Brazil, New Zealand lead at 49er/49erFX Europeans
Published on May 17th, 2019
Weymouth, England (May 17, 2019) – The final stage of the 49er and 49erFX Europeans continued today amid good winds but the trend ahead is for lighter conditions on the last two days of the championship.
49erFX: Kiwis make a move on the podium
The Brazilians have shown remarkable consistency throughout the week, although even Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze put a slight blot on their pristine copybook with a 12th in the middle of three races today. The other scores were a 5th and a 7th, however, which means the reigning Olympic Champions continue to hold a healthy 14-point lead over the second-placed team, reigning World Champions Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz.
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) rebounded from a disappointing opening day to gold fleet racing with scores of 3,1,12 which lifts the New Zealanders to third place, displacing the British by a single point.
After suffering a UFD disqualification the previous day for starting a fraction too early, Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) will have to carry all their scores from today, 10,23,3. The Brits will have to keep a close eye on the chasing Norwegians, defending European Champions Helene Næess and Marie Rønningen, whose 4,4,6 scores were the most consistent of the day.
The only other crew to keep all their results inside the top 10 were last year’s Junior World Champions Vilma Bobeck and Malin Tengstrom (SWE) who lie in 6th overall after today’s solid scores of 8,3,9. While all the teams ahead of them are seen regularly on the podium of major 49erFX regattas, the young Swedes are looking more and more comfortable competing alongside the world’s best.
Today’s conditions out in Weymouth Bay were stronger than forecast, and as yet the sailors have hardly had to bend their legs. The forecast continues to predict a much lighter concluding weekend which could shake up the pack. Whether or not that is sufficient to threaten the Brazilian lead, however, we’ll have to wait and see.
49er Men: A Random Day in the Bay
The conditions for the 49er gold fleet were full power all day, 10 to 14 knots of easterly breeze out in Weymouth Bay. However, there were significant lines of gust and lull across the lumpy course, with a few wind shifts thrown in for good measure.
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke managed to negotiate the pot holes with a very solid 6,4,2 which moves them back into the lead, 7 points ahead of the Spanish, Diego Botin and Iago Lopez, who scored 8,12,6.
“We were starting well,” said Botin, “but sometimes a good start put you in the wrong place and we didn’t feel that lucky today. Still happy with how we sailed though. It’s very hard to be consistent all the time.”
Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell (GBR) had one of the best days of anyone, 4,7,1 putting the third-placed British team further ahead of the chasing pack and just 5 points behind the Spaniards. In fourth is another British crew, James Peters and Fynn Sterritt who are plugging away with some very solid scores of 2,14,5.
However, it was the experienced German crew, Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel, who had the best of the day with 5,1,4, which moves the 2016 Olympic bronze medallists to just 4 points behind the fellow Germans and training partners Justus Schmidt and Max Boeme. The other race winner of the day were France’s Erwan Fischer and Clément Pequin who move into 9th overall.
The top-performing crew of the previous day were Sebastien Schneiter and Lucien Cujean who slipped down to 10th after a disappointing day. But the conditions are forecast to turn a little more ‘Swiss’, with lighter winds on the cards which could suit this team and others that are more used to the softer end of the wind spectrum.
The 2019 Volvo Europeans for the Olympic 49er and 49erFX Classes will be on May 13 to 19 in Weymouth, England.
49erFX – Day Five Results (Top 5 of 57; 15 races, 2 discards)
1. BRA Martine Grael, Kahena Kunze 33
2. NED Annemiek Bekkering, Annette Duetz 47
3. NZL Alex Maloney, Molly Meech 57
4. GBR Charlotte Dobson, Saskia Tidey 58
5. NOR Helene Næss, Marie Rønningen 65
49er – Day Five Results (Top 5 of 96; 15 races, 2 discards)
1. NZL Peter Burling, Blair Tuke 42
2. ESP Diego Botin, Iago Marra 48
3. GBR Dylan Fletcher, Stu Bithell 53
4. GER Justus Schmidt, Max Boeme 68
5. GBR James Peters, Fynn Sterritt 72
North American Results:
Top ten or top position
49er: 25th Ian Barrows/ Mitchell Kiss (USA)
49erFX: 10th Paris Henken/ Anna Tobias (USA)
Competing from North America:
Canada: William Jones/ Evan DePaul
USA: Andrew Mollerus/ Ian MacDiarmid, Judge Ryan/ Hans Henken, Ian Barrows/ Mitchell Kiss, Nevin Snow/ Dane Wilson, Harry Melges/ Finn Rowe
Canada: Alexandra ten Hove/ Mariah Millen
USA: Stephanie Roble/ Maggie Shea, Paris Henken/ Anna Tobias
Monday 13 May – Qualifying Races
Tuesday 14 May – Qualifying Races
Wednesday 15 May – Qualifying Races
Thursday 16 May – Qualifying or Fleet Races
Friday 17 May – Fleet Races
Saturday 18 May – Fleet Races
Sunday 19 May – Fleet Races, Medal Races
Source: Port Tack Racing