Sail for Gold Regatta - Aussie Olympians return to Weymouth waters
The 2013 Sail for Gold Regatta will see Australia’s silver medal winning sailors return to Weymouth for the first time since the London 2012 Olympic Games. Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty won silver in the Women’s Match Racing at London 2012 and will be back in action in Weymouth this week, though not racing together.
All three sailors will be in action in new classes, with Price and Curtis racing in the 49erFX women’s skiff and Whitty in the Nacra 17 mixed multihull. Racing begins at the 2013 Sail for Gold Regatta later today with Price and Curtis contesting their first overseas 49erFX regattas. Price will be sailing with West Australian Caitlin Elks, after teaming up earlier this year. After spending time on the water together at the National Training Centre in Sydney the pair has made the trip to Europe to begin their international campaign. 'We’re so excited to race here in Weymouth,' said Price. 'It’s our first international event so we’re looking forward to seeing how we fit into the fleet and getting the most out of the racing here. 'The 49erFX is such a fun boat, we’ve been training here for about a week or so and have had a mix of conditions,' she said. The last time Elks competed in Weymouth she was racing in the single-handed Laser Radial class, a long way removed from the 49erFX. 'It’s very different coming into this event as a crew, having another person on my boat means there’s such a shift, I’m now sharing the responsibility involved in a regatta and its lead up,' said Elks. 'I’m also trusting that Olivia is doing what she can to prepare for this regatta and supporting her where I can to help her do so, I know she’s doing the same for me. 'We’ve put in a lot of hard work over the past months together and it will be really good to see where this places us at an international level and highlight where the next step is for us so we can maintain our momentum of improvement,' she said. While Sail for Gold will be Nina Curtis’ first 49erFX regatta it won’t be her first European event for the year, having recently competed two events in the Nacra 17 with Josh McKnight. In Weymouth, Curtis will be crewing for Haylee Outteridge, with the event marking the beginning of their Rio 2016 campaign. While Outteridge and Curtis haven’t raced together yet they’ve spent time training in the new boat in Australia, and the last week in Weymouth. For Outteridge this week may be her first on the water racing in Weymouth but it’s not her first visit to the venue, having cheered on her brother Nathan to his 49er gold medal at London 2012. Sail for Gold will be Lucinda Whitty’s third event in the new Nacra 17 class, with the Olympic silver medallist crewing for Euan McNicol. Whitty and McNicol recently competed at EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup events in Italy and Holland as they quickly get up to speed in the new class. Joining Whitty and McNicol in the Nacra 17 class will be two other Australian crews, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, and Pip Pietromonaco and James Wierzbowski. Waterhouse and Darmanin have made the medal race at the last two events they’ve contested, including winning silver on Lake Garda in Italy last month. Pietromonaco and Weirzbowski will be contesting their second Nacra 17 event in Weymouth, after racing in Holland two weeks ago. Australia has won gold in the 49er class at the last four Sail for Gold Regattas, with Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen undefeated in Weymouth on their way to Olympic gold. While Outteridge and Jensen are on America’s Cup duties in San Francisco, five Australian crews will be out to emulate their success. The Australian crews include Will Phillips and Rhys Mara, Luke Parkinson and Fang Warren, George Davies and Jack Lloyd, Peter Kendall and Harry Bethwaite, and David Gilmour and Sam Phillips. Jared West will be flying the Australian flag as the solo Laser entry, with the Queenslander finishing 21st at his last event in Holland. Racing begins in Weymouth on Sunday and continues until Thursday. Sail for Gold website Australian Sailing Team website