by Craig Heydon
At the Nacra 17 World Championship, the finalists have been decided after a full day of racing in The Hague, The Netherlands.
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin at the Nacra 17 World Championship 2013
After a busy day on the water with one fleet completing five races and the other three, the top 25 boats will now proceed to the finals series, with two Australian crews making the cut.
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin are the leading Australians in 11th overall following five top 10 finishes on Wednesday.
'We’re so glad to finally have some wind today with about eight to 15 knots,' said Darmanin. 'The race committee did a great job to get eight races in across the two fleets today.
'We had five races today so it was a big day and we’re really happy with how we’re sailing,' she said. 'There are lots of good sailors out there so we’re pleased to get five results in the top 10, including a second.
'Jason and I are looking forward to racing in the gold fleet, the forecast doesn’t look too good for the remainder of the regatta but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll have some fair racing for the finals series,' said Darmanin.
Joining Waterhouse and Darmanin in the finals series will be fellow Australians Pip Pietromonaco and James Wierzbowski who currently sit in 19th position.
Pietromonaco and Wierzbowski began the day with a pair of sevenths, before finishing ninth in race three and rounding the day out with a 19th and a 17th.
Euan McNicol and Lucinda Whitty narrowly missed out on a position in the top 25, finishing the qualifying series in 26th position.
McNicol and Whitty were 11th in the first race of the day and 10th in race two. The pair fought their way back through the fleet in race two after rounding the top mark almost last. They were 14th and 15th in races three and four respectively, before retiring from the final race of the day.
Josh McKnight and Nina Curtis contested three races on Wednesday after getting two in the day before, with the pair finishing the qualifying series in 29th.
McKnight and Curtis were 11th, eight and 19th from their three races to finish just six points off a position in the gold fleet.
At the Finn European Championship in Warnemunde, Germany, the 103 boat fleet contested another three races with Australian crews having a mixed day on the water.
Oliver Tweddell continues to be the highest placed Australian after the opening six races with the Victorian sitting in 31st position.
Tweddell was black flagged and excluded from the first race of the day for crossing the start line early but recovered well with a 20th and a 24th from the next two races.
'Unfortunately I started off the day with a black flag which wasn’t ideal, but I had the whole first race to compose my thoughts for the rest of the day,' said Tweddell. 'I was pleased that I was able to bounce back with two better races.
'While my sailing performance has been well off the pace I’m pleased that I’ve dug deep and have been able to get some scores on the board,' he said. 'Hopefully tomorrow I can improve on the factors affecting my performance, with light winds forecast it promises to be tricky racing.'
Fellow Australia Jake Lilley worked his way up from his overnight 50th to end the day in 35th position following a 42nd, a 53rd and a 25th.
'It was another long day on the water in light to moderate winds with some extremely tight racing,' said Lilley. 'All the best Finn sailors in the world are here so the going is tough, one small mistake and you go tumbling down the ladder.
'The racing has been such a challenge and I can’t wait to get out there and learn some more tomorrow and keep on improving,' he said.
Joe McMillan is currently in 63rd overall, after a 57th, a 71st and a 58th.
Racing continues at both the Nacra 17 World Championship and the Finn European Championship on Thursday.
Full results from the Nacra event can be found here and the Finn event http://www.raceoffice.org/data/9597259426.pdf?changed=2013-07-24%2019:58:59!here!new.
Australian Sailing Team website