by Craig Heydon
On the final day of the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup round in Kiel, Germany, Australian sailors have won two silvers and a bronze medal.
2013 EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin won silver in the Nacra 17 class, with two medals for Australia in the 49erFX, Olivia Price and Caitlin Elks winning silver and Tessa Parkinson and Chelsea Hall claiming bronze.
The Nacra 17 fleet kicked off the medal races, with Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin heading into the decider first overall.
The final race was incredibly tight, with the Australians working their way into the lead, with their competition hot on their heels.
At the final mark rounding Spain’s Iker Martinez got ahead of Waterhouse and Darmanin, taking the win with the Australians crossing the line second. The results left the two crews tied on points, with the Spanish winning on a count back.
'Lisa and I are usually the dark horses in the medal race, with the new format making it very difficult for the leaders going into such a vital race,' said Waterhouse. 'We started well and were second around the top mark and first to the bottom with the Spanish quite far back in the fleet. However, full credit to him he picked a few good shifts up the last upwind and rounded the top mark in front of us by four boat lengths.
'We worked hard on the last downwind but couldn’t close enough distance and he beat us by about a boat length,' he said. 'Overall it was a fantastic regatta for us as we led for most of the event and feel that we were amongst the top few boats all week. We’re a little disappointed to come so close but it was a good learning curve.
'Next up for us is our World Championships and we’re excited for the event as we think we’re capable of a top 10 result and want to try and mix it up at the top of the fleet but we’ll take it as it comes and prepare as best we can,' said Waterhouse.
Three Australian crews lined up in the 49erFX medal races, with the top eight teams contesting three stadium style races.
Tessa Parkinson and Chelsea Hall headed into the final day of their first regatta together in third position, one ahead of Olivia Price and Caitlin Elks, with Haylee Outteridge and Nina Curtis in sixth.
With the breeze gusting above 20 knots making it a challenge to remain upright at times the first of three races got underway.
Parkinson and Hall were first to the top mark before a capsize on the downwind sent them to the rear of the fleet, with Price and Elks finishing just ahead in seventh. Outteridge and Curtis found themselves towards the back of the pack at the first mark but improved on each leg, with a great final downwind seeing them finish second.
The results were up and down again in race two, with Outteridge and Curtis fourth to the top mark before moving their way into the lead and going on to win, with Price and Elks third, and Parkinson and Hall fourth.
Heading into the final race the podium positions were still up in the air, with Price and Elks claiming silver with a win to round out the day. Parkinson and Hall crossed the line eighth, claiming the bronze on a count back, with Outteridge and Curtis fifth, off the podium by just a single point.
Will Phillips and Rhys Mara headed into the three 49er medal races in fourth position, with the pair out to force their way onto the podium.
Phillips and Mara got off to the perfect start, leading at every mark in the first race to take the win. In race two the pair, competing in their second international regatta together, had worked their way up to third position before a capsize at the bottom gate saw them finish eighth.
The Australians found themselves at the back of the fleet at the top mark in the final race but moved forward with each lap, eventually crossing the line fifth to finish fourth overall.
The final Australian in action in Kiel was Ashley Brunning in the Laser class. The top six sailors took part in a single medal race, with their finishing position added to their position at the start of the day to decide the medallists.
In a hard fought final race Brunning was at the front at the end of the first lap, with Germany’s Philipp Buhl taking the lead on the next upwind and going on to take the race win and the gold medal.
Brunning crossed the line in third position, finishing the week fourth overall.
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