Tasman battle

02 February 2018

Australia’s top-ranked 49er pair, David Gilmour and Joel Turner, are expecting a tough contest from the Kiwi crew when the Oceanbridge Regatta starts at Murrays Bay Sailing Club, Auckland, on Friday.

The third and final leg of the Tasman Series is expected to be contested in a mix of conditions, which should serve as perfect preparation for the Australians who will spend much of the next two months training before their first regatta of the European season in Palma, Spain, in late March.

World No.12 ranked crew, New Zealanders Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey, stand between Gilmour and Turner making it a clean sweep of the Tasman events after the Australian Sailing Team duo won at Sail Melbourne and Sail Sydney. They also claimed the National 49er title in Brisbane.

“All of the Kiwi teams here are quite fast as I assume they have had some access to the performance guide of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke,” Turner said of the 2016 Olympic and World Champion Kiwi 49er pair.

“We’ve been in Auckland already for about a week training with the Aussie squad and doing some practice racing against the Kiwis.

“Dave and I have been working quite hard on a couple parts of our sailing recently and we are very pleased with how things are progressing. Obviously we are still relatively new as a team so we are still looking to maximise time in the boat. This is the time of the year when we are training hard, trying to minimise weaknesses before we head to Europe for our first event of the European season.”

Among the Australian contingent joining Gilmour and Turner are AST members Will and Sam Phillips and Australian Sailing Squad members Kurt Hansen and Harry Morton, and Lachy Gilmour and Ryan Donaldson.

Ausrtalian Sailing Squad 49erFX crew Amelia Stabback and Ella Clark, and Youth World Championship bronze medallists in the 29er, Jasmin Galbriath and Chloe Fisher, will gain priceless experience racing against local World No.4 and Rio silver medallists, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech, and Norway’s World No.6 ranked crew Helene Naess and Marie Rønningen.

“It will be a really good week of sailing for both the Aussie and Kiwi squads,” Turner said. “We can use each other to do a small performance check and find more weaknesses. We get along really well with all the Kiwis so it’s a very healthy and valuable relationship that we will continue to build throughout the campaign.”