Standings Re-Shuffle at 29er Worlds
Published on July 29th, 2016
Medemblik, Netherlands (July 29, 2016) – The windy and shifty conditions on the fore last day of the 29er Worlds 2016 caused a re-shuffle on the leader board. The Australians Tom Crockett and Harry Morton are back in the lead, now sixteen points ahead of the French duo Gwendal Nael and Lilian Mercier. Yesterday’s number two, Benjamin Jaffrezic and Léo Chauvel from France, however dropped twenty places.
This morning the first fleet (silver) started racing in a southwesterly breeze of 9 to 13 knots. By the time that the last group (bronze white) got underway, the wind had already picked up to 11-13 knots. The fourth and last race of the day was completed in 16-19 knots. Several rain showers with the associated wind shifts passed by. It made it hard for the Race committee to find a stable breeze.
‘It was a pretty hard scoring day for everyone”, said Harry Morton (AUS). ‘Even if you got a top 10 or a bit out of it, it was still good, because there were a lot of mixed results today.” Not for the Aussies however. They seemed to be a class apart on Friday July 29. With 3 bullets and a third place, they had the best score of the day. Now that the discard has come into play, they have not only taken over the lead from their French rivals, but they have also extended the gap with 16 points. Being asked about their secret, they responded: ‘Just go fast and tactics. Once we get behind, get it clear, go fast and get a seat. That’s about it.” The predicted light winds tomorrow are not a concern for the Aussie leaders. ‘Not really, we just need to stay consistent and get the job done.”
The British duo Crispin Beaumont and Tom Darling moved up one spot and have entered the top 3 in third position. Yann Thierry d’Argenlieu and Nathan Bradely from Hong Kong, and Gwendal Lamay and Luke Willim from Germany are newcomers in the top 5, respectively in fourth and fifth place.
First female helm is Odile van Aanholt, representing Aruba and sailing with Bart Lambriex. They made impressive gains this week, as they worked their way up from place 87 one day 1 to 13 after the qualifying series. Yesterday, they finished eleventh overall and today’s score of 24-29-9-6 pushed them even further up to sixth overall. ‘It was difficult, but everybody had some bad ones”, commented Lambriex. ‘Luckily we did 4 races, which gave us a chance to better in the last 2″, added Van Aanholt.
The general feeling of most of the crews returning to shore was that they didn’t do well, but the average outcome was good. So did Casper Ladefoged and Jakob Precht Jensen from Denmark, scoring 33-19-23-8. Jakob Precht Jensen: ‘We came into the gold fleet in seventh position, but yesterday and today we have had some really tough races. Fortunately we managed to keep our average within the top 15 range, resulting in us being fourteenth yesterday and eleventh after today. We have moved up, but both days in the gold fleet we came off the water with the feeling that we had done really bad races. The level of the fleet is so high. But then you look at the results and you see that everybody had up and down scores.” Not the Aussies however. ‘No, we believe that they are extremely talented.”
Tomorrow, the wind will shift to the north and decrease to 7-9 knots. There are 3 final races scheduled to determine the new World champions. The battle for gold is still on. The gap between the bronze position and place 4 till 10 is pretty big, but everything is possible in Medemblik.
Racing for the 228 teams is scheduled for July 25-30.
Source: Diana Bogaards, 29er Worlds