New Australian crew claim breakthrough victory
The Australian Sailing Team’s new 49er crew of Darren Bundock and Ben Austin have claimed their first race
victory on their way to qualifying for the gold fleet for Wednesday’s races at round four of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Hyeres, France.
Bundock and Austin won the last race of the day, which turned out to be a vital victory, as they finished the
qualifying heats 19th out of 37 49ers, claiming the final gold fleet place on a count back.
After just a handful of competitive races together Australia’s newest crew have set the bar high for the remainder of the regatta.
All nine scheduled heats of 49er qualifying were completed in tricky but fair conditions. Racing was held in a five to 11 knot wind speed range, mostly in the six to eight knot range. The first six heats were raced in a difficult chop, with the last three sailed in flat water.
Darren and Ben now have some work cut out to survive the start line “jail break” in the 49er gold fleet.
“Things will, as usual, be more competitive on the start line in the gold fleet, but Darren is learning the key
factors to sailing a 49er competitively extremely quickly” said AST 49er Coach, Emmett Lazich.
Fellow AST member Tom Slingsby has had a mixed regatta in his Laser, claiming a 27th and 7th in Tuesday’s two races. The Olympian received an unlucky yellow flag at the start of race one but fought back well, eventually only missing out on the gold fleet by eight points.
Former Australian Olympic representative Paul McKenzie claimed his first victory in the Star class, alongside
Philip Toth, after just three weeks in the boat together.
“We sailed well with good speed and tactics. This is the first race we managed to put all the pieces together,”
The final stage of racing in Hyeres will start on Wednesday with the classes split into gold, silver and bronze