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Hat trick at the Sailing World Champs

Published on August 16th, 2023

The Hague, Netherlands (August 16, 2023) – Three 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships gold medals were decided in Scheveningen today including a home pair making it a hat-trick of titles.

Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken (NED) went into the day in second place in the 49er class, but made an emphatic move to clinch gold ahead of the medal race, to add to the titles they won in 2021 and 2022.

Matching them in the 49erFX were Sweden’s Vilma Bobeck and Rebecca Netzler, while a third gold medal of the day was clinched by Keiju Okada and Miho Yoshioka (JPN) in the Mixed 470.

US Sailing Team’s Andrew Mollerus and Ian MacDiarmid, Ian Barrows and Hans Henken, and Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea qualified the United States for the Paris 2024 Olympics in the 49er and 49er FX by solidifying their spots in the top ten, which also qualifies them for the medal races. Per World Sailing’s Paris Qualification System, the top ten countries at the 2023 Sailing World Championships in the 49er (Men’s Skiff) and 49er FX (Women’s Skiff) will receive berths at the Olympic Games next year, so medal race participation alone guaranteed the USA’s presence in Paris.

As the para sailing wrapped up today with the medal races, they will not be on the water tomorrow. Racing tomorrow will be the rest of the Olympic Classes with the exception of the 49erFX. Medal races will be held for the Mixed 470 and the Mixed Multihull (Nacra 17) fleets. Full schedule can be viewed here.

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Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werken (NED) have won 49er gold before Friday’s medal race. This is the Dutch team’s third consecutive world title, and for Lambriex the sweetest so far.

“The level of the fleet was the highest we’ve seen, we’ve done it on home waters, and we have qualified to go to the Olympics,” smiled Lambriex. “I’m proud of how Floris and I have dealt with the pressure this week. We didn’t sail so well yesterday and we were a bit behind the Spanish at the start of the day. We expected a big battle with them but then we saw their name on the board at the end of the second race.”

Unfortunately for Diego Botin and Florian Trittel they had fallen foul of the black flag, disqualified for starting a fraction too soon. “This made our job a bit more straightforward,” said Lambriex.

The Spanish hold second place but will have to sail well in the medal race to keep silver ahead of the Swiss team of Sebastien Schneiter and Arno de Planta who are just 4.2 points behind in third place.

Vilma Bobeck and Rebecca Netzler won the 49erFX world title with a race to spare. But for a black flag disqualification from the first race of the session, a race where they crossed the finish line in first, the Swedes would have won with two races to spare; such has been their margin of dominance.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” beamed Bobeck. “I think we might have won the World Championship, it’s amazing! We found an extra gear this week and we had so much speed.” They have won seven of the 15 races so far, and with a 36-point gap on second place, the medal race will be a parade for the Swedes.

“We have got the curse off our backs,” said Bobeck, celebrating their qualification of the nation for next year’s Olympics. “We just missed out for Tokyo 2020, so now it’s so exciting to be going to the Games.” As for between now and the medal race, Netzler knows where she’s going to be. “We’re going to have a pool party!”

It was also a very good day for the 2022 world champions. Although today was the day that Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz conceded their world crown to the Swedes, the Dutch duo have sailed way beyond expectation after Duetz badly injured her knee just two weeks ago. With her knee heavily braced, Duetz has gritted her teeth and worked through the pain.

Somehow the home team has ground their way through to second place in The Hague, although with just four points advantage on Olivia Price and Evie Haseldine, the fast-improving team from Australia. Watch out for a close battle between these teams in the regatta’s climax.

The lone representatives from Canada, Antonia & Georgia Lewin-LaFrance, ended the competition in 13th place overall. “We are really happy because we finished on a high as we came in second in the last race today. Overall, it was an improvement on yesterday’s racing for us,” said Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance, who were taking part in their first-ever Sailing World Championships. “Our goal was actually to finish among the top 15, so we are really happy with our 13th-place position. We think it’s right above where we should be.”

At the 2023 World Sailing Championships, countries were able for the very first time to qualify spots for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in every Olympic event, including the first 10 countries in 49erFX, and based on the fact that only one athlete/team per country in each class can take part in the Olympic Games.

Following all the races held before the medal race, which includes the top 10 teams after the first 15 races at this competition, the first 10 countries to qualify a spot for Paris 2024 in 49erFX are Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, New Zealand, the USA, Norway, Spain and Denmark. These teams that finished in the top 10 will also take part in the medal race.

Canada’s next opportunity to get sailors competing in the 49erFX event at Paris 2024 will be at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. The country will do so by winning gold, or silver if the USA finish first, as they qualified a spot in the Hague.

“Happy, happy, happy!” was Keiju Okada’s celebration as he stepped ashore with his crew Miho Yoshioka. The Japanese have dominated the 470 Mixed competition all week, winning the world title by an enormous margin. With a 38-point advantage over the Spanish in second overall, there’s no one who can get close to taking gold from the Japanese in the medal race.

As they so often do, Jordi Xammar and Nora Brugman (ESP) have ground their way back into podium contention. The Spanish hold a three-point advantage over the German husband and wife team, Malte and Anastasiya Winkel who won the final race of the afternoon. The battle for silver and bronze will be extremely close with just seven points separating five teams.

Nacra 17
A stellar day by the leading Italians was eclipsed by the rousing shoreside reception for Santiago Lange, the three-time Olympic medalist who hangs up his trapeze harness after more than 40 years of Olympic campaigning.

While the Argentinian legend, now 61, was humbly accepting the applause of his fellow competitors, it was the reigning Olympic and world champions, Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti who ruled the waves on the North Sea this afternoon. Scores of 1,1,3 have put the Italians almost, but not quite, out of reach for the world title.

The only team with a slim but mathematical chance of beating the Italians are Great Britain’s John Gimson and Anna Burnet, who hold a good points lead ahead of the chasing pack.

Best of the rest are Sweden’s fast-improving young team Emil Jarudd and Cecilia Jonsson, although just four points separate four teams, Sweden, the Netherlands and two more Italian teams. Expect a fierce battle for bronze.

Formula Kite Women
Lauriane Nolot continues to dominate the Formula Kite Women, the Frenchwoman finishing with three bullets after a second place in the opening race of the day. Now sitting on 10 points, she holds a four-point lead over Ellie Aldridge (GBR) in second, with another Brit, Lily Young, lying in the bronze medal spot, 10 points further back.

But it is Nolot’s remarkable consistency that is keeping her clear of the pack, having finished in the top two in 10 of the 12 races, winning eight of them.

Defending champion Daniela Moroz (USA), who has won this title six times in a row, showed that she will not give up her crown without a fight, beating Nolot in the opening race and adding a second and third place to sit sixth overall.

Formula Kite Men
Toni Vodisek (SLO) moved into top spot in the Formula Kite Men, taking advantage of a tougher day for Maximilian Maeder (SGP). The 16-year-old Maeder came into the day in flying form, but could not rediscover that form as he dropped back to second. Instead it was the defending champion, Vodisek, who managed two bullets and a second to take a one-point lead.

Axel Mazella (FRA) remains in third place, with compatriot Benoit Gomez just a point behind him after a strong day in the red fleet including two bullets.

Maria Erdi (HUN) still leads the ILCA 6 class but faces pressure from Emma Plasschaert after the Belgian’s strong showing. Finishing second and then third, Plasschaert is now just five points behind Erdi, while Casey Imeneo (AUS) also moved up the leaderboard with a bullet and then third.

Currently outside the medals are Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) and Marit Bouwmeester (NED) in fourth and fifth respectively, but with six world titles between them, they will fancy their chances of changing that.

Charlotte Rose (USA) moved up 12 places to 12th overall and is just outside of clearing the top 10 for the medal race with two more days of gold fleet racing remaining. The USA will need to score within the top 16 countries at the end of the 2023 Sailing World Championships to secure a place in ILCA 6 (Women’s Dinghy) at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Micky Beckett (GBR) overcame a black flag disqualification in the first race to extend his lead in the ILCA 7 thanks to a second in the final race of the day. However, it was Olympic champion Matt Wearn (AUS) who was the big mover, with a first and a third to move into second overall, albeit still 15 points behind Beckett.

However, a strong start to competition in the gold fleet, Wearn will hope to match his exploits at the Paris Test Event when a strong finish saw him overhaul Beckett for victory.

iQFOiL Women
A slow start to the day threatened to derail Emma Wilson’s bid for gold, but the Brit responded to successive seventh places with a bullet. She added a third after that and continues to lead the iQFOiL Women, with a four-point advantage over Zheng Yan (CHN).

Sharon Kantor (ISR) looked as though she was going to take advantage of Wilson’s relative early struggles, but the winner of the Olympic Test Event finished the day with a 19th-place after two bullets, dropping back to fifth as a result – one of three Israelis in the top six.

iQFOiL Men
Nicolo Renna (ITA) joined Luuc van Opzeeland (NED) on 19 points in the iQFOiL Men, winning his only heat of the day. Renna’s success, combined with a fifth-place for Van Opzeeland meant that the race for gold tightened up even further, while defending champion Sebastian Kordel (GER) was also victorious in his heat to sit third, 2.7 points back.

Race detailsEntry listResultsYouTube

The Sailing World Championships are typically held every four years and serve as the primary qualification event for the upcoming Olympic Games along with hosting the Class World Championships. All 10 Olympic events and four Para Sailing classes will compete August 11-20 in The Hague, Netherlands.

Source: World Sailing

Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Program:
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
Mixed Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Women’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Men’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Women’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Venue: Marseille, France
Dates: July 26-August 11


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