Young Australian set to mix it up at 470 Worlds

Two Australian teams are gearing up in Sdot-Yam, Israel, ready for day one of the Mixed 470 World Championships which commence today. Sixty teams will take to the water from Monday 24th through to Saturday the 29th of October on the Mediterranean Sea.

Australian Sailing is represented by Tokyo Olympian Nia Jerwood, who has teamed up with fellow Western Australian Conor Nicolas. Alongside Jerwood and Nicolas are Australian Sailing Futures sailors, Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins. This will be their first World Championship together as the Mixed 470 is set to debut in Paris 2024.

Leading the squad is two-time Olympic gold medallist, Malcolm Page who has been coaching the young teams over the past season. The Australian coach commented that the conditions remind him a lot of Sydney Heads but with a lot less wind.

Beach launching Nikos Alevromytis Int. 470 Class
Beach launching Nikos Alevromytis Int. 470 Class

“We’re expecting an on-shore breeze between South-West and North West,” said Page. “It should be single-digit wind speeds, maybe double digits if we are lucky, with a substantial seaway.”

After observing the crews over a series of regattas this year, Page shared, “Sophie and Angus, the young futures team, are actually sailing the best they’ve ever sailed. But for them, it will still be a tough event in the open fleet event.

“Nia and Conor are showing great potential and have just got to pull together some races and some days and see how the cookie crumbles. They’ve got great pieces they’ve just got to pull them together as a team.

“It’s exciting to be going up against the best in conditions that probably wouldn’t usually suit us. We always expected these (conditions), and it’s right on prediction. We have to deal with it and have to get good at it so here we go, we are all looking forward to it.”

The teams have been in Israel for some time preparing for these World Championships and familiarising themselves with the conditions. It’s handy when the Australian coach is also an extremely talented 470 crew, as Page jumped in the boat for a few days during that prep with Jerwood.

Jerwood shared, “Conor arrived a bit after me (to Israel) as he was attending his brother’s wedding. Malcolm (Page) filled in and we did two great days of practice racing together. Conor then arrived and we went straight into day two of the Israel National Championships.

“We took the regatta as a proper warm-up to explore the course, get a feel for the wave conditions and shift oscillations. We now have a decent understanding of what is happening on the race course.”

Jerwood finished, “With a fair few hours of boat work done as well we feel our boat and ourselves are ready to race.”

At least two days of Qualifying racing is scheduled followed by three days of Finals racing with the medal race planned on Saturday for the top ten teams.

A live stream of the racing will commence on the 26th of October for the Final series and continue until the Medal race.

Sailing Club insgnia CREDIT Nikos Alevromytis Int. 470 Class
Sailing Club insgnia CREDIT Nikos Alevromytis Int. 470 Class

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)

Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS)

Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (ASF)

Words by Lisa Darmanin

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