Starting skills key at ILCA 6 World Championships

On day four of the ILCA 6 World Championships at Al-Musannah Sports City, in Oman, it was a brutal wait out on the water for competitors before the racing finally got underway late in the afternoon.

When it did, finding the right starting lane proved to be the difference between leading the field to the first mark or adding a big number to your scorecard. Two races were eventually completed in similar conditions to what the sailors have been served over the previous three days of the regatta.

After extensive delays both on shore and out on the water waiting for the breeze to come through, the first race of the day was completed in light and patchy winds.

In the second and final race for the day, the wind dropped across the course and competitors crawled home whilst the sun was setting.

Western Australian Elyse Ainsworth had a tough day out on the water putting some big points on her scorecard.

“The wind is so light and shifty, and the starts are so crucial that it really places the importance of clear wind and a good lane off the start line.”

Mara Stransky remains best placed of the Australians Sander van der Borch pic

The sailor from Perth knows where she needs to focus her energy, “Starting is something I definitely need to work on for the last few days of the regatta.”

The Australian ILCA 6 squad are no strangers to long waits and the perils of a weather-reliant sport, but today was a particularly tough one across the board for the Aussie contingent.

Ainsworth described the week as “one of the hardest mental regattas we have had in a long time. The balance between knowing when to switch on and off mentally is really important when the days are so long.”

According to Australian Sailing Team coach Rafa Trujillo, “The inconsistent performances are due to poor starts,

“The sailors managed to put some decent results in one race each, but both starts were not good for any of the athletes,” Trujillo observed.

Despite the challenging day on the water Ainsworth is not deterred as she currently sits in 18th in the overall rankings.

“It is still all to play for, everyone is going to have big numbers and it’s not over until it’s over that’s for sure.”

Other Australians fighting it out in the top 20 include Queenslander Mara Stransky (13th overall) and Western Australian Zoe Thomson in 19th.

There are two days left of racing, with three races scheduled for the penultimate day.

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and other Australian (AUS) entries:

Laser Radial (63 Boats)
13th Mara Stransky (AST) 12, 33, 11, 6, 13, (47) – 75 pts
18th Elyse Ainsworth (ASS) 22, 3, 19, 12, (50), 30 – 87 pts
19th Zoe Thomson (ASS) 26, 18, 17, 9, (33), 17 – 87 pts
41st Paige Caldecoat (AUS) 48, 34, 35, (BFD), 22, 29 – 169 pts
46th Evie Saunders (AUS) 53, 26, 40, 18, 47, (54) – 184 pts
56th Casey Imeneo (ASS) 39, 56, 43, 41, 42, (59) – 221 pts

View the full results here:

Lisa Darmanin/Australian Sailing

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