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05 May 2014
Aussies on the world stage
Oracle Team USA Andrea Francolini
Oracle Team USA helmsman and sailing team manager Tom Slingsby is obviously enjoying his expanded role these days, both in crew training and design input.
The team is scheduled to reconvene next week in Sydney, Australia for its second training camp against Matt Belcher and his Team Australia. It's interesting to hear what Slingers has to say in the story in this newsletter...
On day three of racing at the Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao, GAC Pindar, which includes a lot of the Team Australia enjoyed a strong start, securing a third place finish in the first race of the day, their best result so far this week.
The young all-Aussie crew, racing together for the first time with 22-year-old David Gilmour as skipper, continued to race well early on, taking fifth place, within a fleet of 12, in race three. However, following a heavy collision with Team Extreme Qingdao in the final race, they were still in 12th place at the end of series today. The only way from here is up, with plenty of talent the results will surely come as experience is gained.
The 2014 Finn Senior and Junior European Championship starts on Monday morning local time in La Rochelle, France on the Bay of Biscay. There will be around 95 entries from 31 countries and with a few exceptions virtually all of the top sailors are entered.
There are two young Australians in the fleet, 23 year old Oliver Tweddell (AUS) was ranked World number one after an outstanding start to the season but has been dogged by an arm injury and after struggling in Palma and Hyeres has dropped to second in the world.
20 year old Jake Lilley (AUS), now ranked 12th in the world, second at the Junior Finn World Champion titles in 2013 is still a growing boy, he is now 226mm (6,7' and 96 kg).
After mixed results in the last two World Cup events, progress for the two Australian Finn class Rio 2016 campaigners will be watched with interest.
Sail-World talked to him Finn coach John Bertrand, the other one late in the Hyeres regatta. John Bertrand summed up ‘I am not too worried about the score sheet. As long as they are learning
John is generous with his time. It great to be able to get such insight into the team preparation that we get from him.
And the coach must have been beaming this afternoon, when Jake Lilley was first to the top mark in the practice race and then pulled out, as did the balance of the fleet, saving their energy for the Championship races.
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