by Ajay Rau
At the 2012 World University Match Racing Championships, Sam Gilmour and crew Steven Thomas, Chris Smith and Alistair Marchesi from University of Western Australia, won the gold in Nice (France). Jay Griffin, Jackson Cranfield (University of Technology), Jack Breislin (University Of New South Wales) and Jack Dawson (University of Wollongong) came away with silver.
Sam Gilmour - 2012 World University Match Racing Championships
'Very close racing against Jay Griffin and his team on AUS 1. We had a penalty in the first race but could wash it off just in time to claim the win. In the second it was AUS 1 with the penalty and we held just close enough to not give them enough time to finish. Very hectic racing - almost some tears. Thanks to everyone for their Support, it has been great,' says Sam Gilmour.
AUS 1 vs AUS 2, Finals - 2012 World University Match Racing Championships
Australian Women teams skippered by Jessica and Tara finished fifth and seventh overall in the female division. For both Jessica and Tara this was their first overseas match racing regatta at the helm. Natalie Greentree (NSW) and sisters Sasha and Jamie Ryan (QLD) crewed for Jessica while Katie Webb, Carla Sexton and Aurora Paterson crewed for Tara McCall all from New South Wales.
Fifteen Nations had their eyes on the world championship this edition, but Australia dominated the field and came away with the top two spots while Great Britain (Shaw) and former World University Match racing champion had to settle for Bronze. In the last edition in 2010, Great Britain had won gold while Australia settled for silver and bronze.
Australian University Sport and Yachting Australia played a key role in selecting and supporting the Australian teams that attended the World Championships. A sixteen member strong team of both men and women were sent to France (Nice).
Sam Gilmour headed into the event with a fifth place at the recent Governor’s Cup in California. He lead a young, but by no means inexperienced, team of Steven Thomas, who was the 2008 and 2009 29er World Champion, Chris Smith and Alistair Marchesi from the University of Western Australia. This would be the first time the team was participating at the World University Match Racing Championships.
Jay Griffin, the Skipper of the second Australian team, had a lot of insight into one of his competitor’s and teammates tactics having just crewed for Sam Gilmour at the Governor’s Cup. Jay’s team of Jack Dawson, Jack Breislin and Jackson Cranfield from New South Wales were a young but talented team with plenty of match racing regatta experience behind them. Jay Griffin was not new to the world University Match Racing Championships having skippered another talented team of sailors to a silver medal at the 2010 World University Match Racing Championships held in Greece.
Jay Griffin - 2012 World University Match Racing Championships
On day one, Great Britain had won all their matches and was leading the field. Australia’s Griffin and Gilmour were tied in second place along with Singapore and France.
On day two, the English team continued to dominate. In-group A, GBR team skippered by Shaw (former Word University champion) was leading the pack six wins out of six. In-group B, the other English boat was beaten by Australian Gilmour who had five wins out of six.
On day three, both groups had finished the round robin stages and teams had qualified for the quarterfinals. In group A, qualified in order of ranking: Great Britain 2, Denmark, Germany, Slovenia, in-group B: Australia 2, Australia 1, Great Britain 1, Singapore. Next Day of racing teams would be fighting for a place in the semi-finals and Finals.
On day four, before the beginning of the finals the next day, Australia was already the 2012 World Champions. Australia had a great performance by qualifying both Australian teams for the big final thanks to its victories in their semi-finals against Great Britain and Denmark. The next day will determine which Australian team would be the sixth university world match racing champions
On day five, Sam Gilmour and his team had won the gold at the sixth World University Match Racing Championship’s. Gilmour won 2-0 in the best of three final.
World Champions - 2012 World University Match Racing Championships
16 memeber strong Australian Team - 2012 World University Match Racing Championships
Australian University Sailing Association website