Sydney University Sport and Fitness Elite Athlete Program member Evie Haseldine and teammate Olivia Price have won the bronze medal in the women’s 49erFX class at the 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships in The Netherlands.
Sweden’s Vilma Bobeck and Rebecca Netzler won the gold medal, with Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz of The Netherlands claiming silver. The top three teams also secured berths for their boats at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.
The women’s 49erFX regatta at The Hague included 58 teams competing in 14 races over the past nine days. Haseldine (B.Arts and B.Adv Studies – Media and Comms) and Price won the first race, and went on to claim two second place finishes and three thirds to collect the bronze. The gold medallist Swedes finished second to the Australians in the opening race and went on to win six races.
Sydney University had three other 49erFX sailors at the Championships. Dervia Duggan (B.Applied Science – Exercise Physiology) and Mina Ferguson finishing 34th and Madeleine McLeay (B.Liberal Studies) and Natasha Bryant finishing 38th in the women’s event. Haseldine, McLeay and Duggan are NSW Institute of Sport Scholarship holders.
Jack Hilderbrand (B.Engineering – Hons) and alumnus Jack Ferguson, a former member of the Sydney University Sport and Fitness and Elite Athlete Program, finished 55th out of 83 in the men’s event. Hildebrand and Ferguson, had teamed together before The Hague regatta to win the 2023 Under 23 Junior World Championship in the 49er class at Travemunde, Germany. It was a back-to-back win for Hildebrand, who teamed with Max Hope to take out the 2022 Junior World Championship at Lake Como in Italy.
The Sailing World Championships, which are held once every four years, prepare the world’s best sailors for participation in the Olympic Games. In contrast to the Olympic Games, for which only one team per Olympic class per country qualifies, several teams from all countries can participate at the World Championship, resulting in a stronger and larger field of competitors.
Ten World Championships were on the line at The Hague regatta, with Australia competing in all 10 Olympic classes at the event which attracted more than 900 boats and 1400 participants from over 90 nations.