The winners of SailGP Inspire’s WASZP racing in Sydney have reflected on the ‘amazing’ experience and are looking ahead to battling fellow winners from throughout the season at the SailGP Inspire WASZP Grand Final.
Fifteen-year-old Louis Tilly and Seisia Mair, 19, were crowned the winners of WASZP racing in Sydney from a line-up of 16 promising youth sailors. The young athletes trained and competed across a four-day program on Sydney Harbour, which saw them go behind the scenes of the Tech Base, meet with SailGP athletes and compete on the F50 racecourse in front of sell-out shoreside crowds.
Strong sea breezes and a choppy sea state challenged the sailors, who were split into silver and gold fleets and completed a total of 20 races across the weekend.
But it was Tilly who came out on top for the boys and Mair who triumphed for the girls.
“The racing was extremely close, with any number of people having the chance to win,” Tilly said. “Everyone had ups and downs, which kept the pack nice and close.”
Tilly, who has hopes of becoming a professional sailor, described the experience of competing on the same racecourse as the league’s hydrofoiling F50s as ‘surreal’.
“Being able to go to the Tech Base and talk to all the incredible people involved with SailGP made the program something I will never forget.”
Mair agreed, describing the racing as ‘intense’. “Our course was set up on the deeper side of Genesis Island where it was more unprotected,” she said. “In the first race, I was going around the reach mark in second and then just absolutely dug the nose into the wave in front.”
Both Tilly and Mair will go on to compete in the SailGP Inspire WASZP Grand Final - Championship of Champions, where they will battle it out for the ultimate prize against fellow qualifiers from events throughout the season so far.
“The thought of sailing in San Francisco against all the other winners is pretty sick,” Mair said. “Meeting new people is one element of sailing that I absolutely love, and I have no doubt it will not disappoint.”
Tilly added: “Excited is an understatement to how I am feeling about San Fransisco. I can’t wait to be there and make new friends and have some incredible memories.”