Laser 4.7 World Championships – Nicholas Connor finishes as top Aussie

Milly (right) with Anna Vaughan from Hobart - Laser 4.7 World Championships 2011
Richard Scarr
Laser 4.7 World Championships were hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay from 28th July.

Nicholas Connor from Pittwater’s Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club finished top Australian boy and fourth placed under 16-year-old sailor at the 2011 Laser 4.7 world championships sailed on San Francisco Bay this past week.

Milly Bennett (17), also from the Alfreds, finished top-placed Australian girl at ninth overall. She ended the series with a last race fifth.

Nicholas and Milly were among 11 teenage Australian boys and girls who contested the world championships, with 112 boys sailing in two qualifying fleets and 56 girls in one fleet on the notoriously windy, rough and current-affected bay.

The 15-year-old was one of four Australian boys who qualified for the gold fleet finals, turning in a consistent series that included a second place in heat three to finish 23rd overall. Over the 12 heats, he was in the top 20 in every heat except four.

Nicholas finished one place and one point ahead of West Australian Ben Walkemeyer, who slipped back towards the end of the regatta.

Ben graduated to Laser 4.7 after sailing Manly Juniors and Flying Elevens. Both have been coached in NSW by Trax Gordon who was also coach of the Australians at the worlds.

European sailors dominated both the boys and girls championships, with the boys title going to a Spanish sailor, the girls to an Italian. Milly Bennett was the only non-European in the top 20 placings in the girls championship.