Days after winning the 470W class at a regatta on one side of the continent, rising stars Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries returned to their home base 4000 kilometres to the west in the New Year and took out the 420 World Championships.
The young duo began 2018 with a narrow win over compatriots Laura Harding and Eleanor Grimshaw, claiming the 420 title on a countback, with both crews finishing a long way ahead of third-placed Italian crew Arianna Passamonti and Giulia Fava. Australian Sailing Squad members Sophie McIntosh and Orla Mulholland-Patterson came fourth at the event hosted by Fremantle Sailing Club.
The victory by Jerwood and de Vries was hot on the heels of their one-point triumph over Rio Olympians Carrie Smith and Jaime Ryan at the Sail Sydney regatta last month.
“Can’t explain how amazing it feels to win a world title off our home waters at Freo,” Jerwood and de Vries posted on social media.
“Thank you to everyone who supported us this week, we have had a blast and gained great experience during the regatta! Congrats also to our fellow Aussies Laura and Ella who kept us fighting to the very end after a very consistent week of sailing!”
Spanish sailors dominated the Open division at the 420 Worlds, filling the top three positions. Australian Sailing Squad crew Chris Charlwood and Josh Dawson finished a creditable eighth after losing a race due to gear failure and a 27th placing on the second-last day.
Also staged over the New Year period was the Australian 9er Nationals, at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, where Caitlin Elks and Hayley Clark won the 49erFX on a countback from Australian Sailing female Sailors of the Year Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot. Squad members Amelia Stabback and Ella Clark came third, while bronze medallists in the 29er at the recent Youth World Championships, Chloe Fisher and Jasmin Galbraith, came seventh.
David Gilmour and Joel Turner extended their run of strong results with a convincing win in the 49er, ahead of Australian Sailing Squad members Lachy Gilmour and Ryan Donaldson, who came third, Kurt Hansen and Harry Morton, who came fourth and sixth-placed Jim Colley, who sailed with Simon Hoffman.
At the 2018 Oceania and Australian Laser Championships, also at RQYS, the Australian Sailing Team's Matt Wearn prevailed over a strong fleet, which included Rio gold medallist Tom Burton, who came second, third-placed Mitch Kennedy, and fellow Australian Squad members, Luke Elliott, Finn Alexander and Jeremy O’Connell, who filled three of the next four spots.
Racing at the Nacra Australian Championships starts on Saturday.