Jake Lilley has hinted at the competitive camaraderie that exists in the Australian Sailing Team, crediting part of his dominating opening day performance at Sail Melbourne to a recent stretch of tough training with Finn rival Tom Slingsby.
Lilley scored a bullet and a two in stifling conditions off Royal Brighton Yacht Club to hold a three-point lead over 2012 Laser Olympic gold medallist Slingsby, who is dipping his toe back into Olympic class racing and pipped Lilley in the second of the day’s two races. Sweden’s reigning Finn World Champion Max Salminen scored a two and four to be equal with Slingsby.
“Tommy and I are patriots, so we’re just looking for the Aussie win,” Lilley said of the three-way tussle at the head of the fleet.
“Tom and I have been training together for the past couple of weeks and it’s been really good, really productive. It’s been working well and it’s a pleasure to work with him.
“He’s the finest sailor in the world at the moment and to have him in the Finn is a blessing. He’s doing a great job helping us out. I think we showed a bit of that today.”
Lilley called on all his recent lessons in the light winds, looking for any edge he could find.
“We have such a good fleet here and it was only eight knots today, so everyone goes more or less the same speed. It means you just can’t afford to be on the wrong tack or make a wrong decision. You have to sail a pretty faultless race.”
VIDEO: Matt Wearn, closest to camera, and Jeremy O'Connell, third from right, lead the Laser fleet after day one at Sail Melbourne.
Australian Sailing Squad member Jeremy O’Connell was another who made good decisions, grabbing a one and three in the two Laser class races for the day.
The Melbourne local is wedged between fleet leader, World Championship bronze medallist, Matt Wearn, and Rio Olympic gold medallist Tom Burton.
“In the first race I felt like I had some pretty good speed and lead most of the way around, except for a bit of a tussle with Wearny at the end,” O’Connell said.
“Then in the second race, I didn’t get away at the start as cleanly but I stuck in there. I felt like I sailed pretty well today and have a few things to work on.”
O’Connell said that racing on home waters helped him feel comfortable at the first domestic regatta of the season.
“More than anything, it’s just nice to be at home and not living out of a suitcase. I can sleep in my own bed and all my family’s around.”
In the 470 class, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan are locked on three points with Japanese pair Daichi Takayama and Kimihiko Imamura, Will and Sam Phillips lead the 49er class narrowly from David Gilmour and Joel Turner, followed by two American crews. Amelia Stabback and Ella Clark head the 49erFX fleet with two bullets from three races. Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin also scored two wins from three races in the Nacra 17.
Men’s One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) - Finn
Jake Lilley (QLD/QAS) – AST: 1,2 – 1st
Oliver Tweddell (VIC/VIS) – AST: 3,5 – 5th
Lewis Brake (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 12,8 – 9th
Jock Calvert (TAS/TIS) – ASS: 11,10 – 10th
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Matt Wearn (WA/WAIS) – AST: 2,1 – 1st
Jeremy O'Connell (VIC/VIS) – ASS: 1,3 – 2nd
Tom Burton (NSW/NSWIS) – AST: 3,2 – 3rd
Luke Elliott (WA/WAIS) – ASS: 5,4 – 4th
Mitch Kennedy (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 9,6 – 6th
Finn Alexander (NSW/NSWIS) – ASS: 7,8 – 8th
Two Person Dinghy – 470M/W
Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan (QLD/QAS) – AST: 2,1 – 1st
Chris Charlwood and Josh Dawson (WAIS/NSWIS) – ASS: 4,4 – 3rd
Carrie Smith and Jaime Ryan (WAIS/NSWIS) – ASS: 3,6 – 4th
Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries (WA/WAIS) – ASS: 6,5 – 6th
Dana Tavener and Katherine Shannon (NSW/NSWIS) – ASS: 9,8 – 8th
Sophie McIntosh and Orla Mulholland-Patterson (NSWIS/WAIS) – ASS: 8,10 – 9th
Shelley White and Emma Baillie (QLD/QAS) – ASS: 11,11 – 12th
Men’s Skiff - 49er
Sam Phillips and Will Phillips (VIC/VIS) – AST: 4,4,1 – 1st
David Gilmour and Joel Turner (WAIS/QAS) – AST: 1,5,4 – 2nd
Lachlan Gilmour and Ryan Donaldson (WA/WAIS) – ASS: 6,2,7 – 6th
Jim Colley (ASS) and Simon Hoffman (NSW/NSWIS): 7,9,6 – 8th
Kurt Hansen and Harry Morton (NSW/NSWIS) – ASS: 8,7,10 – 10th
Women’s Skiff – 49erFX
Amelia Stabback and Ella Clark (NSWIS/WAIS) – ASS: 3,1,1 – 1st
Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot (NSW/NSWIS) – CTS: 2,2,4 – 2nd
Caitlin Elks and Hayley Clark (WA/WAIS) – ASS: 1,3,5 – 3rd
Tess Lloyd (ASS) and Harry Mighell (VIC/VIS): – 4,4,2 – 4th
Mixed Multihull - Nacra 17
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (NSW/NSWIS) – AST: 2,1,1 – 1st
Paul Darmanin and Lucy Copeland (NSW/NSWIS) – CTS: 1,2,2 – 2nd
Tayla Rietman and Lachlan White (VIS/NSWIS) – CTS: 3,4,3 – 3rd
Connor Nicholas (CTS) and Alexander South (WA/WAIS) – 4,3,4 – 4th
SEE FULL RESULTS HERE
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