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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Strategy clicks for Aussie sailors on moving day at ILCA 7 World Championships

by Lisa Darmanin/Australian Sailing 25 May 20:23 PDT 23-28 May 2022
Ethan McAullay on day 3 of the 2022 ILCA 7 Men's Worlds © John Pounder /

Four out of five Australians have booked spots in the final series at the ILCA 7 World Championships being held in Mexico.

It was moving day on Banderas Bay for Sydney's Finn Alexander on the final day of qualifying racing today. The 23-year-old sailor came away with two top ten results and will enter the Gold fleet in 22nd overall.

Alexander commented, "I finally found a bit of rhythm and got the strategy clicking a lot more, having better starts and a much better idea of the racecourse and how the wind was working.

"It's been pretty different from what our preconceived idea of the venue was, so it's taken a couple of days to get used to that. But it's starting to come together now and I've had some good pace upwind and downwind"

Finals racing will commence tomorrow with sailors being split into Gold and Silver fleets based off their position at the conclusion of today's final qualifying race.

"There are plenty of tired guys out there racing so us Aussie boys will be charging for the next few days," Alexander added.

Western Australia's Luke Elliott and Ethan McAullay will join Alexander in Gold fleet racing with McAullay proving he belongs in the Australian Sailing Squad after missing out on the Gold fleet at the 2021 World Championships.

The 21-year-old WAIS athlete has been progressively moving up the overall rankings and finishes qualifying in 36th place with six more races to come. McAullay knows that getting off the start is critical and is making sense of the challenging racing.

"The racing is super tough with short-lasting shifts, and differing pressure on both sides of the course it can become quite confusing to know what you want to achieve upwind," McAullay remarked.

Australian Sailing Futures program sailor Sam King squeezed his way into the Gold fleet in 61st place with 63 boats progressing to Gold fleet racing.

It has been a frustrating week for reigning Under 21 World Champion Zac Littlewood, who has collected some large points along with letters on his scorecard so will continue finals racing in the Silver fleet.

Coach Rafa Trujillo knows it's been a difficult year so far for his athlete, "It's been a hard start of the season for Zac with both injury and illness which is a bit unlucky, Trujillo shared.

"This has meant he has struggled with consistent training and maintaining the fitness required to perform at the level we know he can."

Six more races are set to take place over the next three days in Vallarta, Mexico with similar conditions expected for the remainder of the event.

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS), and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) entries:

ILCA 7 (126 boats)

22nd - Finn Alexander (ASS) 20, (23), 20, 6, 9, 7 - 65pts
27th - Luke Elliott (AST) 1, (32), 32, 3, 14, 25 - 75pts
36th - Ethan McAullay (ASS) (34), 16, 26, 4, 22, 17 - 85pts
61st - Sam King (ASF) 24, 13, 28, (47), 38, 27 - 130pts
92nd - Zac Littlewood (AST) (DSQ), 26, 21, DNC. 51, 35 - 197pts

Matt Wearn (AST) - DNC (withdrawn from competition)

Full results available here.

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