By World Sailing
Australian Wearn surpasses Brit Beckett in commanding finale at Paris 2024 Test Event
Olympic champion Matt Wearn (AUS) snatched gold from under the nose of Micky Beckett (GBR) in a dramatic medal race at the Paris 2024 Test Event in Marseille.
Wearn dominated the ILCA 7 medal race to overhaul a nine-point deficit and relegate Beckett to silver at the last gasp.
A stiff, shifty, offshore breeze reached 25 knots and made for exciting medal racing across the board.
Matt Wearn (AUS) took the spoils from Micky Beckett (GBR) in the latest chapter of a rivalry that could dominate the in this boat class through to the Olympics next year.
The pair exchanged the lead four times in the regatta before Beckett, Palma gold medallist and Hyères silver medallist, took a healthy nine-point advantage into the medal race.
Beckett was on the back foot from the start in an unstable breeze and Wearn seized the moment, taking a dominant race win to grab gold.
Wearn said, “I respect the fact that Micky has done really well this week – probably better than me at times – but that’s how sailing works, the medal race can be a tough one. He was super respectful and congratulated me.
“I’ve been on the wrong side of it several times. I’m sure there are more battles to come between us, we’ve got the Worlds coming up and the big one in 12 months’ time, so hopefully we’ll be fighting it out for medals there.”
Beckett, who crossed the line second-last in the medal race to settle for silver said, “Sailing’s not supposed to be easy, it’s a tough game for a reason and that’s why we do it.
“It was a tough way to finish the event but I’m happy with second and I’ll be even happier with it when a few days have passed.
“Matt and I have spent a bit of time training together over the winter and I was just very impressed with the way he sailed a fantastic race, right when he needed to.”
In ILCA 6, the gold was set before the medal race. Marit Bouwmeester (NED) took the lead on Tuesday and never looked back, winning gold with 44 points, 19 ahead of long-time adversary Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN).
Bouwmeester said, “Winning never gets comfortable and it’s always fun. I’m leaving soon to see my baby girl and we’ll do the celebrations at home.
“I love performing on home waters and the aim will be to do the same at the World Championships.”
It sets an immaculate tone for her tilt at a second Olympic title next summer, which would see Bouwmeester overtake Hannah Mills (GBR) as the most decorated female Olympic sailor of all time. [Bouwmeester has won three Olympic medals: silver in 2012, gold in 2016, and bronze in 2020.]
Chiara Benini Floriani (ITA), [who is only 21 years old], banked bronze despite picking up a one point penalty going into the medal race that was actually won by Erika Reineke (USA), the lowest-ranked qualifier.