LAWSON MCAULLAY 2018
2018 Laser 4.7 Youth World Championships
9 July to 17 July 2018
I arrived in Gdynia a couple weeks early due to my brother Ethan sailing at the Laser Under 21 World Championships. This really helped because it allowed me to suss out the location and conditions, as well as get some helpful tips from Ethan and Caelin (another WA sailor at the U21’s). I met the rest of my Australian team towards the end of Ethan’s regatta and we had a few days to train before the regatta started.
The 4.7 Youth Worlds is a very large regatta with 280 boys and 150 girls. For the boys, we were split in four fleets of 70 boats. The first half of the regatta is the qualifying period and these groups are changed each day. After the third day we are allocated into the top 70 (Gold Fleet), next 70 (Silver Fleet), etc. As this was my first world championship, my goal was to qualify for Gold fleet.
The regatta started on the 9th of July but my fleet was not able to get a race in because of the really light conditions. Day 2 of the regatta the wind was 7-12 knots and we were able to get three races in. The first race I won and this got my regatta off to a great start. I then came 20th in race two and unfortunately 53rd in race three. Even though my excitement was a bit short lived it’s nice to say I have won a race at a world championship! On the third day the wind was similar and I was able to get two top 20 results. This meant I had qualified as one of three Australian’s (all from WA) for Gold fleet.
I started the finals in 43rd position and unfortunately the second half of this regatta didn't go quite as well and I dropped back and ended up placing 53rd overall. The second half of the regatta was a little windier and didn’t suit me as much. I’m 14 and still a little light and need to eat a bit more.
Overall I was proud of my performance, winning a race and making it to gold fleet all in my first worlds championship in the Laser 4.7. A big thanks to WLA for their support.