Adelaide, Australia – Sailors are just two races away from the end of the 2024 ILCA Masters Worlds at the Adelaide Sailing Club, with two more races to close out the series scheduled for tomorrow.
The breeze at this event has been spectacular, with an opportunity for sailors to experience Adelaide’s exciting windy, wavy conditions and reliable sea breeze pattern lining up perfectly with the event over the last week.
This Masters event has drawn competitors from 20 different countries. Comparatively, the ILCA 7 Men’s Worlds preceding it drew sailors from 52 different countries, many pleased with the venue and sailing conditions.
United Arab Emirates ILCA 6 sailor and 2008 Olympian Adil Khalid, who is competing in the Apprentice division this week, said the venue had been welcoming and provided great sailing conditions.
“We have a direct flight from Dubai to Adelaide, and it’s going to be a really beautiful place to have a campaign and train here. It’s a great, beautiful place, a very beautiful venue, and the people around here are really friendly,” he said.
“You see the club and this beach, and you have nice breezes every day from 15 to 25 knots – it’s a great place to go sailing.”
German ILCA 6 sailor Svenja Weger, who was Germany’s Tokyo 2020 representative in the ILCA event, said this Masters regatta had been a great way to get back into competitive racing after taking some time off after the Games.
“I think it’s a really nice city, it’s a great place, and I enjoyed it way more than Melbourne, but I wouldn’t call it a big city, which is nice,” she said.
“I really had to get back into it because I didn’t do any hiking for the last two years, so it’s quite hard for the legs to be hiking hard all day. I really enjoy the waves on the downwind. It’s obviously quite hard to go against the boys on the upwinds, who are probably a bit heavier than I am, but it’s still fun.”
Heading into the final day, a number of fleets look dominated by the top-placed competitors. However, with the event being a one-drop regatta, switching up the podium in the final races is still possible.
In the Apprentices division, Argentinian Franco Riquelme Antonetti had two race wins in the ILCA 6s to give himself a strong buffer ahead of Germany’s Svenja Weger in second and the United Arab Emirates’ Adil Khalid in third. Meanwhile, in the ILCA 7s, New Zealand’s Luke Deegan extended his secure lead with two more wins.
In the Masters division, Simon Small (AUS) had two race wins in the ILCA 6 to put himself eight points ahead of New Zealand’s Phil Wild in second. In the ILCA 7s, Brendan Casey’s (AUS) fourth and first-place finish from today has him leading Christoph Bottoni (AUS) by four points.
In the Grand Masters, Mark Tonner-Joyce (AUS) holds a 10-point lead over Andrew Holdsworth (USA) in the ILCA 6s, while Brett Beyer (AUS) had two more wins in the ILCA 7s and looks to be unbeatable on the final day.
In the Great Grand Master fleets, James Mitchell (AUS) finished today with a first and a second-place in the ILCA 6s to give himself a 15-point lead going into the final day, while Steve Gunther (AUS) holds a seven-point lead over Tim Law (GBR) with two races remaining.
Lastly, in the Legends ILCA 6 fleet, William Symes (USA) has a clear lead with two more race wins today and looks set to close out the regatta comfortably tomorrow.
The final day is expected to see another glamour Adelaide sea breeze that’ll be very similar to today, followed by an awards presentation evening at the Adelaide Sailing Club.
Text by: Harry Fisher, Down Under Sail / Edited by ILCA
Photos by: Jack Fletcher, Down Under Sail