Saunders’ ILCA disappointment

Tom Saunders has narrowly missed out on a medal during the final day of the ILCA 7 World Championships in Mexico.

31 May 2022


New Zealand’s Tom Saunders has missed out on a medal at the ILCA 7 World Championships in Mexico. Despite the outcome, Saunders, who won the 2021 world title in Barcelona last year, is rightfully excited about his ability to consistently near the top at major regattas.

He went into the final day in second but dropped to fourth on the back of a fourteenth and seventeenth in racing today. It left him two points behind Croatia’s Filip Jurisic, whose two second placings saw him leapfrog several other contenders into third.

France’s Jean-Baptiste Bernaz held on to take gold, finishing 17 points ahead of two-time world champion Pavlos Kontides from Cyprus.

The ILCA 7 is the most competitive of the Olympic classes, with considerable depth among the fleet, so for Saunders to finish first and fourth in consecutive years shows he’s tracking well towards the 2024 Paris Olympics.


“Obviously it’s going to hurt a little bit, but I don’t think I can be too hard on myself,” Saunders said.

“Contending for a world title on the last day is right where I want to be. I was pretty proud of the way I turned things around because it wasn’t an easy start to the event for me.

“I felt like each day I was getting a little bit better and I was definitely peaking towards the end. There are a lot of good things to take away from this event, and the two we had in Europe, and it’s exciting to know I can contend in any breeze,” he continued.

“It didn’t quite go my way today, but I was happy with how I sailed, particularly that last race. I did exactly what I wanted to do but it was just incredibly hard to pick it out there and we just couldn’t quite get the strategy right today on the first beat.

“You could make it look pretty easy or make it look pretty hard and that was the way it went for me today. I gave it a good shot, so pretty proud.”

Saunders will now take a break from ILCA 7 sailing after an intensive start to the year, before heading to the Olympic venue in Marseille in July for a training block.

His next major event will be at the test event for next year’s combined world championships at The Hague in September.

Luke Deegan (87th overall) and Luke Cahmore (93rd) also completed their world championship campaigns with their best results of the regatta, with Deegan fifteenth and Cashmore eighth in the only silver fleet race.

Former world championships bronze medallist George Gautrey withdrew from the event after day two as he recovers from COVID.

Results and final standings after the sixth day of the ILCA 7 world championships in Mexico:

Gold fleet (63 boats)

1st: Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) (19) 3 2 3 2 2 1 4 13 14 (64 BFD) 7 – 51 points
2nd: Pavlos Kontides (CYP) (11) 8 6 2 3 1 25 (27) 1 5 5 12 – 68 pts
3rd: Filip Jurisic (CRO) 3 6 (14) 13 9 3 3 (51) 33 1 2 2 – 75 pts
4th: Tom Saunders (NZL) 4 10 (19) 12 13 4 4 1 12 3 14 (17) – 77 pts
63rd: George Gautrey (NZL) 3 6 23 15 (64 DNC) 64 DNC 64 DNC 64 DNC 64 DNC 64 DNC 64 DNC 64 DNC – 431 pts

Silver fleet (63 boats)

87th: Luke Deegan (NZL) 42 (52) 40 38 (46) 30 16 28 37 25 15 – 271 pts
93rd: Luke Cashmore (NZL) 37 34 34 39 (40) (45) 26 36 25 37 8 – 276 pts

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement