Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Delta Lloyd Regatta : Three Bronze Medals for the Australian Sailing Team

Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis finished with the Bronze medal at Delta Lloyd Regatta 2014. Image copyright Sander van der Borch

by Cora Zillich

The 2014 Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Netherlands concluded on Saturday 24, May with three bronze medals for Australian Sailing Crews in the Olympic Nacra 17 and Finn classes as well as in the Paralympic Sonar class.

The regatta is an annual event on the European sailing calendar attracting some of the world’s best Olympic and Paralympic campaigners. The Australian Sailing Team (AST) was represented with two crews in the Paralympic classes (2.4mR, Sonar) and three crews in the Olympic Classes (Nacra 17 and Laser). In addition, four crews from the Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) competed at Medemblik in the Finn, Laser Radial and Nacra 17.

In the Nacra 17, it was really a three boat race for the medals between the Hyères World Cup silver medallists Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA), Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) and Australia’s Darren Bundock (NSW) and Nina Curtis (NSW). Just 10 points separated them before the final race day, while there was a 15-point gap to fourth.

Finishing sixth in the medal race Bundock and Nina Curtis won the bronze medal to make it three third places at their last three regattas, including the two World Cups at Palma, Spain and Hyères, France.

All part of the plan as Bundock explains with a smile: “Simple plan. 2014 we finish third in all regattas, 2015 second, 2016 first. Simple.”

Jason Waterhouse (NSW) and Lisa Darmanin (NSW) finished overall 6th, while AST crew Euan McNicol and Lucinda Whitty did not race at Medemblik. ASS Victorian crew Pip Pietromonaco and James Wierzbowski finished 22nd.

With four AST/ASS crews on the racing circuit it is a competitive yet supportive environment as Lisa Darmanin explains.

“We’re very competitive against our Australian squad, but we’re also working in unison because we all know how much we need to learn to be able to keep up with all the other guys.”

And about their performance in Medemblik she added: “We had a pretty good regatta and we finished off with a good medal race. The result wasn’t that good, but the race was good. We’re racing a lot better and our teamwork is improving all the time so we are happy.”

In the Finn class Australian Sailing Squad’s Jake Lilley has plenty to be happy with after adding a bronze in Holland to his successful Europe stint winning the European Junior Championships a couple weeks ago and a solid French World Cup in Hyères at the end of April.

The 20-year old Queenslander continues to grow and learn and has his eyes firmly set on more:

“I am happy to finish third, but not satisfied. Next year we will be back and trying to secure the gold. The week was super tricky with some challenging conditions thrown at us. I reveled in the medium winds and was able to improve my weaknesses in lighter conditions, which has been a real positive.”

“To fight out this week with PJ Postma from NED, who came 4th at the 2012 Olympics, and to train and gain experience racing against him was invaluable and will hold us in good stead for our next event in Kiel and then finally the ISAF worlds.”

About his goals ahead he added: “Over the next few months we will ramp up our preparation for the ISAF World in Kiel as well as training for Santander. We already have a whole new list of things to improve and to work on so we can aim for the top ten come the World Championships. For now, it's time to go home, get some rest and refine more points that we are working on.”

In other Olympic fleet results AST’s Matt Wearn (WA) finished 7th in the Laser while Australian Sailing Squad’s Laser radial sailors Krystal Weir (VIC) and Ashley Stoddart (QLD) finished 12th and 19th respectively. The European Laser and Laser Radial Championships in Croatia (9-14 June 2014) will be the next stop for them.

Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Jonathan Harris won Bronze in the Sonar. Image copyright Sander van der Borch

In the Paralympic fleets, Australia’s Paralympians Colin Harrison (WA), Russell Boaden (WA) and Jonathan Harris (NSW) finished Medemblik with another podium finish in the Sonar after their third place at the World Cup in Hyères.

The crew will now head back to Australia to train before heading to the IFDS World Championship in Halifax, NS, Canada in August (16-24 August 2014).

Tasmanian and London Paralympian Matt Bugg had an unlucky regatta with a DNF earlier in the event due to a water pump failure and an OCS on the last day, which resulted in a drop from 2nd to 6th in the final race.

Bugg will race the EUROSAF event Sail for Gold in Weymouth (7-12 June) as well as the 2.4mR European Championship in the Netherlands at the end of June (30 June – 4 July).

Video wrap-up of Australian participation at Medemblik 2014:

For all results see here: http://results.deltalloydregatta.org/

Australian Sailing is the performance arm of Yachting Australia in partnership with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and with support from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC). The Australian Sailing Team is the national representative team for Olympic and Paralympic class sailing.

The Australian Sailing Squad is the development program of the Australian Sailing Team and provides the pathway from elite youth to Olympic level competition.

For more information, updates and pictures, follow the Australian Sailing Team on Facebook and on Twitter @AusSailingTeam #AusSailing.

About the Delta Lloyd Regatta

The 30th Delta Lloyd Regatta was held from 20-24 May 2014 in Medemblik, The Netherlands, with racing being held for nine Olympic classes, three Paralympic classes and two exhibition events. In 2014 it brings together 351 entries from 51 nations.

The 30th Delta Lloyd Regatta was the second event in the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup 2014. The other events are the Garda Trentino Olympic Week, which was held in early May, Sail for Gold in the UK in early June and Kieler Woche in Germany at the end of June.