Australians finish in fine fashion at iQFOiL European Championships
Australian competitors scored some of their best results to move up the leaderboard and end competition in fine fashion on their final day of the iQFOiL European Championships on Lake Garda in Italy.
Australian Sailing Futures (ASF) athlete Will McMillan was best placed. The 16-year-old from NSW again moved up the Gold fleet leaderboard to finish 34th overall, courtesy of seventh and third places in two of the day’s four Slalom races.
In In the Women’s Gold fleet, fellow ASF athlete Natasha Bryant remained consistent to maintain the 48th overall position she has held for the past three days.
Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) athlete, Grae Morris, scored a third followed by a trio of bullets to win the Silver fleet 23 points clear of his nearest rival.
Fifteen-year-old Harry Joyner (ASF) scored a best result of third in the Silver fleet to move up the board, while fellow West Australian, Caelin Winchcombe (ASS), produced a best of seventh place. Queensland’s Samantha Costin (ASF) scored a win in the Women’s Silver fleet to also move up.
A fickle breeze on the Torbole course area on the north shore of Lake Garda on the fifth day of competition forced officials to delay racing. When racing on the Slalom courses did get underway, the breeze was an inconsistent 10-12 knots, dropping away at times throughout the day, testing all competitors.
National iQFOiL coach, Arthur Brett wrapped up the week for the Australians: “Will and Natasha made it into the Gold fleets and that’s a positive. Will had had another very good day and moved up seven places on the scoreboard.
“Grae did everything he possibly could in the Silver fleet, which will be good for his confidence. It still takes incredible judgement to get the starts right in the big fleet (76 foilers).”
Brett said, “Our goals before the trip were to stay where we are on the world stage and to get to the skill set of the more established sailors, these are the thing we need to develop. Some techniques need refining. Our sailors haven’t been exposed to international competition until last month, so being here has been invaluable, there is no replacement for that.”
Morris, an 18-year-old from NSW, responded: “I’ve had a pretty good time in the Silver fleet and finished with good results today. It’s all good practice for the Worlds in France (in October). Being in Silver, sailing with a big fleet, allows you to practice every day.
“Every point counts. I learned a bit of everything this week. Now I know what I really need to practice when I get home.”
Saturday local time was the final day of competition for the Australians. Sunday is dedicated to the Medal Series for the first 10 overall ranked athletes from the Opening Series in Women’s and Men’s Gold fleets to decide the podiums.