Olympic Worlds: Long Day at the Office

Published on February 11th, 2016

The 2016 World Championship for the Nacra 17, 49er, and 49erFX – the three fastest Olympic sailing events – is February 9-14 in Clearwater, FL. Over 120 teams from more than 37 countries will be competing in front of the Pier on Clearwater Beach. Here’s a report from February 11…

The third day of the championship marked the first day that all three fleets completed multiple races. A light and variable breeze filled in mid-morning, and did not exceed ten knots at any stage of the day. Nevertheless, race organizers worked hard to complete as many races as possible, and get a regatta previously plagued by extreme conditions back on track.

After no races yesterday, the 49er men rigged up and got after it early launching to make a 10am start. After one general recall, one race was sailed in a slowly dying 5-7 knots, with a third of the fleets getting DNF due to the almost non-existent pressure. After a two hours delay, a building sea breeze allowed the boys to sail three more races for a total of four today before the 49erFX ladies were sent out mid-afternoon to complete four races.

US 49er team Judge Ryan and Hans Henken had an impressive day on the water, recording three scores in the top six over four races and jumping over thirty spots to 14th place overall and top North American. “Today was about not being forced to tack early,” said Henken. “It was hard holding a lane because there was a lot of current. For us, it was a day of focusing on sailing well and keeping our heads out of the boat.”

Americans Paris Henken and Helena Scutt dramatically improved their position by recording three top-five scores over four races, and now sit in 12th overall and are top North American. “We’re really happy with how the day went,” said Scutt. “During one race we were pretty worried about a possible black flag penalty, but it worked out. Our speed was good, and our tactical moves were strong.”

It was a long day on the water for the Nacra 17s, almost six hours to complete three races. US team Michael Easton and Katie Pettibone, sitting in 15th overall, took over the top North American position. “It was quite a change from yesterday, conditions-wise,” said Pettibone. “Today we had to focus on current and big shifts. There were no definitive tactical trends. It stayed pretty cold, however.”

For the US teams, the Worlds is the final event of their selection series. Details here.

Event websiteScoreboard49er/49erFX reportNacra 17 reportUSA report

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