Sailing intensifies heading into the Medal Race
Adelaide, Australia – In near nuclear conditions off Adelaide that saw 25-plus knot winds and more than two-meter seas, sailors gave it their best on the fifth day of the ILCA 7 Men’s World Championships.
Australian Matt Wearn held the top spot after his strong performance in the last two gold fleet races today. “Points going into today between Micky, myself, and Hermann were extremely close, and it was a big breeze day for the final two races,” Wearn said.
“It was sort of all to play for, and I just had to go out there and have a really solid day.”
Wearn’s nearest rival, Micky Beckett from Great Britain, came into today just one point behind the lead. After a 12th place finish in the first of today’s races that he was forced to carry after a previous discard, he backed it up with a second place, ending the day in third overall.
Norway’s Hermann Tomasgaard claimed a third-place finish in the opening race, which puts him in second place, a point ahead of Beckett.
It opens up a number of opportunities for Beckett and Tomasgaard, who may choose to match-race each other for silver or lay everything on the line in an attempt to wrestle the gold from Wearn.
Wearn said, ” The strong winds and big waves made it difficult to race the competitors around you today, but with a similar breeze forecast for the medal race it was about backing your fitness and ability and just working hard.”
“I think in this sort of stuff where it’s getting up to 25-plus knots, you’ve just got to sail your own race, obviously you can keep an eye on the other guys, but at the end of the day, you’ve just got to execute and hike like hell,” he said.”
“It’ll still be all to play for (tomorrow), and I think in the top three there’ll be a nice little battle.”
While the podium positions in this World Championship are locked away ahead of the medal race, a clear top 10 picture is starting to take shape with the prospect of some minor reshuffling tomorrow.
Former World Champion Philipp Buhl (GER) had a first-place finish today, putting him clear into fourth position, while New Zealand’s Thomas Saunders sits in fifth, and Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Bernaz is sixth.
The remaining spots in the medal race will be made up of Pavlos Kontides (CYP), Finn Lynch (IRL), Luke Elliott (AUS), and Filip Jurišic (CRO), who have guaranteed themselves top 10 Worlds finishes here in Adelaide.
Olympic qualification spots are also being decided at this Worlds, with a number of countries that missed the medal race still set to battle it out in a final Race 11 that starts at midday tomorrow.
Full results: CLICK HERE
Text by: Harry Fisher, Down Under Sail / Edited by ILCA
Photos by: Jack Fletcher, Down Under Sail
Videos by: Jordan Roberts, Down Under Sail