Young 49erFX crew Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot have scored a breakthrough result on day two at Hyeres in France, securing their first bullet at a World Cup event, as their male teammates, David Gilmour and Joel Turner, continued wrestle for top spot in the 49er.
Australia’s skiff sailors were the shining light on a testing day of light winds and long delays in the south of France, with Gilmour and Turner scoring a win in race 4 and a 13 in race 5 to place them just one net point behind leaders Dominik Buksak and Szymon Wierzbicki of Poland.
In the women’s class, Amelia Stabback and Ella Clark dropped from third on day one but remained in the top 10 of the 39-boat fleet with a 17, 10 and discarded 20. Bryant and Wilmot moved from eighth to sixth after scoring a discard, 1 and 11.
Their result in race 4 was Bryant’s and Wilmot’s first win in just their second World Cup Series regatta. They were Youth World Champions in the 29er in 2016, but did not defend that title after deciding to move into the 49erFX in a quest to gain a place on the Australian Sailing Team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Their effort so far at Hyeres follows a solid performance at the most recent regatta, at Palma in Spain, where they qualified for gold fleet racing and finished 17th.
The form of the Australian Team’s 49erFX crews reflects well on recently appointed coach Javier Torres, the Spaniard who mentored Brazilians Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze to a gold medal at the Rio Games.
In the Finn class, Rio Olympian and 2016 winner at Hyeres, Jake Lilley, held on to fourth place with a 3 and discarded 19, just two net points off second place and six points behind leader Jonathan Lobert of France.
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan have their hands full in the 470 class, with a 6 in the only race of the day leaving the Rio silver medallists in sixth position, eight points off the lead. The going was tough for another Rio silver medal-winning crew, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, who are 19th in the 30-boat Nacra 17 fleet.
“Starts were the enemy today,” Waterhouse and Darmanin later posted. “After floating around a few hours waiting for the wind to settle we jumped the first start and paid the price. For the next two races we were too shy. We did well to claw back through the fleet but not good enough in this competition. Four races tomorrow hopefully in a bit more breeze to regain our starting mojo.”
Laser sailor Finn Alexander moved from 33rd to 12th with a 4 and 20 allowing for a discarded 45 on day one, but Tom Burton dropped back to 11th and Matt Wearn 15th in the 68-boat fleet.
Racing is scheduled to start on Thursday from 11am (7pm AEST).
HOW TO FOLLOW:
Local website - www.swc.ffvoile.fr
World Sailing - www.sailing.org/world-cup-series
FULL RESULTS HERE
AUSSIES IN ACTION:
Tom Burton - 3, 26, (41), 15 - 11th
Finn Alexander - 20, (45), 4, 20 - 33rd
Matt Wearn - 15, 25, 10, (49) - 15th
Mitch Kennedy – (DNF), 6, 35, 63 - 44th
Luke Elliott - 33, 29, (55), 50 - 48th
Dan Self - 58, 44, (60), 56 - 64th
Paige Caldecoat - 33, 60, 30, (62) – 52nd
David Gilmour/Joel Turner - 2, 2, (27), 1, 13 - 2nd
Lachy Gilmour/Ryan Donaldson - 13, 24, (26), 26, 20 - 29th
Kurt Hansen/Harry Morton - (36), 31, 23, 30, 12 - 33th
Natasha Bryant/Annie Wilmot - 7, 18, (20), 1, 11 - 6th
Amelia Stabback/Ella Clark - 2, 8, 17, 10, (20) – 8th
Nia Jerwood/Monique de Vries - 12, (30), 20 - 23rd
Mat Belcher/Will Ryan – (8), 5, 6 - 6th
Chris Charlwood/Josh Dawson - 17, (23), 15 - 19th
Jake Lilley - 3, 7, 3, (19) - 4th
Oliver Tweddell – (35), 24, 8, 23 - 25th
Jock Calvert - 12, 17, 28, (37) - 26th
Lewis Brake - 22, (38), 33, 32 – 34th
Jason Waterhouse/Lisa Darmanin – 16, (BFD), 12, 13 – 19th
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