Young Australian sailors are celebrating after taking three World Championship titles in competition held in Europe over the weekend.
Congratulations to Zoe Thomson winning the Laser Radial Girls World Championship and Tom Crockett & Harry Morton and Annabelle Davies & Hayley Clark who took out the 29er World Championships.
Laser Radial World Championship
Held in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland conditions on Dublin Bay were trying all week and racing commenced early on Sunday to get in three races.
Australia’s Zoe Thomson took out the Laser Radial Girls World Championship following a close battle with one time leader Norway’s Caroline Rosmo with France’s Louise Cervera in third.
"Following Zoe's selection two weeks ago in Queensland onto the Australian Youth Sailing Team to compete at the World Sailing Youth Championships in New Zealand, it became clear early in the regatta that Zoe could be in contention for the title here in Ireland.
“With strong currents and variable winds Zoe did a great job managing such a big fleet whilst remaining consistent to seal victory prior to the final race”, Tristan Brown, Performance Pathway Officer for Australian Sailing said at the conclusion of racing.
Fellow Australians Elyse Ainsworth finished 9th (1st Under 17), Marlena Berzins 16th and Mara Stransky 26th. These results bode well for the future with several still able to compete again next year.
In the 230 strong Laser Radial Boys World Championship, American Henry Marshall took out the title with Australians Finnian Alexander (5th), Brody Riley (19th), Caelin Winchcombe (36th) Zac Littlewood (42nd) and Indiabeau Laborie (51st).
In other fleets, Australia’s Noah Taylor was 9th and Jordan Makin 49th in Silver; Oskar Hansen finished 48th in Bronze and Nathaniel Dutton was 13th in the Emerald.
In the Mens’ Championship, Australia’s Richard Maher was 15th, Zac Skulander 20th, Jeff Loosemore 30th and Alexander Jurovic 39th.
The sailors were accompanied by coaches Tristan Brown & Ash Brunning.
29er World Championships
Australians were celebrating a double Championship win in Medemblik, Netherlands when Tom Crockett and Harry Morton took out the 29er World Championship while Annabelle Davies and Hayley Clark were the first female team.
Flying the Australian flag as the boats came in together, both crews were thrilled with their performances. Tom and Harry were assured gold with one race to go but for Annabelle and Hayley it was a remarkable achievement for them to take the title over the Polish girls Aleksandra Melzacka and Maja Micinski by just one point.
After racing, Hayley said, “'It was really exciting today, but we didn't think we could win. It was a small chance to be on our game.
“We just went out there and said we would do our best and see how many points we could climb. We got some nice starts and from there it made it so much easier to play a conservative game and to take some shifts. It was very choppy, but we found the chop a bit more manageable than yesterday. We could catch a few guys on the downwind”, Hayley added.
For long-time friends Harry Morton and Tom Crockett it was a special achievement with Harry saying, “On the very first day sailing together, we didn't imagine this would ever happen".
After finishing the first two races of the final day in 2nd and 13th, they were assured gold with one race to go. 14 year old Tom said, “This morning I was a bit nervous. It wasn't over, but we have just sailed how we have done every day; stay consistent. We wanted to sail our own races." Tom said.
In the Gold Fleet, Tom Crockett and Harry Morton took out 1st place; Annabelle Davies and Hayley Clark 9th (first female) and Thomas Alexander and Louis Schofield were in 24th place.
Congratulations also to Ezra Pritchard and Tom Cunich who were first in Silver Fleet, Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot in 5th and Henry Larkings and Max Paul in 19th. In Bronze Fleet, Emilia Horn and Madison Woodward were 11th.