Racing intensifies on Day 4 of Euros

On Day 4 of the European Championships in Aarhus, Denmark the Gold fleet and Final Series began amid ups and downs for the Australian Sailing Team (AST) and Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) athletes competing, with three teams holding body and soul together to remain in the top ten.

Three ASS crews made it into the Gold fleet which raced in the afternoon, when fluctuating 14-22 knot winds, combined with extreme wind shifts all afternoon, made for compelling viewing.

Jim Colley and Shaun Connor (ASS) came off best in sixth place overall after posting 10-6-7 results. The pair nailed the Race 11 start to lead for most of the course before being overtaken and finishing sixth. Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) were seventh.

In Race 12, Needham and Turner led off the start, but then overtaken before the top mark, missed some shifts and finished 14th for ninth overall. Colley and Connor did not start that race so well but fought their way back to place seventh. Jack Ferguson and Max Paul (ASS) did not fare so well all day, though showed moments of brilliance.

Jim Colley and Shaun Connor pressured up -credit Peter Brøgger

“It was a massive game of snakes and ladders with massive shifts, especially at the top of the course, huge bullets that you didn’t see coming,” Colley said.

“You had to have a mindset that no result is ever set. We led the second race then went the wrong way. We were behind in the third race, but then went the right way,” the NSW sailor said.

Needham agreed: “It was a very up and down day. A tricky course, they put us close to land to keep us sheltered from harsher winds further out. It was very easy to get yourself in a good position and lose it just as easily. Very changeable conditions.

“There were a couple of opportunities we let slip, but we’ll keep pushing in the next four races before the Medal Race (for the top ten only). “We’ve got to keep up with the shifts,” the Queenslander said.

The 33 entries in the Nacra 17 fleet are in their Final Series. Three more races were held today. Rio Olympic silver medallists, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST), held onto 10th overall, after a best place of seventh in Race 11 and despite being plagued by breakages throughout the week.

Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin amongst the action – credit Beau Outteridge

National Nacra 17 coach, Darren Bundock, gave some insight into their competition: “Jason and Lisa are struggling in the shifts and in linking them together, it’s just not coming together for them. The pleasing thing is that their speed is good.

“They’ve had bit of bad luck as well. The tiller broke the first day and broke in a tack in the second race today. Lisa’s trapeze belt broke yesterday when they also had problems with a cleat that adjusts the rudder,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland (ASS) continue to make inroads in the class and are 14th overall.

“Jake and Lucy have shown massive improvement since Kiel Week (in June). Anywhere in the top 15 for them is excellent. They are the biggest improvers of our Nacra sailors,” Bundock said.

Liddell responded: “We’re just starting to find consistency and technique. We’re getting our heads out of the boat. We’re sailing better to the shifts and getting the starts right – and the communication.”

On having Waterhouse and Darmanin to learn from, the NSW sailor said, “It’s really good. They’ve taught us a lot, helped get us to where we are. It’s good being close to them.”

Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot off the start – credit Beau Outteridge

Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) are 15th overall in the 49erFX Gold fleet, following a further three races with a swim costing them dearly. Tokyo Olympian, Tess Lloyd and her new crew, Dervla Duggan, have closed the gap on their squad mates. In 16th overall and a point behind, the remaining four races are crucial to both teams making it to the Medal Race.

The Olympic classes regatta continues Saturday local time and concludes on Sunday.

Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan on the rise – credit Beau Outteridge

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) results and overall placings:

Nacra 17 (33 entries) – 12 races (one drop)
10th – Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) (15), 13, 10, 14, 7, 4,4, 8, 13, 12, 7, 11 = 103pts
14th – Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland (ASS) 14, (23), 23, 13, 12, 18, 15, 17, 6, 8, 13, 19 = 158
20th – Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown (ASF) (26), 16, 19, 25, 26, 22, 14, 19, 10, 21, 21, (28) = 219
23rd – Archie Gargett and Sarah Hoffman (ASF) 20, (28), 31, 20, 27, 27, 25, 16, 18, 24, 19, 18 = 242

49erFX Gold fleet – 12 races (one drop)
15th – Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) 20, 2, 3, 23, 11, 2, (27), 4, 6, 20, 22, 8 = 120pts
16th – Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) 12, 17, 5, 13, 9, 7, (18), 8, 13, 11, 14, 13 = 121

49erFX Silver fleet – 12 races (one drop)
33rd – Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (ASS) 21, 14, 17, 10, (30), 22, 6, 17, 8 , 25, 7, 2 = 149pts
46th – Chloe Fisher and Laura Thomson (ASF) 16, 24, 18, 26, (28), 9, 14, 27, 18, 19, 16, 27 = 214
62nd – Mina Ferguson and Madeleine McLeay (ASF) (DNC), DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, 13, 27, 27 22, DNF, DNC = 351
70th – Lilly Richardson and Matilda Richardson (ASF) DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC , DNC, DNC, DNC = 416

49er Gold fleet – 12 races (one drop)
6th – Jim Colley and Shaun Connor (ASS) 3, 5, 9, 4, 1, 3, (17), 4, 14, 10, 6, 7 = 66pts
9th – Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) 11, 7, 2, 3, (14), 3, 3, 4, 10, 8, 7, 14 = 72
24th – Jack Ferguson and Max Paul (ASS) 5, 6, 18, 10, 9, 1, 8, 1, 9, 22, (23), 19 = 108

49er Silver fleet – 12 races (one drop)
28th – Tom Burton and Simon Hoffman (ASS) (28), 7, 11, 14, 4, 10, 14, 5, 13, 21, 1, 3 = 103pts
50th – Thomas Cunich and Miles Davey (ASF) 10, 13, 13, 15, 16, 16, 12, (26), 12, (UFD), 24, DNC = 192

49er Bronze fleet – 12 races (one drop)
67th – Otto Henry and Flynn Twomey (ASF) 26, 29, 19, 19, 21, (DNC), 10, 25, 22, 1, 1, 13 = 186pts
90th – Ryan Littlechild and Jack Hildebrand (ASF) (DNC), DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC = 358

Follow the regatta, including full results at: https://49er.org/event/2022-european-championship/#49erresults

Di Pearson/Australian Sailing Team media

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