Tassie teenager Anna Vaughan wins heat at Laser 4.7 Worlds

Anna Vaughan sailing back to the St Francis Yacht Club after her win - Laser 4.7 Championships 2011
Richard Scarr
Teenage Tasmanian Anna Vaughan today made sailing history when she won heat nine of the Laser 4.7 Girls World Championship on San Francisco.

The 15-year-old Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania Dinghy Group and Tasmanian Sailing Academy member outsailed a fleet of 51 of the world’s best teenage sailors to become the first Australian girl to score a heat win at the worlds.

The only other Australian team winner in the regatta so far has been West Australian Ben Walkemeyer in the boys championship.

Anna is among the lightest sailors in the fleet and until now has struggled in the fresh to strong winds and lumpy seas on the bay. Her best previous result had been a 31st in heat two and her win and 29th place today has lifted her from 49th place to 39th overall. Today, the winds were lighter, but the current strong.

The 112-boat boys fleet has now been split into gold and silver fleets, but the girls are continuing to race in a single fleet, with one day’s sailing left at the St Francis Yacht Club.

Anna’s father, Michael Vaughan, who also races a Laser with the RYCT Dinghy Group on Hobart’s River Derwent, excitedly described Anna’s victory in a phonecall from San Francisco.

Anna’s excited father, Michael Vaughan, on the phone back to Hobart - Laser 4.7 Championships 2011
Richard Scarr
'As I helped her wheel the boat down the ramp this morning we discussed tactics and she said ‘I’m going for broke…if there is anyone going to be OCS’d today, it will be me.’

Anna went for the line full on, and she wasn’t recalled. Then, in a masterful tactical decision she sailed right into a bay, in flat water and less current. Her centreboard actually touched the sand before she tacked out, to find herself with just two boats ahead of her as she neared the first windward mark.

She lifted to windward of these girls, from Italy and Switzerland, to round the mark in first place and, with good downwind speed, held her position to the leeward mark.

'She then picked the less favoured mark to round at the gate and lost several places, but fought back again on the second beat to windward,' her father continued.

Again, Anna’s light weight paid off on the downwind leg and on the leg to wing mark, although still trailing the Italian and Swiss girls. On the final short beat to the finish, she picked the right angle to avoid the current and finish a clear winner.

'We have one day’s sailing left and I think Anna will follow her tactics of today,' her proud father Michael said today.

Earlier this year, Anna and her father were named co-winners of the inaugural RYCT Dinghy Group Chairman’s Cup for Anna’s determination to improve her sailing skills and for Michael’s contribution to dinghy sailing on the Derwent.

'She can outsail me, too,' Michael added, joining fellow parents in celebrating the success. 'Winning a heat of a world championship is a great feat for any sailor and I’m very proud of her effort today.'

Top-placed Australian girl is Milly Bennett (NSW) who is 13th overall, today placing 22nd and seventh. Tasmanian Sophie Chesterman is 23rd with a 25-21 result today while fellow Tasmanian Emma Barton is 35th, placing 37th and 46th today.

Four Australian boys qualified for the gold fleet with Ben Walkemeyer eighth overall, Nicholas Connor (NSW) 31st. Dylan Gore (Tas) 40th, Max Vos (Tas) 47th and Kailas Johnson (Tas) 54th.

In the Silver fleet, Nelson Brown (Tas) is 12th and Jock Calvert (Tas) 17th overall. Thirteen-year-old Jock is sixth placed among the under 16-year-olds.

Results Laser 4.7 Girls   Scores take into account 2  discards  
1ITA 200480Zorzi Cecila, 199415.05111121(8)(31)3
2SLO 198483Pletikos Kim, 199448.01356(ocs)6203(24)4
3NOR 194765Höst Line Flem, 199549.0122276(24)947(34)
4NOR 198747Herud Celine Therese, 199550.0(18)(bfd)6473112161
5TUR 198917Yentur Zeynep, 199568.066162(25)1241012(36)
6GRE 183545Fakidi Athanasia, 1996, U1670.03(bfd)43175721(30)10
7SUI 199846Jayet Maud, 1996, U1685.011(bfd)(31)1819915625
8GRE 194857Karachaliou Vasileia, 1996, U1690.09(bfd)8132419(26)2312
9ESP 196946Luque Gonzalez Yolanda GranCan, 199596.04(bfd)18541110(raf)1925
10ITA 193660Liebman Anna, 199499.0(41)221212181(24)20311
11ITA 195487Modena Camilla, 1994100.01510(21)20(38)13211218
12SIN 185404Siew Kiah Hui Savannah, 1996, U16106.0811203120(40)8(45)62
13AUS 196421Bennett Milly, 1994106.0198(42)11(29)20316227
14HKG 122064Sakai Nagisa Karis, 1994107.0214238318(25)2217(44)
15CRO 182661Kacan Antonela, 1994122.021(bfd)(29)28815229514
16BRA 197089Silva Julia, 1995122.02591327111413(33)10(31)
17BEL 201051Van de Loock Laura, 1995123.013(bfd)3172421(35)171315
18CRO 186212Hamerlitz Anja, 1995127.017(bfd)222221(29)271413
19USA 165073Bushnell Lola, 1995128.030511922(37)231414(42)
20SUI 197161Van Campenhoudt Marine, 1996, U16128.014159(45)13251718(35)17
21SLO 196239Janezic Lea Dora, 1994130.016(bfd)2835(39)852486
22CRO 196187Prtenjaca Nikolina, 1994138.010231926237(36)1515(27)
23AUS 169684Chesterman Sophie, 1994144.0(37)2014(29)101912232521
24GBR 199438Asplund Johanna, 1995148.0237302316(32)1419(44)16
25SLO 174363Peternelj Eva, 1995151.071827(39)151028(34)1828
26USA 188912Bryer Rachel, 1995164.02816(34)2412163313(46)22
27USA 164258White Maeve, 1995181.032(bfd)17(46)272316282018
28JPN 199062Murayama Hitomi, 1994193.026(bfd)254928416(ocs)99
29USA 191985Naughton Sophie, 1995198.0(44)1232253034261227(47)
30ITA 193583Caruso Bianca, 1996, U16201.031(bfd)15212631(47)461120
31ARG 159970Zalazar Maria Florencia, 1995202.024192616342631(ocs)(42)26
32USA 176237Hughes Hannah, 1995203.03613(47)(41)31222952938
33USA 194042Weaver Hanne, 1995213.0(45)4101042(ocs)41424024
34JPN 196486Kunimi Ayano, 1995213.022(bfd)3315321739(ocs)3223
35AUS 184674Barton Emma, 1996, U16221.027(bfd)73740283231(45)19
36ITA 196211Frazza Francesca, 1996, U16236.0462138143730437(raf)(49)
37SIN 185781Goh Su Min Rebecca, 1996, U16236.029(bfd)24361427374326(45)
38GER 181610Edinger Nadine, 1996, U16256.0(48)263938543(46)273939
39SIN 182202Ho Airiel, 1995260.020(raf)3730dne36183037(46)
40AUS 184702Vaughan Anna, 1995263.0423136(51)45(49)3841129
41IND 190923Charles Shaila, 1994267.0(47)28453233353425(47)35
42GER 193240Hinders Sonka, 1995277.040174319(48)33482948(50)
43USA 199347Kardek Haley, 1995286.0(49)(bfd)4433354242322830
44USA 198386Mackey Sarah, 1994290.0(50)293534(47)4745353332
45ARG 164030Rivas Ines, 1995294.034304043(46)(48)40403433
46USA 158824Goethe Hannah, 1995304.038(bfd)(46)42364421443841
47IND 195378Nedunchezhiyan Aishwarya, 1996, U16304.03932(50)(47)413930394143
48IND 195372Sadanandan Shweta, 1994306.043244848946(51)3850(bfd)
49HKG 180992Mascia Sofia-Marie, 1998, U16317.033254950(dsq)3849(ocs)3637
50ARG 146046Varela Dasso Lucia, 1995327.03527(51)4443(ocs)50374348
51USA 192949Dana Francesca, 1995339.0(51)(bfd)4140444544364940