Drew starts year on a bright note

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times

Bunbury teenage sailor Will Drew has started the year in style, placing second at the 2018 Open Bic Australian Championships in Brisbane.

The 14-year-old competed in the open and under-16 divisions against 57 competitors in 12 races at the Moreton Bay Boating Club from January 4 to 9.

His consistency throughout the competition was amazing, with a fourth place his worst result and having claimed two solid race wins.

Coming into the final race Will could not move from second place, but was a mathematical chance to claim first if he pushed the leader back far enough in the fleet.

He engaged the leader in the last race and attempted to match race him as far back in the fleet as possible.

The two boys sailed a fantastic race and Will managed to bridge six of the eight points he needed to draw level.

This saw him finish as the runner-up Australian Champion, by two points, to his fellow Australian team member Travis Wadley, of Queensland.

The boys left the fleet in their wake, finishing 20 points clear of the third sailor.

“It was one place above last year, so it was a good improvement,” Will said.

“Would have been nice to get a win, but someone has to get the top spot and unfortunately it wasn’t me.

“I gave it my best shot and that is all I could have done.”

Will now exits the Open Bic class after a highly successful four years and is moving up into the Waszp class.

The Waszp is a fully foiling single handed dinghy, the same class that will be raced in the World Championships in Perth next January where Will will line up against some of the world’s best senior sailors.

Will is also pursuing his Match Racing pathway through the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club Sailing Institute.

“It is exciting as it is a new pathway for me,” he said.

“Hopefully I can get into it as soon as possible and get to the top of it as quick as possible.”

He has been helming an 8m keelboat during the JESS Match Cup this week, before joining some of the world’s top youth match racing talent in the Warren Jones International Youth Match Racing Regatta the following week.

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