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ILCA Australian & Oceania Championships at Adelaide Sailing Club - Finals Day 1

by Jack Fletcher 7 Jan 12:37 GMT 1-8 January 2024

It was a wild day to kick off the final series, with horizontal rain, breeze from three different directions and a cool change pushing through at the same time.

The ILCA 6's were first out of the gate with Charles Allen Toyn getting the first bullet from Frances Beebe.

"First race was definitely still tricky. We got some nice breeze in the first leg of our race, but got more tricky after that. The breeze died a bit, but the breeze came in nice for our second race. Finally got some good Adelaide conditions, what I was promised all year." Said ILCA 6 sailor Frances Beebe.

With a 2nd and 3rd place Frances has now taken over the top of the leaderboard with one day left to run.

"First race, I'll just be trying to get a consistent result again, hopefully top five. Try and keep my drop for the qualifying series, so just see how I go."

With the Male and Female sailors vying for the same Open Class title, the top of the fleet has been dominated by the girls this regatta.

"The other two girls are Brooke Wilson and Paige Koldarkot and they are incredible sailors. So, it's not just up to who's the strongest. It's definitely a class where it's a tactical game and it's who's the smartest. As well as being strong, and they are both very strong women. But it's more than just the boys being the strongest and getting to win. It was a windy day out there today and boys did win both races but girls were up there in both of them."

In the ILCA 4 fleet Aidan Simmons has really dominated from the beginning and continues to put down consistent top 3 results every race.

The ILCA 7 fleet the racing has really kicked up a notch, with Kiwi Tom Saunders rising to the top after an incredibly consistent regatta in very mixed and unpredictable conditions.

"Yeah, you can easily over-complicate it, which I've probably been guilty of in the past. So just trying to simplify things and do all the finer details well and then hopefully that stacks up strategy-wise." Said ILCA 7 sailor Tom Saunders.

Asked about how much risk he'll take tomorrow, and how the final day plays into his Worlds preparation he said.

"Yeah, just take the first race as I normally would and then depending if we do two or three, have a look at where the competitors are around me and see where the points stack up. So yeah, it'd always be nice to win going into the Worlds. That's a good confidence booster. So I'm not going to die wondering."

As the second drop approaches, the points in the top 4 are going to be incredibly tight, every position is going to count tomorrow.

With a cold change pushing through today, the last day of sailing is shaping up to be a cracker. With a 15-20 knot forecast, there should be some good swell, consistent wind with just enough variability to keep everyone in the game right to the end.

More information here...

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