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Australian sailors at Tokyo 2020 Test Event - Day 4

by Australian Sailing Team 20 Aug 2019 10:22 PDT 15-22 August 2019
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin - Ready Steady Tokyo, day 4 © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / World Sailing

With nine Australian sailors inside the top 10 of their classes, and four more within striking distance, it is a good platform to set the Australian Sailing Team up for the biggest game on the planet - the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The 49erFX crew of Tess Lloyd and Jaime Ryan remained in seventh overall after a healthy set of top ten finishes for the day. Along with the Nacra 17 team, they now go into medal racing tomorrow. The 49er skiff will not contest the medal race after finishing 14th, but another second place today shows that the Phillips brothers, Sam and Will, can certainly make magic.

Jake Lilley continued to make top ten his mark in the Finn, the Women's 470 crew have some work to do to secure a top ten place, and Mara Stransky in the Laser Radial has learned plenty of lessons this regatta as she heads in to the World Cup Series event at the same location next week.

Another win in the last race of the day saw Mat Belcher and Will Ryan carry over their number one ranking, with two days to go. There is a reason Tom Burton and Matt Wearn were first and second at the recent Laser World Championship. They are quite simply at the top of their game.

The infinite variables and ever-evolving playing field that render sailing one of the hardest sports to get right have tested the champions in Japan over the last few days.

Mastering weather is the real name of the game, and even the greats get it wrong on the day sometimes. Case in point yesterday's curveball Nor'easters were meant to be replaced by simpler on shore Southerlies today. Yet the devilry remained, especially so in the first race of the day.

"The conditions were quite good with a light sea breeze for the first race," observed Matt Wearn straight from the track. "The subtle shifts were hard to pick, however. There had been a left-hand trend for the pre-start, and then it hooked hard to the right immediately after we got under way. I hedged my bets by going back left, but alas this was not the way to go."

The resulting 22nd in a race of 35 boats gives hopes to mere mortals, but was definitely as sobering as the takeout instructive. "I'm happy to have learned, and then backed myself in the second and collected the bullet (race win)."

Burton suffered an even worse fate than Wearn in the same race, finishing in 27th. In the second he was closer to mid-fleet with a 15. "I was looking good on the first beat, but went further right and it did not pay off. In combination with an average run back downwind it all ended up in a bit of a domino effect, and I slipped further back into the vortex."

Clearly, the vortex is what a sailor should strive to avoid. The course in Enoshima has been described as 'tricky', an oft-used term for challenging seas and breeze. Great sailors view such challenges as a chance to refine their art, to convert errors into gold.

"I will definitely be keeping all of the knowledge from today in my memory bank. Sometimes mistakes come under pressure, but it is always a lot nicer to get good results", said the reigning Olympic and World Champion, signing off.

Hot Nacra 17 team Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin go into their double points medal race tomorrow, which is exclusively for the top ten. Save for a boat with an actual hole in it on Day One, super consistency has them well positioned for the top spot.

Refreshingly undeterred by a pair of Argentineans with three race wins and a couple of Italians with a set of top tens, Darmanin said, "It is nice to know that we can bounce back. We have won every medal race we've been in over the last while, and are always better under pressure."

"The humidity in Japan is tearing my hands up, so I will have to work on healing them quickly. It has been nice to race again, we have been in worse positions ahead of medal races previously and still collected a medal, so here we go" added the Aussie.

Racing will commence from Midday local time tomorrow, with the medal races for the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 classes. Follow the live tracking here.

Results after Day Four:

Men's 470 (22 boats)
1st: Mat Belcher and Will Ryan 2, 3, 3, (8), 3, 1, 8, 1 - 21pts

Women's 470 (20 boats)
14th: Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries 7, 7, (16), 12, 7, 16, 16, 12 - 77pts

49er (21 boats)
14th: Sam and Will Phillips 5, 5, 2, 8, 18, 12, 16, 16, (22 UFD), 22 UFD, 2, 19 - 125pts

49erFX (23 boats)
7th: Tess Lloyd and Jaime Ryan 4, 13, 8, 15, 3, 19, 6, 3, (20), 9, 8, 5 - 73pts

Finn (22 boats)
8th: Jake Lilley 9, 11, 8, 14, 7, 3, (17), 10 - 62pts

Laser (35 boats)
2nd: Matt Wearn 3, 4, 8, 14, 8, 4, (22), 1 - 41pts
6th: Tom Burton 4, 8, 6, 4, 7, 13, (27), 15 - 57pts

Laser Radial (41 boats)
34th: Mara Stransky 29, 41(BFD), 5, 22, 38, 25, 38, 27 - 181pts

Nacra 17 (21 boats)
4th: Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin 4, (20), 13, 5, 5, 4, 3, 3, 4, 2, 3, 9 - 55pts

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