Nacra 15 World Championship 2018

Published on April 27th, 2018

Henri Demesmaeker and Frederique van Eupen (BEL) dominated the 60-boat field to win the 2018 Nacra 15 World Championship, held April 23-27 in Barcelona, Spain.

Youth teams representing 18 nations and four continents sailed in the inaugural event representing Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Spain, Finland, France, Great Britain, Italy, US Virgin Islands, Holland, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States.

Catalonian weather conditions, although beautiful, were difficult when a lack of wind on the first two days kept the fleet ashore.

After a long wait afloat on day three, when it did fill for three races it was shifty and puffy suiting the tactical and lighter teams. Day four saw maximum effort to get the race count in with a scheduled 8:15am start seeing the fleet prepare at dawn. Unfortunately after two attempts to get the fleet away, the light northerly gave out slowly swinging to the east and after a very long wait, finally giving the fleet a further 3 races again in light wind conditions.

Saving the best until last, on the final day Barcelona delivered. Excellent conditions with the building breeze tested the sailors and gave the older and more powerful sailors the opportunity to push on, twin trapezing and really getting the best from the exciting Nacra 15. The breeze built in the first three races and dropping again for the fourth of the day.

Nineteen races were scheduled for the championship and the race committee did well to run a total of 10.

Top Three:
1. Henri Demesmaeker & Fredrique van Eupen (BEL)
2. Doran Gouran Le Rich & Kenza Coutard (FRA)
3. Thomas Proust & Martineau Clement (FRA)

The best team under 16 was the French team Thomas Proust (11 year) and Martineau Clement (14 year). After the two days of racing they were leading the fleet, but could not consolidate this during the final racing day with more wind.

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This championship was also important for the qualification of seven countries to participate in October 2018 during the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina. The goal is to be one of the fourteen Nacra 15 teams representing their respective countries who will participate during these Youth Olympic Games.

The teams must be mixed teams in the age born between January 1 2000 and December 31 2003. The Nacra 15 is the “pathway class” to the Olympic Nacra 17 multihull. The new Nacra 15 class started in 2016.

The qualification system to participate the Youth Olympics is based on four qualification events, with half the fleet already confirmed.

Switzerland and Tunisia qualified in October 2017 in Medemblik; USA and Uruguay qualified in November 2017 in America; Australia and Singapore qualified in January 2018 in Australia. Argentina has a wildcard to participate the Youth Olympics.

The seven countries that qualified from the Nacra 15 Worlds are Belgium, France, Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Germany.

Editor’s note: The qualification system is being reviewed as the US Virgin Islands had qualified ahead of Germany, but a technicality in the rules advanced Germany instead. More to come.

The Nacra 15 class originated in 2016 with nearly 200 boats now distributed Worldwide. The Nacra 15 is the smaller non-foiling version of the Olympic Nacra 17. Nacra 15, complementing the C foil fleet with a fully foiling option potentially available over 2019.

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