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Home » Dinghy » Zhik AUS 9er Championship: gloves are off

Zhik AUS 9er Championship: gloves are off


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David Price. A world class 49er fleet off the mark. Credit: .

Starting a day later than the 29er fleet at the Zhik 2013-2014 Australian 9er Championships, the twelve 49ers and nine 49er FXs certainly hit out hard in a steadily increasing breeze and seaway on Port Phillip Bay.

First blood in the sixteen race series went to Team Will Phillips and Rhys Mara VIC, who also managed to prize another win from the five races held in race 4 but they certainly didn’t have it all their own way as three other teams, David Gilmore and Sam Phillips WA, Matthew Jerwood and Alexander Landwehr WA and present leaders Steve Thomas and Jasper Warren each claimed a bullet on day 1.

49er Leaders Steve Thomas and Jasper Warren, National Championship 2013/14 in Melbourne. (Credit David Price)

David Price. 49er Leaders Steve Thomas and Jasper Warren, National Championship 2013/14 in Melbourne. (Credit David Price). Credit .

 

Although there is a nine point spread within the top five places, a number of protests are yet to be heard and so the battle fought on the first day continues in the room, with Team Phillips and Mara scoring a DSQ already in race 2. Will Phillips (skipper of 49er Aus66 said, “It was good racing, although tricky conditions with large wind shifts and pressure shifts. It was not entirely an incident free day. When there’s close racing there’s always going to be slight disagreements”

Anders Klippenberg and Cameron Seagreen (WA) in a bit of strife at the 49er National Championship 2013 in Melbourne. (Credit David Price)

David Price. Anders Klippenberg and Cameron Seagreen (WA) in a bit of strife at the 49er National Championship 2013 in Melbourne. (Credit David Price). Credit .

 

On today’s racing Jack Lloyd, crew of 49er Aus222 commented that “it should be interesting, light weather means nice close racing”.

In the 49er FX class, London 2012 Olympic silver medallist and Australian Sailing Team’s Olivia Price and Eliza Solly NSW proved consistency wins regattas with a scorecard of 2,2,2,2,3 on 11 points over Beijing’ Olympic Gold medallist Tessa Parkinson and Chelsea Hall WA 6,5,1,1,2 on 15 points with Australian Sailing Youth Team Harry Price and Angus Williams riding in third position with 7,1,5,3,1 – 17 points.

This particular regatta has a few unique aspects to it.

Firstly, it is fairly rare to see a brother and sister battling it out as separate teams and obviously there is no quarter given between these two siblings.

Secondly, team Price and Williams sailing their boat Happy As Larry (after their coach/mentor AST and NSW Head Performance Coach Larry Cargill) are the vanguard of the innovative AUS 9er Project and YA 9er pathway, our 29er sailors graduating to the 49erFX class on their way to their 49er campaign in the near future.

49erFX leaders Olivia Price and Eliza Solly, National Championship 2013 in Melbourne. (Credit David Price)

David Price. 49erFX leaders Olivia Price and Eliza Solly, National Championship 2013 in Melbourne. (Credit David Price). Credit .

 

Australia are the first nation to introduce the mixed and all male team progression from the predominately youth international 29er class to either the 49er FX open class (also the Olympic Women’s Skiff) or the Olympic 49er class itself in due course. It is obviously going to be very interesting to see how effective our AUS 9er pathway strategy will be, with many 29er teams and sailors poised to join the 49erFX ranks after they complete this and the following AUS Youth Sailing Championships event in early January and graduate from the 29ers and other youth classes.

Perhaps the prize moment of the day went to the 49er AUS 1028 crew member Cameron Seagreen WA. Asked how he managed his fall out of the boat just after the top mark rounding, (I) stepped out – instead of clipping onto the wire, I clipped onto the elastic. “Anders managed to sail away without me so I had to swim after him whilst he dropped the kite and came back to get me” Cameron said laughing. “It was quite embarrassing to say the least – disappointing from 4th or 5th (place) as well”.

Racing will continue today and the series will finish on the 3rd January with New Year’s Day off for some well-earned rest.

All information and results can be found on the Australian 29ers and AUS 9ers Facebook pages and on the Australian 29er, Australian 49er/FX and Royal Brighton Yacht Club’s regatta websites, go here.

By David Price


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