State Squad – Alex Zimmermann
Our South Australian Optimist sailors enjoyed a great regatta showing great performances across the broad range of conditions we experienced on the waters of St Kilda.
‘‘I saw my State Squad sailors working bloody hard in pretty rough conditions back in Adelaide and it was pleasing to see them all enjoying themselves whilst racing in our first big regatta against the very top sailors of the country. We’ve picked up great lessons from this event and as a team we can’t wait for our next couple of weeks of training leading up to Nationals in our hometown’’ – said Australian Sailing SA State Coach – Alex Zimmermann
Quinn Auricht sailed consistently throughout the regatta taking two bullets and placing within the top 3’s in another three races. He went into the fourth and final day of racing sitting on equal first, fought hard during the three final races, but narrowly missed on silver by one point. The ability to handle the pressure of being in the top 3 throughout the whole regatta was impressive.
Alexi Wigglesworth performance improved after each race throughout the regatta to finish showing some great sailing winning the final race in great fashion and positioning in 5th place overall.
Jonas Barrett had a solid performance considering the very tough week that he had after a painful injury while training that kept him out of the water for a week. He delivered a particular solid performance on the third day of racing winning a race and having one of the lowest scores average of the day. Jonas couldn’t quite find his best form on the last day, but successfully managed to place in the top 10 standings overall.
Ben Hinks showed nice consistency on the majority of the races but unfortunately a couple starts played against him on a few high-scoring races that in the end narrowly took him out of the top 10 standings. Ben finished on a respectable 11th and is going back home with great lessons and ready to continue to improve on a couple of key areas.
Harry Higgins had a tough start of the regatta, describing himself as being ‘rusty’ from big fleet competition, but finished on a very positive note improving day after day. He launched into the final day of racing showing great speed and making accurate tactical decisions. Harry, once again, made a big jump in the standings and finished a respectable 17th.
Collectively, the above results saw the SA team (Alex’s Amigo’s) place second in the Nations Cup behind NSW. Again a credible achievement by the group.
Other Sailors – Dave Higgins
SA Sailors at Sail Melbourne: 6 Development Squad Sailors (Jack Higgins, Myles Wilson, Taryn Sanderson, Tom Gordon. Ruby Pike, Austin Higgins), Cater Baker from the SA team, James Wilson from ASC, Lachy Roe from Brighton and Darcy Conry from Largs Bay journeyed to Melbourne to test themselves against many of the best optimist sailors in Australia (and even some international competitors) at Sail Melbourne World Cup. Conditions over the 5 days were challenging to say the least with wind strengths ranging anywhere from 2 to 20 + knots and many directional changes. In addition the swell was from every and any direction. These conditions certainly tested the fleets. The results were very pleasing and reinforced that in SA we are definitely on the right track. Taryn Sanderson made the Gold fleet cut of 45 with Myles Wilson and Aussie Higgins just missing out. Taryn showed he could match it with those in Gold fleet and will only improve from the experience. Myles showed consistency in Silver and should have won 2 of the 3 races, however, due to his consistency he managed to take out the Silver title anyway. Aussie finished 4th in Silver, just missing the podium, but was the first under 10. Carter was 11th in Silver but was very impressive with 3 top 10 places in the regatta. Special mention to Darcy Conry who had a great regatta and finished a credible 4th in intermediate. All other sailors had their individual moments and will be must better off with the experience.