Please select your home edition
Edition
Doyle Sails 2020 - Cruising Confidence 728x90 TOP

NZL Sailing Team: Kiwis 'enjoy' strong start to ILCA world championships

by Michael Brown / Yachting NZ 23 May 18:20 PDT
George Gautrey (NZL) - ILCA7 - Day 4 - NZL Sailing Team - Semaine Olympique Française de Hyères - April 2022 © Sailing Energy/FFVoile

A scan of the results would suggest George Gautrey enjoyed an excellent opening day of the ILCA 7 (Laser) world championships in Mexico but there wasn't a lot of enjoyment on the water for the Wellingtonian.

Gautrey is fourth equal in the 126-strong fleet after finishing third and sixth in his two races today. He sits only five points behind Hungary's Jonatan Vadnai with fellow Kiwi and defending world champion Tom Saunders five points behind in ninth.

But Gautrey would struggle to remember a more difficult day as battles the after-effects of a Covid-19 infection that wrecked his buildup and has left him feeling fatigued.

"Today was really, really tough," he admitted. "I was nowhere near 100 percent. My body isn't really ready to sail two hour-long races a day. After the first race today I was a bit of a mess, throwing up, headaches, so I was pretty happy to come out of the day with two keepers.

"The good thing is we have three days of qualifying and it's not as intense as gold-fleet racing so I'm hoping I can get through qualifying in good shape and hopefully be feeling a lot better towards the end of the week."

Gautrey isn't the only one battling illness, and Olympic champion Matt Wearn of Australia sailed out to the race course but returned to shore before the start of the first race.

Saunders also picked up an infection on the eve of the world championships - he's not certain it was Covid after continually testing negative - and knows rest and recovery will be big factors across six days of challenging racing.

Saunders was fourth and 10th in his two races today sailed in a beautiful 12-15 knot sea breeze off the coast of Riveria Nayarit to leave him handily placed after the first day.

A run of good scores is more important than winning races, although that obviously helps, so Saunders was pleased to emerge relatively unscathed when some other contenders struggled.

"I thought I sailed pretty smartly today," he said. "I just got one [upwind] beat wrong, the first one of the second race, but I just tried to chip away through the fleet and managed to scrape through with a 10, which was pretty pleasing.

"That was probably the most pleasing race of the day. Those are the races that make or break your regatta. I'm happy to get day one out of the way and looking forward to the rest of the week. I'll just try to execute those first beats a little bit better and hopefully the speed takes care of itself."

Two other Kiwis are in the field, which is split into two even fleets for three days of qualifying, with Luke Cashmore in 70th overall and Luke Deegan 100th.

Similar weather conditions are expected for the remainder of the world championships. Gautrey will just be hoping the fog hanging over him clears soon.

Results and standings after day 1 of the ILCA 7 world championships in Mexico: (126 boats)

1st: Jonatan Vadnai (HUN) 2 2 - 4pts
2nd: Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) 5 3 - 8pts
3rd: Nik Aaron Willim (GER) 2 7 - 9pts

4th=: George Gautrey (NZL) 3 6 - 9pts
9th: Tom Saunders (NZL) 4 10 - 14pts
70th: Luke Cashmore (NZL) 37 34 - 71pts
100th: Luke Deegan (NZL) 42 52 - 94pts

Full results here...

Related Articles

ILCA 7 Worlds: Saunders finishes 4th - Final Day
Tom Saunders narrowly missed on a medal on the final day of the ILCA 7 Worlds Tom Saunders was hurting after narrowly missing out on a medal on the final day of the ILCA 7 (Laser) world championships in Mexico but also excited about his ability to consistently be near the top at major regattas. Posted on 29 May
ILCA 7 Worlds: Saunders into 2nd - Day 5
Tom Saunders responds well under pressure for the chance to win a second world title Tom Saunders is excited about the chance to win a second world title and will look to put the pressure on those around him on the final day of the ILCA 7 (Laser) world championships in Mexico. Posted on 28 May
ILCA 7 Worlds: Saunders into 3rd - Day 4
Saunders jumped 11 places to third overall on the back of a fourth and a first in today's two races Tom Saunders had felt he wasn't far off clicking in the early stages of the ILCA 7 world championships and it all came together for him on Day 4 in Mexico. Posted on 27 May
ILCA 7 Worlds: Moving day looms for Saunders
Tom Saunders goes into the first day of gold fleet racing in 14th overall - Day 3 report Saunders has easily made the cut, heading into tomorrow's first day of gold fleet racing in 14th overall, but knows he needs to find his groove if he is to be in contention on the final day. Posted on 26 May
ILCA 7 Worlds: Frustration in Mexico - Day 2
Frustration was the order of the day for New Zealand's top two ILCA 7 (Laser) sailors in Mexico George Gautrey went into the second day in fourth but has struggled physically as he battles the after-effects of Covid-19. Posted on 24 May
NZL Sailing Team: World Champion heads to Mexico
Four Kiwi sailors head for Mexico to join classy fleet for ILCA 7 World titles Tom Saunders is heading into his ninth ILCA 7 world championships but knows this one in Mexico, will be a bit different to the rest. That's because the 29-year-old goes in as defending champion after winning last year's world title in Barcelona. Posted on 23 May
Lolly bribes help secure Sunburst Nationals win
Family involvement was a feature of this year's national Sunburst championships Andrew and Leo Wills finished four points ahead of another father and son combination, Adam and Henri Crooks, with siblings Finn and Hamish Brown third. Eight of the top nine crews were made up of family members. Posted on 11 May
420 & 470 Nationals at Takapuna - Mixed 470 debut
470 class holds its first National championship for Mixed Crews at Takapuna. After the introduction of new events for the Paris2024, the 470 class held its first National championship for Mixed Crews at Takapuna. The regatta was also the 420 Nationals for Youth crews ahead of regattas in Europe later this year. Posted on 2 May
Five Kiwis finish in top 10 in Hyeres - Day 6
Kiwis exit first international competition in two years knowing they're not too far of the pace Five boats finished in the top 10 at the French Olympic Week regatta which finished in Hyeres today on top of five who were in the top 10 at last month's Palma World Cup, which represents a good return after so long in the international wilderness. Posted on 30 Apr
Kiwi windfoilers in the hunt for medals - Day 5
Five New Zealand crews will contest the medal races on the final day of racing at Hyeres Five New Zealand crews will contest the medal races on the final day of racing at the French Olympic Week regatta in Hyeres tonight (NZ time), with two windfoilers in with a chance of finishing on the podium. Posted on 29 Apr
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 002 gif BottomSOUTHERN-SPARS-AGLAIA-SPARS_728X90 BottomMarine Resources 2022 - FOOTER