Aussie sailing team wins gold and silver at Kiel Week
25 June 2018
SAILING: Sound preparation and focus under pressure proved the decisive factors in Australia’s World Champion 470 crew, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan, capturing a hard-earned gold medal, as the Kiel Week regatta in Germany wound up overnight.
Belcher and Ryan were joined in celebrations by Nacra 17 pair Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, who sailed their new boat to a silver medal. Australian 49er pair David Gilmour and Joel Turner secured a top 10 finish in their 90-boat fleet, as did Jake Lilley, who overcame a slow start to the regatta to finish 8th overall in the 69-boat Finn fleet.
Meanwhile, in the concurrently-run Laser Radial Men’s World Championship, Australian Youth Team sailor Zac Littlewood secured a dominating and impressive win and shared space on the podium with fellow Aussie Caelin Winchcombe, who won the final two races of the regatta to claim a bronze medal (separate media release to come).
Olympic silver medallists Belcher and Ryan entered the Medal Race three points behind leaders Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom of Sweden, but won the double points finale to ensure top spot by 11 net points.
“Mat and Will had a great Medal Race,” coach Victor Kovalenko said.
“They had a very good start and sailed well on the first upwind up to second at the top mark. They got into the lead on the downwind and held their lead until the finish.
“We’re happy with first overall and send a big thanks and congratulations to the team of managers and supporters deeply involved in their preparation.”
Rio silver medallists in the Nacra, Waterhouse and Darmanin, had a seven point deficit to erase if they were to snag a gold medal - and fell agonisingly short. British crew John Gimson and Anna Burnet’s sixth place (12 points) and the Australians’ third place (six points) secured the Britons the gold medal by a single net point. Newcomers to the class, Nathan Outteridge and Haylee Outteridge, sailed to fifth in the Medal Race and finished an encouraging ninth overall in their first competition together.
Lilley started to get into a rhythm late in the week and his third in the Medal Race (six points) ensured him eighth place, while Gilmour and Turner will move on to the European 49er Championship in Poland on July 9 after ending up ninth overall at Kiel.