Champs underway

Wearn fights back to retain the lead at ILCA 7 World Championships.

Photography by Down Under Sail

30 January 2024


Australia’s Matt Wearn has retained his narrow lead after the first day of Finals racing at the 2024 ILCA 7 World Championships in Adelaide, putting a disappointing first race behind him to strike back with a race win in the second.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion sits just one point ahead of British rival Micky Beckett, who had another fine day with a third and a second. Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard added his fourth win of the regatta and is just three points behind Beckett.

There are two more Gold Fleet races to come tomorrow before Wednesday’s final Medal Race.

“The first race I just didn’t quite get it right,” said the reigning World Champion Wearn.


“I thought I was doing the right thing in sailing the biggest leftie we’d seen this week and consolidating that across the fleet, but then it went another ten degrees left and the twenty boats to the left of me were the twenty boats who beat me to the top mark.”

Wearn leveraged his superior boat speed across the rest of the race to finish in eleventh, which has now become his drop.

The second race saw the Western Australian use the building seventeen knots of breeze to his advantage, hiking his way to the race win.

“I got a good solid start and with the long beats here I was able to let things play out. Thankfully I was fast enough that I could get ahead by the length or two I needed to tack across, I think I rounded the top mark in third and then had a good downwind to move into first.”

The Australian Sailing Team have been preparing for this World Championships for some time, with coach Rafa Trujillo ensuring the squad had regular camps at the Adelaide Sailing Club in the lead-up.

“The squad have spent a lot of time training here, not just the past few months with the Nationals but they also came here twelve months ago with Rafa for a camp with the British and New Zealand teams,” noted Australian Sailing Technical Director Michael Blackburn.

“We’ve got all five squad athletes in the Gold Fleet and they are joined by Australian Sailing Futures sailor Stefan Elliott-Shircore. Stefan was in the Silver Fleet at the Nationals, so he’s obviously taken some lessons away from that event to come back here and put them to play and is doing better as a result.”

Despite a strong qualifying series, Elliott-Shircore found the going a bit tougher today finishing the day with a Black Flag (disqualification) and a 43rd.

“We had a pretty good lead-in training here throughout December and I did a lot of work with Tristan (Brown) who has recently come on board with the WAIS team,” said the 20-year-old Western Australian.

“Gold Fleet was a bit of a goal, but I was also keen to test myself against the best and I am stoked to have made it. It was a tough day today, but I am keen for some more racing tomorrow.”

It looks like being another good day on Tuesday 20, with winds of 15 to 20 knots and more big waves predicted for the final two fleet races.

Racing is set to resume at 1pm ACDT Tuesday.

Visit the event website for more details or see full results here.

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) results at the 2024 ILCA 7 World Championships:

Gold Fleet:

1st – Matt Wearn (AST/WA) – 6, 1, 2, 2, 1, 3, (11), 1 (16 pts)
2nd – Michael Beckett (GBR) – (17), 6, 1, 3, 1, 1, 3, 2 (17 points)
3rd – Hermann Tomasgaard (NOR) – 1, 1, 1, 5, 5, (7), 1, 6 (20 pts)
12th – Luke Elliott (ASS/WA) – 1, 2, 5, 10, 18, 10, 18, (20) (64 pts)
18th – Zac Littlewood (ASS/WA) – 12, 5, 16, 4, 12, 6, (52 BFD), 18 (73 pts)
20th – Ethan McAullay (ASS/WA) – 5, 9, 1, 8, 22, 3, (28), 26 (74 pts)
30th – Finn Alexander (ASS/NSW) – 9, 7, 11, 12, 28, 26, (41), 4 (97 pts)
48th – Stefan Elliott-Shircore (ASF/WA) – 16, 18, 20, 9, 42, 12, (52 BFD), 43 (160 pts)

Silver Fleet:

81st – Michael Compton (ASF/WA) – 15, (32), 23, 15, 22, 30, 35, (43) (172 pts)
84th – Sam King (ASF/TAS) – 20, 29, 27, 26, (36), 19, 22, 33 (176 pts)

Bronze Fleet:

103rd – Lawson McAullay (ASF/WA) – 20, 29 RDG, 34, (39), 34, 36, 4, 2 (159 pts)
127th – Will Sargent (ASF/TAS) – (47), 43, 35, 40, 45, 35, 9, 27 (234 pts)

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