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Aussies feeling at home on Day Three of Kiel Week

by Blue Robinson 25 Jun 17:00 NZST
Jason Waterhouse & Lisa Darmanin (Nacra 17) competing at Kiel Week © Beau Outteridge

With temperatures in the high twenties and sizeable swell across the racecourse, Kiel felt like Mooloolaba for the Australian Sailing Team (AST) and Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) athletes competing in Germany.

The top performer again today was Tokyo Olympian Mara Stransky, who continues to lead the ILCA 6 fleet.

"I had a good start yesterday and it is a long regatta so a lot can happen," said Stransky. "I went out to have the best day I could, to continue learning and working on my speed skills. The key was keeping it simple, sailing long tacks and sailing fast and I ended yesterday with a first, and started today with a first."

Assistant National ILCA 6 Coach Ben Walkemeyer has high praise for the squad.

"It was another consistent day overall, the athletes are following their processes out on the racecourse. It has been awesome to see them break through into that front group in the world and that is very exciting. Today's breeze was stronger and patchier, which meant bigger pressure differences across the course."

Mara confessed to some nerves before today's racing.

"I was a little bit nervous that I would get yellow bib fever and have a shocker, so I was happy to start out strong. There is real quality here, so it is great to refine our skills and gain the tools to use moving forwards. The gods were smiling at me because in the last race I ducked the entire fleet and nobody tacked on me."

Highlighting the growing depth of the ILCA 6 squad, Western Australian Zoe Thomson finished the day in fifth place overall.

"Three races today and some good size waves with some quite surfable, which is great on the ILCA 6 but hard work upwind," noted Thomson. "Initially I thought it would be a speed race and grinding that out, but it ended up being much tricker, managing the long tack and then staying in phase with the shifts. Getting a good lane was hard and so the start was really the key today."

Asked why the ILCA 6 team is performing so well in Kiel, Zoe was quite clear.

"This squad is pushing each other to do better and be better, and so it is fun to race each other amongst top international sailors."

In the 49erFX class Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine continue to perform well with another four races sailed today.

"We got out there and saw gusts of up to 18 knots pretty early, and it was quite choppy with swell so it was difficult to find the best power zone as the breeze settled to pulse between 9-17 knots. As there wasn't any racing on day one, we only had one day of qualifying and we made the cut, making into our first gold fleet which is a different style of racing."

49erFX Coach Victor Paya added; "It was a really good day. For us the championship is quite new and we normally don't race in three fleets, so the mistakes are penalised a lot. With one day of qualifying it was tough and Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot were very close to making it into the Gold group."

As always, the slightest errors cost heavily at Kiel Week

"We know there were some missed opportunities today. Laura and Annie had a really good day in the silver fleet, winning two races and with multiple top ten finishes, Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan have high expectations and they have some frustration here because they want to deliver, but that is about enjoying the process and the goal is to learn."

For the Australian 49er fleet, Kiel week is providing some harsh lessons as National Coach Euan McNicol summed up after a tough day.

"Both Tom Needham and Joel Turner and Jack Ferguson and Max Paul had keeper scores inside the top 10 in the first race, adjusting well to the pace of gold fleet. The second race saw a couple of errors get heavily penalised for both teams and the scores reflected accordingly. Unfortunately, the NE breeze then shut down as a Westerly change passed over and we had no more racing for the day."

For the Nacra 17 fleet this is also a time of learning as Lisa Darmanin explained.

"We are still learning to foil upwind with this new rudder system, so we tried a few things that both worked and didn't work. Four races again tomorrow and a lot lighter, which will favour us racing-wise but not learning-wise. We want breeze, even if it hurts us short term with our results, because we want to learn as much as possible from this event."

Reflecting on today's performance, Darmanin was clear on the variables involved.

"Certainly we don't want to be in 11th place, but we haven't done enough training yet and Kiel Week is about getting as much leaning as we can before the big events, the European and Worlds. When you are foiling there is so much of your head in the boat, so it is great to have a good coach, to see what we are doing and what the rest of the fleet is doing, learning as much as we can in such a short time of international competition."

Chris Charlwood and Amelia Catt are the best placed Mixed 470 team after two solid races, but race three was impacted at the start when they hooked up to the pin end boat.

"It was just an error of judgement with the wave state and considerable water movement," said Charlwood. "We both thought we were making it with thirty seconds to go, as two boats bailed to give us room. It was an error of judgement and next time it is about playing lower risk."

Mixed 470 Coach Malcolm Page commented.

"Chris and Amelia had a good day, they could have had a great day as they took on the pin boat at the last start and got tangled up there, meaning penalty turns impacted that result."

Racing continues from 11am local time Saturday 25th June, with athletes all pushing hard to qualify for the medal races on Sunday.

Visit the event website at kieler-woche.de/en

Follow the results of Kiel Week 2022 at kieler-woche.de/en/sailing/results.php

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) entries at Kiel Week 2022:

470 Mixed (40 entries)
12th- Chris Charlwood and Amelia Catt (ASS) 3, 20, 15, 8, 4, (24) = 50pts
14th - Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS) 14, (30), 24, 5, 13, 4 = 60pts
30th- Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins (ASF) (36), 31, 22, 25, 26, 31 = 135pts

49er (91 entries)
13th Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) 1, 3, 10, 9, 8. (17) = 31pts
20th Jack Ferguson and Max Paul (ASS) 5, 12, 8, 9, 9, (21) = 43pts
28th Jim Colley and Shaun O'Connor (ASS) 5, (12), 8, 10, 1, 11 = 35pts
39th Otto Henry and Flynn Twomey (ASF) 18, 8, 10, 18, 11 (19) = 65pts
40th Thomas Cunich and Miles Davey (ASF) (17),13, 12, 16, 10, (21) = 68pts
55th Tom Burton and Simon Hoffmann (ASS) (31 UFD), 9, 7, 22, 27, 30 = 95pts
62nd Ryan Littlechild and Jack Hildebrand (ASF) 24, (26), 18, 19, 5, 4, 3 = 73pts

49erFX (71 entries)
13th Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (ASS) (11), 8, 3, 8, 9, 15, (23) 6 = 60pts
27th Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) (12), 7, 6, 10, 5, 9, 1, 1 = 39pts
28th Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) 7, (15),10, 5, 7, 4, 6, 4 = 43pts
34th Mina Ferguson and Madeleine McLeay (ASF),15, 11, 1, 23 (RET), 12,11,15,10 = 75pts
49th Lilly Richardson and Matilda Richardson (ASF) 15, (19), 16, 14, 5, 1, 8 = 59pts
50th Chloe Fisher and Laura Thomson (ASF) 18, 18, (20), 13,1, 10,4 = 64pts

ILCA 7 (105 entries)
85th Luke Elliott (AST) 50 DNC, 50 DNC, 50 STP, 50 DNC, 50 DNF, 1, = 201pts

ILCA 6 (42 entries)
1st Mara Stransky (AST) (4), 2,1, 1, (5) 1 = 9pts
5th Zoe Thomson (ASS) (6), 6, 2, 3, (8),7 = 24pts
9th Elyse Ainsworth (ASS) 7, (9), 5, (12), 11, 5 = 37pts
10th Casey Imeneo (ASS) 2, 12, (22), 8, 7, 11 = 40pts
22nd Evie Saunders (ASF) (30), 25, 19,17, 25, 18 = 104pts

Nacra 17 (34 entries)
11th Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AST) 2, 3, 9, 17, (18), 13,15,16 = 75pts
17th Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland (ASS) 21, 19, 14, 11, (22), 18, 19, 12 = 114pts
21st Brin Liddell and Rhiannan Brown (ASF) 11 STP, 18, 20, 23, (29), 20, 23, 17 = 132pts
28th Archie Garrett and Sarah Hoffman (ASF) 20, 25, (30), 29, 26, 30, 27, 26 = 183pts

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