Photography by Renato Tibaldi
09 August 2022
Australian Sailing Squad athletes Jack Ferguson and Max Paul put together a stunning second half of the 49er Junior World Championships on Lake Como in Italy to take home a silver medal.
The emerging team finished just six points behind the defending champions Mikołaj Staniul and Jakub Sztorch from Poland, and they will rue a slow start to the regatta after they steamed home with four wins from the five Gold Fleet races.
“We won six of the last seven races so we’re just a bit upset we didn’t have a better start to the regatta,” said Paul.
“The Poles started off so hot it was too much to come back from. At one point we were 35 points behind them, so we’re happy to have sailed well in the end but there’s more we could have done.”
Ferguson and Paul made up 11 points in the first two races of the final day and had only seven points more to catch up in the final race.
In that final race, the two teams both got off the line well and headed for the favoured side.
The young Aussies tried their best to pinch off the Poles, but they were both on their game and rounded the top mark in first and second.
With the wind up to 20 knots and the fleet getting more spread out as a result, there was little more that could be done.
Staniul and Sztorch became the first team to ever win two Junior World titles.
“Jack and Max should be incredibly proud of their performance at what is a major title,” said Australian Sailing Team 49er Coach, Euan McNicol.
“Their results are building nicely throughout the year. This silver medal will give them a confidence boost for the upcoming senior Worlds in Canada, which is the peak event for the season.”
Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) 49er team Ryan Littlechild and Jack Hildebrand finished 27th, with fellow ASF sailors Mina Ferguson and Madeleine McLeay finishing 23rd in the 49erFX.
Ferguson and Paul will join up with the rest of the squad in Nova Scotia, Canada for the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships which will run from 31 August to 5 September.