Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Australian Sailing Squad’s Jake Lilley - Junior European Finn Champion

by Cora Zillich on 13 May 2014
Jake Lilley International Finn Class Association
Australian Sailing Squad’s Jake Lilley (QLD) wrapped up the 2014 Junior European Finn Championship (22-25 September 2014) in La Rochelle, France with a win, and fifteenth position in the senior open fleet.

The Junior European title went to the 20 year old Lilley after a great week of sailing in unseasonal weather. 'I’m really pleased with this result after some tough racing with all the world's best. It was interesting sailing in the cappuccino-coloured waters of La Rochelle, but I managed to stay warm and have some good races. It's really cool to finally get a win. It was pretty frustrating that we finished second in major junior events three times last year. Thanks to the 25 other juniors here. It's awesome that we can help to build the class and compete in the open Europeans.'

On the final race, where Lilley held a pre-race lead of 125 point over the current Open and Junior World Champion Jorge Zarif (BRA), he said: 'We had a good plan today to just have a solid race and not do anything crazy, and also keep an eye on where Jorge was. I also wanted to finish the regatta strongly and keep at least in the top 15. So I just tried to have an OK race and not go upside down.'

After mixed results in the last two World Cup events, progress for the young Finn sailors on the Australian Sailing Squad was watched with interest. At the last World Cup in Hyères Lilley started the regatta by winning the first day, was in medal race contention until near the end but faded to finish 16th, while fellow squad member Oliver Tweddell gradually improved through the regatta to finish 19th overall.

Over the last 18 months Tweddell and Lilley have been working hard with U.S. 1984 Olympic silver medallist coach John Bertrand.

In a recent interview with Sail-World.com John Bertrand summed up 'Right now our Australian Finn squad is still on the path of learning as much as we can and soaking it all in. We are showing we can be competitive. We just have to be able to pull it altogether. This year is not necessarily about doing that right now. Maybe by the end of the year the expectation is going to be different. Right now I am really, really pleased.'

Though still a junior, Lilley is sailing and talking like a senior, confirming his coach’s direction. 'We worked really hard over Australian summer. We came to the event with no expectations, but with a bunch of objectives that we were able to successfully tick this week. As for the junior title, it wasn't our focus for this week. Going into the event we knew we would have a good shot at winning if we did all the right things, but it would be hard as we were up against the likes of Jorge Zarif from Brazil. 15th overall is a really pleasing outcome and to be so close to cracking the top 10 at such a young age is quite an achievement.'

Looking to the future, 'We feel we are in a good position leading into the Worlds in September and know we have plenty more to work on and even more to give in terms of results. Our main focus is on the worlds and the Olympics from now. I'm really happy that all the juniors were here and we're racing with the big boys, so that's the big one for this year.'

While the Junior European title is a nice success, Lilley remains realistic about the bigger picture and the steps ahead:

'We have a whole list of both process and execution orientated objectives that we are constantly trying to work through, and this extends to the results as well. The Junior Europeans title is just the start of what we hope is to come on the road to becoming a World and Olympic Champion.'

This week all the best Finn Sailors in the world were in attendance at the European Championship in La Rochelle, France and for the Finn Class, it was the last big hit out before the ISAF World Championship in Santander (8-21 September 2014), which also be a qualifying event for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Over the next few months the Australian Sailing Finn squad will ramp up their preparation for the World Championship with events in the Netherlands (Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, 20-24 May 2014) and Germany (Kiel Week, 21-25 June 2014) as well as training for Santander.

For full results please visit website.
Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Naiad/Oracle SupplierBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

First in at the end of Road to Rio series – AST Paralympic medallists
Behind every Olympic/Paralympic medal is an amazing adventure this is first in a series of videos with AST medallists Behind every Olympic and Paralympic medal is an amazing adventure and journey, this is the first in a series of videos looking at the #RoadToRio with the Australian Sailing Team medallists, celebrating their homecoming and looking back on their journey.
Posted on 25 Sep
Park’s pride at “end of an era” for Rio Paralympic Sailing
Two bronze medals for Helena Lucas in the 2.4mR one person keelboat and Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell in the SKUD18 Two bronze medals for Helena Lucas in the 2.4mR one person keelboat and Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell in the SKUD18 two-person keelboat in the final races of the regatta on Saturday meant Britain’s sailors finished on the podium twice for the second Paralympics running and achieved their pre-Rio medal target.
Posted on 19 Sep
Britain’s Sonar trio proved to be true to their word at Rio Paralympic
The Brits had gone into the race knowing that a medal was out of their reach but vowing to put on a display of their bes The Brits had gone into the race knowing that a medal was out of their reach but vowing to put on a display of their best form after enduring a rollercoaster regatta.
Posted on 18 Sep
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champion says Paralympics need to think big
The first email of congratulations we got was from Russell Coutts and the second was from Dean Barker America's Cup skippers, Russell Coutts and Dean Barker were amongst the first to congratulate Rick Dodson and his Sonar crew on their fourth place in the Paralympics which concluded on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. 'The first email of congratulations we got was from Russell Coutts and the second was from Dean Barker,' team manager Celia Snedden told Sail-World from Rio de Janeiro.
Posted on 18 Sep
Sonar Silver for Doerr, Kendell and Freund at Paralympic Games
With a victory in the final race of the event, U.S. Paralympic Team sailors Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell With a victory in the final race of the event, U.S. Paralympic Team sailors Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) have won silver medals in the Sonar class, the three-person Paralympic keelboat.
Posted on 18 Sep
Rio 2016 - Bronze medal decided by tiebreaker in Sonar
With the Sonar Gold medal already won the previous day it was down to the battle for silver and bronze With the Sonar Gold medal already won the previous day by the Australian team of Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Jonathan Harris with a race to spare, it was down to the battle for silver and bronze in the three man keelboat. After penultimate race, mathematically there were still quite a few teams left in the fight, but USA and Canada, sitting in second and third respectively, had the advan
Posted on 18 Sep
Rio 2016 - Victory lap for first ever double Gold Paralympic winners
Sailing in the SKUD18 fleet were the only sailors in history to defend a Paralympic title. Sailing in the SKUD18 fleet were the only sailors in history to defend a Paralympic title. That honour was bestowed on Australia's Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch with two races to spare in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition. Sailing on day five was just a victory lap. A victory lap they still finished second place in.
Posted on 18 Sep
Rio 2016 - France's Seguin claims Norlin OD Paralympic Gold
The Rio 2016 Paralympics came to a spectacular close with the medals decided in front of a sell-out crowd In a finale fitting on the setting, the Rio 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition came to a spectacular close with the medals decided in front of a sell-out crowd lining the shores of Flamengo Beach. Racing on the Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) race course, onlookers were treated to a thrilling climax in which some medals were settled by just seconds.
Posted on 17 Sep
Rio 2016 - Kiwi Sonar crew going all out in the big breeze for final
The New Zealand Sonar keelboat crew of Rick Dodson, Andrew May and Chris Sharp have it all before them in the final race The New Zealand Sonar keelboat crew of Rick Dodson, Andrew May and Chris Sharp have it all before them in the final race of the Paralympics in Guanbara Bay, tomorrow. They are one of a group of five boats who are contesting the remaining two medals after the Australian crew won the Gold medal in a topsy-turvy day in Rio de Janeiro.
Posted on 17 Sep
Rio 2016 - Images from Day 5 of the Paralympics - SKUD18 class
Richard Langdon was on the waters of Guanabara Bay for Day 5 of racing in the two person SKUD 18 keelboat class Richard Langdon was on the waters of Guanabara Bay for Day 5 of racing in the two person SKUD 18 keelboat class and provided this gallery of images. The event is was one on the penultimate day by the Australian crew giving their second Gold Medal from three classes at the regatta.
Posted on 17 Sep