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WASZP Worlds: Kiwis win both the Mens and Womens World title in Italy.

by Billy Woodworth/RNZYS 18 Jul 21:01 PDT 19 July 2022
2022 Waszp Women's World Champion Elise Beavis at full flight - WASZP World Championships - July 2022 © James Tomlinson

Flying Kiwi’s Street and Beavis have won both the Men’s and Women’s titles at the Waszp World Championships, staged on Lake Garda, Italy.

In their first regatta back on the international Waszp circuit, New Zealand sailors Sam Street and Elise Beavis have taken out both the Men’s and Women’s 2022 International Waszp World Championship from the 14th to 17th of July in Lake Garda, Italy in a New Zealand clean sweep of the class.

The Waszp is a one-person, one-design foiling boat that takes the place of traditional centreboard dinghies in the development of the new generation of foiling sailors. The Waszp class works alongside SailGP as a talent identification class while also giving traditional sailors an easily accessible transition boat to teach foiling techniques.

After not being able to sail in Waszp regattas since the 2020 Australian Waszp Nationals, Sam was on top form from day 1 and stuck with the leaders with top 10 finishes, including winning race 2. He then won 2 races on day 2 alongside a second and a 4th on to finish qualifying. 

“It was an awesome week of very tight racing”, said Street. “The starts were insane having 70 boats on the line for gold fleet, so there were plenty of crashes and finding a lane out of the carnage was critical”.

Both Elise and Sam really stamped their mark on the regatta on day 3, winning 3 of the 4 races to start the finals series in the strongest winds of the event. Street and Beavis have done plenty of training in the increased chop that came with the stronger wind due to their many hours over the years training in Northeasterlies off the East Coast Bays, which paid off and catapulted both Kiwi’s to the top of the leaderboard and enabled Street to keep Great Britain's Sam Whaley and local favourite Enzi Savoini at bay on day 4 to claim the World title. 

However, Street found himself with plenty of work to do in the last race of the weekend. Whaley got off to a flying start and with just 5 points separating the sailors, Street was forced the long way around the first mark. However, Street’s strength all weekend had been the downwind legs, and he made significant ground to find himself 8 places back. 

“I found myself having to sail back through the fleet especially in the last race where I picked off a dozen boats on the final run to get back within a place of Sam Whaley”, said Street. “I couldn’t be more stoked to come away with the World title”.

This is a massive achievement for Sam beating out 159 other competitiors, and will give him huge confidence as he joins up with the New Zealand team at the Youth Match Racing World Championship this week. Hopefully, he and the team can carry the momentum forward to this week in France and the rest of their Northern Hemisphere campaign – but allowed himself to celebrate in style.

Emirates Team New Zealand engineer Elise Beavis battled Norwegian Nora Doksrod over all 4 days of the regatta, with the 2 women being the standout performers in the open fleet racing from day 1. Elise saw an excellent start to the regatta with consistent finishes in the top 20 throughout qualifying and despite a tough day 3 with shifty conditions on Lake Garda, Elise kept stretching her lead over her fellow women competitors and stayed within striking distance of the overall top 20 all weekend.  

Beavis put pressure on herself with a tough start to day 4 with some mid-field finishes as Doksrod and her countrywoman Mathilde Bregner Roberstad thrived in the lighter air. However as the wind picked over the remainder of finals day Elise never looked like giving up her lead in her more comfortable conditions - as she sealed the Waszp Women's World Championship title and a 22nd overall finish in the open field with a 5th in the final race to cap off a phenomenal weekend for New Zealand sailing and foiling.

?“I was a bit concerned after the first race of the final day, but fortunately the wind picked up a little bit and I put together a much better next 3 races”, said Elise. “The last race was a lot of fun - I ended up being on lay for the right mark and found some really good positioning and pressure to carry me home”

“A huge thank you to the team at WASZP for putting on this event and to all of the competitors who travelled to compete, to Fraglia Vela Malcesine for hosting this event as well as the event sponsors.” Street, Sam Whaley (L) and Enzi Savoini (R) atop the Waszp Games podium - James Tomlinson

The field of 159 sailors across 5 divisions, including 30 women competing, was a huge improvement from the last Waszp Worlds in 2019, where 58 competitors and just 2 women took part. 5 New Zealanders entered this year’s event and finished with great results throughout. George Wills finished 3rd in the Master division and 47th overall, while Jasper Camenzind and Ben Tapper showed great promise in the very competitive under 20’s division with 67th and 75th finishes respectively.

With this year’s Northern Hemisphere sailing season in full swing and New Zealand’s sailors getting their first opportunity to return to the international circuit, the New Zealand sailing community hopes results like these continue throughout the next few months with plenty of aspiring Kiwi sailors aiming to announce our return to the world stage in style.

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