by Craig Heydon
At the 2013 49er and 49erFX World Championships, racing has wrapped up with two Australian crews recording top 10 finishes.
Outteridge and Jensen at the 2013 49er World Championships
London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen finished fifth while Olivia Price and Caitlin Elks were ninth.
The 2013 49er World Championships was the first time that Outteridge and Jensen had raced the boat since winning Olympic gold, with the pair spending the last year campaigning for the America’s Cup with Artemis Racing.
The defending World Champions fought their way back from 18th overall on the fourth day of racing to qualify for the medal races in seventh overall.
The final day saw the top 10 crews contest three short theatre style races with Outteridge and Jensen beginning with a sixth. The pair went on to finish fourth in the final two races to end the regatta in fifth position.
London 2012 silver medallist Olivia Price and crew Caitlin Elks began the day 10th in the 49erFX fleet, with the format being used at the event meaning that they had to race against the 10 boats below them on the leader board for the final spot in the medal races.
In incredibly light and shifty conditions the pair made it through the semi-final race and went on to contest the final three theatre style races.
As the day went on the breeze stabilized with Price and Elks third in the opening medal race, ninth in race two and seventh in race three, moving them up to ninth overall and qualifying the pair for the 2014 Australian Sailing Team.
'It was a long and tricky event with pretty much every condition we could ask for,' said Price. 'It was a great event and experience and gives us a good idea of what to expect in future years.
'Finishing in the top 10 was one of the goals for the event, but we definitely have a lot to improve on and this was just the first step,' she said. 'We’ll take some time off now to process what happened in the event and will debrief and assess the areas we need to work the hardest on.
'Re-qualifying for the Australian Sailing Team is something that builds up confidence as the team is something so many people strive to be a part of,' said Price. 'The semi-final race was held very close to shore in a dying breeze that was left over from a massive storm front that had come through earlier that day. The medal races were held in a little more stable breeze but each side worked on different laps of the course, which forced everyone to be on their game for each of the 10 minute races.'
Fellow 49erFX sailors Haylee Outteridge and Nina Curtis finished their first World Championship together in 14th position with fellow Australians Tessa Parkinson and Chelsea Hall one place behind in 15th.
In the 49er fleet David Gilmour and Sam Phillips were seventh in the repechage fleet, with Will Phillips and Rhys Mara 13th.
Luke Parkinson and Fang Warren finished third in the silver fleet, ahead of George Davies and Jack Lloyd in 27th, while Peter Kendall and Harry Bethwaite were third in the bronze fleet.
Top ten Results of the 49er and 49erFX World Championships
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