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Aussies in podium positions at Hempel World Cup Allianz Regatta

by Lisa Darmanin/Australian Sailing 3 Jun 05:45 BST
Elyse Ainsworth - Hempel World Cup Series Allianz Regatta © Sailing Energy

The next generation of Australian Olympic sailing stars are emerging, with a wave of new Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) teams dominating top five positions at the Hempel World Cup Allianz Regatta.

After a long delay onshore, racing finally got under way on Dutch waters in Almere with 10 to 12 knots and flat water making it worth the wait.

It was a strong day on the water for the Australian contingent battling it out, with all squads reaping the rewards of their hard work and firm focus on getting off the start line.

There was a switch at the top of the leader board in the 49erFX, with Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot taking top spot from yesterday's leaders and fellow ASS athletes Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine. Price and Haseldine are still very much in the hunt sitting third in the overall rankings.

Coaching the Australian FX squad is Victor Paya, and the Spaniard is attributing the leap in results to the training the squad did back in Sydney.

"It has been good conditions to put in practice what we were working on in Sydney," Paya commented. "We were building a new starting framework which helps us have a clear idea of how to approach the start and race.

"It seems this is working well with the girls feeling quite sharp around the course. They are feeling confident which is important and it's so cool to see the improvement of all of them."

Olympic gold medallist, Tom Burton, has moved from the ILCA 7 to the 49er on his path to Paris 2024, teaming up with fellow Lake Macquarie sailor Simon Hoffman.

"Conditions today were pretty good," Burton said. "Although we did need to wait four hours to get them."

Burton sits in 11th place in the overall rankings and with three races scheduled tomorrow, he is well positioned to book a spot in Saturday's medal race.

"We have a few key areas we want to improve on and are focusing on," Burton elaborated, "Starting has been the biggest weakness for us so that's the key one this week and we have had more good starts than less, so that's promising."

It's the young guns that still have their foot on the pedal and are impressing in the 49er class, with NSWIS athletes Jack Ferguson and Max Paul moving up to 5th overall today.

A race win for Mara Stransky put the Tokyo Olympian into eighth overall before tomorrow's penultimate day of racing.

"Today's wind direction meant we raced much further from the land which made the conditions much steadier and everything else much saner," Stransky laughed. "It was a nice change but didn't really reflect in my consistency as I scored a bullet and a drop race."

Chris Charlwood and Amelia Catt moved up in the overall rankings today after two more impressive results in the 470 class putting them in third overall.

"We are loving racing in Almere, the fleet isn't as big as expected but it's high quality and we are getting some great battles in," Catt shared.

"It's nice to see that lots of our effort in training especially regarding our processes is working well and it's so good to put it into practice over here at the World Cup."

In the Nacra 17, Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland had a mixed bag today with a third and ninth and climbed up one spot in the overall rankings.

49er coach, Euan McNicol, suggested that the sailors are in store for some favourable conditions tomorrow for the penultimate day of racing in the Netherlands.

"Tomorrow's forecast looks promising for more breeze and will round out a good week of conditions for the regatta."

Full results available here.

Australian Sailing Team (AST), Australian Sailing Squad (ASS), and Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) entries:

470 Mixed (17 entries)

3rd - Chris Charlwood and Amelia Catt (ASS) 5, (11), 4, 3, 4 - 16 points
12th - Nia Jerwood and Conor Nicholas (ASS) 11, 7, (UFD), UFD, 8 - 41 points

49er (44 entries)

5th - Jack Ferguson and Max Paul (ASS) (6), 4, 3, 4, 3, 18, 9, 3 - 32 points
11th - Tom Burton and Simon Hoffmann (ASS) (14) 5, 5, 8, 5, 13, 8, 6 - 50 points
13th - Ryan Littlechild and Jack Hildebrand (ASF) 3, 10, 7, 11, 5, 14, (17), 5 - 55 points
15th - Tom Needham and Joel Turner (ASS) 7, (17), 3, 6, 17, 5, 15, 12 - 65 points
DNC - Jim Colley and Shaun O'Connor (ASS) - withdrawn from racing

49erFX (26 entries)

1st - Laura Harding and Annie Wilmot (ASS) 1, 3, (10), 5, 3, 5, 6 - 23 points
3rd - Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine (ASS) 3, 9, 2, 2, 8, 7, (9) - 30 points
10th - Tess Lloyd and Dervla Duggan (ASS) (DSQ), 2, DSQ, 6, 5, 9, 8 - 57 points

ILCA 6 (62 entries)

8th - Mara Stransky (AST) 17,13, 6, 1, (27) - 40 points
11th - Elyse Ainsworth (ASS) 10, 14, (29), 9, 16 - 52 points
17th - Casey Imeneo (ASS) 6, 6, 37, 49, 19 - 68 points
43rd - Paige Caldecoat (ASF) - 48 10, (BFD), 41, 32 - 135 points
95th - Zoe Thomson (ASS) 37 - withdrawn from racing

Nacra 17 (15 entries)

5th - Jake Liddell and Lucy Copeland (ASS) 3, 6, 2, (NSC), 6, 3, 9 - 29 points

Formula Kite - Men (54 entries)

23rd - Hector Paturau (ASF) 10, 10, 13, (17), (16), 12, 6 - 51 points

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