Australian sailors ready for the next big test –


Another day of wind, waves and cold weather meant that only one race could be contested for each fleet on the last day of racing at the ILCA European Senior Championships in Varna, Bulgaria.

The race committee managed to secure a 10th race for the Laser and Laser Radial classes, as conditions once again pushed the athletes to their absolute limits.

Zac Littlewood, 20, scored another keeper on his impressive scoreboard to finish eighth overall, the highest in the Australian contingent.

“I was able to work on a few key areas from my last regatta and had a solid result,” said Littlewood. “I can’t wait to gain more racing experience and improve my last event.”

Fremantle sailor Luke Elliott regained his regatta rhythm overnight to secure a third place in the final race, finishing tenth overall.

After a bumpy start to the regatta, Ethan McAullay continued his impressive golden run in the fleet to finish 12th overall.

“What set my finals series apart from my qualification was definitely my start,” revealed the young sailor from Perth. “The goal was to get off the start line without fail, which I have managed to do in every race that fascinates me.”

NSWIS athlete Finn Alexander returned to form in the final race with a fourth place finish, good enough to see him finish 13th overall.

Luke Elliott in great shape – Photo from European Championships

Coach Ryan Palk has been extremely impressed with the teamwork and resilience the team has shown this week.

“Every day and every race you can see them come back to compete mode,” said Palk. “We really enjoyed the test. I just want to recognize how they have performed this week and supported each other through the tough times and also the most exciting. “

In the Women’s Laser Radial, Zoe Thomson finished sixth under difficult conditions, lifting her to 18th overall. Fellow West Australian Elyse Ainsworth finished just ahead of the overall standings in 15th place.

Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron athlete Mara Stansky had a tough day coming back to 21st overall.

“Overall I’m super disappointed, but also very motivated for the next training block ahead of the world championships,” said Stransky. “I can’t wait to get into fitness on and off the water. “

McCrae Yacht Club sailor Casey Imeneo finished the regatta strong with a 13th place finish in the final race, placing her 24th overall.

The two Australian teams are now moving to Lake Garda, Italy, for a training camp in preparation for their next world championships.

The Standard Laser World Championships will be held in Barcelona, ​​Spain, November 3-10, and the Radial Laser World Championships will be held November 29-December 6 in Mussanah, Oman.

Australian Sailing Team (AST) and Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) results:

Laser (115 boats)

8th Zac Littlewood (ASS) – 8, (14), 6, 7, (BFD), 4, 5, 12, 8, 9 – 59pts
10th Luke Elliott (AST) – 2, 6, 1, 8, 2, (23), 16, (27), 16, 3 – 69pts
12th Ethan McAullay (ASS) – (25), 6, 10, 17, 22, (49), 4, 4, 6, 7 – 76pts
1 p.m. Finn Alexander (ASS) – 17, 18, 5, (31), 4, 8, 20, 3, (24), 4 – 79pts

Radial laser (78 boats)

15th Elyse Ainsworth (ASS) – (38), 28. 4, 18, 7, 26, 26, 7, 11, (31) – 127pts
18th Zoe Thomson (ASS) – 30, 25, (35), 10, 11, (46), 23, 16, 19, 6 – 140pts
21st Mara Stransky (AST) – 4, 21, (41), 26, (BFD), 13, 4, 26, 33, 27 – 154pts
24th Casey Imeneo (ASS) – (40), 33, 15, 24, (37), 28, 17, 29, 7, 13 – 166pts

Check out the full results here

Lisa Darmanin / Australian Sailing media