For their first overseas event as a team, David Gilmour and Joel Turner did remarkably well for themselves at Kiel Week. They have spent the last few months training in Australia and intended to use this regatta as an opportunity to see where they stood among other international teams. Kiel Week was the next step in their training plan and a perfect warm up for 49er Europeans in Kiel at the end of July. Little did they know how well they would perform against their competitors!
Perhaps it was the low pressure of using Kiel Week as a stepping stone instead of a World Championship that won these two the regatta, but their lowest scored finish was a 7th and they remained consistent with top 5 finishes. “In the end it was our consistency throughout the range of conditions that paid off for us,” says Gilmour. Holding steady throughout the regatta pushed Gilmour and Turner into the medal round with a 20 point lead, which ultimately meant finishing the race would secure their victory. That moment of realization was the highlight for Gilmour. For Turner, however, it was seeing all of their hard work and honed skills come into play during the regatta. “We had some moments where those skills really helped us around the track! It’s the best when the things you’ve been working on in training are paying off.”
With a strong group of teams in the top 10 at Kiel, Turner admits it was helpful to their performance competing with their training partners, Will and Sam Phillips, who finished 3rd overall. They were able to build on each other’s strengths and weaknesses and claim two spots on the podium for Australia. But Gilmour and Turner are “far from complacent with their performance.” They are still, in fact, a new team with plenty to work on moving forward and towards the approaching European and World Championships.
When asked what the secret was to gold, Gilmour responded, “I don’t think there was any secret. It was a bit of a surprise for us to win the event really…we have had no real idea how we would go against the other international teams. So it’s a pleasant surprise.”