WA’s next generation of 470 talent have returned some impressive results at the 470 World Championships currently being contested on Thessaloniki Bay in Greece.
In just their second ever international regatta, WA skipper Chris Charlwood and his NSW crew Josh Dawson have moved into 14th place overall following an encouraging day’s racing.
"This was our first day of World Championship Gold fleet racing," Charlwood said.
"The standard is higher. It was most noticeable on the start line, everyone’s so experienced and it is just harder to keep clear and hold the line,” he said.
Showing consistent form and belying their relative inexperience, Charlwood and Dawson returned a fourth and sixth place effort in a satisfying day’s action.
"A very good day today, we are happy," Charlwood conceded.
"We are little bit light but I don’t think that made much difference today though. Pretty powered up at some points, we had up to 12 knots of wind.
"From both starts we got some clean good lanes on the first half of the upwind, then kept in phase and were well placed at the top mark and on from there. Conditions were not as left biased today, there were both left and right shifts and I think that is what surprised the fleet.
"The second race for us was a replay of the first, I guess that is why the result was so similar.
With the competition finishing over the weekend, Charlwood suggested that he and Dawson would compete freely having achieved their pre-competition goal.
"Our target going into this regatta was to qualify for the Gold fleet, so everything after that is a bonus. There is still a long way to go in this regatta and we will continue to take every race as it comes.”
In the women’s Gold fleet youthful Western Australian pair Nia Jerwood and Monique De Vries, sailing at their first 470 World Championship continued their march up the leader board moving from 18th to 13th with a final race fourth, after a drop in the first race of the day.
Jerwood said, "It was definitely more challenging today sailing in Gold fleet. We had a tough first race, learning some lessons the hard way, we were 24th. We moved on into the second race with clear heads, using the experiences from the previous race, we finished in our best result so far, a fourth,” the 19 year-old said.
‘‘With four more final races to go, our aim is to sail as consistently as possible and see how close we can get to the top ten.’
Rio Olympians Carrie Smith (Western Australia) and Jamie Ryan are now 28th having recorded a 19th and drop of 27th. Dana Tavener and Katherine Shannon racing in the Silver fleet are now 52nd overall while Shellee Wright and Amelia Catt are 54th.
Gold and Silver fleet racing will continue for both Men and Women on Thursday and Friday with two races scheduled for each day.On Saturday, the top ten Gold fleet boats will compete in the double points medal race.