Adelaide, Australia – It was another sunny day on the water with glamour sailing conditions for the third day of the 2024 ILCA 7 Men’s World Championship. Two of the favorites have walked away from the six qualifying races at the top of the fleet, while the battle for gold fleet heated up in Adelaide.
The reigning World and Olympic champion, Australia’s Matt Wearn, had a solid day in the hotly-contested blue fleet, finishing with a first and third place to land him atop the rankings.
Meanwhile, his British adversary, Micky Beckett, was untouchable in the yellow fleet. Beckett took two race wins to help nullify his Day 1 scoring penalty and put himself back in the title hunt.
Norway’s Hermann Tomasgaard, who won the first three of his races at this regatta, has now slipped down to third overall and four points off the lead.
Wearn said the Adelaide conditions had so far been great, with more glamour breezes expected for the back half of the championship.
After racing, he recounted, “It was a really nice day, we started off with a 5-7 knot breeze in the first race and then it sort of just slowly built to a nice 12-15 knot breeze, so a great day of sailing. In speaking, we’re halfway through (the regatta), but obviously more than halfway through with the amount of races left, so obviously into gold fleet tomorrow it’s always going to be a really tough fight – going from three fleets to one means it’s a lot more dense and a lot harder.”
“I guess for being in Australia it feels like it’s been a long lead in, we obviously spent most of the summer here and it feels like it’s been a long time coming to get into the regatta, but it’s the last pinnacle event before the Games, so the last one to really test yourself,” he said.
“It’s been great to be here at Adelaide Sailing Club, they’ve been amazing hosts, even when there hasn’t been regattas on they’ve had us here training, they’ve been more than happy to accommodate us.”
Today also saw a large portion of the fleet lay everything on the line as they battled for a berth in the gold fleet.
Spain’s Joel Rodriguez Perez said starting on a busy line was incredibly challenging and he had to be careful not to suffer a poor result given his current scorecard.
“Unfortunately I was more in the battle to make the gold fleet instead of being at the top of the fleet, and I couldn’t go for too aggressive a start because I also had a bad discard,” he said.
“But look, anything can happen and everybody knows that in this fleet it’s not over until the last race – anyone can finish 10th, 20th, 30th, anything can happen until then so just have to keep pushing.”
With finals racing beginning tomorrow, the sailors will be split into gold, silver and bronze fleets with world championships, Olympic qualifications, and even internal country selections all on the table.
The regatta will culminate with a top 10 medal race on Wednesday, with that race score worth double points and is unable to be discarded.
Text by: Harry Fisher, Down Under Sail / Edited by ILCA
Photos by: Jack Fletcher, Down Under Sail