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Double bronze in Weymouth and close racing at 470 Europeans

14 June 2013

SAILING: Australian sailors have won two bronze medals on the final day of racing at the 2013 Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth, England.

Australia’s 49erFX crew of Olivia Price and new team-mate Caitlin Elks, and 49er pairing Will Phillips and Rhys Mara, both overcame their opponents and strong winds to win bronze on Thursday, with both crews competing in their first regattas together. 

Price was the skipper of the match racing crew which won silver at London 2012. An event that has been dropped for the next Olympics however both the 49erFX and 49er fleet racing classes are on the program for Rio 2016. 

The two skiff classes each completed two medal races in strong gusty conditions with Price and Elks going into the final day of 49erFX racing in fourth position. 

The pair had a great day on the water, winning both medal races to move onto the podium and claim the bronze medal. 

“We were delayed on shore for a while today, but finally got on the water and raced in about 18 knots,” said Price. “We had two double point medal races, with eight boats on the water and did as much as we could to move up the leader board, taking two first places in the short course racing to finish third overall. 

“We worked well as a team today and have continued to strengthen our relationship throughout the regatta,” she said. “We’re still ticking boxes on each race day and have taken a lot out of this regatta. Next up is some more training here in Weymouth before we head to Kiel in Germany for the next regatta.” 

Price and Elks were joined in the 49erFX medal race by fellow Australians Haylee Outteridge and Olympic silver medallist Nina Curtis, who started the day in seventh position. 

Outteridge and Curtis also had two good races, with a fourth in the opening medal race and a second in race two, moving them up to sixth overall. 

The final result was a positive one for the pair in their first event together, overcoming missing four races in the middle of the regatta due to gear breakage. 

In the 49er fleet Australia’s Phillips and Mara began the final day in third position after working their way up the leader board on each day of the regatta. 

Phillips and Mara were another new Australian pairing at this event, and kicked off the medal race day with a sixth position in the first race.The Australians improved in race two, crossing the line third to seal their bronze medal, finishing on the podium behind their Irish and British opponents. 

Fellow Australians Luke Parkinson and Fang Warren finished eighth overall after a ninth and a sixth in the two medal races, moving up from their overnight ninth. 

Jared West finished the week seventh in the Laser fleet, crossing the line sixth in the medal race to maintain his overnight position. 

The strong winds meant that the final race of the mixed Nacra 17 fleet was abandoned, with positions from Wednesday deciding the podium. 

Australia’s Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin finished just outside the medals in fourth position, one place ahead of fellow Australians Pip Pietromonaco and James Wierzbowski. Euan McNicol and Lucinda Whitty finished eighth overall. 

Close racing as 470 Europeans in Italy 

Meanwhile in Formia, Italy close racing highlighted day four of the 2013 470 European Championships. 

Australia’s Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan ending the day second overall. Heading into the final two days of racing they are just two points behind France’s Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion. 

Belcher and Ryan began the day with a third place finish, crossing the line eighth in race two in moderate conditions. 

“It was another tricky day of racing but we can’t complain as it’s very nice to be sailing in temperatures in the high 20s after some of the recent conditions we’ve faced,” said Ryan. 

“The pressure was particularly variable today and it seemed that everyone had their moment of looking famous up the first upwinds, making the top mark roundings really close. 

“Our strategy today was again to keep it simple and try to avoid any big scores,” he said. 

 “Although we lost the regatta lead today, which would have been nice to hold on to, we’re in a comfortable position as the conditions have been variable and tricky to say the least, and without any really bad races so far we have the potential tomorrow to push a bit harder than some of the other racers who have already had one or more bad races.” 

Matthew and Robert Crawford are currently in 24th position, finishing the day with a 23rd and a 34th, with Alexander and Patrick Conway in 43rd overall, Angus Galloway and Tim Hannah 57th and Scott Cotton and Tom Potter 62nd

Elise Rechichi and Sarah Cook have jumped up to 13th in the women’s fleet after two good races on Thursday. 

Rechichi and Cook, in their first 470 European Championship together, were 12th in the opening race of the day. The pair stepped it up in race two to record their best result of the week so far, with a fifth place finish moving them up the leader board. 

Sasha and Jaime Ryan currently sit in 26th position, having completed four straight days of racing for the first time in Europe this year as Jaime has recovered from a back injury. 

Lucy Shephard and Aurora Paterson ended day four of racing in 34th position in their first international event together. 

Yachting Australia with edits from the AOC

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