Steady march up the results tables for Aussie Sailors in Palma

Six Australian entries find themselves ensconced in the top ten after day four of racing at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta in Palma.

“The first day of Gold Fleet racing didn’t disappoint,” said the Australian Sailing Team’s (AST) High Performance Director, Iain Brambell.

“As expected, this elevated everything to another level of grit and determination. This afternoon and into the early evening we saw our Aussies battling at the front of many close contests across most classes. Tomorrow will be a defining day with all eyes on Medal Race qualification.”

There were myriad outstanding stories on the day, but Brambell was careful to highlight a few.

“Notable performances for me today were the new 49er combination of Tom Burton and Max Paul with their impressive progression from 21st to 5th, Elyse Ainsworth’s diligent climb to 7th on the ILCA 6 course, and of course Nia (Jerwood) and Connor’s (Nicholas) push into the Top 10 within the Mixed 470 fleet.”

Michael Blackburn, the AST’s Technical Director spoke directly about the 470 crew and their performance, “After a challenging 2022 international season, it’s great to see Nia and Conor moving through the fleet at this first big event of 2023. They’re embracing new learnings with coach Andrea Mannini, who has helped them adjust their downwind technique and modes to better suit the conditions here.”

Jerwood commented for her crew, “Conor and I are having a solid regatta so far. We lost a day due to light wind at the beginning, so have had two, three-race days in a row since. We are grateful for our team, as they have enabled us to perform both mentally and physically through the long days on the water.

“It hasn’t been our preferred wind conditions, so to be inside the top ten with two races to go of finals gives us a lot of confidence for the rest of the year.”

Tom Burton OAM is sailing with Max Paul in the Men’s 49er skiff. He’s as talented as he is highly regarded by all who come across him, and said after racing, “Today was a good day for us. Racing at the front most of the day is a pretty good feeling. We got off the starts pretty well all day, which I think lines us up to be right in the races.

“The racing is very tight, and with the light conditions in a fast boat, things change very quickly with a few extra knots here and there, so it was stressful at times, and we always needed eyes out of the boat. With four races completed it was a very long day.”

Western Australia’s Elyse Ainsworth also reflected on the challenges of the conditions, “Today was a very tricky, and consistency was key in being able to have a successful day. A lot of patience and resilience was necessary.”

As to whether it is focus or her natural disposition that delivers these key qualities, Ainsworth said, “I think for me it’s a bit of both. It is hard to manage with the pressure of an event sometimes.”

“A tough day of racing, and happy to walk away without too many points on the board”, was how Matt Wearn OAM saw his day in the ILCA 7 dinghy where he closed out in fifth position overall. “The lighter shifty breeze was hard to predict, but some good starts put me in a position where I could use some decent speed. Hopefully I can finish the series off strong tomorrow.”

Olivia Price is effervescent, and this absolutely adds to her skill with the tiller out on the course with crewmate Evie Haseldine. 11 years ago Price claimed Olympic Silver in Weymouth, but that was then, and this is now.

Price commented ahead of their charge to the all-important Medal Race, “We’re really pleased with the potential that we’ve shown in racing today after working on our speed and technique in these conditions in Sydney. Some tight tactical situations in gold fleet have taught us some valuable lessons early in the season, and the best thing is we get to do it all again tomorrow in very similar conditions.”

A relatively ‘new’ pairing in the scheme of things, Dervla Duggan is racing with Tokyo Olympian Tess Lloyd in the 49erFX. Duggan said, “The regatta has been challenging with postponements and long hours on the water. The first day we completed two races in Yellow Fleet, and unfortunately didn’t manage to get a third race in like the Blue Fleet did.

“We were out early the next day to complete our race in the same fleet, and then switched fleets to complete three more races. For today and tomorrow, we will try and improve our starts and acceleration. There are lots of learnings to be made, and it’s a great opportunity to race against the international fleet.”

Racing in the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta in Palma is from April 3, and concludes with the medal races on April 8, 2023.

Visit the event website for full results.

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS), Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) and Australian sailors at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta:

Men’s ILCA 7 – 188 Entries

5th – Matt Wearn (AST) – 4, 1, BFD (63), 4, 13, 3, 11, 7 (43 points)

27th – Finn Alexander (ASS) – 9, 6, 11, 11, 13, 25, (51), 31 (106 points)

38th – Ethan Mcaullay (ASS) – 1, 18, (53), 22, 7, 32, 33, 24 (137 points)

51st – Luke Elliott (ASS) – 3, 6, 31, 20, 19, 51, BFD (63), 39 (172 points)

99th – Stefan Elliott-Shircore (ASF) – 28, 31, DNC (63), 20, 21, BFD 63, 30, 12 (205 points)

113th – Zac Littlewood (ASS) – BFD (63), 3, 12, 33, 30, BFD 63, BFD 63, 30 (234 points)

131st – Will Sargent (ASF) – 48, 35, 42, 49, 49, BFD (63), 3, 5 (231 points)

Men’s 49er – 101 Entries

5th – Tom Burton OAM and Max Paul (ASS) – UFD (34), 8, 7, 5, 6, 12, 3, 3, 5 (49 points)

13th – Jim Colley and Shaun Connor (AST) – STP 11, STP 3, 9, 9, 13, 4, 5, (21), 15 (69 points)

28th – Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) – STP 17, UFD (34), 12, 8, 9, 3, 1, 6 (56 points)

46th – Tom Cunich and Miles Davey (ASF) – 13, 18, 18, 8, 18, (34), 10, 21 (106 points)

50th – David Gilmour and Simon Hoffman (AUS) – 4, 5, 21, 22, 19, 28, 22, (35) (121 points)

Women’s ILCA 6 – 112 Entries

7th – Elyse Ainsworth (ASS) – 15, 9, 17, 4, 10, 4, (19), 7 (66 points)

9th – Zoe Thomson (AST) – 6, 2, 1, 3, 17, (39), 21, 20 (70 points)

30th – Casey Imeneo (ASS) – 12, 17, 10, 6, 18, (38), 30, 31 (124 points)

32nd – Mara Stransky (ASS) – 12, 21, 33, 4, 3, UFD 55, 7, DNC (55) (135 points)

73rd – Sylvie Stannage (ASF) – 39, 26, 13, 36, 21, 27, (44), 38 (200 Points)

70th – Paige Caldecoat (ASF) – 35, 27, (43), 26, 33, 40, 14, 30 (205 points)

Mixed Nacra 17 – 53 Entries

8th – Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) – 3, 10, 10, 5, 5, 16, 2, (16), 7 (58 points)

17th – Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown (ASF) – 9, 13, 6, 10, 13, (21), 7, 11, 17 (86 points)

18th – Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland (ASS) – 4, 8, 5, 8, 6, 18, 17, (24), 20 (86 points)

19th – Rueben and Rita Booth (AUS) – 12, 9, 7, 13, 12, 11, 12,(23), 11 (87 points)

28th – Archie Gargett and Sarah Hoffman (ASF) – 9, DNC (27), 15, 17, 14, 11, 1, 7 (74 points)

Mixed 470 – 72 Entries

10th – Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS) – 11, 12, 5, 12, 3, 18, (28), 6 (67 points)

58th – Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (ASF) – 21, 24, 25, 5, RET (37), 34, 29, 31 (169 points)

Women’s 49erFX – 64 Entries

11th – Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (ASS) – 17, 5, 18, 2, 5, 9, 10, 9, (21) (75 points)

31st – Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) – 11, 11, 12, 9, 19, 22, UFD (36), 4, 10 (98 points)

39th – Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) – 15, 10, 11, 14, 19, (26), 15, 19, 22 (125 points)

Men’s iQFOiL – 138 Entries

14th – Grae Morris (ASS) – 15, 5, 16, 12, (29), 7, 5, (39), 7, 3 (70 points)

54th – Stephen Allen (ASS) – 35, (39), 22, 35, 21, 9, 7, 33, (39), 21 (183 points)

70th – Harry Joyner (ASS) – 17, 25, 41, 33, 33, 26, (48), 1 (176 points)

122nd – Jack Marquardt (AUS) – 39, 29, (62), 47, 45, 58, 62, DNC 47 (327 points)

Women’s Formula Kite – 53 Entries

22nd – Breiana Whitehead (AST) – (13), 11, 4, 8, 10, 4, DNC (28), 13, 7, 15, DNC (29), DNC 29 (101 points)

Men’s Formula Kite – 81 Entries

35th – Hector Paturau (ASS) – 7, 5, 7, (12), 10, 6, 9, (11), 5, DNC (30), 6, 12 (66 points)

66th – Oscar Timm (ASF) – 13, 11, (19), DNC (30), 15, 15, 12, 14, 11, (16), 5, 13 (109 points)

Women’s iQFOiL – 100 Entries

84th – Samantha Costin (ASS) – DNF (51), 39, 29, 41, 28, 36, (47), 42, 41 (256 points)

By John Curnow

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