Scorcher at Oceania Championships
Published on January 31st, 2020
The 2020 World Championships for the 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 will have racing on February 10-15 in Geelong, Australia. As the final event of the US Olympic selection system, all eyes will be on the teams hoping to compete in Tokyo 2020. In advance of the Worlds is the Oceania Championships being held January 31 to February 3 at the same venue. Here’s the day one report:
(January 31, 2020) – Michael Hansen and Mathias Sletten (DEN) had their best ever day racing 49er to kick off proceedings at the 2020 Oceania Championships as the young duo scored a 1-3 on their fleet’s two races, a much better result than most.
Coaching them was 2016 bronze medalist Jena Hansen, with Peter Hansen, the squad’s normal coach on another course in the qualifying stages. When asked how much credit ‘sister’ Jena should get Michael, like a typical brother would not give any credit saying “she just said today is too crazy to analyze, let’s just have fun and relax while we wait for racing.” It obviously worked…
While none of these Hansens are actually related, the Danish squad is very much like a family anyways, and the youngsters might just be ready for the spotlight.
Sailing today was like in a hairdryer. Worse still, whoever was holding their hairdryer kept shaking it all over. After six hours of trying to fun races in 40° C and gusts of 30 knots of wind, the 49er fleets got either one or two races while the 49erFX and Nacra 17 fleets never got a chance to leave the shore.
In conditions like these, avoiding trouble can be the most important element with a large fleet and a short championship.
Dylan Fletcher/ Stuart Bithell (GBR) got a black flag in race 1, and then were the only team to finish race 2 in their fleet only to have that score erased by an abandonment as nobody else could get around the course. Erik Heil/ Thomas Ploessel (GER) scored a DNF to go along with a 15 meaning that 2 of the top 3 from the 2019 Worlds are deep in a hole already. Many more scored poorly as well and will be unlikely to emerge into gold fleet.
“It was the hottest wind I’ve ever felt,” said Lester Noble of Ovington Boats, down to support the fleet. “Like a hand drier turned to the max and running full speed.”
It was a mixed up day to be sure, not much was decided. The fleet will continue for three more days of racing before resting a week and racing the World Championship.
Racing is from January 31 to February 3.
Event information: 2020-oceania-championship
Results: 49er – 49erFX – Nacra 17
Source: 9er Inc