Solid start for Aussies at Sail for Gold in Weymouth

The eyes of the sailing world are back on Weymouth and Portland with Olympic medallists returning to the venue of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition for the ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth/Portland, which kicked-off on Wednesday, 15 June 2015.

The first day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland sprang a few surprises with an uncommon north-easterly breeze ranging from 10-17 knots increasing during the day testing the fleet.

The 49er, including 2012 Olympic gold medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen and a total of four Australian crews in the 39-boat fleet, were the first ones out on the London 2012 waters and got three races in. 

The glory of winning the first race of the regatta went to Australian young guns Joel Turner (QLD) and Lewis Brake (QLD). Outteridge and Jensen did not have the best start and finished the first race in 30th, but a win in race two and a seventh in race three put them into overall second, just a point behind Przbytek and Kolodzinski (POL). Their main rivals, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke had an ordinary day by their standards and sit in 12th place, 12 points off the lead.

“It was great to get sailing again and this is a very familiar place for us,” Iain Jensen said after the race. “We had a bit of an up and down day with our first race being pretty average and two good results after that. It was a tricky day and a lot of boats had similar issue as us with very inconsistent results across the fleet. Anyone with half decent results today had a good day. We have a drop now with the 30th so will have to try and sail a consistent regatta from here on.”

New combination of Australian Sailing Squad’s Will Phillips (VIC) and James Wierzbowski (VIC) sailed a strong first day posting an eleventh, fifth and thirteenth to be in eighth overall.

“We’re rapt with a first day like this and if we can have a few more races in the top ten then that would be fantastic. We’ll continue to fight for a position on the leader board and will come back tomorrow and aim to have another good day. We both need a bit of recovery now as James just flew in from Australia on Monday and I’m a bit sick so if we can recover properly for tomorrow it will be a good outcome.”

Australian Sailing Team’s David Gilmour (WA) and Rhys Mara (VIC) follow in tenth with Joel Turner and Lewis Brake finishing the day in 15th.

Olympic gold medallist Mat Belcher (QLD) and crew Will Ryan (QLD) sit in fifth place after finishing the first two races in tenth and seventh. Australian Sailing Squad’s Alexander and Patrick Conway (NSW) follow in tenth. McNay/Hughes (USA) lead from Mantis/Kagialis (GRE) and Molund/Ostling (SWE).

In the Nacra 17 it was the Australian Sailing Team youngsters of Jason Waterhouse (NSW) and Lisa Darmanin (NSW) who finished the day best of the Australians and in overall third. Australian Sailing Team’s second crew of Darren Bundock (NSW) and Nina Curtis (NSW) follow ten points back in eighth. Australian Sailing Squad’s Euan McNicol (NSW) and Lucinda Whitty, who won the second race of the day, sit in overall 14th. Zajal and Frank (AUT) lead the competition by a point from Matias/Brugger (SUI).

“It was a good first day here in Weymouth, typical windy and wavy,” Jason Waterhouse said. We had three races today and with a fourth, second and 20th it wasn’t the most consistent day for us. We were leading after the first two races, but dropped down a couple spots after the last race. But we’re pretty happy as this is our first regatta since the World Cup in Hyères and it was just good to get the feet wet and we’re quite happy with the results.”

In the Laser the internal Australian battle is on with 19-year old Matt Wearn (WA) finishing the day in fifth and one point ahead of World #1 Tom Burton (NSW). In the Finn class the first day was a bit more clear-cut between Australian Sailing Squad’s two sailors after an eighth place for Jake Lilley (QLD) and Oliver Tweddell (VIC) following in 23rd after two races.

The top three places are held by Andy Maloney (NZL), Nick Thompson (GBR) and Olympic silver medallist Pavlos Kontides (CYP).

In other results, Australian Sailing Squad’s Joanna Sterling (QLD) won the first of three races to be in overall seventh place in the RS:X, while fellow Queenslander and Laser Radial sailor Ashley Stoddart had a couple of solid races to sit in tenth on her birthday. Three races were sailed in the 49erFX with Haylee Outteridge (NSW) and Sarah Cook (NSW) moving into 13th after a second place in the last race of the day and Tess Lloyd (VIC) and Caitlin Elks (WA) following in 22nd. Women’s 470 sailors Sasha Ryan (QLD) and Amelia Catt (TAS) are ranked 21st.

In the Paralympic Sonar event, Australia’s Colin Harrison (WA), Jonathan Harris (NSW) and Russell Boaden (WA) finished day one in third.

Racing will resume at 11 a.m. local time (20:00 AEST) on Thursday, 11 June.

The Australian Sailing Team (AST) and Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) are represented in Weymouth with 21 boats in nine of the ten Olympic class events as well as with one boat in the Paralympic Sonar class.

Weymouth is the second time the Australian Sailing Team is racing in the new ISAF Sailing World Cup format. The ISAF Sailing World Cup changes were introduced at the last World Cup regatta in Hyères, France where Australia came away with three medals, one gold for Tom Burton in the Laser, silver for Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen in the 49er as well as for Mat Belcher and Will Ryan in the Men’s 470.

This ISAF Sailing World Cup is the second major event for Australia’s sailors on the road to Rio 2016 selection and the third of five 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup series events that lead up to the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi later this year.

Each World Cup class has a maximum of forty entries with the world’s top 30 ranked sailors having qualified for an invitation to compete at Weymouth and Portland through their ISAF ranking (as of 27 April 2015). The remaining entries were earned at last week’s qualification event, the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, the Netherlands.

Top results at the key international regattas are required to be named in the Australian Sailing Team and to be nominated for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic teams and Weymouth and Portland will be a good opportunity for final preparations before heading into the major class Championships coming up in 2015 as well as the Rio Test event (August 15-24).

Also, ISAF Sailing World Cup glory and a share of the €78,000 prize fund are on offer with racing commencing on Wednesday, 10 June with a four-day series building up to the live Medal Races on Sunday 14 June.

2015 Australian Sailing Team & Australian Sailing Squad at Weymouth

Results as of Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Men’s Two Person Dingy – 470M
– Mathew Belcher (QLD/QAS) & Will Ryan (QLD/QAS) – AST: 10, 7 – 5th
– Alexander Conway (NSW) & Patrick Conway (NSW) – ASS: 24, 4 – 10th

Mixed Multihull – Nacra17
– Jason Waterhouse (NSW) & Lisa Darmanin (NSW) – AST: 4, 2, (20) – 3rd
– Darren Bundock (NSW) & Nina Curtis (NSW) – AST: 13, 5, 11 – 10th
– Euan McNicol (NSW) & Lucinda Whitty (NSW) – ASS: 27, 1, 17 – 13th

Men’s Skiff – 49er
– Nathan Outteridge (NSW) & Iain Jensen (NSW) – AST: (30), 1, 7 – 2nd
– Will Phillips (VIC/VIS) & James Wierzbowski (VIC/VIS) – ASS: 11, 5, 13 – 8th
– David Gilmour (WA/WAIS) & Rhys Mara (VIC/VIS) – AST: (18), 12, 5 – 10th
– Joel Turner (AST – QLD/QAS) & Lewis Brake (ASS – QLD/QAS) – ASS: 1, (28), 22 – 15th

Women's Skiff – 49erFX
– Haylee Outteridge (NSW) & Sarah Cook (NSW – ASS: 19, (20) 2 – 13th
– Tess Lloyd (VIC/VIS) & Caitlin Elks (WA/WAIS) – ASS: 18, (24), 19 – 22nd

Men's One Person Dinghy – Laser
– Matthew Wearn (WA/WAIS) – AST: 8, 7 – 5th
– Tom Burton (NSW) – AST: 10, 6 – 6th
– Luke Elliott (WA/WAIS) – ASS: 21, 34 – 29th
– Ryan Palk (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 23, 18 – 22nd
– Mitchell Kennedy (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 32, 26 – 31st

Other non-AST/ASS Australian crews: Jeremy O’Connell (VIC): 11, 13 – 10th

Women's One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
– Ashley Stoddart (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 8, 13 – 10th

Men's One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) – Finn
– Jake Lilley (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 11, 8 – 8th
– Oliver Tweddell (VIC/VIS) – ASS: 22, 22 – 23rd

Women's Two Person Dinghy – 470W
– Sasha Ryan (QLD/QAS) & Amelia Catt (TAS/TIS) – ASS: 21, 13 – 21st

Women's Windsurfer – RS:X
– Joanna Sterling (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 1, (19 OCS), 12 – 7th

Paralympic Classes
Three-Person keelboat – Sonar
– Colin Harrison (WA/WAIS) & Jonathan Harris (NSW) & Russell Boaden (WA/WAIS): 3, 2 – 3rd

All results are available here –

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