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NZL Sailing Team: Nacra 17 crew finish impressive second at Europeans in Aarhus

by Michael Brown/Yachting NZ 11 Jul 11:02 NZST 11 July 2022
Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson (NZL) - Nacra 17 - Day 4 - European Championships - Aarhus, Denmark - July 2022 © Peter Brogger

If trends were anything to go by, all the signs pointed to Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson picking up their first medal as a combination at an international regatta this week - and the pair delivered.

Wilkinson and Dawson finished second in the Nacra 17 at the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, rounding out a block of racing in Europe that has seen their consistent progression through the rankings.

The pair have recorded results of sixth, fifth, fourth and now second against the world's best this year but know they have some work to do to catch Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti who have dominated the class in 2022. The Italians finished a mammoth 65 points ahead of the Kiwis in second, only once finishing outside the top two in the 33-boat fleet across 15 races.

Wilkinson and Dawson confirmed their place on the podium with a fourth placing in this morning's top-10 medal race to secure their first medal together since teaming up in 2019.

They have worked hard to understand the new rudder rake systems introduced in March which allows foiling upwind most of the time and it's paying off.

"We're stoked," Wilkinson said. "It’s pretty cool for us as a team. We were in second early in the week and we have been hanging on for days.

"It’s a massive relief we were able to finish it off but it’s also really exciting for our whole campaign. We are both fully committed to this and to punch out consistent results all season is exciting as a team. We know we have so much to improve on so both have a lot more to give."

The pair will spend the next month training at the Olympic venue in Marseille before heading to Canada for September's 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships.

The rest of New Zealand's top 49er and 49erFX sailors are also heading to Marseille and will go there on the back of a mixed European championships.

Four crews picked up race wins, including Jo Aleh and Molly Meech who are in their first season together as a combination, but many struggled at times in the shifty and gusty conditions in Aarhus that offered up anything from 30-knot gusts to 50-degree wind shifts.

Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie (49er) and Alex Maloney and Olivia Hobbs (49erFX) both qualified for the medal race in their respective fleets and finished 10th overall.

The 49er title was taken out by Spain's Diego Botin and Florian Trittel while two-time Olympic champions Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze of Brazil won the 49erFX.

Results and standings after the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships in Aarhus, Denmark:

Nacra 17 (33 boats)

1st: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Banti (ITA) 2 1 1 1 1 (8) 2 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 4 - 21 points
2nd: Micah Wilkinson / Erica Dawson (NZL) 1 3 (17) 2 2 12 6 9 4 4 6 8 11 10 8 - 86 pts
3rd: Sinem Kurtbay / Akseli Keskinen (FIN) 11 (17) 6 4 5 17 12 3 8 3 3 5 4 6 6 - 93 pts

49er (90 boats)

1st: Diego Botin / Florian Trittel (ESP) 9 3 3 6 5 4 4 8 1 1 1 5 9 (12) 1 8 - 68 pts
2nd: Bart Lambriex / Floris van de Werken (NED) 2 3 1 4 1 9 2 7 11 3 15 4 6 3 (25) 12 - 83 pts
3rd: James Peters / Fynn Sterritt (GBR) 6 1 1 8 5 3 3 3 10 5 10 10 (21) 7 8 4 - 84 pts

10th: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 2 9 5 2 3 4 1 9 8 13 12 (21) 17 1 16 18 - 160 pts
21st: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) 12 1 8 3 1 6 16 19 (28 RET) 17 2 23 UFD 2 - 142 pts
34th: Sam Bacon / Henry Gautrey (NZL) 16 7 14 13 17 20 7 (28 BFD) 21 17 5 9 5 5 19 25 - 200 pts
53rd: Campbell Stanton / William Shapland (NZL) (28 DNC) 12 22 12 20 23 15 11 23 DNC 27 28 15 21 14 17 - 292 pts
57th: Scott McKenzie / Blake McGlashan (NZL) 10 16 12 21 22 22 25 20 21 16 31 18 27 (DNC) 26 28 - 315 pts
61st: Sam Morgan / Pat Morgan (NZL) (DNC) DNC DNC DSQ 11 6 14 11 10 7 15 1 1 4 - 176 pts

49erFX (70 boats)

1st: Martine Grael / Kahena Kunze (BRA) 10 3 2 3 2 8 9 3 1 3 (10) 2 1 6 16 - 69 pts
2nd: Odile van Aanholt / Annette Duetz (NED) 7 12 1 6 8 4 (16) 1 3 2 4 5 9 1 12 - 75 pts
3rd: Vilma Bobeck / Rebecca Netzler (SWE) 6 1 4 1 2 8 1 5 1 (24) 1 16 10 20 2 - 78 pts

10th: Alex Maloney / Olivia Hobbs (NZL) 3 (25) 13 21 3 4 2 4 7 7 12 18 23 8 14 - 139 pts
17th: Jo Aleh / Molly Meech (NZL) 8 19 5 2 1 13 5 12 (26) 5 18 25 8 23 - 144 pts
63rd: Courtney Reynolds-Smith / Brianna Reynolds-Smith (NZL) 28 (DNC) DNC 27 18 30 8 20 29 DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC - 416 pts

Full results all classes

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