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Aussies off to a flying start at 2022 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships

by Australian Sailing 5 Jul 17:27 PDT 5-10 July 2022
Australian Sailing Team & Squad competing at 49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 European Championships in Aarhus, Denmark © Beau Outteridge

A wide range of conditions in Aarhus, Denmark tested all on the opening day of the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships, including the Australian Sailing Team (AST) and Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) athletes taking part.

The 49erFX (the fleet of 70 split into two groups for the qualifying series) and Nacra 17s went out first for the morning session.

Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) are the best placed Australians in the 49erFX, keeping their cool after placing 20th in the first race to pick up second and third places in Races 2 and 3 respectively, ending the day in ninth overall.

"We had anything from 12 to 20 knots. In one race a squall came through, so they had to abandon that one. It was a super shifty day, but nice flat water until the squall came through and the chop built," Harding said.

"In these types of conditions, you have to be quite open and take each race as new one, reset and keep your head out of the boat," the Victorian athlete explained.

"We're super happy to have a few good scores on the board already. We just have to try and keep it that way through the qualifying series."

The 49ers took to the water for the afternoon session and conditions remained unchanged. Split into three fleets for the qualifying series, three races were put to bed. Jim Colley and Shaun O'Connor (ASS) came out best of the Aussies with 3-5-9 results, "All keepers," as Colley put it.

"It was really, really, shifty. We had two golden rules; lifted tack and be in pressure, so we made sure we got the starts that allowed us to do that. We stayed on the front foot as much as possible.

"It's a long regatta and most of the regatta will be shifty, so sailing consistently is the goal," the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club athlete ended.

Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) also sailed well, with 11-7-2 results, to be placed 13th overall in the 49ers.

Others spread throughout the three classes also enjoyed successes. Cousins and Rio 2016 Olympic medallists Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) are 13th in the Nacra 17 and best placed of the four Australian pairings.

Racing in the three Olympic classes resumes tomorrow (Wednesday local time) and concludes on Sunday 10 July with the Final Series and Medal Races.

With the Paris Games little more than two years away, every point and event counts, with selection the target for each athlete and only one place available per class for each country.

The Europeans are being held at the Aarhus International Sailing Centre, with racing taking place in the Bay of Aarhus, a few nautical miles east of Aarhus Harbour and the city centre.

Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark, located on the eastern shore of Jutland, approximately 187 kilometres north-west of Copenhagen.

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) results and overall placings after Day 1: (three races)

Nacra 17 (33 entries)
13th - Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) 15, 13, 10 = 38pts
19th - Jack Liddell and Lucy Copeland (AST) 14, 23, 23 = 60pts
21st - Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown (ASF) 26, 16, 19 = 61pts
28th - Archie Gargett and Sarah Hoffman (ASF) 20, 28, 31 = 79pts

49erFX (70 entries)
9th - Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) 20, 2, 3 = 25pts
17th - Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) 12, 17, 5 = 34pts
35th - Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (ASS) 21, 14, 17 = 52pts
42nd - Chloe Fisher and Laura Thomson (ASF) 16, 24, 18 = 58pts
67th - Mina Ferguson and Madeleine McLeay (ASF) DNC, DNC, DNC = 108pts
67th - Lilly Richardson and Matilda Richardson (ASF) DNC, DNC, DNC = 108pts

49er (93 entries)
10th - Jim Colley and Shaun O'Connor (ASS) 3, 5, 9 = 17pts
13th - Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) 11, 7, 2 = 20pts
26th - Jack Ferguson and Max Paul (ASS) 5, 6, 18 = 29pts
31st - Thomas Cunich and Miles Davey (ASF) 10, 13, 13 = 36pts
42nd - Tom Burton and Simon Hoffman (ASS) 28, 7, 11 = 46pts
78th - Otto Henry and Flynn Twomey (ASF) 26, 29, 19 = 74pts
89th - Ryan Littlechild and Jack Hildebrand (ASF) DNC, DNC, DNC = 96pts

For full results and all information, please visit: 49er.org/event/2022-european-championship/#49erresults.

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