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Repetition helps Aussies at World Championships

by John Curnow/Australian Sailing Team 2 Sep 17:29 PDT 31 August - 5 September 2022
Jack Ferguson and Max Paul - in frame - (49er) competing at 49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 World Championships in Hubbards, NS, Canada © Beau Outteridge

Youngsters Jack Ferguson and Max Paul have continued their rich form at the 49er, 49erFX And Nacra 17 World Championships by adding another race win today to the one they bagged yesterday.

They now sit in 23rd place, which is crucial as today’s racing in the 49er fleet, 25th and above go into the Gold Fleet for a chance to be in the medal race at the end.

Max Paul commented after racing, “We had a mixed bag today. Had a really good pair of races including another win. Jack did a really nice job positioning us on the first works (to windward), in what were super shifty and gusty conditions. Unfortunately, we made a big mistake and got on the wrong side of a large shift on the last run of the day, and lost 13 or 14 places as a result. This was a tough way to end the day. Still, we had some promising moments, and are looking forward to attacking gold fleet.”

So if yesterday was about the South, then today was the North, which means a land breeze. It was variable between 7-12 knots and had 50 degree shifts in it as well.

Reading these challenges exceptionally well was 2016 Laser Olympic gold medallist, Tom Burton OAM. Together with bowman, Simon Hoffman, the Australian Sailing Squad athletes have leapfrogged into 19th place overall, after being in 30th the day before. Naturally, they too have made the gold fleet, and are certainly making a statement about their intentions both here in Canada, and further afield.

Burton said, “A big day with four races completed. The offshore wind was super-shifty. Having a major on the first day (DNF), and using the drop for Race One we knew we needed some decent consistency, and sailed pretty well today. At times we could have maybe tried to attack more, but we were trying to make sure we didn’t get hung out to dry, which was easy to do today.”

49er Coach Euan McNicol said, “Jack and Max had an impressive win. Everyone had their moments but staying focused over four races was important.”

“I think they sailed well enough to qualify for gold fleet, which is always the first goal of the week. Tomorrow we should see another step up in level, and it’s likely the southerly wind will be returning. Both teams will be looking forward to testing themselves against the top guys tomorrow.”

The 49erFX and Nacra 17 fleets continue racing as one until the medal race at the end. So all is not lost for some of the crews, but it certainly does add extra scoreboard pressure.

49erFX coach, Victor Paya Canal, commented, “One of the keys was to try and stay in the maximum pressure that you could. Sometimes this was not easy to achieve, nor easy to predict. We could see a lot of position changes occurring all the time.”

“It certainly was not easy out there, and we did not have the greatest day by any means, but hopefully tomorrow we can climb up the table again. Everything is so compact, and everyone had at least one bad race today.”

An upbeat Annie Wilmot said after racing with skipper Laura Harding, and unfortunately slipping from 8th to 18th overall, “A completely different day than the previous two we’ve had. Slow moving pressure and a lot of shifts made the downwind legs very tricky, but also very important.”

“There were a lot of seaweed clumps on the course today, the clearing of which from daggerboard and rudder just added another priority to focus on during an already tricky day. The race was never over until you crossed the finish line.”

Indeed the weed is a real issue, no more so than for the foiling Nacra 17 catamarans. It takes a lot of work to get it off, and of course, it returns just as soon as you have done so. Lisa Darmanin reported, “Yes. It was diabolical, and cost us so many places today. There has been weed all week whilst we’ve been training and racing, but because it’s been blowing from the South it has not been so bad. Off the shore from the North today has not been good. It is very thick and beady and cost us so much boat speed.”

All teams will be back in action tomorrow, and you can visit the event website for full results.

Racing concludes on Monday September 5, 2022.

Visit the event website for full results.

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad(ASS), and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) at the 2022 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships:

49er – 68 entries
19th - Tom Burton and Simon Hoffman (ASS) – (DNF), 20, 5, 9, 7, 10, 17, 4 (72 points)
23rd - Jack Ferguson and Max Paul (ASS) – 18, 1, 18, 12, (29), 7, 1, 21 (78 points)
27rth- Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) – 12, 14, 6, 24, 20, (29), 11, 4 (91 points)
33rd - Jim Colley and Shaun Connor (ASS) – 22, 25, 8, (32), 15, 6, 19, 5 (100 points)
50th - Ryan Littlechild and Jack Hildebrand (ASF) – (DNF), 26, 28, 27, 3, 25, 24, 14 (147 points)

49erFX – 36 entries
18th - Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) – 21, 10, 10, 11, 6, 25, (31), 17, 22 (122 points)
26th - Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (ASS) – 23, 7, (29), 25, 20, 20, 19, 26, 29 (169 points)
28th - Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) – 28, (29), 15, 19, 22, 18, 29, 22, 27 (180 points)

Nacra 17 – 34 entries
5th - Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) – 9, 5, 5, 3, 14, 5, 5, (21), 5 (51 points)
17th - Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland (ASS) – 6, 14, 10, 22, 10, 14, 27, (31), 23 (54 points)
21st- Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown (ASF) – 21, 21, 17, 15, 21, (22), 6, 15, 22 (138 points)

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