Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Kieler Woche : Australian youth sailors win big in Germany

Alex Gough and Angus Galloway after winning the 420 class in Kiel. Image copyright Craig Heydon.

by Craig Heydon

Two of Australia’s leading youth crews have had the biggest wins of their careers with victory at the Kieler Woche 2011 in Germany.

420 sailors Angus Galloway and Alex Gough, and 29er crew Josh Franklin and Lewis Brake, both won Gold medals in one of Europe’s biggest regattas, with the young Australians excelling in their highly competitive fleets.

420 winners Angus Galloway and Alex Gough at the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship in January. Image copyright Andrew Gough.

The Queensland based crews are a part of the Australian Youth Sailing Team and will compete at the 2011 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Croatia next month, with the wins at Kieler Woche the perfect buildup and confidence booster for the Australians.

Galloway and Gough sailed consistently well all week, finishing in the top 10 in all but one of the regatta’s 11 races.

The pair had six top three finishes, including three race wins, to take the overall regatta win by an impressive 24 points in the massive 177 boat fleet.

Galloway and Gough will now head to their second straight ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship after finishing fifth in Turkey in 2010.

Josh Franklin and Lewis Brake were just as impressive in the 29er class in their first European regatta together.

Franklin and Brake had 10 top seven finishes, including three straight race wins in the middle of the regatta to bring home the Gold medal by five points.

29er class winners Josh Franklin and Lewis Brake at the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship in January. Image copyright Andrew Gough.

The 82 boat 29er fleet was the biggest the pair had competed in and they sailed exceptionally well in the tricky conditions.

Franklin and Brake have been training extensively at home and the win in Kiel is a big boost as they head to their first ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship.

The conditions in Kiel were well suited to the Australian crews with much of the week being between 18 and 20 knots, the next challenge for the all of the Australian sailors will be to adapt to the lighter conditions expected in Croatia.

A number of Australian Youth Sailing Team crews were also competing in Germany with 420 girl’s crew Carrie Smith and Ella Clark finishing 34th and seventh female crew, while a few days earlier Laser Radial sailor Ashley Stoddart was 11th overall and the first youth, Matthew Wearn was 26th overall and second youth and in the RS:X Youth Eamon Robertshaw and Annalise Gilbert were 18th and 19th respectively.

The ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship will be held in Zadar, Croatia, from July 7 to 16.

Australian Youth Sailing Team