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Aussies at 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships - Day 1

by Australian Sailing Team 4 Dec 2019 12:59 PST
49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships - Day 1 © Matias Capizzano

But for the top Aussie 49er crew it turned out to be a wait well worth waiting for.

Racing was delayed for more than six hours as north west winds gusting up to 40 knots swept across the courses.

The race officials had no choice but to hold the boats ashore and when the conditions finally eased their patience paid off. Although, the 49erFX and Nacra 17 classes were sent home, the 49er fleet got two races in to prevent the opening day being a total wash-out.

For the Australian Sailing Team's (AST) Phillips brothers, Will and Sam, the priority was to negotiate the fresh breeze blowing in big shifts down the harbour and get around the course without getting too far from the pack.

The reward was second place in their first race. "It was quite an unpredictable breeze. We were just trying to stay out of trouble really and keep our risk level quite low," said Will.

In a breeze increasing up to 20 knots the brothers backed up with an 8th in their second race to lie in 6th place overall, AST 49er Head Coach Euan McNicol was pleased to see them "put a couple of keepers together".

"It's just what you want early in the regatta. It's important to start well but not lose perspective," McNicol said.

And the brothers are definitely not getting ahead of themselves though, as Will added;" It is a very long regatta. We've only done two races out of 19 so we've got a lot ahead of us."

That said, the Phillips brothers are the only Aussies in the top ten after day one. Team mates Tom Needham and Joel Turner for example had to settle for two 14th places.

After racing they were philosophical about their situation. "We say you can't win a regatta on the first day but you can definitely lose," said Tom. "We put in a reasonable result and got it done."

Leading the 49er fleet is the German crew of Eric Heil and Thomas Polessel who posted a first and a second.

All eyes were on the Kiwi Olympic champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke who raised local hopes with a big win in their first race. Second time round they were looking to make it a double, leading the fleet about 100 metres from the finish when they capsized and finished in 11th place.

Racing will resume today for the 49er fleets, along with the first races for the 49erFX and Nacra 17 fleets.

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and other Australian (AUS) entries:

Nacra 17 (52 boats) - No racing

Nathan Outteridge and Haylee Outteridge (AST)
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST)
Paul Darmanin and Lucy Copeland (ASS)
Steven Brewin and Karma Randall (AUS)
Emma Jones and Hugo Hamilton (AUS)
Jake Liddell and Rita Booth (AUS)

49er (85 boats)

6th: Will Phillips and Sam Phillips (AST) - 2, 8 (10)
22nd: John Cooley and Thomas Cunich (AUS) - 10, 7 (17)
29th: James Grogan and Max Paul (AUS) - 13, 9 (22)
44th: Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) - 14, 14 (28)
46th: David Gilmour and Lachy Gilmour (ASS) - 20, 10 (30)
56th: Kurt Hansen and Simon Hoffman (ASS) - 22, 13 (35)
62nd: Jim Colley and Shaun Connor (AUS) - 19, 20 (39)
63rd: David O'Connor and Fang Warren (AUS) - 24, 17 (41)
65th: Oliver Manton and Jack Lloyd (AUS) - 27, 17 (44)

49erFX (61 boats) - No racing

Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot (ASS)
Tess Lloyd and Jaime Ryan (ASS)
Amelia Stabback and Caitlin Elks (ASS)
Chloe Fisher and Eleanor Grimshaw (AUS)
Laura Harding and Laura Thomson (AUS)
Tessa Parkinson and Ella Clark (AUS)

For more information visit

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