Adelaide, Australia – The 2024 ILCA 7 Men’s World Championships are being held in Adelaide, Australia, and hosted by the Adelaide Sailing Club. Racing will take place on the St. Vincent Gulf, often home to a nice sea breeze during the Australian summer months. The club is a volunteer-run “off the beach” sailing club that caters to a wide range of dinghies and catamarans and is situated between the regions of Glenelg and West Beach.
This world championship will take place January 24–31. It will award berths to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games to the seven highest finishing countries that have not yet previously qualified (see qualified countries). This event will be the final opportunity to qualify before the Last Chance Regatta, Semaine Olympique Française, in Hyères in April 2024.
With the 153-strong entry list split between three qualifying fleets, Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard has won his two opening races in the red fleet with two race wins, while Australian hopefuls Matt Wearn and Luke Elliott took a race win each in the yellow fleet, and German Philipp Buhl and Mickey Beckett from Great Britain each took a win in the blue fleet.
It sets the scene for an exciting battle at the front of the fleet, with Tomasgaard in first place, Elliott in second place, and Buhl in third overall.
Philipp Buhl, a world champion the last time the ILCA 7 Worlds were held in Australia, said the first day of the Worlds was always an important one to ensure a good start. “The first day today was pretty solid and I’m quite happy with the result even though I didn’t manage to get off the start line too well in the first race,” he said.
“In the beginning of an event, basically it is all about not having a big score, so I managed to do this and came through the day quite cleanly in amazing conditions.
“This World Championships means quite a lot to me personally, because it’s part of my Olympic selection that is not done yet for us in Germany, and it’s a World Championships where you always want to do well.”
Australian Sailing Squad member Finn Alexander finished the first day with a 9,7 scorecard and said the team was in good shape to perform well over the next week. “We’ve spent a bit of time here in Adelaide and it’s a beautiful place, the weather absolutely turned it on today, we had a really nice gradient breeze of about 10-20 knots, you can’t really ask for much more on day one of a Worlds,” he said.
“We’ve got a really strong contingent, we’ve got five really good guys (in the squad) and we’ve all been pushing hard, backed up with a really solid futures group, so the future of Australian sailing is looking pretty good.”
Tomorrow’s forecast will offer favorable conditions, with variable morning weather shifting into a late afternoon sea breeze of up to 15 knots.
The race committee is expected to run two races per day, giving them a 10-race series until the end of 30 January, followed by the exciting 10-boat medal race on 31 January to close out the series.
Text by: Harry Fisher, Down Under Sail / Edited by ILCA
Photos by: Jack Fletcher, Down Under Sail