USA, Germany win at Cascais Champs

Published on May 9th, 2021

Cascais, Portugal (May 9, 2021) – The final day for the 2021 Cascais 49er & 49erFX Championship was reserved for the Medal Race for both fleets. After a stormy morning, the Olympic sailors had conditions similar to the sea state of Sagami Bay in Japan with a large and wide wave.

The male Olympic skiff class started at noon in a northwest wind of 14 knots. With these conditions, the tactical decision for Olympic sailors was to go to the left side of the race course where the wind was more consistent with better pressure, or to race on the right side where the wind direction was more favorable to reach the windward mark.

After the start signal, the fleet split in half when choosing the course side, and on the first approach to the weather mark, both tactical choices resulted in a balanced approach as the fleet of a dozen boats remained compact.

The young team of Astride Girou and Noah Chauvin (FRA) maintained the lead for half of the first race but in the second part they lost the lead to the Irish, who were leading the race on the second passage of the windward mark. During this show at the front, the experienced locals Jorge Lima and José Costa were recovering ground for the opponents at the front.

The turning point of the Portuguese duo’s race was the choice of the leeward gate that they chose to follow the left hand mark and so they made the second beat on the right side of the course, which in the end brought fruits by recovering distance for the leaders hanging around in the second position.

Already on the last leg of the course, the Portuguese team shows its experience again, having gybed before the leader, and thus having caught the wind shift first than its opponents to gain the leading position of this race.

After taking the lead on the last leg, Lima and Costa did not let go of the head of the race and thus got a bullet in the Medal Race. However, the big winners were the North Americans Nevin Snow and Dane Wilson (USA), followed by Irish youngsters Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove and Ian Barrows and Hans Henken (USA) in third.

After the Men’s Medal Race, it was the ladies’ turn to take the stage in weaker wind that made the wind shift on the right more prominent. After the start, the Dutch team of Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz started on pin end side, with some advantage for the rest of the fleet, followed with the Danish team Ida Nielsen and Marie Olsen to protect their short advantage on the overall.

With a less successful start and with nothing to lose, the British team of Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey bet full chips in the right corner of the race course and gained a huge advantage over the rest of their opponents. The English have never left the lead since the first windward mark, having with this good result in the final race finished the championship in the 6th position of the overall.

In the middle of the Medal Race fleet, it was where everything was decided. Spaniards Tamara Echegoyen and Paula Barcelo had a race with some difficulties and finished in eighth position. With a less successful result from Spain, the German team of Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke did not give up and everything took place in this medal race.

Lutz and Beucke had a conservative race having finished the final race in fourth place, this result being enough to overtake Echegoyen and Barcelo by one point and take victory. While Denmark and Holland were glad to compete in the medal race regatta for the supposed third place, the team from Brazil also had a very successful regatta having finished in second place.

This good result from Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze was enough to leave the northern European teams out of the podium in this championship. Grael and Kunze ended their show in Cascais in the third position of the overall.

Georgia and Antonia Lewin-LaFrance (CAN) finished in 15th and Ali ten Hove and Miriah Millen (CAN) in 16th place.

There were four continents – America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania – and a total of 19 nationalities represented in this important training event on May 4-9 prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The next event for the 49er and 49erFX will be in Cascais on June 7-12. This championship will be closed to teams already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Confirmed for the 49erFX are teams from Spain, New Zealand, and Brazil. In the men’s class, teams from Spain, Croatia, and Germany are confirmed. It will be a show at the 2021 Cascais 49er & 49erFx Championship – Act II

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