Main photo: Casey Imeneo. Photo by Yepa Photography-EurILCA

There were big scores all around on the penultimate day of the ILCA European Championships in Hyeres, France, with the results shaking up the overall event leaderboard.

Following an early start, three races were completed for both the ILCA 6 Women and ILCA 7 Men in 8 to 12 knots of wind. The erratic offshore winds persisted once again, and no one was immune to the unpredictable breeze.

Carolijn Brower, the lead coach of the Australian ILCA 6 Squad described the day as extremely tough. She observed, “The aim was to stay in phase with the wind but there is no real pattern in its oscillations, not in direction nor in time.”

Brouwer elaborated, “The squad all had trouble in the middle race of the day when there was a big shift to the left and they were all on the right-hand side. During the qualifying series, the Race Committee was abandoning races with similar size shifts but now they are under pressure to get races in so they let it go.”

Victorian Casey Imeneo and Western Australian Zoe Thomson survived the challenging day and sit in 8th and 9th overall respectively. Mara Stransky and Elyse Ainsworth are both still holding positions in the top 20.

“It’s all to play for tomorrow with three more races planned, that is still 25% of the Championship so a lot can still happen,” Brouwer concluded. “They have to be fast, be smart and be bold.”

With nine races completed for the ILCA 6 fleet just one discard race is currently applied with the second discard activated after ten races.

In the ILCA 7 Men’s fleet, the Australian Squad had an equally challenging day in Hyeres and has now completed ten races in the shifty conditions. 

Luke Elliott. Photo by Yepa Photography-EurILCA

Luke Elliott moved up seven places overall today and is in 12th going into the final two races of the series. “It was pretty easy to get wrong as I’m sure you can see with lots of big scores all over the place for everyone,” shared Elliot.

The sailor from Esperance expanded, “If you could get your first beat in order then it was mostly pretty easy at the front. Getting there was one part execution and one part good luck with the wind being so unpredictable off the mountains.”

Elliot sits just 11 points from eighth overall and therefore has plenty of drive going into tomorrow. “I think it will be a similar thing tomorrow forecast wise, I can’t control the scores but will just do the best I can.”

Zac Littlewood climbed 9 places into 20th overall after a mixed regatta so far. Littlewood admitted, “My day was okay, I had really good moments but was unable to piece it together for a race or all three.”

“I’m feeling pretty good going into tomorrow, all very tight with everyone dropping big scores today so I’m just going for it tomorrow and see where I end up.”

NSWIS athlete Finn Alexander is just one place behind Littlewood in 21st, with Ethan McAullay having a tough day on the Mediterranean Sea dropping to 33rd overall.

Two races are scheduled for the ILCA 7 whilst the ILCA 6 fleet is still playing catch up and is aiming for three races to complete their Championships tomorrow.

Regatta WebSIte

Full Results Here

Lisa Darmanin