Australia’s Finn class quartet will lead the charge into the northern hemisphere racing season when it lines up in a powerful fleet to contest the 2018 Finn European Championship in Cadiz, Spain, starting on Friday night (AEDT).
After a month-long training block in Sydney under the keen eye of recently-appointed coach, Olympic silver medallist and former World Champion Rafael Trujillo, the team of Jake Lilley, Oli Tweddell, Lewis Brake and Jock Calvert is well prepared for the opening event of a demanding run of regattas, the pinnacle of which will be the World Sailing Championships in Denmark in August.
“It's been a fantastic couple of months training with all the Aussie guys and we are pretty happy with all the work,” national champion Lilley said. “Now it's time to check in with the rest of the world.
“The Europeans this year are the first big hit out internationally since last year’s World Championships and, with a star-studded entry list all contesting the same starting line, it's bound to be fantastic racing.”
World Champion Max Salminen, of Sweden, and Olympic bronze medallist, American Caleb Paine, are among the entries for Cadiz, which catapults the Australians into a stretch incorporating World Cup Series events in Hyeres and Marseille, and the annual Kiel Week regatta in Germany.
Lilley, who claimed a clean sweep of the domestic events over the summer, including Sail Melbourne and Sail Sydney, said he was keen to launch into the next phase of his development.
“To dominate the summer regattas at home was an important process, we were able to try a lot of things and still race at the front regardless,” he said.
“We were pretty lucky to have Max [Salminen], [former World Champion] Ed [Wright] and [Australian Olympic gold medallist] Tom [Slingsby] all racing and it was the best preparation for the upcoming season.”
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