North America gets speed boost

Published on April 8th, 2021

High performance sailing will get a boost in North America as Nova Scotia will host a 400-strong field of the world’s best sailors from over 35 countries when the World Championships for three Olympic classes – 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 – kick off in September 2022.

Taking place in Canada for the first time in its history, the competition will be held September 6-11 on St. Margaret’s Bay. The venue, which has clean water and moderate to strong consistent winds in a spectacularly beautiful setting, will be the first World Sailing Olympic class World Championships event to be held in Canada since 2015.

“Nova Scotia has a long history of high-performance racing and training. St. Margaret’s Bay is one of the best sailing venues in Canada and is known for having great winds and ideal sailing conditions,” noted Eric Hill, President of Sail Nova Scotia. “This event will bring awareness across Nova Scotia to skiff and Nacra sailing and also leave a wonderful legacy of improved infrastructure for sailors.”

With a view toward the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics, this message was sent to national sailing federation leadership in North and South America:

For the first time ever there will be a series of pinnacle championships on American shores.

The 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 Classes have recently announced the 2022 World Championship in Halifax Nova Scotia, and the 2025 World Championship in Long Beach, California. Additionally, the Pan Am Games organization recently announced the inclusion of these three Classes into the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games and 2027 inclusion seems likely as well.

In the summers of 2026 and 2027 there will be ‘Test Events’ in Long Beach (formerly known as Pre-Olympics). There has never been so much pinnacle Olympic class racing confirmed for such a long window in the America’s before.

Additionally, US Sailing in conjunction with Sail Canada is developing a series of US Open regattas. Separated into three zones, there will be a total of nine annual regattas, 3 in Florida in Dec/Jan, 3 in California June/July, and 3 in the North-East in August and September. These events will include clinics and the US Sailing development squad has invited teams from other nations to attend and be full members of the clinics in development.

Now is the time for Youth Sailors, College sailors, sailors from the Caribbean and Latin America to begin sailing fast boats knowing that there is a viable plan for your near term and long-term development in the Americas.

2021 – Domestic USA circuit – all welcome
2022 – Worlds in Halifax – There will be a pool of 50,000 euros dedicated to shipping support for teams in need. Grant applications will be accepted in January 2022.
2023 – Pan Am Games in Chile
2025 – Worlds in Long Beach
2026 – Test Event in Long Beach
2027 – Test Event in Long Beach
2028 – LA 2028 in Long Beach

So the pinnacle pathway above is fairly clear. There are regional opportunities for top level sailing each year from now through 2028. Successful 49er and Nacra sailors have come from all of the youth classes and other Classes too. Laser, 420, 470, 29er, Nacra 15, Snipe, Hobie, Tornado sailors (and more) can all claim top sailors in the fast classes. All that is necessary is some athleticism and a passion for sailing.

The best way to start is with second hand gear and a few friends to practice with. Boathandling must be learned over a period of 12 months or so before proper racing can begin.

The 49erFX is a great class for both men and women to transition from youth and junior Classes. It goes just as fast, but a bit easier to handle than the 49er or Nacra 17. Sailors can mix and match as a squad, learning both skipper and crew position before settling into firm partnerships for the big push.

The 49er class recently announced new mast and sail manufacturers starting in the summer of 2021, so there should be plenty of second hand equipment of top quality entering the marketplace. The new masts and sails are pretty much the same as the outgoing equipment, so teams needing to learn boathandling first will not notice any difference. If sailors are looking to get second hand equipment, reach out to for info.

For teams looking to get linked up with you national or regional training groups, reach out to Ben Remocker, the class manager for 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17.

For Youth and Junior Sailors with serious sailing aspirations in the Americas, there has never been such a clear pathway to the top! The effort for a medal in LA 2028 starts now, as champions are built over time well spent. The more nations and sailors we can get interested in these classes right away, the easier it will be for all of us to build regional competitions and fleets, decreasing the amount of long distance travel that is required.

Questions: Ben Remocker,

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