True grit

Australians’ grit driving progress as Wearn takes lead.

08 August 2018


Consistency has helped propel Matt Wearn to the top of the Laser class leaderboard, while Australia’s top Nacra 17, 49erFX and Finn sailors all improved their placings with the conclusion to the 2018 World Championships coming into sight.

On another day of light and variable winds hovering around 10 knots, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin overcame their BFD the previous day to score 4, 5 and 5 and move in to 3rd, and the Outteridge siblings, Nathan and Haylee, jumped to 6th with gold fleet Nacra racing ahead.

Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot took advantage of the only 49erFX race of the day, finishing 2nd, to enter their gold fleet contest in 7th. Teammates Amelia Stabback and Ella Clark are 13th. And, in the Finn, Rio Olympian Jake Lilley began his gold fleet tilt with a drop and a 3 to improve to 17th.

“It was a bit up and down, that first race was super light, like seriously marginal,” Lilley said. “But the second race was in about 8 to 10, 11, 12 knots and I had a much better race.


“I’ll go give it a good crack again tomorrow. It’s been a long week, I think most of the boys are pretty tired and generally that plays into my hands a little bit. I always love a last day, so I’ll go give it a good fight and see what happens tomorrow.”

Like Lilley, Wearn, the 2018 European Champion, sailed to a discard and 3, but moved up to 1st after New Zealand’s Sam Meech fell off the pace. Wearn is now four points ahead of 2nd placed Cypriot Pavlos Kontides and placed well, as his discard is low.

“Good results for myself, a pretty solid day, happy not to have a big drop going into the last day before the medal race. That’s always a good thing,” Wearn said.

“It was a long time sitting in the sun. The first race was probably a bit marginal in the conditions we had, but they did the best job they could. They moved the course, which ended up being a really good idea, and the second race was fantastic.

“I’m looking to just build throughout the event … and hopefully I’ll hold that [lead] for the next couple of days.”

Three Australians remain in the Laser fleet top 10, with Tom Burton 4th and Luke Elliott 7th.

Elsewhere, 470 World Champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan scored 12 and discard in the second and third of their gold fleet races to drop back to 3rd. 49er men’s finals racing starts tomorrow.

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