Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Sail Melbourne at Royal Brighton Yacht Club - Day 2

by Michael Martin 14 Jan 23:39 PST 14-18 January 2023
Big swell on day 2 of Sail Melbourne 2023 © Alex McKinnon

The upper edge of a low-pressure front sitting off the south coast of Tasmania served up big winds and a bouncy sea state across Port Phillip on day two of Sail Melbourne 2023.

The annual event, hosted by Royal Brighton Yacht Club, continues to draw leading local and international sailors and today they were given a taste of Port Phillip at its finest. The conditions were no problem for some of the big international names, with two-time Olympian Maria Erdi from Hungary equal-first in the ILCA 6 class and British sailors occupying three of the top four places in the ILCA 7s.

Tied with Erdi atop the ILCA 6 standings is Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club athlete Zoe Thomson, who had a huge day with a win and a second place from their two races.

"Today we had glamour conditions with 15 to 20 knots and plenty of surfable waves," said Thomson.

"It wasn't just a send it left kind of day, it was pretty shifty. We had some really tight battles with the Aussie girls and the Europeans who have come to train with us, so it was a really good day out of Port Phillip."

It was tough going for most classes, particularly the skiffs with the 49er and 49erFX fleets both suffering retirements and breakages in their one race before being sent ashore for the day.

Principal Race Officer Stephen Aulich made the call after consulting the coaches and some of the athletes.

"Today was going to be a tough day," said Aulich. "The seas built slowly throughout the afternoon and the wind increased, with gusts of 24 knots by the late afternoon.

"The sea state was a good two to two and a half meters and some of the seas were getting quite sharp, so the decision was made then to bring the skiffs ashore without suffering any more breakages."

One person who did enjoy the conditions was Neil Patterson, who rode the breeze and the waves to a race win and a share of the lead with one day of racing left in the 2.4 meter class.

"It was a lot of fun," started Patterson. "A classic south-westerly kind of day on Port Phillip Bay. Big swell, big breeze, super-fast downwind. Just a lot of fun."

Sail Melbourne is doubling as the 2023 Australian Para Sailing Championships, and Patterson is looking to defend the maiden National Championship he won here last year.

"I am feeling confident, but it is very close between me and Peter (Coleman), so I think there is going to be some very close racing to decide it tomorrow."

Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas continued their dominance of the Mixed 470 class, adding two bullets to the pair they picked up in yesterday's races.

Jerwood put today's success down to their success behind the start line.

"The first start we did we had a few people try to line up for a port tack so we made sure we were coming at them pretty fast on starboard and were able to roll over those. The second start we had a really good battle with Sophie (Jackson) and Angus (Higgins) off the line, they almost got us but we just managed to get through a lull slightly better than them and get the roll on."

Sail Melbourne is now in its 28th year, and sailing royalty was on hand today with America's Cup winning Skipper John Bertrand casting his eye over the talent competing at this year's regatta.

"Sail Melbourne has a terrific history in terms of a prelude to the Olympic Games and of course we don't have far to go before the Paris Olympics," said Bertrand from the boat park today.

Bertrand, who won Bronze in the Finn class at the Montreal Games, is keeping a particularly close eye on Tokyo 2020 ILCA 7 gold medallist, Matt Wearn.

"My relationship with Matty Wearn goes back some way. He was going to compete with me at the recent Etchells Nationals, but between the ILCA 7 Nationals and Sail Melbourne it was going to be a bit much so he made the right decision to skip that and prioritise being here."

There was a glint in his eye when asked about the bond between the two Olympians.

"I love the man, he's just a beautiful human being. I am keeping a close eye on Matt."

The Tasar class rounded out their regatta today, with husband-and-wife team of Paul and Bronwyn Ridgway from Sandringham Yacht Club taking out this year's title.

"It was willing," said Paul of today's conditions. "At times it was at maximum for racing, then at other times it dropped down to 15 knots so we got a mixture of breezes."

Like the skiffs, the Tasars also only got one race in as the winds and the sea state saw them sent back to shore.

Racing resumes for the rest of the classes at 1pm AEDT tomorrow.

Sail Melbourne is supported by the Victorian Government.

Visit the Sail Melbourne website for more information on the regatta, and view a full list of results here.

Related Articles

Sail Melbourne International overall
Matt Wearn wins Laser Oceania Champion title Six months out from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Sail Melbourne International 2020 saw the world's best sailors wrapping up the five-day event with a light wind day on Port Phillip Bay on Tuesday. Posted on 21 Jan 2020
Sail Melbourne International day 4
Multiple storm fronts passing through give a wet and wild penultimate day It was a challenging day for sailors and race management alike with multiple storm fronts passing through Melbourne on the penultimate day of Sail Melbourne International making for another wild and fun day for the majority of the classes. Posted on 20 Jan 2020
Sail Melbourne International day 3
Late rumbles shake up the fleet Despite a huge storm front battering Port Phillip in the early afternoon, most classes were able to complete a full slate of racing on day three of Sail Melbourne International on Sunday. Posted on 19 Jan 2020
Sail Melbourne International day 2
Port Phillip delivered another cracking day On Friday, only one race had been possible in most fleets and Saturday's aim was to get the maximum number of races in. With three and more races on the schedule, leader boards started to take shape. Posted on 18 Jan 2020
Sail Melbourne International day 1
Pushing the limits on day one With wind limits on the edge, conditions on day one of Sail Melbourne International 2020 provided many competitors with a wild, windy and challenging day on Port Phillip Bay. Posted on 17 Jan 2020
Sail Melbourne International starts today
The 2020 Road to Tokyo and Paris 2024 goes via Sail Melbourne The 2020 edition of Melbourne's iconic Sail Melbourne International regatta will kick off today, Friday, 17 January, with racing of the five-day event to start on Port Phillip from 13:00 this afternoon (17 - 21 January 2020). Posted on 17 Jan 2020
One week to go to Sail Melbourne International
Olympic sailors making the most of Melbourne's Summer of Sailing Less than 200 days out from the Tokyo Olympic Games, Australia's iconic Sail Melbourne International regatta will see the world's best sailors from 25 countries and from all around Australia battle it out on Port Phillip Posted on 10 Jan 2020
Two weeks to go to the start of Summer of Sailing
Melbourne Finn Sailor Oliver Tweddell keeps Olympic hopes alive after comeback from injury It will be a home affair for Melbourne's world class Finn sailor Oliver Tweddell when the Finn Gold Cup – the World Championships of the Olympic Finn class – starts in Melbourne in a couple of weeks. Posted on 27 Nov 2019
International sailors arrive in Melbourne
For Summer of Sailing 2020 & Olympic Sailing Series The Sail Melbourne - Summer of Sailing 2020 count-down is on with only three weeks to go to the start of an exciting series of world-class sailing in Australia this summer. Posted on 20 Nov 2019
2018 Sail Melbourne International overall
Olympians secure medals on day 4 After challenging race disruptions over the four-day event, caused by the current weather system sitting over Australia's east coast, it was a welcome finish for the close to 400 competitors from all across Australia and from 18 countries. Posted on 16 Dec 2018
Armstrong-Suptonic-728x90-2 BOTTOMMarine Resources 2022 Salary Survey FOOTERHenri-Lloyd 2022 December - SW FOOTER