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Australian Sailing Team claims major wins to start European season

9 April 2018

SAILING: Matt Wearn has credited his national teammates for providing the exceptional training environment that prepared him to take out the Laser title at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Spain on Saturday.

The Australian Sailing Team was celebrating significant victories at the end of the Palma regatta, which drew more than 1200 sailors from 62 countries sailing in 870 boats.

Multiple world champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan were awarded the Princesa Sofia Trophy for best overall performance after convincingly winning the 470 class.

“It’s really special to win the overall (trophy),” said Belcher, an Olympic gold and silver medallist in 2012 and 2016, respectively.

“This a special event to me having first come here in 2001 and it’s a great credit to the place [for] the organisers to have so many boats here. It is fantastic.

“We focus on what we need to do but it really is special to win the overall trophy and it sets high expectations for the season ahead. We love this event.”

Australia’s Laser Team, under coach and ex-Olympic bronze medallist Michael Blackburn, emerged with four top-20 finishes from the huge 183-boat fleet, with Rio gold medallist Tom Burton in 6th after finishing 2nd in the medal race, Mitch Kennedy 13th and Finn Alexander 15th.

Wearn – who defeated a field including the reigning world champion and all three Rio medallists - praised the competitive yet collegiate atmosphere within the Australian Laser squad.

"We’ve had a really solid block of training with our squad back home in the Australian summer, the squad have been working really hard together,” he said.

“We’ve had a few events at home and then we went to Miami [for the World Cup Series event], so we have a really good amount of sailing under our belts.”

Wearn explained his link with Burton as “a good professional relationship”, which works for the benefit of both athletes.

"We are two guys battling out to be first and second in the world,” he said.

“To get the edge on the fleet come 2020 we need to work hard together. We have a strong thing going in Australia.

We are always, always pushing. It’s that competitive mind set. We all always want to beat each other."

Australia’s two gold medals were topped overall by Great Britain's five overall, including gold in the Finn and silver medals in the 470W, 49er, Laser Radial and Nacra 17.

The Netherlands won gold medals in the FX and RS:X and silver in the Finn and New Zealand won silver in the FX and Laser and bronze in the Finn.

The next major event for the Australian Sailing Team is the World Cup Series regatta at Hyeres in France later this month.


Australian Results:

470

Mat Belcher/Will Ryan - 2, (13), 3, 1, 1, 1, 9, 1, 3, MR2 - 1st (Gold group)
Chris Charlwood/Josh Dawson - 12, 30, 10, 25, 30, 12, 27, 27, (31) – 34th (Gold)

Laser

Matt Wearn - 5, 2, 6, (24), 2, 1, 5, 4, 4, 14, MR12 - 1st (Gold)
Tom Burton - 2, 24, 2, 22, 4, 2, 8, (37), 36, 3, MR4 - 6th (Gold)
Mitch Kennedy - 23, 4, 3, 8, 15, 8, 7, 39, 18, (BFD) - 13th (Gold)
Finn Alexander - 1, 5, 1, 31, 24, (37), 25, 35, 7, 4 - 15th (Gold)
Luke Elliott - 17, 18, (32), 30, 1, 1, 16, 7, 2 – 63rd (Silver)
Daniel Self - 47, 15, 26, 56, 33, 15, (57), 26, 22 – 92nd (Silver)

470W

Nia Jerwood/Monique de Vries - 17, 8, 11, 19, 6, 2, 8, (UFD), 7, 3 – 28th (Silver)

49er

David Gilmour/Joel Turner - 10, 4, 11, 1, 5, 1, (BFD), 19, 19, 18, 19, 5, 19, 18, 2 - 16th (Gold)
Lachy Gilmour/Ryan Donaldson - 2, 15, 17, 8, 7, 10, 11, 3, 9, 1, (21), 3, 5, 5, 13 - 28th (Silver)
Kurt Hansen/Harry Morton - 19, 3, 4, 22, 13, 18, 19, (30), 22, 23, 19, 10, 23, 25, 6 – 41st (Silver)

49erFX

Natasha Bryant/Annie Wilmot - 22, 10, 6, 7, 15, 16, 22, (DNC), 18, 6, 13, 11, 3, 3, 16 - 17th (Gold)
Amelia Stabback/Ella Clark - 18, 14, 11, 20, 25, (UFD), 3, 2, 5, 14, 6, 1, 10, 4 – 31st (Silver)

Laser Radial

Paige Caldecoat - 43, 53, 21, 49, (UFD), 36, 46, 39, 30, 33 – 103rd (Silver)

Nacra 17

Tayla Rietman/Lachie White - 19, 21, 22, 22, 23, 22, 7, 8, (UFD), 11, 13, 13, 16, 7, 9 - 40th (Silver)

Full Results can be found here

Sailing Australia

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