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Waterhouse and Darmanin keep pressure on at Princess Sofia Trophy

by Di Pearson 4 Apr 18:47 PDT 29 March - 6 April 2019
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin have increased their Nacra 17 lead - Princess Sofia Trophy © Sailing Energy

Australian Sailing Team members Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin have kept the pressure on in the Nacra 17 class on Day 4 of the 50th Princess Sofia Trophy Iberostar in Palma, Spain, while Mat Belcher and Will Ryan have climbed up to fourth place in the 470 Men's class.

Waterhouse and Darmanin's fifth, 10th and third places in the Nacra 17 Gold fleet increased their lead to 10 points over the British pair, John Gimson/Anna Burnet, and a further point to Italians Vittorio Bissaro/Maelle Frascari at the Olympic classes regatta.

Commenting after the race, Waterhouse said: "That's the most breeze we've had so far; 15 to 22 knots and big shifts, as breeze was coming from mountains. It kept the whole fleet on their toes. It was choppy, but nothing too major, not too difficult to manage.

"It was a bit wet and wild. The whole fleet was struggling with wind. There were lots of cool wipe-outs. We stayed upright, although at the first bottom gate in last race, Lisa went over handle bars and I went around them, but we kept it together.

"These were definitely conditions we enjoy, but they tested us, for sure. Our plan is to be all-rounders. We aren't trying to do anything special at all, not have a wheelhouse. We are happy with our progress and sailing steady," he ended.

Darmanin's brother Paul and his sailing partner Lucy Copeland have moved up four places to 20th overall, courtesy of their best result of the regatta, a third place in Race 11.

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan have continued their upward climb in the 470 Men's, moving into fourth place overall after victory in Race 7 and finishing off with a sixth in Race 8. On 50 points, they are 21 points shy of the leaders, Sweden's Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom. However, they are well within reach of the top ranked British and New Zealand teams, who are respectively seven and one point ahead.

"It was nice to have a bit more breeze - 16-18 knots. It was off the land and shifty. We had a 25 degree shift that resulted in a 30-boat line-up going to the top mark," Belcher said. "It shows we all have the same speed more or less; shows you how close the competition is.

"We're happy with where we are. It's nice to have that bit of confidence and we still have another day or so to get up there. Sailing is a sport where a lot of things can happen, so we'll see how things go," he said.

Fellow 470 sailors, Chris Charlwood and Josh Dawson did not have their best day and dropped down the board to 21st overall.

The 49erFX were first off the water today, flying through their three races in Gold and Silver fleets.

Tess Lloyd and Jaime Ryan remain Australia's best placed of three teams, but dropped from 11th to 16th. Their scores of 19, 12, 22 have hindered their prospects of making the top ten, and therefore the Medal Race on Saturday. Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot have moved up the board again, from 24th to 20th, courtesy of their seventh place in Race 12.

Positioned at the top of the Silver fleet, Amelia Stabback and Caitlin Elks are 26th overall after winning Race 10 and following up with fifth and eighth places.

The 49erFX coach, Tessa Parkinson, herself an Olympic gold medallist from 2008 in the 470 Women's, was out on the course: "They raced in 16-19 knots with steep choppy waves. The waves were making it tricky with the boat handling," she said of the windiest day to-date.

Two more races were put away in the 470 Women's. Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries' 27th and 16th placings were enough to keep them in 22nd overall.

There were two races held in the Finn class also. Jake Lilley was unfortunately Black Flagged in Race 7, but put it behind him to finish seventh in Race 8, his best result so far. He remains 33rd overall.

In the 49er Gold fleet, Thomas Needham and Joel Turner have leapt over the top of David and Lachy Gilmour following three races. The pair's ninth place in Race 8 has given them a five-point advantage over the West Australian brothers who scored a trio of 23rd places to be one place behind in 24th overall.

Kurt Hansen and Simon Hoffman are in the Silver fleet and placed 46th overall, dropping down after a best result of 24th from three races. Brothers Sam and Will Phillips are 57th overall, but climbed up the leaderboard following a ninth place in Race 7.

Just two days of racing remains, the final day in each class dedicated to the Medal Race, where the top ten in each class will vie for the gold, silver and bronze medals.

Racing continues in Palma from 11am local time tomorrow and finishes on Saturday, 6 April, 2019. There are 1225 sailors from 67 nations competing and the Australian Sailing Team squad is representing in the 470 Men's, 470 Women's, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 and Finn classes.

For full results and all information, see here:

Australian results after Day 4:

470 Men's Gold fleet 8 races (one drop)

4th Mat Belcher/Will Ryan: (DSQ), 1, 22, 6, 7, 7, 1, 6 = 50 points
21st Chris Charlwood/Josh Dawson: 8, 4, 22, 16, 12, 11, 22, (35) = 95

470 Women 8 races (one drop)

22nd Nia Jerwood/Monique de Vries: 23, 15, 13, 28, (BFD), 17, 27, 16 = 139 points

49erFX Gold fleet - 12 races (one drop)

16th Tess Lloyd/Jaime Ryan: 3, 19, 7, 14, 16, 2, (23), 6, 9, 19, 12, 22 = 129 points
20th Natasha Bryant/Annie Wilmot: 1, (DSQ), 3, 19, 20, 10, 18, 24, 15, 15, 16, 7 = 148

49erFX Silver fleet - 12 races (one drop)

26th Amelia Stabback/Caitlin Elks: 10, 13, (21), 12, 18, 7, 7, 9, 5, 1, 5, 8 = 95

Nacra 17 Gold fleet - 12 races (one drop)

1st Jason Waterhouse/Lisa Darmanin: 2, 5, 3, 9, 1, 7, 4, 3, (12), 5, 10, 3 = 52 points
24th Paul Darmanin/Lucy Copeland: 26, 11, 12, 8, 11, 12, 27, (29), 16, 19, 3, 21 = 166

Finn Gold fleet 8 races (one drop)

33rd Jake Lilley: 14, 24, 20, 17, 38, 15, (BFD), 7 = 135 points

49er Gold fleet 9 races (one drop)

23rd Tom Needham/Joel Turner: 10, 10, 1, (30), 25, 2, 9, 17, 18 = 92 points
24th David and Lachy Gilmour: (16), 2, 7, 4, 13, 9, 23, (23), 23 = 97

49er Silver fleet 9 races (one drop)

46th Kurt Hansen/Simon Hoffman: 6, 1, 2, 18, 22, 25, 26, 24, (34) = 124 points
57th Sam and Will Phillips: 27, 26, 12, 13, 32, 13, 9, (34), 18 = 150

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