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Australian Sailing Team at 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami - Day 5

by Australian Sailing Team 25 Jan 00:42 PST 19-25 January 2020
Australian Sailing Team at 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

The dreaded light and variable held sway once again for the penultimate day of racing in the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami. It might not be the best way to get fair racing completed, but as Will Ryan, the For'ard Hand of our Men's 470 said, "It is what we came here for, so we're glad to have had the opportunity practice in these sorts of conditions."

"We only got the one race completed, and we went straight into it before waiting for four hours out there until it was abandoned due to be so unstable. However, it was not raining, so that's one step above yesterday", added Ryan.

"Mat (Belcher) and I were in a strong spot for most of race, alongside the other favourites in Sweden, Greece, and Great Britain, but we got passed on a shift as we neared the weather mark for the second time. Feeling like we are sailing quite well, and we're more comfortable in the light, which was our goal for coming here. All in all we are happy with how we are sailing, and in the mix for tomorrow, which is ideal."

"The forecast looks challenging again, and an early start may see the better of the conditions. The most ideal thing is that there are a few boats in the mix, so it means the race is crucial to many, and frankly that's the way we like it - taking it all the way to the very end. It's the nature of sport after all..."

Our 'Dynamic Duo' in the Men's 470, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan, still lead overall (on countback) and go into the all important, double points, medal race with many of the other crews only up to 10 points astern.

Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries are our crew in the Women's 470, and finish the regatta in 12th position. A third place in the third race of the weather-truncated series is certainly a highlight, yet they are certainly not lacking in prospects, or pace generally. Much could have been made of yesterday's abandoned race, which saw the crew leading before it was abandoned, three quarters of the way through it, with just the last run to complete.

"It was certainly very shifty, with a lot of rain, do the sponge got a work out, but not as cold as the earlier days. We were rounding the weather mark when it was abandoned, and had sailed a good race up until then. Sitting watching the conditions for five hours before we started proved beneficial. It did make it easier to get the shifts correct", said de Vries.

After racing today, Skipper Jerwood said, "We are a bit disappointed in our results overall, but we're still smiling. We came here to learn, and they have been hard lessons, so we're happy to have had them now, not at the World Championship in Palma de Mallorca from March 13."

"Today at the weather mark for the first time we decided to go for the gybe set, rather than straight, and went into hole pretty soon after. It was too high a risk overall in the very unforgiving conditions, and we got punished for it."

"We have gone over the things we learned here, and also highlighted a lot of those where we fixed things after Japan, such as sailing downwind faster. We'll know spend time fixing some of the new items, like risk taking, before we head to Palma."

"We have confidence and self-belief, knowing that we can perform at the front of the fleet. Certainly there has been a lot of learning about the dire consequences of things not to do that will see you finish very deep into the fleet. From here we go back to Perth, then have a training camp in Sydney before heading to Spain in early March", Jerwood finished by saying.

Australian Sailing Team results at the Sailing World Cup, Miami:

Men's 470 (30 boats)
1st: Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (15), 8, 6, 1, 1, 3, 14 - 33 points. Qualified for double points Medal Race tomorrow

Women's 470 (16 boats)
12th: Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries 11, 12, 3, 10, (15), 8, 15 - 59 points