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Australia wins 2013 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final

David Gilmour and crew after winning the 2013 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final

David Gilmour and crew after winning the 2013 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final

Australia’s David Gilmour and crew have won the 2013 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final following an impressive performance on the waters of Middelfart, Denmark.

Gilmour and crew Ed Powys, Luke Payne, Pete Nicholas and Alistair Marchesi defeated the local Danish team three-nil in the final on Saturday.

The Australians were one of the teams to beat all regatta, and after a strong result in the round robin took on Japan in the semi-final.

At the end of the penultimate day of the event the two crews were locked at one-all, with the Australians coming out on top three wins to one to set up a final hit-out against the hometown crew.

The win was the first time that an Australian men’s team had won the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Gilmour. “On the last run I was really stressed out, but credit to the boys for keeping me calm and we just managed to hold on, it was a huge effort by the whole team.

“This event has been so good,” he said. “It’s been so easy to come here as a sailor and I can’t believe the size of the crowd watching. Middelfart has really got behind the racing here.”

In the first men’s race, Nicolai Sehested, the Danish skipper, made a costly gybe on the first downwind leg and then lost further ground trying to attack with two extra tacks upwind. In the second race, Gilmour laid a penalty on Sehested in the pre-start and the Denmark skipper could not find the opportunity to work it off.

In the third race, after a split start, Gilmour led by an enormous seven lengths at the end of the first leg. Sehested showed great fight to close right up to within half a boat length for a nail-biting finish, but Australia just held on as they gybed to the line.

Australia was also represented at the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final by Ashlen Rooklyn, Torvar Mirsky, Sam Ellis, Jay Halligan and Jeronimo Harrison.

Rooklyn and crew topped the quarter-finals, after Gilmour won his way straight through to the semi-finals, but unfortunately were not able to join their fellow Australians, with just one team per country allowed in the finals.

Rooklyn, Mirsky, Ellis, Halligan and Harrison were classified fifth overall, an capping off an impressive event for Australia.

Full results from the 2013 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final can be found at http://www.sailing.org/events/nationscup/past_results.php?utm_source=mdm&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Australia+and+Brazil+Win+2013+ISAF+Nations+Cup

By Craig Heydon