Australian sailors enjoy wind and waves –

Luke Elliott continued his good form at the 2021 ILCA Senior European Championships, winning the only men’s laser class race to be completed in a day with long delays.

When the second day of racing began in Varna, Bulgaria, it was a solid 14-17 knots and big waves, conditions that Australian sailors enjoyed. All four Australian participants finished the race in the top ten.

Finn Alexander achieved his best result so far on the second day of the competition. Image – EurILCA

It was also a good day for the Australian team in the Laser Radial class, three of the four sailors improved their overall ranking from yesterday.

Elyse Ainsworth finished the day with a 4NS and 18NS from her two races and is happy with the upward trend.

“Today was a 10-15 knot glamor with fantastic waves,” said Ainsworth. “I knew that if I gave myself the place on the start line, I would definitely have the speed to be at the front.”

The radial women experienced several general callbacks. Ainsworth has been trying to work on some startup kinks. “With the seven general recalls, we certainly got a lot of initial practice,” she laughed.

The wind and waves built up all day, which not only tested the skills of the sailors, but also the race committee seemed to be doing their job.

As coach of the Australian laser team, Ryan Palk said, “They had some problems setting course and holding anchor in the big waves.”

Overall, Palk is very pleased with the performance of the Australian sailors and the adaptation to the unpredictable nature of the fleet race.

A sailor sailing on a range and coming up a big wave with a couple of sailors behind them.
The Australian sailors were distinguished by the fresh wind and the big waves. Image – EurILCA

“It was a long wait, but the boys were patient,” said Palk after their four-hour wait on the water. “You had to wait 18 months (for a return to international racing) so a few more hours wasn’t the end of the world, it was solid sailing from everyone.”

Since the laser men are one race behind schedule, they are planning three races tomorrow morning. The Radial fleet will follow with two races to round off the qualifying series.

Similar weather conditions are expected tomorrow, according to Ainsworth.

“So it should be a great race.”

The full results can be found at: https://eurilca.org/2021-senior-europeans-results/

Australian Sailing Team (AST), and Australian Sailing Troop (ASS) Entries:

Laser (115 boats)

3approx Luke Elliott (AST) – 2, 6, 1

13NS Zac Littlewood (ASS) – 8, 14, 6

20thNS Finn Alexander (ASS) – 17, 19, 5

22ndnd Ethan McAully (ASS) – 25, 6, 10

Laser Radial (78 boats)

18thNS Elyse Ainsworth (ASS) – (38), April 28, 18

19thNS Mara Stransky (AST) – 4, 21, (41), 26

23approx Zoe Thomson (ASS) – 30, 25, (35), 10

31NS Casey Imeneo (ASS) – (40), 33, 15, 24

By Lisa Darmani

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