Olympic Worlds: Full Bluster for Penultimate Day
Published on February 13th, 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 13…
It was a character building and tough penultimate day with the breeze picking up throughout the day and the changing sea state making for challenging conditions. “We had pretty nice sailing conditions, 14knots, touching 18 at times, but mostly between 14-16, big waves and it was flicking around a bit, which made it quite tricky out there,” explained 2012 Olympic 49er Gold Medalist Nathan Outteridge.
Amid the high stakes, boat breaking environment, Kiwis Peter Burling and Blair Tuke posted a 4-20-2 to now have a 28 point lead as they enter the final day. Moving into 17th overall and the top North Americans are US team of Thomas Barrows and Joe Morris, which also did well to improve their chances to be selected for the Rio Games.
Spain’s Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos reveled in the tough conditions, posting a 2-1-3 to now lead the 49erFX field. Top North Americans Paris Henken and Helena Scutt remain locked in a tight battle for a medal race berth. Currently sitting in 11th overall, the pair will begin Sunday’s final Gold Fleet races just four points away from 10th place.
Starting at 10 o’clock tomorrow the gold fleet in both the 49er and 49erFX will sail three more races before the top ten progress and sail the final determining medal race in the afternoon.
The Nacra 17 fleet has been witness to the unstoppable, and apparently unbeatable, Billy Besson and Marie Riou, who have separated themselves enough from the pack that with their 48 point lead, they have mathematically taken their fourth world title. Their near perfect series could even overcome a capsize in today’s third and final race, which broke their tiller extension and forced their retirement. Canadians Luke Ramsay and Nikola Girke remain in 15th overall and top North American team.
The Nacra 17s have one final race tomorrow before the top ten advance to the Medal Race.
For the US teams, the Worlds is the final event of their selection series. Details here.
Highlights from Saturday, February 13:
Replay coverage from Saturday, February 13:
Replay coverage on Sunday, February 14: