Sailors Head to Sydney Regatta in Form

Sailing | Published: Wed 6 December 2017
Western Australia’s elite sailors will head into this week’s Sail Sydney regatta with confidence after a series of strong results posted at the weather affected Sail Melbourne event last weekend.

The storm activity in Melbourne reduced the regatta to handful of races, but there were still encouraging performances for WA’s talent as the domestic season cranks into full gear.

A solitary point separated reigning Olympic champion Tom Burton from 2017 World championship medallist Matt Wearn in the men’s laser, with Burton toasting on 10 points, ahead of Wearn (11), Jeremy O’Connell (17) and Western Australian Luke Elliott in fourth (20).

Wearn will be hoping to gain the ascendency in Sydney with a full week of racing. He said the rivalry amongst the squad, helped each of the members to produce their best out on the water.

"The people in this squad have always had respect for each other, we’ve always been good mates. There are times you’re not going to get along, have a bit of biffo out on the water or whatever, but everyone respects each other enough that when you come in you’re good mates.

"It’s a matter of pushing each other on the water but still having that camaraderie off the water. It’s really important and Blackers [coach Michael Blackburn] instils that in all of us and it’s just part of the team’s values. I hope we can show the other squads that it’s a really important thing and they can build that up too,” Wearn said.

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Carrie Smith and her Queensland crew Jaime Ryan won the women’s fleet in the 470 class, ahead of fellow West Aussies Nia Jerwood and Monique De Vries. Orla Mulholland-Patterson crewed for Sophie McIntosh with the pair finishing third.

In the men’s 470, WA sailor Chris Charlwood and his crew Josh Dawson took second place behind multiple world champions and 2012 Olympic gold medallists Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan.

David Gilmour and his Queensland crew Joel Turner snared a regatta win in the 49er class, with David’s younger brother Lachlan Gilmour taking fourth place along with his crew Ryan Donaldson.

West Australian Ella Clark crewed for NSW sailor Amelia Stabback in the 49erFX, with the duo winning-out ahead of a fleet of six that also included the West Aussie combination of Caitlin Elks and Hayley Clark.