David Gilmour and James Omay

David Gilmour and James Omay


For various classes underway in Perth where the 420s have concluded

Sunday January 4th 2009, Author: Di Pearson, Location: United Kingdom
National Championships for over eight classes are being held in Perth during January and people have come from all over Australia and as far afield as Chile, to test out the waters of Fremantle in preparation for the 2011 ISAF World Championships in two years time with competitors having the benefit of coaching from three 470 Olympic gold medallists - a first.

First National champions announced in the 420 class - Singaporean sailors Justin Liu and Sherman Cheng dominated the regatta with a truly solid performance, winning seven races in the 15 race series.

In second place and first Australians, were WAIS (WA Institute of Sport) athletes, David Gilmour/James Omay, who sailed very well on the second last day to put themselves in a position to defend their lead. A Black Flag disqualification for being over at the start in the penultimate race put the pressure on them to perform. They sailed well, placing fourth, enough to keep their lead to win their first 420 Open National title.

WAIS sailors, Matthew Jerwood/Patrick Vos finished third overall and second Australian team. The WA boys trained together and pushed each other to a much improved performance as the regatta progressed.

Mat and Pat stepped up a gear towards the end of the regatta and jumped ahead of Sean Ott/Adam Lahey in the second last race when the Queenslanders also suffered from a Black Flag, and fourth overall.

The 420 Nationals were unique in that there were four females coaching; all 470 sailors of which three are Olympic gold medallists! It is quite an amazing time for junior sailors, to have such access to top sailors and this level of experience. Thanks to Victor Kovalenko, Jenny Armstrong, Elise Rechichi and Belinda Stowell for passing on their knowledge to the young Australian sailors who have big dreams.

The Laser Nationals are underway with one more day of racing tomorrow. Competitors are trialling the 2011 race courses and the Fremantle Doctor has been reliable. Ash Brunning is currently leading. A shark spotted on the race course a few days ago has improved the sailors capsize recovery time by half!

The 49ers are racing in Matilda Bay, close to the city, and have one more day left of racing. David O’Connor/ Iain Jensen had a high speed crash with David Mann/Jasper Warren, leaving O’Connor’s boat with a huge hole in the bow and a sinking feeling on returning to shore.

The Sydney sailors have been granted redress for three races, so they will get average points which will put them back in the regatta. Currently the Phillips brothers, Will and Sam, are leading with WAIS sailors Luke Parkinson/Steven Thomas in second place.

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