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Olympians secure medals at Sail Melbourne

17 December 2018

SAILING: One and half years out from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Australian Sailing Team presented themselves in strong form on home waters, claiming wins across most of the Olympic classes at Sail Melbourne.

Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallists Mat Belcher (QLD) and Will Ryan (NSW) continued their winning series on home waters and took home the win in the 470 class at Sail Melbourne. The pair won all but one race of the seven race series.

“The racing was pretty close and pretty tricky out there with some really big shifts and challenges for the race committee, but we had two first and one third and it’s been a great competition all week,” Belcher said.

Looking ahead he added, “It’s definitely getting closer to the Games and the pressure starts to come in a bit more, the training increases. We are getting excited and are all looking towards Tokyo, but at the moment I’m just looking forward to spending a little of time with the family and having a nice Christmas.”

Sailing Melbourne

The 470 fleet was one of the most competitive fleets including sailors from seven countries and featuring Spanish 2018 World Championships bronze medallists Jordi Xammar Hernandez and Nicolás Rodrigues Garcí-Paz, who finished fifth, behind Germans Simon Diesch and Phillip Autenrieth in fourth.

2018 Laser World Championships silver medallist Matt Wearn (WA) won the last race of the day in a world-class laser fleet to take home the overall win ahead of New Zealanders Thomas Saunders and Sam Meech.

It was a challenging regatta for the lasers, who only managed to get three races in over the first two race days. Rio 2016 bronze medallist Meech led the fleet going into the final day with Wearn making the most of his opportunities and securing the overall win over the last three races posting a third and first and dropping a seventh place.

Rio Olympian Jake Lilley (QLD) finished second in a stellar Finn fleet. Lilley posted a second and seventh and dropped a 12th on the final day to hold on to his second place. The Olympic Finn class was one of hottest contested fleets of the regatta with the best of the best in Finn sailing making the most of the opportunity to test the Port Phillip waters ahead of Melbourne and Royal Brighton Yacht Club hosting the Finn Gold Cup, the World Championships of the Finn fleet in December 2019.

“The forecast didn’t look great but thankfully we’ve had some awesome racing and got three good races in. We are here to learn about the venue for the Gold Cup next year and to race this fleet is just great. It’s a bunch of legends with two America’s cup winners, Olympic champion, former Laser and Finn World Champion, so to finish anywhere in the top ten is a good week and I’m happy to finish second,” Lilley said. 

In other Olympic class results, David Gilmour (WA) won the 49er together with his brother, Lachlan Gilmour. The pair had a strong race series with three wins and two second and two third places over the two days of racing for the 49er fleet. Jim Colley (NSW) and Shaun Connor (NSW) finished second.

The 49erFX was won by Tess Lloyd (VIC) and Jaime Ryan (QLD) who won two out of the four races on the final day. They won both the women’s as well as open fleet with John Cooley (NSW) and Simon Murnaghan (NSW) finishing second and Natasha Bryant (NSW) and Annie Wilmot (NSW) finishing third.

Sailing Melbourne

In the women’s 470, Nia Jerwood (WA) and Monique Devries finished second behind German 470 sailors Frederike Loewe and Anna Markfort, who won six out of seven races.

The Laser radial was won by Swiss top laser radial sailor Maud Ayet, closely followed by Australian Sailing Squad’s Mara Stransky (QLD), who was the second ranked female and fifth overall.  

The Nacra17 was one of the few fleets that got ten races in and Victorians Tayla Rietman and Lachlan White made the most of it with five race wins and winning the class ahead of Jake Liddell (NSW) and Emma Jones (NSW) in second and Queenslanders James Fraser and Olivia Jozefowski in third.

These three boats also took out the podium in the Australian Nacra Championships with Sail Sydney and Sail Melbourne results counting towards the nationals’ win.

470 Men

Mat Belcher/Will Ryan – 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, (3), 1 – 1st

Chris Charlwood/Josh Dawson – 3, 5, 6, 2, 6, (7), 7 – 7th

470 Women

Nia Jerwood/Monique de Vries – 2, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, (4) – 2nd

Dana Tavener/Katherine Shannon – , (5)SCP, 3, 4, 2, 2, 2 – 3rd


David Gilmour/Lach Gilmour – (3), 1, 2, 1, 1, 3, 2 – 1st

Tom Needham/Joel Turner – 4, 2, 5, 3, (8), 4, 1 – 3rd

Kurt Hansen/Simon Hoffman – 5, 3, 3, 6, 2, 2, (10) – 4th


Tess Lloyd/Jaime Ryan – 1, (7), 3, 2, 1, 5, 1 – 1st

Amelia Stabback/Caitlin Elks – (6), 4, 1, 5, 2, 4, 5 – 5th

Natasha Bryant/Annie Wilmot – 3, (5), 4, 1, 5, 2, 3 – 3rd


Jake Lilley – 3, 5, 9, 1, 2, 2, (12), 7– 2nd

Oliver Tweddell – (26), 7, 8, 14, 11, 6, 4, 10 – 10th

Lewis Brake – 15, (19), 16, 9, 9, 11, 14, 14 – 15th

Jock Calvert – 11, (18), 2, 16, 16, 16, 15, 16 – 17th


Matt Wearn – 3, 3, 1, 3, (7), 1 – 1st

Luke Elliott – 5, 5, 2, (13), 9, 9 – 5th

Mitchell Kennedy – 9, 7, 6, 7, 2, (11) – 6th

Finn Alexander – (13), 11, 5, 9, 12, 10 – 9th

Laser Radial

Mara Stransky – 5, 1, 8, (11), 3 – 5th


Sailing Australia

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