Dutch sweep at home prior to Olympics
Published on June 13th, 2021
Medemblik, Netherlands (June 13, 2021) – Both of the Tokyo 2020-bound Dutch teams in the 49er and 49erFX classes clinched gold on the last day of racing at the Hempel World Cup Series – Allianz Regatta.
On home waters, Bart Lambriex and Pim van Vugt took top spot on a tiebreak in the 49er, while Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz wrapped up a convincing victory in the 49erFX.
In stark contrast to yesterday, the wind reverted back to the light and tricky breeze seen earlier this week, with just 6-7 knots out on the course. There was a delay of around three hours to the scheduled start times for both fleets.
The 49ers set sail first, with scores tight amongst the top. Young German duo Jakob Meggendorfer and Andreas Spranger started the race in the yellow bibs with a two-point advantage over the Dutch.
French team Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros, who are also heading to Tokyo 2020 this summer, sat within striking distance in third – and a second-placed Medal Race finish, behind compatriots Kévin Fischer and Noé Delpech, was enough for them to seal bronze.
Lambriex and van Vugt crossed the line third, one position ahead of Meggendorger and Spranger, putting both teams level on points – and with the higher-placed Medal Race standing, victory went to the Dutch.
“It feels great – it was a very nice regatta, pretty close with some French teams and the Germans up until the end, so it was really good racing and we’re very happy with the win,” said Lambriex.
Talking through the Medal Race, van Vugt explained, “We had a little incident at the start but that was in our favor so that was good and we still did what we wanted to do.
“From then on we tried to stay ahead of the guys that came closer and closer. We managed to do that and it was all fine. We’re really happy with the result.”
Looking ahead to Tokyo 2020 in July, Lambriex added, “We’re going to do two weeks of training at home, we’ll have some weeks off and then we’ll fly out to Japan.”
The 49erFX fleet wasn’t quite as close, with Bekkering and Duetz taking an 11-point lead into the Medal Race, but in the tricky light winds, it was difficult to predict the outcome.
As it happened, the conditions made it even harder for the ten boats to perfect their position on the startline, with a handful having to return and restart behind the rest of the fleet to avoid receiving an OCS.
Amongst a relatively young fleet, the experience of Bekkering and Duetz shone through, as they won the Medal Race to confirm gold, 22 points ahead of second place.
A seventh-placed finish for Marla Bergmann and Hanna Wille (GER) was good enough to keep hold of overall second for silver – and they were joined on the podium by teammates Maru Scheel and Freya Feilcke, who crossed the finish line fourth ahead of their closest rivals to move into the top three for bronze.
Speaking after the podium ceremony, Duetz said, “It’s very nice, especially back home here in Medemblik, with family and friends out here to support us and cheer for us.
“It was a very exciting Medal Race; it was light breeze, onshore but still very unstable, and a big pressure difference on the racecourse, so also a big shift in the ranking.
“We were very happy to come away with a good result.”
“There was a younger fleet here, a bit different and we didn’t really know all of them, but it was fun – different strengths, and they surprised us at times, so that was really good,” added Bekkering.
“The conditions have been quite tricky, with a lot of shifts and different pressures, so it wasn’t boring!”
On their own preparations for this summer’s Olympic Games, Duetz said, “We’ll have a few days off, then next week we’ll train in Scheveningen so we’ll have a bit more racing there.
“We’ll do a final training camp before we head to Japan in July.”
Sailors outside the top ten in the 49er and 49erFX classes sailed one more fleet race today, to determine the final standings.
After ten days of racing, today’s Medal Races concluded a successful first Hempel World Cup Series event since January 2020. The next event in this year’s series is set to be announced in the coming weeks.
With the Sailing competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games set to start on 25 July, qualified athletes will now be focusing their full attention on their final preparations.
The format at Hempel World Cup Series – Allianz Regatta is for four days of qualification races on June 9-12 for the 49er and 49erFX fleet as sailors fight for a place in the deciding Medal Races on June 13.
The World Cup Series is a world-class, annual series of Olympic sailing for elite and professional sailors. Over 2,000 of the World’s leading sailors, representing over 75 nations have competed in the World Cup Series which offers a definitive guide to the best-of-the-best in the Olympic sailing world.
Source: World Sailing
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17
Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021