Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailing Holidays 2019 - TOP
Product Feature
Coach Yourself to Win by Jon Emmett
Coach Yourself to Win by Jon Emmett

NZL Sailing Team: Gautrey wins Bronze at Laser Worlds

by Michael Brown/Yachting NZ 10 Jul 12:34 BST 10 July 2019
New Zealand takes three places in the top ten - Day 6, World Laser Championship, Sakaiminato, Japan July 2019 © Junichi Hirai

George Gautrey thought his Laser world championships might have been over three days ago when he dislocated his knee but today claimed a bronze medal in a tense finish to a dramatic week.

It rounded off a fantastic regatta for the New Zealand squad, with three finishing in the top 10 - Sam Meech was fourth and Tom Saunders 10th. There was a distinct Antipodean flavour to the leaderboard, with Australian duo Tom Burton and Matt Wearn finishing first and second respectively.

Gautrey's bronze medal is his first at a major senior regatta and follows on from the promise he showed as a youngster when he won silver at the 2015 youth sailing world championships. But it very nearly ended prematurely when the 21-year-old dislocated his knee during a "bad tack" and needed to pop it back in three days ago.

"I considered it might have been over when I dislocated my knee but I got in and spoke to the physio and she was pretty confident," Gautrey said. "After having a day off hiking with a couple of light-wind days, it felt good today when I tried to hike on it. I think if it had been breezy for the last three days it could have been different.

"To come away with a medal is pretty awesome but, for me, it's more about building from this and taking what I have learned to the next regatta. By no means is this the end goal.

"To win a medal here against the world's best is pretty awesome but when you look at the results on the last day I think about 15 boats could have medalled. To put myself under pressure and come out on top is pretty exciting."

It was all on the line in the final race after Meech won the penultimate race and Gautrey was second. Burton had effectively sewn up gold but only two points separated the next four sailors, which included the two Kiwis.

Wearn quickly staked a claim for silver, eventually finishing fifth in the final race, leaving Gautrey and Meech to battle it out for bronze.

"I came out today and had a really good first race and in the second race was about ninth around the top mark and looking good for third overall but George came out of nowhere and caught me on the run and passed me on the second beat, which is fantastic for him to get on the podium," Meech said. "I'm a bit disappointed to get another fourth but my consistency is still there and, if fourth is the worst regatta I'm going to have over the next two years, I'll be pretty happy.

"I had an up-and-down regatta. I had some really good moments in qualifying and then had fantastic starts in all of the gold fleet races, I just couldn't convert them into good races. I was actually falling back in the races, something I'm not used to. Hopefully I will be feeling it a bit more at the Olympic test event [next month] and go a little better."

Saunders has had a difficult year by his standards but is feeling more optimistic about his future despite struggling on the final day with a 32nd and 17th.

"Yeah, that hurts," he said. "It just wasn't my day today. From a personal stand point I'm gutted but to have three Kiwis in the top 10 and George on the podium is pretty cool. It shows the depth to our squad and awesome support team behind us here in Japan and back home.

"I thought I had the right game plan today and put myself in what I thought was a good position in the first race but it just wasn't to be. I'm excited for the future. I feel like I'm starting to sail well again and the confidence is back so I'll go home, reset and keep working hard."

Results and standings after day 6 of the Laser world championships in Sakaiminato, Japan, yesterday (156 boats):

1st: Tom Burton (AUS) 2 (21) 4 4 3 4 8 2 5 13 14 (51) - 59 points
2nd: Matt Wearn (AUS) (13) 7 3 1 2 1 19 18 (30) 1 6 5 - 63 pts
3rd: George Gautrey (NZL) 2 2 3 7 4 (53 BFD) 4 (38) 13 23 2 9 - 69 pts

4th: Sam Meech (NZL) (12) 7 2 2 1 1 17 8 (39) 21 1 12 - 72 pts
10th: Tom Saunders (NZL) (21) 5 10 7 3 4 15 11 18 6 (32) 17 - 96 pts
83rd: Josh Armit (NZL) (38) 27 18 26 32 22 32 21 24 23 10 (39) - 235 pts
143rd: Luke Deegan (NZL) (47) 40 36 33 43 35 37 (50) 36 39 37 - 371 pts

Full results click here

Related Articles

Bournemouth Digital Poole Week 2019 day 5
Champaigne sailing? How about English Sparkling? Given that Dorset is home to several vineyards producing world-class English sparkling wine, it would seem inappropriate to use the term 'champagne sailing' in the context of Day 5 of Bournemouth Digital Poole Week. Posted today at 5:22 am
US Sailing Team at Ready Steady Tokyo overall
Three top ten finishes for USA After a long day spent waiting for wind under postponement, only one of the five scheduled Medal Races was completed on the final day of the Ready Steady Tokyo - Sailing, Olympic Test Event. Posted on 22 Aug
Canadian sailors at Ready Steady Tokyo overall
Sarah Douglas finished with a beautiful bullet Laser Radial sailor, Sarah Douglas, was ready to show off her skills today in the medal race. After being postponed onshore for a better part of the day, the Radials were able to complete two legs before the Race Committee abandoned the race. Posted on 22 Aug
Pre-Olympics: Light winds beat Kiwis on Final Day
New Zealand won one Gold medal at the Olympic test event in the Mens 49er skiff New Zealand won one medal at the Olympic test event, the superb gold collected by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke yesterday in the 49er, and added two fourths and a fifth. Encouragingly, all four were in contention for medals right up to their last race Posted on 22 Aug
Ready Steady Tokyo day 6
Light winds mar final day of Olympic test event in Enoshima, Japan Just one Medal Race could be sailed on Day 6 of Ready Steady Tokyo - Sailing, the official test event for Tokyo 2020 in Enoshima. Only the 470 Women's Medal Race went ahead, starting just after 16:00 local time. Posted on 22 Aug
Australian sailors at Ready Steady Tokyo day 6
Aussies take gold and silver at Tokyo Test Event Mat Belcher and Will Ryan won Gold in the Men's 470 and Tom Burton Silver in the Laser at the Ready Steady Tokyo Test event in Japan today. With no breeze on the final day, the final day's medal races were cancelled and the outcomes thus pre-determined. Posted on 22 Aug
British Sailing Team at Ready Steady Tokyo day 6
Two more medals make Britain top nation at Tokyo test event Britain's sailors increased their Olympic test event medal tally to six with another silver and bronze today, finishing the regatta as top nation. Posted on 22 Aug
Bournemouth Digital Poole Week 2019 day 4
Poole Harbour at its best You would have been hard pressed to find a face without a smile as competitors in Poole Week came ashore after racing on Wednesday. Posted on 22 Aug
Salcombe Town Regatta 2019
Sandcastle competitions, greasy pole wrestling, treasure hunts The Salcombe Town Regatta encompasses a wide variety of events – sandcastle competitions, greasy pole wrestling, treasure hunts – not forgetting, of course, the spectacular fireworks display at the end of the week. Posted on 22 Aug
US Sailing Team at Ready Steady Tokyo day 5
Reineke, McNay and Hughes line up for Medal Races The Qualifying Series of Ready Steady Tokyo - Sailing has officially concluded. As of Wednesday, August 21, Medals have been awarded in half of the classes, and the final group of athletes who will be competing in tomorrow's Medal Races has been decided. Posted on 21 Aug