Battle begins on first day of 470 Worlds

The Mixed 470 World Championships are now well underway in Israel with three races completed on the first day of the Qualifying series.

A building sea breeze, very typical of Sdot Yam at this time of year greeted sailors on day one. The first race was started in just 6 knots of wind whilst the third race of the day saw 12 to 14 knots of pressure to test the sailors.

It was a challenging day for the Australian contingent that took to the waters of the Mediterranean Sea to battle it out with the best in the World. The young sailors struggled to deliver the performance they set out to on day one of the championships. However, the Western Australian pair of Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas know that it’s about keeping their heads up and putting down results they know they are capable of.

An honest Jerwood shared, “It was a really tricky and tough day for us out there, can’t really sugar coat it, it was a disaster.

“We had three good starts, we were getting to the top mark in good positions but just didn’t have the speed on the downwind and were gybing in the wrong spot for the shift. Just way too easy for boats to pass us on the downwind, so that sucked.”

The Tokyo 2020 Olympian is determined to keep a cool head moving into tomorrow, “Definitely lots of lessons from today but just got to do better tomorrow, learn from the mistakes and not get caught up in the emotions.”

Just two places behind Jerwood and Nicholas are Australian Sailing futures pair Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins in 52nd overall.

The Australians have the support of well-seasoned Olympian Malcolm Page to provide critical feedback and that intangible regatta wisdom.

“Very tough day for the Australians that’s for sure, the results say that,” commented Page. “By all means Nia and Conor had opportunities, they were in places, but they just couldn’t deliver.

“We’re just focusing on moving forward, there is a reason that we got those results today and we’ve got to address those reasons. They’ve by no means lost their skill, ability or potential to do better.”

Page reflected on their results so far this season and by looking at the overall leaderboard at this World Championships he can see where they are capable of placing.

“We knew where they were in comparison to the rest of the fleet coming into this event, and that still hasn’t changed,” Page observed. “We just have to keep working on the principles that matter, continue to increase their abilities and knowledge, to deliver what they want, what I want and what Australia wants.”

Jerwood and Nicolas Starting CREDIT Nikos Alevromytis
Jerwood and Nicolas CREDIT Nikos Alevromytis

Two races are scheduled tomorrow, which will conclude the speedy Qualifying series before teams are split into Gold and Silver fleet for the final three days of fleet racing.

A live stream of the racing will commence on Wednesday for the Final series and continue until the Medal race.

To follow along make sure to visit the event website for full results and to catch the live stream.

Australian Sailing Squad (ASS), and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) entries at the 2022 470 World Championships:

470 Mixed (60 entries)

50th – Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS) – (24), 24, 18 (66 points)

52nd – Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (ASF) – 28, (29), 20 (77 points)

Words by Lisa Darmanin

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