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Australia wins five medals at Sailing World Cup Hyeres

2 May 2016

SAILING: Australia has won five medals at this year’s Sailing World Cup Hyeres, including Gold and Silver in the Finn Class, Silver in the 470 Men, and Bronze in the 49ers and Laser.

The conditions in Hyeres for the Sailing World Cup continued to test sailors, right through to the final medal races with a mix of conditions throughout the day. Heavy winds prevailed early in the day, with several classes, including the Laser and 470s getting their races underway in excess of 15 knots. Then thunderstorms rolled across the venue, and the final races for other classes got underway in the post-storm light and fluky conditions.

These lighter conditions set the scene for Australia’s Finn sailors, who both worked hard to make the most of today’s challenging conditions . Queensland’s Jake Lilley came away with the Gold medal after finishing seventh in the medal race, while Oliver Tweddell sailed a strong final race, crossing the line in third; which brought him within three points overall of Lilley and gave him the Silver Medal. It was a great result for the Aussies, who are both seeking the single Olympic spot in the class.

“There was a lot of pressure riding on today,” said Lilley at the completion of racing. “This was really important in terms of our selection for the Games. I had an okay start and got onto the wrong side of the shift and it was looking really bad, but I just kept chipping away. The last downwind got really light and I just kept fighting. I had penalty turns on the last work to the finish, but still managed to hang on….. just.”

Tweddell also found the going tough. “Conditions in the medal race were tricky. I was really happy getting third. I knew what I had to do going into the race and I was glad I managed to come away with the Silver Medal.

“It’s great for Australian Finn sailing to have both Jake and I up the front ….”

Australia’s 470 Men, Matt Belcher and Will Ryan took out the Silver Medal behind the Croatian pairing of Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic. The Aussies got off to a good start in the medal race, and stayed within the top group throughout the race. They crossed the finish line in third place, while the Croatians finished in fifth, enough for them to take the Gold Medal.

“Today was quite a difficult position for Will and I,” commented Belcher after racing. “Unfortunately we lost a lot of points yesterday and we knew we couldn’t get to first, but we had third and fourth quite close to us . We had everything to lose and not much to gain. It was a great, pressured situation for us and we came away with a third and being able to hold onto the Silver medal, so it was a good day for us.”

In the Laser class, Australia’s Tom Burton took the Bronze Medal after crossing the line seventh in today’s medal race. Fellow Australian, Matt Wearn was close behind, finishing fourth overall after a fifth place in the medal race.

“The medal race in the Laser was pretty intense,” said Burton at the conclusion of racing. “We went out in 15 knots and then by the start time it was around 25 knots. The first beat was super windy and down the first run it started to die and by the end of the race we had under five knots.

“Today was a little disappointing, I thought I was sailing quite well throughout the week. I was in it to win it, but that didn’t happen today.”

In the 49ers, Australia’s team of Will and Sam Phillips took the Bronze medal, after finishing fifth in today’s medal race. The event was taken out by New Zealand’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke; while the Danish team of Jonas Warrer and Christian Peter Lubeck slipped into the Silver Medal position, four points ahead of the Aussies.

It was a pretty tough week, particularly on the first day, where we had quite a lot of breeze,” commented Sam Phillips. “Other than that, we’ve had a bit of everything. It’s been really good just to test our skills and compete against all the best guys.”

Australian cousins, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin have finished fifth overall in the Nacra 17. The pair finished today’s medal race in third place, which saw them maintain their overall standing of fifth.

In the Laser Radial, Ashley Stoddart crossed the line fourth in today’s light wind medal race, maintaining her overall standing of ninth. Stoddart had already appeared to post a fourth place but the time limit ran out just before the finish, leading the race to be abandoned and resailed. This made for a long day on the water.

The Aussies now move onto various class events, including the Finn Gold Cup in Italy next week, and the Laser World Championships in Mexico from 12-18 May. The next, and final big pre-Olympic event for all classes will be Sailing World Cup Weymouth from 6-12 June.

Women's Two Person Dinghy – 470W
Carrie Smith (WAIS) and Jaime Ryan (QAS) – AST:12th 
Sasha Ryan (QAS) and Ella Clark (WA) – ASS: 24th
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470M
Mathew Belcher (QAS) & Will Ryan (QAS) – AST: 2nd
Patrick and Alexander Conway (NSW) – ASS: 30th
Tom Klemens (VIS) & Tim Hannah (VIS) – ASS: 35th 
Mens’ Skiff – 49er
Will Phillips (VIC) & Sam Phillips (VIC) – ASS: 3rd 
David Gilmour (WAIS) & Lewis Brake (QAS) – ASS: 21st 
Joel Turner (QAS) & Tom Siganto (QAS) – ASS: 36th
Men's One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) – Finn
Jake Lilley (QAS) – ASS: 1st
Oliver Tweddell (VIS) – ASS: 2nd 
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Tom Burton (NSW) – AST: 3rd 
Matt Wearn (WAIS) – AST: 4th 
Mitchell Kennedy (QAS) – ASS: 18th
Luke Elliott (WAIS) – ASS: 24th 
Jeremy O’Connell (VIS) – ASS: 28th
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17
Jason Waterhouse (NSW) & Lisa Darmanin (NSW) – AST: 5th 
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Ashley Stoddart (QAS) – ASS: 9th
Women’s RS: X Windsurfer
Joanna Sterling (QAS) – ASS: 20th 
Women's Skiff – 49erFX
Tess Lloyd (VIS) and Caitlin Elks (WAIS) – ASS: 16th
Haylee Outteridge (NSW) & Nina Curtis (NSW) – ASS: 20th 
Olivia Price (NSW) and Eliza Solly (VIS) – ASS: 22nd 

AUSTRALIAN SAILING TEAM

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