Good day for North America at Aarhus Test Event

Published on August 11th, 2017

Aarhus, Denmark (August 11, 2017) – A lack of wind made for a frustrating day, for many of the ten Olympic classes, on the fourth day of competition at the Hempel Sailing World Championships 2018 Test Event in Aarhus, Denmark.

Races were delayed, and some postponed, due to light winds in the Bay of Aarhus, on the penultimate day of competition for half the fleets, prior to the medal races which begin on Saturday August 12.

A light easterly breeze of 4-5 knots, with gusts of 7-8 knots, meant some classes did not race on day four of the Test Event.

The Laser, Laser Radials, RS:X Men and Women, 470 Men and Women Classes were postponed for the day. However, the Finn, 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Classes managed to get some racing in, later on in the day. This was good news for the North Americans as competitors improved in the 49er, 49erFX, and Finn.

In the top ten from North America after day four are USA sailors Stu McNay/ Dave Hughes (470 Men, 2nd), Stephanie Roble/ Maggie Shea (49erFX, 3rd), Erika Reineke (Laser Radial, 4th), Christopher Rast/ Trevor Burd (49er, 3rd), Judge Ryan/ Hans Henken (49er, 10th), Charlie Buckingham (Laser, 9th) and Canadians Tom Ramshaw (Finn, 4th) and Robert Davis (Laser, 10th).

Two sailors who are very familiar with the changeable conditions in Aarhus are, Danish, Rio 2016 bronze medallists in the 49erFX, Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen.

Hansen explains, “The sea in the Bay of Aarhus can be both choppy and flat. We generally have a mix of both.

“The waters are not deep and the closer you sail to shore, the trickier it gets. So, my advice, when sailing close to land, watch out for nose diving.”

Iversen added, “The water in Aarhus can be choppy, wavy or flat, depending on the wind direction. First time sailors generally nose-dive because it is not like sailing off shore.”

Aarhus’s conditions are generally steady, although the wind direction plays a big part in sailing on the Bay. Hansen says, “The common wind speed in Aarhus ranges from 10 – 20 knots, which is great. However, the wind direction can make sailing challenging.

“If the wind comes from land then it can be tricky and you really have to get your head out of the boat. If the wind comes from the sea, then the waves are choppier but the winds are more stable.”

With the Hempel Sailing World Championships being held in Aarhus next year, Iversen outlines what sailors can expect. “On water, the mix of sailing conditions makes Aarhus unique, you can expect all sorts of wind and water conditions.”

“And on land, sailors can see the amazing culture of the city, mixed with the beautiful forests. It’s amazing how they blend together.

“Aarhus is great, the views of the contrasting city and greenery is beautiful. However, you may need to wear an extra shirt because it can get cold.”

The Danish pair, as well as the rest of the 49erFX fleet did manage to fit some racing in.

Hansen and Iversen still hold first place and the Australians, Tess Lloyd and Eliza Solly, remain in second. Ragna Agerup and Maia Agerup (NOR) hold their position from the previous day, in third.

There was a shuffling of positions on the Men’s 49er leaderboard on day four. William Phillips and Sam Phillips (AUS) move up, to first position. The Austrians, Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl made gains and are in second. Christopher Rast and Trevor Burd (USA) are third.

The top positions in the Finn Class remain the same with Nicholas Heiner (NED) in pole and Zsombor Berecz (HUN) second. However, Tapio Nirkko, of Finland, now holds third place at the close of play.

In the Nacra 17 Class the top three remains unchanged from yesterday, which looks to now be the confirmed medal positions following this statement posted by World Sailing:

“The Nacra 17 medal races scheduled for Saturday August 12 are cancelled. World Sailing received a notification from Nacra Sailing on Friday August 11 stating that are recalling all foiling configuration Nacra 17s (including retrofitted versions) in order to replace the bearings for the dagger boards. Nacra Sailing has urged all owners not to sail these boats until the replacement bearings are fitted.”

Racing for 370 sailors from 54 nations in all 10 Olympic Classes extends from Tuesday August 8 and runs through to Sunday August 13 with the top ten advancing to the Medal Races on the Saturday and Sunday.

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About the World Championships
The Sailing World Championships is held every four years and are the largest gathering of Olympic class sailors. The Sailing World Championships are the principal qualification event for the Olympic Games.

Aarhus 2018 is the first and most significant qualification event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with 40% of the nation quotas places available across the ten Olympic events. Men’s and Women’s Kiteboarding will also be held across the duration of the 2018 World Championships.

Santander, Spain, hosted the 2014 World Championships in September 2014. The 2014 Worlds served as the first Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition qualifier with 50% of Rio 2016 places awarded.

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