At the end of five long days of sailing, Australia has won both the Open and Women’s categories at the 2016 International University Sports Federation (FISU) World University Sailing Championship.
Hosted in Perth, the event attracted 78 student athletes from 42 universities worldwide, representing nine nations, competing in one of the world’s most prestigious student-athlete competitions.
In the Open category, nine crews competed along the scenic Swan River in an intense two-day round robin competition before entering semi-finals and finals.
An all Australian final saw Will Dargaville’s crew claim gold over Will Boulden’s team.
“We had little experience on these boats and our crew haven’t all sailed together so we used the round robin stages to focus on improving.
I was confident that we could peak for the finals and stepped it up to claim victory even though our race with Boulden’s crew in the round robin was a tight one,” said Dargaville of his gold medal win.
With Boulden taking silver, it is the second time in a FISU World University Sailing Championship that Australia has taken first and second place, having accomplished this achievement back in 2012.
Galati (Italy) finished in third place with Miller (Great Britain) in fourth, Follin (France) – fifth, Lim (Singapore) – sixth, Yamada (Japan) – seventh, Zhou (China) – eighth and Lee (Korea) finishing in ninth position.
In the Women’s category, Parker (Australia) snatched victory from Bezel (Switerland) in a tightly contested five race final.
“We expected strong competition throughout the week but it’s good to have close races.
The conditions were challenging at times but we are happy to have won the gold,” said Parker.
Bezel (Switzerland) finished second with Koh (Singapore) in third, Bonafous (France) in fourth and Park (Korea) ending the event in fifth position.
Summarising the overall event experience, Australia’s Will Boulden couldn’t praise the organisation of the event more highly.
“All teams have been super impressed with the organisation of the event and particularly Andy Fethers and Swan River Sailing,” said Boulden.
“The level of competition was quite strong and you could see teams improving throughout the week which was evident as the races moved on,” he added.
The next edition of the FISU World University Sailing Championship will take place in Cherbourg, France from 30 August – 10 September 2018.