Thomson finishes top ten at ILCA Euros

Western Australian Zoe Thomson has rounded out a consistent week at the ILCA European Championships, finishing eighth overall at the regatta in Hyeres, France.

The Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club athlete maintained her form across challenging conditions in a six day physical and mental rollercoaster of a regatta.

Thomson commented, “It was a really tough event, consistency turned out to be a winner but it was an event where you were fighting for every point on each leg.”

The Australian ILCA sailors relished being back on the international stage after two years of restricted travel, with today’s lone race brining their long season to a close.

“It’s been great having our two peak regattas in a row at the end of a solid season,” continued Thomson. “I was disappointed after the Worlds but took the lessons into this regatta, so it was nice to have another opportunity to show what I can do.”

The Australian ILCA 6 coach Carolijn Brouwer is proud of how her whole squad has improved over the past year. Brouwer remarked, “Zoe had a great regatta. She’s a real fighter and has matured a lot as a sailor this season.

“Casey (Imeneo) has also come a long way since the start of the season, 11th is a fantastic result for her. Mara (Stransky) and Elyse (Ainsworth) have had more difficult regattas but still a very good year for the squad overall.”

In the ILCA 7, Zac Littlewood finished strong with a seventh place in their race to climb up to 14th overall.

“I’m pretty happy with how the week ended,” said Littlewood. “The last event I did was the Worlds where I placed 72nd, so to be able to come back a few months later, healthy and fit, and post a Top 15 result is really rewarding for all the work I’ve put in, as well as (coach) Rafa and my support crew.

“Even though the result wasn’t near my best, it’s motivating to show that I’m back on track towards the results I posted last year.”

Luke Elliott 2 CREDIT Yepa Photography-EurILCA
Luke Elliott 2 CREDIT Yepa Photography-EurILCA

ILCA 7 Coach Rafa Trujillo shared that it was a hard event as they were shooting for a couple of Top Ten finishes as a squad. Another Western Australian, Luke Elliott, came closest finishing a respectable 11th overall.

After an impressive Qualifying series for the Australian squad, the sailors struggled in the lighter and more fickle Final races, with Finn Alexander coming away with a 21st overall, whilst Ethan McAullay dropped to 42nd after a tough final day.

The squad have a full-on program for the Australian summer, Trujillo commented, “We have Matt Wearn back in action and the full team back together after the Christmas break. It will be a busy summer with the British, Singaporean and New Zealand teams heading our way to do some racing.”

Racing remains high on the to-do list for the Australian squad with the mix of experienced and promising young sailors within the squad.

Trujillo concluded, “We have an exciting summer ahead and we need to keep pushing, polishing our racing skills and minimising the mistakes.”

For full results head to the official notice board here.

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

ILCA 6 (109 boats) – Gold Fleet (55 boats)

8th – Zoe Thomson (ASS) – (12), 3, 4, 7, 9, 23, 10, (27), 15, 15 (86 points)

11th – Casey Imeneo (ASS) – 1, (19), 5. 1, 11, 8, 12, (45), 7, 43 (101 points)

15th – Mara Stransky (AST) – 13, 2, 9, (25), 7, 6, (50), 40, 9, 28 (115 points)

29th – Elyse Ainsworth (ASS) – 7, 8, 11, (16), 8, (44), 14, 35, 19, 41 (143 points)

54th – Paige Caldecoat (AUS) – 25, 26, 25 (36), 18, 34, 53, (54), 49, 49 (279 points)

ILCA 7 (169 boats) – Gold Fleet (57 boats)

11th – Luke Elliott (AST) – 11, 1, 6, 21, 2, (28), 21, 2, 16, (30), 20 (106 points)

14th – Zac Littlewood (AST) – 14, 10, 1, (28), 17, 9. (50), 17, 7, 33, 7 (115 points)

21st – Finn Alexander (ASS) – 13, 1, (BFD), 9, 18, 13, 13, 41, (46), 4, 29 (141 points)

42nd – Ethan McAullay (ASS) – 6, 15, 4, 7, (16), 44, 30, 40, 48, 14. (DNF) (207 points)

ILCA 7 Silver Fleet (56 boats)

86th – Sam King (ASF) – 38, 12, 30, (38), 26, 39, 14, (41), 9, 25 (202) points)

Words: Lisa Darmanin

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