by Craig Heydon
Australian sailors have won two bronze medals on the final day of racing at the 2013 Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth. Australia’s 49erFX crew of Olivia Price and Caitlin Elks, and 49er pairing Will Phillips and Rhys Mara, both overcame their opponents and strong winds to win bronze on Thursday, with both crews competing in their first regattas together. Gusts up to 35 knots kept the crews on shore on Thursday morning, with a shortened medal race program able to be completed as the day progressed. The two skiff classes each completed two medal races with Price and Elks going into the final day of 49erFX racing in fourth position. The pair had a great day on the water, winning both medal races to move onto the podium and claim the bronze medal. 'We were delayed on shore for a while today, but finally got on the water and raced in about 18 knots,' said Price. 'We had two double point medal races, with eight boats on the water and did as much as we could to move up the leader board, taking two first places in the short course racing to finish third overall. 'We worked well as a team today and have continued to strengthen our relationship throughout the regatta,' she said. 'We’re still ticking boxes on each race day and have taken a lot out of this regatta. Next up is some more training here in Weymouth before we head to Kiel in Germany for the next regatta.' Price and Elks were joined in the 49erFX medal race by fellow Australians Haylee Outteridge and Nina Curtis, who started the day in seventh position.
Will Phillips and Rhys Mara with their bronze medals
Outteridge and Curtis also had two good races, with a fourth in the opening medal race and a second in race two, moving themselves up to sixth overall. The final result was a positive one for the pair in their first event together, overcoming missing four races in the middle of the regatta due to gear breakage. In the 49er fleet Australia’s Will Phillips and Rhys Mara began the final day in third position after working their way up the leader board on each day of the regatta. Phillips and Mara were another new Australian pairing at this event, and kicked off the medal race day with a sixth position in the first race. The Australians improved in race two, crossing the line third to seal their bronze medal, finishing on the podium behind their Irish and British opponents. Fellow Australians Luke Parkinson and Fang Warren finished eighth overall after a ninth and a sixth in the two medal races, moving up from their overnight ninth. Jared West finished the week seventh in the Laser fleet, crossing the line sixth in the medal race to maintain his overnight position. The strong winds meant that the final race for the Nacra 17 fleet was abandoned, with positions from Wednesday deciding the podium. Australia’s Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin finished just outside the medals in fourth position, one place ahead of fellow Australians Pip Pietromonaco and James Wierzbowski. Euan McNicol and Lucinda Whitty finished eighth overall.
Olivia Price and Caitlin Elks on the podium in Weymouth