’s just a few examples, so they are mixing it still with quality sailors.

Page is once again happy with the improvements of the Australian sailors, especially the young Australian Sailing Futures pair of Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins.

“What was really cool about the second race is Sophie and Angus executed a port-hand start really well. It got them some freedom and they played at the front end of the fleet, rounding the top mark in fourth.”

Victorian Jackson is relishing in her first World Championship experience alongside South Australian crew Higgins.

“As our first 470 Worlds there is so much to learn and we are enjoying being able to race and learn from the best sailors in the world,” Jackson said.

“We’ve had a few moments racing at the front of the fleet which have been awesome. Yesterday we pushed the line a bit harder and even though we got a UFD it gave us the opportunity to be racing with the fleet leaders.

“Getting around the top mark in fourth and fighting at the top was great. We’re looking forward to the next two days of racing to keep learning and improving.”

Jerwood and Nicholas around mark CREDIT Nikos Alevromytis _ Int. 470 Class
Jerwood and Nicholas around mark CREDIT Nikos Alevromytis _ Int. 470 Class

Australian Sailing Squad members Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas started the day strong with a fourth place, however, they came a little unstuck in race two missing some pressure lines on the first upwind.

“Speed-wise our boat was great, but I think our tactical and strategy package is still needing some work,” Nicholas shared.

The WAIS athlete examined that the racing was very similar to yesterday and even though it was a strategic day he explained it as, “A pretty simple day really, just stay in the dark patches and you’ll be alright.”

The team retain their positive mindset and are always looking to the future, “Keep fighting is our motto at the moment, it’s onwards and upwards from here.”

Winds are expected to return to the normal sea breeze direction tomorrow for the second day of finals.

Full results and live streams of the racing can be found on the event website.

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

470 Mixed (60 boats)

Silver Fleet (30 boats)

35th – Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS) – (24), 24, 18, 7, 9, 4, 13 (75 points)

50th – Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (ASF) – 28, 29, 20, (UFD), 23, 14, 9 (123 points)

Words by Lisa Darmanin

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