Top ten finishes for Australia at 2022 European Champs

Three Australian crews in the 49er and Nacra 17 classes made it through to their respective Medal Races on the final day of the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, but not before two more nail-biting races were held in each class to determine the top ten to make the cut.

Celebration time for the two top placed Australian 49er crews
Celebration time for the two top placed Australian 49er crews – credit Beau Outteridge

Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) athletes Jim Colley and Shaun Connor produced the best result of the Australians and their own personal best, competing in their first ever Medal Race. The NSW sailors came into the 49er Medal Race in fifth place and finished in that same spot, after placing seventh in the double points Medal Race.

“Our first Medal Race. It was an interesting experience,” Colley commented. “There were always opportunities to make amends after making mistakes and, we did that. I’m sorry we didn’t make the podium, but we held onto our fifth place and we’re very happy. Very relieved, actually.”

Colley, who with Connor represents Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, added: “I’d like to say a big thank you to our and coaches and to our family and friends back home. Some of them have been with us since we started sailing the 49er. We’re grateful to them because we wouldn’t be able to do this without the support we get.”

Fellow ASS athletes Tom Needham and Joel Turner also made the 49er Medal Race. The Queensland duo finished ninth overall after placing eighth in the Medal Race.

“A tricky Medal Race,” Needham said. “Conditions were much lighter than we’ve had all week. The course was close to shore on super flat water and it was shifty again.

“It was really good to lock in and back up our performance at Kiel Week (in June, where they finished fourth overall after making their first Medal Race).

“From where we were at the start of the season, to make it to two Medal Races, we’re stoked. We would’ve liked to have done better today, but we’re happy with our consistency in the variable conditions we had this week,” ended Needham, who will head home for some training with Turner ahead September’s 49er Worlds in Canada.

The two 49er pairs pushed each other hard all week, contributing to both crews’ impressive results.

Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin get amongst it in the Nacra 17 Medal Race
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin get amongst it in the Nacra 17 Medal Race – credit Beau Outteridge

Rio Olympic silver medallists Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) finished the Nacra 17 Medal Race seventh to maintain their 10th place overall.

“We made some big leaps with speed, but nothing went our way with breakages, it was frustrating,” Darmanin from NSW explained.

“We didn’t quite nail it this week. We definitely want to move up in the rankings. We were up in second in the Medal Race, but those behind us came through with pressure… But you have to go through the hard times to get better. We know what we need to work on. We need easy speed, which means time to look around when you’re racing,” she said.

On the 49erFX course, the final two races in the Gold fleet were held in 10-15 knots on a relatively flat sea with a little chop, a couple of miles off Aarhus. These were vastly different to the conditions the 49er and Nacra 17s faced.

49erFX Gold fleet start
49erFX Gold fleet start – credit Beau Outteridge

Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) finished best of the Australians in 15th overall, while Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot dropped to 21st. It meant nether qualified for the Medal Race.

Lloyd, who took an extended break after representing Australia in the 49erFX at the Tokyo Games, returned to the class recently with her new crew, Tasmanian Dervla Duggan.

On their results in Aarhus, Lloyd said, “We came to learn and get better on the boat together. We’re here working towards the Worlds (September in Canada). We weren’t expecting great results. We’re more working on the processes and developing as a team together.

“There are lots of new pairings in the class like us doing the same thing. It’s been good to spend some time in Europe racing against the European boats,” the Victorian athlete ended.

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) results and overall placings:

Nacra Medal Race final results (Medal Race points in brackets)

Gold Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) (4) – 21pts

Silver Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson (NZL) (8) – 86

Bronze Sinem Kurtbay and Akseli Keskinen (FIN) (6) – 93

10th Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) (7) – 138

Nacra 17 – 14 races (one drop)

15th – Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland (ASS) 14, (23), 23, 13, 12, 18, 15, 17, 6, 8, 13, 19, 17, 14 = 189pts

20th – Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown (ASF) (26), 16, 19, 25, 26, 22, 14, 19, 10, 21, 21, (28), 16, 21 = 256

22nd – Archie Gargett and Sarah Hoffman (ASF) 20, (28), 31, 20, 27, 27, 25, 16, 18, 24, 19, 18, 10, 26 = 278

49erFX Gold fleet – 14 races (one drop)

15th – Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) 12, 17, 5, 13, 9, 7, (18), 8, 13, 11, 14, 13, 7, 12 = 140pts

21st – Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) 20, 2, 3, 23, 11, 2, (27), 4, 6, 20, 22, 8, 12, 25 = 157

49erFX Silver fleet – 14 races (one drop)

32nd – Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (ASS) 21, 14, 17, 10, (30), 22, 6, 17, 8 , 25, 7, 2, 14, 14 = 177pts

48th – Chloe Fisher and Laura Thomson (ASF) 16, 24, 18, 26, (28), 9, 14, 27, 18, 19, 16, 27, 27, (35) = 269

60th – Mina Ferguson and Madeleine McLeay (ASF) (DNC), DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, 13, 27, 27 22, DNF, DNC, 11, 17 = 379

68th – Lilly Richardson and Matilda Richardson (ASF) DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC , DNC, DNC, DNC, 35, 36 = 487

49er Medal Race final results (Medal Race points in brackets)

Gold Diego Botin and Florian Trittel Paul (ESP) (8) – 68pts

Silver Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken (NED) (12) – 83

Bronze James Peters and Fynn Sterritt (GBR) (4) – 84

5th – Jim Colley and Shaun Connor (ASS) (14) – 102

9th – Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) (16) – 115

49er Gold fleet – 15 races (one drop)

24th – Jack Ferguson and Max Paul (ASS) 5, 6, 18, 10, 9, 1, 8, 1, 9, 22, 23, 19, (DNC), 24, 20 = 174pts

49er Silver fleet – 14 races (one drop)

26th – Tom Burton and Simon Hoffman (ASS) (28), 7, 11, 14, 4, 10, 14, 5, 13, 21, 1, 3, 1, 1, 7, 11 = 123pts

40th – Thomas Cunich and Miles Davey (ASF) 10, 13, 13, 15, 16, 16, 12, (26), 12, (UFD), 24, DNC, 9, 6, 12, 20 = 239

49er Bronze fleet – 14 races (one drop)

64th – Otto Henry and Flynn Twomey (ASF) 26, 29, 19, 19, 21, (DNC), 10, 25, 22, 1, 1, 13, 9, 5 = 200pts

90th – Ryan Littlechild and Jack Hildebrand (ASF) (DNC), DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC = 428

Full results at:

By Di Pearson/Australian Sailing Team media

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