470 Sailing In Japan!
Gosford Sailing Club 470 skipper Sophie McIntosh and her crew Orla Mulholland-Patterson acquitted themselves well at their first international regatta in the class at Enoshima, Japan.
The 2020 Olympics sailing site provided challenging conditions with a typhoon delivering several days with wind strength of 20-30 knots and a high military presence in the skies above due to the North Korean missile incident added to the drama.
As a warmup to the 470 Junior World Championships the girls first competed in the week-long Japan nationals where they experienced light, shifty conditions. The nationals were an all-ages mixed fleet, which attracted some of the top sailors in the world, including Australian Olympians and silver medalists Matt Belcher and Will Ryan who finished 4th overall.
McIntosh and Mulholland-Patterson finished 54th out of 113 and 14th among the female sailors at the Japan nationals.
In the main event, the week-long 470 Junior World Championships, both the wind and waves were up with an approaching typhoon. The competition was restricted to sailors aged 23 and under and the men and women sailed in separate fleets.
The girls started off well with a seventh in their first race in the 25-strong women’s fleet. They were unable to compete in one race later in the regatta due to safety concerns when 30 knots of wind hit the boats as the race committee prepared to start a race. They were determined to come back strongly the next day with a fourth placing in 20 knots the highlight of their campaign.
After 10 races the top 10 boats were separated from the rest for the medal race where Spain’s Silvia Mas Depares and Paula Barcelo Martin successfully defended their title, with Western Australians Nia Jerwood and Monique De Vries finishing runners-up.
McIntosh and Mulholland-Patterson were awarded a prize for second place in the under-20s division and finished 16th overall, the second best placed Australian team out of four teams involved.
McIntosh said on Facebook the under-20s achievement was “awesome” and it was “great to keep building both knowledge and experience in the class”.
“Still lots to improve, but off to a good start! For our first international even in the 470 we had a blast and are really happy with our progress. I would like to say a very BIG THANKS to everyone who helped me get to Japan. The experience gained was well worth it, I'm very grateful to be where I am, representing GSC and definately looking forward to the future."
To follow Sophie's sailing like her facebook page on this link:https://www.facebook.com/Sophie-Mcintosh-Sailing-1466892493534281/?ref=bookmarks