Photography by Beau Outteridge
06 September 2022
The final day of the 2022 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships saw an array of conditions testing all competitors, with a six to nine knot Northerly providing shifty winds under overcast skies.
“As always, the World Championship provides a high level of competition,” said 49er Coach Euan McNicol.
“Each team will have some key takeaways from the event and the season. We will take a little time to analyse and debrief, before setting course for the summer and next season.
“Overall, we have a competitive squad, and this should provide the right foundation for success in Paris and beyond.”
Indeed, two race wins from Jack Ferguson and Max Paul, as well as a second place today from Ryan Littlechild and Jack Hildebrand do augur well for the group.
“A tough way to finish the last day (with a 25th place), but it’s been a good week of learning,” said Tom Burton OAM.
“It was Simon Hoffman and my first time in Gold Fleet, where we could consistently race with the top guys.
“We got our fair share of racing near the front and need to have some more finesse to match the top guys on a consistent basis. It’s the best result for us this year, and we have had a nice upward trend, so that’s promising.”
Australia had three crews competing in the 49erFX and today, Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot pegged a couple of places back toward the top ten, with a second place in the last race.
Also finishing well were Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan with an impressive eighth place, which was their highest yet.
“Only one race scheduled today, so it was our last chance to show everyone what we are capable of,” said Wilmot.
“It was a tricky race, light winds and full of shifts. We managed to pull back after not having the best start and found our way to the front of the fleet.
“It’s awesome to finish this event on a high. It’s been a really tough regatta for everyone; the big fleet, the conditions, it’s been like no other.
“We’ve gotten everything out of this regatta we could, and after some much-needed time off, we’ll be back to work in the beautiful Aussie summer.”
Victor Paya Canal, who coaches the 49erFX squad said, “It’s been a really good day today. Finally, the girls could show their potential, and take some motivation back home with them, knowing they can do good results in a top fleet.”
“A pressure and shift-driven day, so it was difficult to predict. As a new squad, we are still working on our speed and technique, and we have had some good moments, albeit we are not at 100 percent yet.
“Eight months ago, when I arrived in Australia to this new team, I spoke to them about making top 15 and gold fleet in the events. So we are just about there, and it is all about qualifying for the Olympics and then fighting it out for the medals.”
Australia was also represented by three crews in the Nacra 17 foiling cat.
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin achieved their goal from yesterday of finishing in the top five after a testing final day saw them move up one spot after the final Medal Race.
Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown also added a sixth and eighth on their scorecard, indicating real potential to match their drive and enthusiasm.
“Brin and I are really happy coming away with a 19th at the World Championships,” said Brown.
“It’s nice to see that we are progressing from Kiel Week and the European Championships. It was great getting two places in the top ten.
“In a way we showed ourselves that we could be up there with the top sailors. It was crazy being up with the people we have been looking up to for years.
“We got a lot of learnings from coming to the worlds, and we can’t wait to come back next year and do even better.”
Nacra 17 Coach, Darren Bundock said, “Quite a good day for Jason and Lisa, with a tenth in the fleet race, which meant they closed up on the Italians (Bissaro and Frascari).
“They then had to be just the boat behind the Italians in the medal race, but managed to beat them across the finish line to be in fifth overall.”
The squad will now return to Australia ahead of camps and domestic regattas over the summer.
49er – Gold Fleet
21st – Tom Burton and Simon Hoffman (ASS) – (DNF), 20, 5, 9, 7, 12, 17, 4, 20, 19, 24, 13, 6, 6, 25 (187 points)
23rd – Jack Ferguson and Max Paul (ASS) – 18, 1, 18, 12, (29), 7, 1, 21, 24, 21, 15, 9, 24, 17, 17 (205 points)
49er – Silver Fleet
28th – Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) – 12, 14, 6, 24, 20, (29), 11, 4, 8, 5, 10, 17, 15, 14, (UFD), 8 (197 points)
31st – Jim Colley and Shaun Connor (ASS) – 22, 25, 8, 32, 15, 6, 19, 5,2, 7, (UFD), 6, 24, 11, 18, 10 (210 points)
52nd – Ryan Littlechild and Jack Hildebrand (ASF) – (DNF), 26, 28, 27, 3, 11, 24, 14, 27, 26, 25, 31, 30, 33, 2, 16 (323 points)
49erFX – 36 entries
16th – Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) – 21, 10, 10, 11, 6, 25, (31), 17, 21, 28, 10, 29, 12, 6, 23, 2 (231 points)
25th – Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) – 28, (29), 15, 19, 21, 18, 29, 22, 26, 24, 25, 15, 26, 27, 26, 8 (329 points)