Titles and Tokyo at Niner-Nacra Worlds
Published on February 13th, 2020
Geelong, Australia (February 13, 2020) – The fourth day at the 2020 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 World Championship required patience, as the morning session of three races for the Nacras and 49erFXs was punctuated by the waiting game while the ENE breeze transitioned to a very pleasant afternoon of summer sunshine, giving the 49ers the best conditions of the day – SSE 8-10 knots.
Gold fleet racing kicked off today for the 49er and 49erFX fleets while all 34 teams in Nacra 17 continue on.
Mixed Nacra 17
Australians siblings Nathan and Haylee Outteridge continue to show their mettle, moving into the top spot in the Nacra 17. Their national teammates, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS), are also vying for a country spot for Tokyo 2020 and closing in at this world championship, now third overall.
Sandwiched between the two country contenders are the Brits, John Gimson and Anna Burnet.
“Our aim was to continue our form from earlier in the week,” explained Nathan Outteridge. “We are targeting top eights around the first top mark and working forward from there. All the training we’ve been doing is starting to pay off. We are feeling really comfortable and happy it’s all coming together.”
This has been a transition for Nathan Outteridge, having claimed Olympic gold and silver in the 49er Class, and is now hoping to give his national selectors a lot to think about. While Rio 2016 silver medalists Waterhouse and Darmanin have edged closer to their teammates, they remain separated by a whole bunch of points.
“We had a better day than yesterday – we were starting better and making smarter decisions,” notes Darmanin. “We had a little issue with one of our fellow countrymen tacking on top of us too closely. They have shown their cards and I think we can expect a good game in the next couple of days. Gloves are off, let’s do this.”
Italian selectors are in a similar position to the Australians, two worthy teams – current world champions Vittoria Bissaro and Maelle Frascari and the 2018 World and European champions Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti – hoping to impress.
So far it’s Bissaro and Frascari who have this regatta, fourth versus 17th with two days of racing remaining. Tita/Banti were having a fantastic penultimate race of the day, in the lead around the leeward marks until they suffered a mechanical issue. They were forced to limp around the course for the final lap, finishing 12th while Bissaro/Frascari were back in 25th. It was yet another challenge for Tita/Banti, who are dozens of points behind their teammates in this critical selection battle.
The Nacra 17 fleet of 34 will be whittled down to 10 teams for the medal race on February 15, 2020.
Second by two points is Spain’s Tamara Echegoyen, the 2016 World Champion with a different crew, and Paula Barcelo. The duo sailed through injury at the 2019 Worlds and suffered, only managing a silver fleet finish. With the pressure of the Spanish trials on, these champions are in contention for the lead and are looking to give the Spanish selectors a hard choice.
“It’s important [being a world championship] but we have to think more than this,” Echegoyen said after racing. “It’s really good training with the best teams looking for the next Olympics. We need to do a good championship, it gives us confidence in our work and for sure we will fight every day. We just go to the water, do our race and try to learn from our mistakes. And have fun.”
In a similar situation is Anne-Julie Schutt and Iben Nielsby (DEN). They are in a tight domestic selection fight for the second straight Olympiad, and continue to sail at the highest level.
With a one point lead in the 49erFX are Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR). Dobson said, “We had a really good day. We keep finding some space and manging to be fast enough to end up with three top threes. I don’t know what we are doing right to be honest.”
Five-time 49er world champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke from New Zealand have fallen to second in the men’s skiff competition by two points, the Austrians Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl the new number ones, two days from the final finish line.
“After today we have mixed feelings, the first two races we had very good sailing… really good rhythm with the wind, then with the new system the next two races were really hard,” said Bildstein. “At this venue if you play the wind right you are in the front, if you don’t get it you are at the back. It’s pretty hard to get it right.”
The consistent Spanish pairing of Diego Botin and Iago Lopez Marra shrugged off a penalty in the pre-start and that dropped scored of 23 in the closing race to be sitting in third. “We have a really good training group and we are making good gains,” said Botin.
Six days of racing is planned for February 10 to 15.
Event details: https://49er.org/event/2020-world-championship/
Source: Lisa Ratcliff/Worlds media
Tokyo 2020 Selection: The Worlds will finalize nomination for the USA Tokyo Team, with the finish position in this event to be added to the points total for selection. See the asterisk below for the team holding the advantage after day four:
Nacra 17 (9 races): 10. Sarah Newberry/ David Liebenberg; 18. Riley Gibbs/ Anna Weis*; 26. Ravi Parent/ Caroline Atwood
49er (10 races): 13. Andrew Mollerus/ Ian MacDiarmid; 18. Nevin Snow/ Dane Wilson*; 21. Ian Barrows/ Mitchell Kiss; 23. Harry Melges/ Finn Rowe
49erFX (9 races): 7. Stephanie Roble/ Maggie Shea; 10. Paris Henken/ Anna Tobias*
Note: USA did not qualify for Tokyo in the 49er event but is first in line to claim a forfeited spot from other countries.
The final three days will be streamed live online from Geelong, Australia:
February 13, 2020:
February 14, 2020:
February 15, 2020: