Sail Sydney success

Consistency secures medals at Sail Sydney 2022.

Photography by Beau Outteridge

20 December 2022


Varying conditions and a gusty southerly set down a challenge for athletes on the final day of Sail Sydney, with consistency the key for podium finishes.

After delays and cancellations to the racing schedule on day three of the regatta, close standings in several classes made for a competitive day of racing for all athletes.

No stranger to the top of the podium, reigning Olympic champion Matt Wearn finished first in the ILCA 7 class, just ahead of fellow Western Australian athlete Luke Elliott and teammate Finn Alexander.

“It’s always nice to kick off the summer with Sail Sydney and it’s been great to get some good training in and time on the legs,” said Wearn.


“It’s just nice to back on the boat and sailing with the boys again and having them push me hard. I’m happy to come out the other end feeling good so I’m excited for the season ahead.”

In the ILCA 6 class, Nazli Cagla Donertas claimed first place, closely followed by Tokyo Olympian Mara Stransky and Australian Sailing Futures athlete and Sydney local Evie Saunders.

In the 49erFX class, Victorian Tess Lloyd and her Tasmanian crew Dervla Duggan came home strong to finish on top of the podium just in front of teammates Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot.

“It’s been pretty tricky racing but it’s been nice to have the course inside the Harbour this week,” said Harding.

“We were lucky to get pretty much all our racing done considering the week’s forecast. Today we had pretty shifty conditions and it was pretty cloud-driven so it kept us on our toes, we had good fun.”

2023 will be a big year for both 49erFX teams, with several national and international regattas on the cards.

“After this we’ll head to Melbourne for Christmas break, then we’ll do Sail Melbourne and have a little camp down there before getting ready to head to Palma in March.” finished Harding.

New South Wales team Tom Burton and Max Paul secured the top spot in the 49er class on countback, finishing ahead of pairs Thomas Needham and Joel Turner and Thomas Cunich and Miles Davey who finished on equal points. Fellow New South Wales locals Jim Colley and Shaun Connor came a close fourth on their boat Shantelle.

Grae Morris delivered a masterclass on the iQFOiL, posting nothing but bullets since day two. Western Australian young gun Harry Joyner finished second with Will McMillan coming in third and Samantha Costin from Queensland confidently securing first girl.

The next stop for many of the athletes will be Sail Melbourne, which will be hosted by the Royal Brighton Yacht Club from the 14th to 18th of January 2023.

The new year will also see the British ILCA 7 squad making the trip to Australian shores to train and compete, providing a great opportunity for Australian Sailing Team and Australian Sailing Squad athletes to test their skills against some of the best in the world in the lead-up to Paris 2024.

A full list of results here.

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