Late To The Party, Kiwi’s Take 49er South American Title
Published on November 10th, 2014
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (November 10, 2014) – Having attended the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards Peter Burling and Blair Tuke’s (NZL) were a day late to the 49er and 49erFX South American Championship.
Their unbeaten run was under threat as the commenced the event on the second day with three scores of 25 DNC (discarding one). The pair were sensational and didn’t leave anything on the water as they claimed victory by eight points over Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis (FRA).
It was double success for the Kiwis as Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) claimed the 49erFX female title. Overall 49erFX honors went to the mixed crew of Annemiek Bekkering and Rick Peacock.
The final day took place in a good south by southwest breeze of 10 to 14 knots in Rio de Janeiro.
The cloudy day began early for the men’s fleet, as they were the first to hit the water. The first race on “Escola Naval” (the Brazilian Navy Academy, the oldest university in the country) racecourse had a new winner in this event, the Americans Brad Funk and Trevor Burd. Their success, although, did not help too much for a better position in the overall leaderboard as they finished 21st among the 25 boats fleet featuring 14 nationalities.
On the other hand, the great winners of the day and the winners of the championship were the amazing, to say the least, kiwi double, Burling and Tuke. Burling said that “the racecourse is tricky, specially for the strong current. But is the same way to everybody”, apparently do not fit in that ‘everybody’ part of the sentence.
He and his crew simply won two races on the final day to complete five wins in the 12 races series and, even counting 52 points of two of the three DNCs for the missed first day when they were flying back from the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. They managed to outpace all the opposition and claim the overall victory with 68 points. Another great feat for the world champions and silver medallists in London. The pair have extended their unbeaten run in the 49er to 12 regattas.
The rest of the podium is another tale, a protest drama with many chapters and overturns. At first the Danish duo Jonas Warrer and Anders Thomsen got a redress on the 8th race for a starting line situation involving Americans, Italians and Austrians as well. But on Saturday morning new video evidence got them disqualified, and another protest was filed by them, trying to cancel the new decisions. In the end it was France’s Mane Dyen and Stephane Christidis who got the second spot on the pedestal with 76 points.
In the South American exclusive fight, the brothers Yago and Klaus Lange, sons of the Argentinian sailing legend Santiago Lange, did not have a good day, with two mid fleet finishes but it was enough to claim the continental title and third place overall. Marco Grael and Gabriel Borges, from Brazil, got the second South American place (7th overall) and their compatriots Dante Bianchi and Thomas Low-Beer were third (13th overall).
The girls had more time to rest on the hot and humid Saturday and got to work about 13:30 in a traffic jam of weekend sailors and other Olympic class boats going to practice leaving the club too. But nothing that disturbed the peace of the mixed Dutch boat of Anemiek Bekkering and Rick Peacock that who, with two wins and a third, saw their immense lead grow as they won the event with only 19 points. Peacock, the coach of the girls said that he intended, “to have fun, of course, and get to know better the manoeuvres inside the boat and the details of the racecourse. Also is very good to leave the tender and feel the real thing,” he added.
The first all female crew and vice-champions in Rio were the New Zealanders Alex Maloney and Molly Meech, with 37pts. The third place overall feature the British double Charlotte Dodson and Sophie Ainsworth with 51 pts. The South American title remained in Brazil as Juliana Senfft and Gabriela Nicolino, in 13th overall, were the first of the continent among 13 countries represented in the event.
“For me is great to keep the title home. Last year, Martine and Kahena won it, but this year they did not raced for real as they were coming from the prize giving of the Sailor of The Year Award ceremony in Palma. It was a high level regatta and for our training was great,” said the new South American 49erFX champion Juliana Senfft.
Report by ISAF