Young Aussies learning lessons at iQFOiL European Championships

A young team representing the Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures program (ASF) in a new Olympic class learned the cost of mistakes on Day 2 of the iQFOiL European Championships on Lake Garda in Italy, but there were positives to take away too. 

The 249-strong Men’s and Women’s fleets headed to the water en masse for a 12pm start. Four races were sailed in 13-16 knots with light areas on certain parts of the course.

Fleet working to top mark.
Caelin Winchcombe on approach to a mark. Pic – Moan Photos

ASF athlete Will McMillan (NSW) moved up the board from 85th to 73rd. After scoring punishing 43rd and 73rd results, the 16-year-old ended the day with an eighth place, lifting him to the top of the Australian Men’s results.

Fellow Futures sailor Natasha Bryant showed her capabilities too, with a regatta best of 12th in Race 7, before falling to a worst result of 27th in the Women’s. The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club athlete is in 48th place overall and arrived at Lake Garda fresh from calling tactics on Tom Slingsby’s winning Australian SailGP team in Bermuda.

Grae Morris (NSW) moved 15 places up the board in the Men’s, but 53rd in first race of the day cost him dearly: “I made some stupid mistakes today that lost me a chance at the Gold fleet,” a deflated Morris said ashore.

Harry Joyner’s desire for Course Racing came to fruition, but the 15-year-old’s scores did not reflect his favoured style. The young Fremantle sailor in the ASF program was at the top of the Australian standings going into the day but could not find a way above results in the 60s. 

Samantha Costin (Qld) has been the one to sail consistently, posting scores in the 20’s throughout.

Fleet sailing upwind.
Samantha Costin among the action. Pic – Moan Photos

As coach Arthur Brett surmised, there are lessons to be learned by all: “The team as a whole have shown good turns of speed and capabilities, but are still a bit rough around the edges,” he said.

“Grae (Morris), for instance, could have had a good day. He rounded the top mark second in the first race, then did the wrong course, so fell right back. He’s just 18 and like the rest of the young team is cutting his teeth on the international circuit.”

The iFOiL Europeans continue tomorrow and conclude on Sunday 22 May local time.

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

iQFOiL Men (154 entries) – 8 races (two drops) 

73rd – Will McMillan (ASF) DSQ, 11, 17, 2, (43), (73), 20, 8  = 120 points

85th – Grae Morris (ASS) 23, 19, 17, (35), (53), 29, 19, 30 = 137 

106th – Caelin Winchcombe (ASS) (31), 25, 23, 11, (65), 49, (59). 46 = 185

109th – Harry Joyner (ASF) 11, 11, 21, 23, (68), (65), 61, 61 = 188 points

135th – Jack Marquardt (ASF) 29, 27, 35, 39, 51, (67), (70), 59  = 240

iQFOiL Women (95 entries) – 8 races (two drops)

48th – Natasha Bryant (ASF) 19, 25, 13, (DNC), 25, (RDG), 12, (27) = 115.33 points

60th – Samantha Costin (ASF) (29), 21, 27, (DNF), 29, 26, 25, 26 = 154

Follow the regatta, including full results at: https://iqfoilclass.org/iqeuropeans2022/  

By Di Pearson/Australian Sailing Team media

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