Sail Melbourne: Heated racing continues on path to Paris

There was plenty of heat on and off the water on Day 2 of Sail Melbourne 2022, where kiteboards and wing foils took to Port Phillip for their first day of racing in 32-degree temperatures.

Kiteboarding is scheduled to make its debut as an Olympic class at Paris 2024, and Zac Pullen from Sandringham Yacht Club and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania couldn’t have been more impressive in winning all five of today’s races.

“Inclusion in the Paris 2024 Games has certainly kicked people into gear and it’s nice to see some new faces on the water,” Pullen shared.

Kite foilers in the groove – Sail Melbourne pic

Pullen plans to campaign for the Paris Games, competing an Olympics has been a lifelong dream of his.

“It’s been my plan since I was sailing Sabots as a junior, but I moved into the Kites in 2016 hoping that they would get into the Olympics at some point” Pullen explained.
The wind built throughout the day, gusting to 20 knots once the northerly rolled in after racing commenced.

Tokyo Olympic ILCA 7 champion Matt Wearn continues to dominate in his return to the class, with Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) member Grae Morris leading the iQFOiL class.

The 29-boat ILCA 6 class is proving to be one of the most hotly contested at this regatta. ASS athlete Zoe Thomson is currently in equal second, two points behind leader Evie Saunders.

“This is the biggest fleet we will get this summer, so it’s been great to have some close racing,” Thomson said after racing.

Wing foilers on the go – Sail Melbourne pic

Thomson has recently returned from the European Championships with the Australian ILCA 6 Squad. “Heading back to Europe was a huge challenge, it was really rewarding and motivating to be able to see how we sat in an international fleet.”

Moving towards the Paris 2024 games, the 470 class will move to a mixed gender class.

“We’ve seen some great teams of males and females joining up internationally, so the fleet is only going to get stronger,” said Australia’s Tokyo Olympic Women’s 470 helm Nia Jerwood. “Now you’re guaranteed to have 2 strong boats in each country.”.

Jerwood has paired up with Conor Nicholas in the move to mixed 470 sailing. “We actually sailed against each other in Optis as juniors but joined up in the 470 late last year.”

Three more days of racing at Sail Melbourne is guaranteed to provide plenty more action on the water.

Sail Melbourne is supported by the Victorian Government.

Australian Sailing Team and Australian Sailing Squad Results:

ILCA7 (10 boats)
1st: Matt Wearn 1, 1, 1, 1 – 4 pts

ILCA6 (28 boats)
2nd: Zoe Thomson 1, 3, 1, 10 – 15 pts
4th: Casey Imeneo 8, 2, 7, 6 – 23 pts
11th: Mara Stransky 5, RAF, 9, 1 – 45 pts

Mixed 470 (7 boats)
1st: Chris Charlwood/Amelia Catt 1, 2, 1, 2 – 6 pts
2nd: Nia Jerwood/Conor Nicholas 2, 1, 2, 4 – 9 pts

49er (6 boats)
1st: Jim Colley/Sean Connor 4, (7), 1, 3, 3, 1 – 12 pts
3rd: Tom Burton/Simon Hoffman 1, (5), 4, 5, 2, 2 – 14 pts
4th: Thomas Needham/Joel Turner (7), 1, 7, 2, 1, 4 – 15 pts
5th: Jack Ferguson/Max Paul 3, 2, 3, 6, 4, 6 – 18 pts

49erFX (5 boats)
1st: Laura Harding/Annie Wilmot 1, 1, (2), 1, 2, 1 – 6 pts
2nd: Tess Lloyd/Dervla Duggan 2, 3, 1, (4), 1, 2 – 9 pts

Wind Foil (21 boards)
1st: Grae Morris 3, 1, 1, 2 – 7 pts

Full results: https://sailingresults.net/?ID=81250

Olivia Newman/Australian Sailing

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