SSL Finals, triunfo para Iain Percy y Anders Ekström.

Fuente info SSL

IAIN PERCY AND ANDERS EKSTRÖM WIN THE SSL FINALS 2019

SSL FINALS 2019

1 – IAN PERCY (GBR) – ANDERS EKSTRÖM (SWE)
2 – XAVIER ROHART – PIERRE-ALEXIS PONSOT (FRA)
3 – EIVIND MELLEBY (NOR) – JOSHUA REVKIN (USA)
4 – Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) – Bruno Prada (BRA)
5 – Lorenzo Chiavarini (GBR) – Kilian Weise (GER)
6 – Diego Negri (ITA) – Frithjof Kleen (GER)
7 – Henrique Haddad – Henry Boening (BRA)
8 – Oskary Muhonen (FIN) – Vitalii Kushnir (UKR)
9 – Paul Cayard – Phil Trinter (USA)
10 – Eric Doyle – Payson Infelise (USA)

A complete press release will follow.

2019 Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships, día 5.



Fuente info Clase 49er

DAY 5 - Hyundai 49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 World Championships

The 49er and 49erFX both saw new regatta leaders heading into the final day of competition, while the Nacra 17 title race looks wide open…

The breeze was a little softer than previous days, and at times extremely unpredictable and shifty. Yet somehow the class acts continue to prove that they’re still the class acts, able to cope with any slings or arrows that are hurled their way…

Nacra 17: Danes close the gap

A solid day of consistent finishing has driven Lin Cenholt and CP Lübeck into attacking distance for the gold medal on the final day of competition. While most of the leading teams faltered at some point during Saturday’s racing, scores of 8,5,7 were sufficient to lift the Danes to third overall. Just a point in front of them are the Aussie cousins, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin who started the day with a 13th before redeeming themselves with 8,2 from the end of the day.

Even starker were the fortunes of Vittorio Bissaro/ Maelle Frascari who notched up their worst score yet of the regatta, a 20th. The Italians’ next race, a 13th, was only a little better. The pressure was on but the Italians responded magnificently, winning the last race of the afternoon to hold on to their overall lead, but with a margin of just 6 points over the Australians. With the points compressed and two Finals races before the Medal Race, no Nacra crew is home and dry quite yet.

49er: Local Heroes reel in German Rivals

Following four years of dominance leading up to their gold medal at Rio 2016, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke continue to prove that they are the benchmark in 49er racing. Heading into today’s racing the Olympic Champions needed to gain seven points to reel in the regatta leaders of Erik Heil / Thomas Ploessel (GER). Finishing the day with a race win, the four-time 49er World Champions amassed a 13 point lead over the second placed Germans. However they didn’t do it by themselves – with Heil / Ploessel stumbling in a major way to rack up a whopping 38 points from just three races.

Closing in on the top pair but with still a large gap are the 2017 World Champions Dylan Fletcher / Stuart Bithell (GBR). Even more interesting is the pack of four boats behind them with only 17 points separating this bunch, all of whom will be scrapping hard to climb on to the podium on Sunday.

49erFX: Reigning World Champs v Reigning Olympic Champs

The 49erFX fleet has a new leader as the reigning World Champions Bekkering / Duetz (NED) slipped ahead of reigning Olympic Champions Grael / Kunze (BRA) by a single point, while Naess / Ronningen (NOR) continued their attack on the leading pair, keeping their Norwegian noses clean enough to finish the afternoon just 8 points from the leaders.

The only team to keep all its scores inside the top 10 of a very tricky, unpredictable day were Victoria Travascio/ Sol Branz (ARG), the Argentineans scoring 10, 4, 7 to rise to 5th overall, just 2 points back from Tina Lutz/ Susann Beucke (GER). However, the Germans sit 18 points back from the third-placed Norwegians, so it’s going to take a mighty final-day performance from somebody to topple the top three off the podium.

Sunday will see two final gold fleet races in the morning followed by the double points medal races later in the day.

Be sure to tune in to 49er.org/live for all the action from 10:30am NZDT.

IN-DEPTH RACE ANALYSIS AND VIDEO CLIPS

Nacra 17 Gold Fleet – Tita/ Banti rediscover their mojo

Race 1: 

The race started in quite light winds, with a cracking start at the boat end from USA 472, Brazil 10 and AUT 3. The teams that held on starboard and headed right were rewarded by an increase in wind from the left half way up the beat. The Outteridges (AUS 46) won the middle of the course with Zajac/Matz (AUT 3) coming in just below them, but it was a couple teams that came in from overstood on the far left that thrust the Brazilians into the lead.

Nacras on the charge

By the last downwind Albrecht /Nicolino (BRA 10) moved well into the lead and were only challenged by Tita/Banti (ITA 26). The Italians had a turn of speed on the straight set and passed the Brazilians on pure boatspeed.

However, the Brazilians found their gybe point perfectly, and in the long reach to the finish they repassed the Italians to win the race.

Behind, the racing was fierce all the way through the back, with a clogged up finish in the pack and multiple overtakes right at the end.

Hectic finish

Race 2: 

Tita and Banti (ITA 26) continued their form on the day with the breeze rewarding both sides in this race. The Italians extended their lead on the downwind showing more of the form that saw them dominate 2018, a form they have not often repeated in 2019.

Pacheco and Trittel (ESP 28) had a nice gap behind them and held second place at the downwind marks, aiming for a bit of redemption from their 21st place in race 1.

As the leaders headed upwind they got themselves locked into a boatspeed battle, hardly separating more than six boat lengths for the entire beat. The Spaniards had just enough edge to pass the Italians at the top of the beat, and they extended out to take the win.

Just behind the duo were Lange/Saroli (ARG 1) who put in their second top 5 of the day to move the reigning Olympic Champions into medal contention.

Race 3: 

The Nacra leaderboard has narrowed seven teams from seven nations within 20 points of the lead.

Of that bunch, Bissaro/Frascari (ITA 5), Zajac/Matx (AUT 3), Cenhold/Lubeck (DEN 91) and Lange/Saroli (ARG 1) each got good lanes to head to the favoured left-hand side of the beat. These teams emerged from a start where plenty of teams were trying to win the pin, with Martinez/Maslivets (ESP 99) getting stuck (again) on the pin anchor and with Tita/Banti (ITA 26) forced to bail out just before the start and gybe around to start on port.

Albrecht/Nicolino (BRA 10) started near the boat end on port, then tacked into a clear lane and ended up getting to the far left. It was an unorthodox approach that proved to work out very nicely as they Brazilians approached the weather mark in good shape.

It was the Italians, Vittorio/Bissaro, who narrowly led from the Austrians and Australians (Waterhouse/Darmanin). Six of the top nine overall rounded in the top 10 at the windward mark. It doesn’t look like anyone is going to run away with this regatta.

The Italians extended out from the leeward gate and built a sizeable lead by the next windward. As leaders of the regatta it must be satisfying to win another race and eke out a small lead atop the standings, especially after such a wobbly start to their day.

49erFX Gold

Race 1:

A great pin end start by NED 1, who rounded the top mark behind POL 888. But then a horrible kite trawl for the reigning World Champions allowed the chasing pack to close in. On the second windward leg the breeze dropped, there was a massive wind shift, DEN 7 seized the lead and cruised away to an easy win while the rest of the pack scrapped for the next places across the finish line.

Race Highlights
Race 2:

After a long delay waiting for conditions to settle, Race 2 got underway. The top two teams had a shocker. BRA 4 was buried, so was NED 1 who had to do a penalty turn right off the start because of a port/starboard. Meanwhile USA 92 was leading by a country mile. Sailors looked out of sorts after such a long time waiting.

USA92 gapped the fleet to win comfortably while NOR26 put down another podium place, but even more interesting was the battle between NED 1 and BRA 4 in mid-fleet.

In the newly established breeze, NED 1 rounded in 10th and BRA 4 was only a few places behind. However on the final run, BRA 4 seemed to drop a heap of places, finishing in the high teens. That brings the overall points really close between the Dutch and Brazilians.

Race 3:

Port tack starts for NED 1 and BRA 4, but didn’t work out too well. Multiple lead changes at the front of the fleet between FRA, NZL, POL, USA, but NED 6 – Odile van Aanholt and Cecile Janmaat – take the lead by the top mark final time and hold on for a narrow victory.

Race highlights

49er Gold – Bad Day for the Yellow GERseys

Race 1 - Racing started with both NZL77 and GER 4 pretty deep. Heil/ Ploessel’s attempted port-tack start by the committee boat went badly wrong for the Yellow Jerseys from Germany. The Germans managed to establish a 5 boat gap on Burling/ Tuke but on the second work, GER 4 went left and allowed NZL 77 do sail right, gain some leverage and be right up the transom of the Germans by the end of the leg and overhaul them by the finish. Up at the front Rual/ Amoras FRA 8 held off the close attentions of NZL 7, Dunning Beck and Gunn pushing the French hard all the way around the race track.

Race highlights

Race 2
Burling/ Tuke NZL 77 win their side of the start going left while Dunning Beck/ Gunn NZL 7 were looking good on the right. However it was Hawkins/ Thomas GBR 17 who led around the first mark. Bildstein/ Hussl put a hard luff on the Olympic Champions at the windward mark which looked expensive yet somehow Burling/ Tuke still game good by the bottom gate. Meanwhile GER 4, the Yellow Jerseys, were having a horror show in the mid-teens. The young Brits won the race with SUI 10 Schneiter/ Cujean in second and Bildstein/ Hussl third. Burling’s fifth place put another 10 points back on the series leaders with GER 4 crossing in 15th.

Race highlights

Race 3:

For a time it was looking like the regatta could have been over with, as the German challengers to Burling/Tuke had a nightmare start, locked out at the boat end and unable to start until 20 seconds after the gun. They were tied for last at the windward mark and quite a distance behind the pack. In a smart downwind, they banged the straight set corner to close the gap on the pack, although still tied for last at the leeward gate.

At the bottom of the beat the Germans got a small header and tacked back in an open lane. They managed to win three straight close crosses and in a flash they were up to 15th place, though centered on the course and without further leverage.

Germany consolidated on another small shift to head back left and cross the teams that overstood in the left corner, and by staying mostly on the correct shift and in a clear lane they passed 60% of the boats in a single beat to round 10th, which is how Heil/ Ploessel finished.

Burling/ Tuke similarly moved up the fleet all race, to win, but it was the comeback by Heil/Ploessel that has kept this regatta up for grabs, with a 12 point gap behind the Kiwis instead of a 25 point gap. Dickson/ Waddilove IRL 417 were second across the line with Scott/ Bithell’s 3rd place putting GBR 6 in 3rd overall at the end of the penultimate day.

Full results available at

https://49er.org/event/2019-world-championship/#49erresults

To watch the racing live

https://49er.org/live

SSL Finals día 4.


Fuente info SSL

MID-FLEET FIGHTS FOR ITS SURVIVAL AT THE SSL FINALS

After four days of Qualification racing the first major cull took place today at the SSL Finals, the event that seeks to determine the ‘stars of the sailing world’. With the top ten of the 23 teams going through to tomorrow’s Finals rounds, the focus for once was not on the top of the leaderboard but on the mid-fleet where those in or around the cusp of tenth place were having to fight for their lives.

Out on Nassau’s Montagu Bay, the racing today took on a different complexion with flat water and the wind, for the first time this week, blowing onshore, out of the east. With the wind barely exceeding five knots, the crews received a further test with the order of the day being to keep the boat going at all costs.

In the first race it was Brazilians Henrique Haddad and Henry Boening, sitting right on the cusp in 10th place overall, who found pressure initially on the right before tacking and crossing the fleet. From here, being out in clear air paid for the Snipe World Champion and his Star veteran crew (fresh from winning the Star Brazilian Nationals with his regular helm Lars Grael) who simply extended away.

“Our strategy was to focus on the first two races, because if we did those well we could fight to be in the top 10,” explained Haddad. “In the first race we did an amazing job and then in the second we were top 10 again. We saw in our training that we were fast in light conditions….”

The Brazilians ended the day in seventh. “I didn’t expect to do this well. We said we could fight for the top 10 but we have been getting better and more confident every day,” concluded Haddad.

Surprisingly, there was a repeat of yesterday’s occurrence when the overall leader of the 2019 SSL Finals was called OCS in the first race, Mateusz Kusznierewicz and his uber-crew Bruno Prada only learning about this as they rounded the top mark. However unlike Diego Negri and Frithjof Kleen yesterday, the Polish-Brazilian duo bounced back superbly to win the second race. In this, they performed a ‘horizon job’ on the fleet just as the Brazilians had done in the race before them. “In these conditions you have to sail your own race,” said Kusznierewicz. “We had a plan and we knew where the first wind shift would come from. We had a safe but good start and focussed on the first shift and it brought us this incredible advantage, separating us hugely from the rest of the fleet.

“I am pleased we won the last race, because although we were ahead in the overall results, this was the first race we have won and this brought us confidence.”

With the wind looking marginal at times in the second race, the race committee opted to cancel the third race. This brought Qualifying to a close, disappointing for the crews immediately outside of the top 10 who had hoped to have one last roll of the dice.

However it came as some relief for the USA’s Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise who after today’s second race held the vital 10th spot, although Doyle said he would have been more than happy to have had sailed a third race. “We were going good – we had a nice first race and a good second one, although we got unlucky in some lulls, then we had a rocking penalty. We are just getting better and better and hitting our stride. It is always good to do more.”

The unfortunate group in 11th and beyond were led by Hamish Pepper and Pedro Trouche. Having won the last race yesterday, the Kiwi helm and his Brazilian crew, who is defending champion at the SSL Finals, had another up-and-down day posting a 20-6 leaving them eight points adrift of Doyle and Infelise.

Similarly, after an outstanding day three of the SSL Finals when they were first to the windward mark in all three races, Australian Torvar Mirsky and Ireland’s Robert O’Leary appeared to have lost their stride today and was the only team to drop out of the 10, having started the day in ninth.

Coming out on top of the Qualification round means that Kusznierewicz-Prada fast track straight through to tomorrow’s Final round. After a miserable day that saw Iain Percy and Anders Ekström plummet from second place overall to sixth, Diego Negri and Frithjof Kleen ended the Qualification round second overall, which will see them heading straight for the Semi-Final round tomorrow.

The Finals rounds begin tomorrow with the Quarter Finals at 1100 for the boats which finished the Qualification round third to tenth. The top five from this progress up to the Semi-Finals and the top three from the Semi-Finals to the Finals – each stage comprising a single race.

For the top ten crews, this represents a resetting of the clock, with any capable of claiming the ultimate prize and their share of the US $ 200,000 purse.

Top 10 results after ten races and one discard:

1 Mateusz Kusznierewicz POL Bruno Prada BRA 46
2 Diego Negri ITA Frithjof Kleen GER 54
3 Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR Kilian Weise GER 63
4 Eivind Melleby NOR Josh Revkin USA 63
5 Paul Cayard USA Phil Trinter USA 66
6 Iain Percy GBR Anders Ekström SWE 70
7 Henrique Haddad BRA Henry Boening BRA 74
8 Oskari Muhonen FIN Vitalii Kushnir UKR 74
9 Xavier Rohart FRA Pierre-Alexis Ponsot FRA 76
10 Eric Doyle USA Payson Infelise USA 83

2019 Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships, día 4.


Fuente info 49er Class

Major Moves on the Scoreboard after Day 1 of Gold Fleet

Qualification battles heat up as sailors look to book their tickets to Tokyo

The fourth day of the 2019 Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships saw the race for the title and Olympic qualification is beginning to take shape as the fleets split into their respective Gold fleets.

49er: Two-boat Breakaway
Two teams have separated themselves at the top of the 49er leaderboard. Erik Heil / Thomas Ploessel (GER) extended their lead over Peter Burling / Blair Tuke (NZL) on the first day of finals racing, winning the day with three top ten finishes and edging themselves one step closer to their first 49er World Championship. Hot on their heels the local heroes of Burling / Tuke didn’t have an ideal day by their exceptional standards. However the gold and silver Olympic medallists can take solace in the fact that third place is quite a few points behind. This gap should allow Burling / Tuke the leeway they need to take some substantial risk in their pursuit of the leaders.

49erFX: World Champs on the Charge
Reigning 49erFX World Champions Annemiek Bekkering / Annette Duetz (NED) showed exactly why they are the team to beat. Through consistent sailing and the odd stroke of luck they put together a nine point day from the three races sailed to pull themselves to within 11 points of the Rio 2016 gold medallists Martine Grael / Kahena Kunze (BRA). Tina Lutz / Susann Beucke (GER) continue to put together one of the most consistent regattas of their Olympic campaign, currently sitting in third overall with a scoreline including almost exclusively top ten results.

Nacra 17: Danes win the day, Italy into the lead
In the foiling Nacra 17 Lin Cenholt / CP Lubeck came out victors of the day with three consistent results, a feat no other top team can lay claim to. While Italians Bissaro / Frascari continue to lead overall, the highlight of the day was the second race in which Billy Besson / Marie Riou (FRA) battled with Jason Waterhouse / Lisa Darmanin (AUS) on the final lap.

The French team, with four Nacra 17 world titles to their names, rounded the final windward mark with a slender lead over the Rio 2016 silver medallists. The Australians chose to gybe earlier than the French and through a combination of superior boat handling and speed managed to squeak over the finish line overlapped with Besson / Riou who had to settle for second.

Tokyo tickets on the line
The Olympic selection battle in the Nacra17 is at boiling point. For the Australian team Nathan and Haylee Outteridge had a day that could spell the end of their selection hopes, as they tumbled to 12th overall & racked up a mountainous 52 points in just three races. Meanwhile their team mates Waterhouse / Darmanin threw down a first and fourth (plus a discard) to put them into second overall and seven points off the lead.

The ongoing British saga is showing a similar story. European Champions Ben Saxton / Nicola Boniface (GBR) need to have a stellar finish to their regatta if they have any hopes of reeling in Gimson / Burnet who are tied for second with the Aussies.’

The most winning team since the 2016 Olympics, Ruggero Tita / Caterina Banti (ITA) have set the standard since the Nacra 17 moved to the current foiling configuration. For the reigning World Champions, they are having to watch their countrymen Bissaro / Frascari lead the regatta from back in an uncharacteristic position of 16th. Bissaro / Frascari are regular top five finishers and will be pushing their case for the Italian selection process.

With such close competition between the teams, a medal on Sunday could double up as a ticket to Tokyo.

Full results available at

https://49er.org/event/2019-world-championship/#49erresults

To watch the racing live

https://49er.org/live

SSL Finals día 3.



Fuente info SSL

SSL Finals 2019
December 3rd- 7th
Nassau, Bahamas

YOUNG TALENT SHINES THROUGH ON DAY THREE OF SSL FINALS

A lighter 6-12 knot day on Nassau’s Montagu Bay brought a fresh set of winners among the 23 competing teams on day three of the SSL Finals, the event determining 2019’s ‘stars of the sailing world’.

Star of the day was Australian Torvar Mirsky, sailing with Ireland’s Robert O’Leary. With the wind due north, the 2017 Match Racing World Champion was unbeatable upwind, leading at the top mark in all three of today’s races. However it was only in the second when they converted this to their first bullet.

“It was a splendid day – I’m really stoked,” said a jubilant Mirsky once ashore at the Nassau Yacht Club. “We were struggling a little downwind, but we were at the front of the fleet, which was really cool. In the lighter conditions we could look around a bit so we were able to tack, play the fleet and the shifts a little bit. We held on to most of it…”

Of his first SSL Finals Mirsky commented: “It is spectacular – humbling to be among such a concentration of sailing legends.”

Tensions had clearly risen today with it taking three attempts to send off the first race. The final of these was under the U flag, and, disastrously, OCS with Ricardo Fabini and Federico Calegari, were Diego Negri and Frithjof Kleen, the stand-out leaders going into today. This cost them 24 points, which might not have done too much harm being their discard, but in the second race they only managed a 21st. Ultimately a dreadful 56 point day dropped them to third overall, 13 points behind overall leaders Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Bruno Prada, the Polish-Brazilian reigning Star World Champions.

The first race ended in a match race between US duo Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise and Brazilians, the young Snipe World Champion Henrique Haddad and Star veteran Henry Boening.

Doyle commented: “We didn’t have a great start, but we did well in a couple of shifts up the beat. It was a really good battle on the last run, because you had to gybe on every shift, and everyone was going for it really hard. It was great fun and we just squeaked out in front of the Brazilians.”

In the second race, Croats Tonči Stipanović and Tudor Bilić were called over early. As Stipanović explained: “After the first race we decided we had to push more, but at the start the Uruguayan guys pushed us over. When I saw our number on the board [OCS] I was really disappointed, we were pushing too much.” There was some consolation in the last race when the Rio 2016 Laser silver medallist finished fifth, his best result so far.

The third race saw the most contention for the lead with Olympic legends Iain Percy and Anders Ekström putting in their best result of the day – a second, which with their 5-13 earlier left them second overall, 10 points off the lead.

Despite it being ultra-close at the second top mark rounding with Percy-Ekström, Mirsky-O’Leary and France’s Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot, just nosing ahead were the Kiwi-Brazilian pair, Hamish Pepper and defending SSL Finals champion Pedro Trouche.

Pepper explained: “In the last race I was more confident in my game plan and could protect the right.” As to the end of the second upwind he added: “We were a bit lucky there – we tacked, got a bit of a header so we could sneak in front of Torvar and Iain.” Sadly for Pepper this win followed two 20th placed finishes leaving them in 11th overall.

Generally the lighter conditions favoured the youngsters. While Mirsky-O’Leary were the class act, scoring just one point more today were Scottish Laser European Champion Lorenzo Chiavarini and his German crew Kilian Weise, whose 3-3-6 left them in seventh (following yesterday’s two DNFs).

Also going well today were Brazilians Haddad and Boening who posted a 2-7-7, leaving them 10th. “For sure the light conditions were better for us, but we were really aggressive with our plan to stay on the right side on the upwinds, where the big puffs and shifts were coming from,” explained Haddad. As to beating the heroes of the sport he added: “It is something that we don’t think about on the water, but when we look at the results and are ahead of many of them, it is a great feeling.”

Another three races are scheduled tomorrow starting at 1100. These will be the last of the qualification round. After this the top 10 alone will be heading on to Saturday’s Finals rounds.

Top 10 results after eight races and one discard:

1 Mateusz Kusznierewicz POL Bruno Prada BRA 33
2 Iain Percy GBR Anders Ekström SWE 43
3 Diego Negri ITA Frithjof Kleen GER 46
4 Eivind Melleby NOR Josh Revkin USA 46
5 Xavier Rohart FRA Pierre-Alexis Ponsot FRA 51
6 Oskari Muhonen FIN Vitalii Kushnir UKR 52
7 Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR Kilian Weise GER 54
8 Paul Cayard USA Phil Trinter USA 55
9 Torvar Mirsky AUS Robert O’Leary IRE 57
10 Henrique Haddad BRA Henry Boening BRA 63

2019 Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships, día 3.



Fuente info Clase 49er

DAY 3 – Hyundai 49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 World Championships

The end of the Qualifying Series in any Olympic-class World Championship is always a fraught scramble to make it through to the Gold Fleet Finals. Scrape through to the final 25 and you live to fight another three days. Fail to make the cut – and the best you can finish is 26th overall.

Add to that the fact that qualification to the Olympic Games is also on the line for many teams at the Hyundai 49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 World Championships in Auckland, and there is an awful lot at stake for this group of committed sailors. They dedicate their young lives to moments like these.

Go take a look at the results for yourself and you’ll see a fascinating web of hopes and dreams – along with missed opportunities.

49erFX update: Olympic Champions running away with the FX contest

The reigning Olympic Champions are beginning to run away with the 49erFX competition in Auckland. Discarding a 9th place at the end of qualification, the last four scores for Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze are 1,2,1,5. Eclipsing even those scores are a 2,1,2,1 which has propelled Helene Næss and Marie Rønningen into second overall. After a slow start with all their first four scores in double digits, the Norwegians have had a qualification of two halves.

On equal points with Norway and holding third overall are the Singapore team of Kimberly Lim and Cecilia Low, a stunning performance from a nation that’s not normally seen in contention for the podium of major championships. These two former Optimist World Champions are now being chased by another former Oppie World Champ, Tina Lutz from Germany. Along with her crew Susann Beucke, Lutz’s scores of 6,1,3,2 have rocketed the German boat into fourth overall, just two points in front of defending world champions from the Netherlands, Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz.

Other notables are Alex Maloney and Molly Meech, the local heroines who find themselves in seventh overall and will be looking to the Gold Fleet finals to lift themselves to the podium as they race in front of their home crowd. Meanwhile the top two teams from day one both slid down the rankings with a much poorer second day. Paris Henken and Anna Tobias sit in 9th place overall, the Americans on equal points with 10th placed Ida Marie Nielsen and Marie Olsen. Even worse for the young Swedes, Vilma Bobeck and Malin Tengstrom, however, who have tumbled out of the top 10 down to 41st overall, putting them well outside the top 25 for the Gold Fleet finals.

49er Update: Early Christmas for Snow?

Only one 49er team kept all its qualifying scores inside the top 10, and that’s Nevin Snow and Dane Wilson from the USA. That stunningly consistent performance sees the young Americans one step away from the podium as they move into their first ever Gold Fleet finals. Talk about performing under pressure, because this is the last chance for the USA to qualify its place for the Games.

With the discard taken into account, Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel of Germany hold top spot by a point from Pete Burling and Blair Tuke, the reigning Olympic Champions racing on home waters, with a 10-point gap back to third-placed Austrians, Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl. Others who have managed to avoid the many pitfalls and landslides of qualifying are Dylan Scott and Stuart Bithell of Great Britain, the 2017 World Champions sitting in 5th place and one point in front of Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn of New Zealand.

Former European Champions Justus Schmidt and Max Boehme have just squeaked into the top 25 provided final protests don’t rejig the scores against them.

Nacra 17 Update: Gimson’s winning, but he doesn’t care

There are a number of civil wars going on for Olympic selection, with team mates fighting for national selection for that single Nacra 17 spot at Tokyo 2020. Three nations that each have two world-class teams vying for selection are Great Britain, Italy and Australia, and it’s these three nations that hold the top three places overall at the end of qualification in Auckland.

The two British teams went into the day neck and neck at the top of the leaderboard, but 2017 World Champion Ben Saxton and Nicola Boniface finished qualification with an uncharacteristic 16th place. With a U Flag start-line infringement from the previous day, Saxton and Boniface are forced to carry the 16th which tumbles them down to 6th overall, 14 points off the lead held by their arch rivals and compatriots, John Gimson and Anna Burnet.

“Quite a stressfull day with three whacky light races,” said Gimson. “But we managed to just about keep all the scores inside the top 10 with a couple of big comebacks, which i think will be important heading in to gold fleet – it only gets harder from here. Nice to finish the day with a second in the final race, which made the long postponement for it worth while. No idea how we are doing. I don’t follow the results during the regatta as no one is really winning until the end but so far so good in terms of how we are sailing.”

Not that Gimson is paying attention then, but he might be pleased to learn that all his scores have all been in the top 10. The only other team to have achieved such consistency is the Italian crew of Vittorio Bissaro and Maelle Frascari whose last-race victory puts them just 1 point behind the British leaders at the end of qualification. By stark contrast, the highest-performing team of the past three years – Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti – find themselves languishing back in 19th overall. The prospect of defending their 2018 world title looks very distant for the Italians right now.

Meanwhile a much closer battle ensues between the top two Australian crews, with 49er gold and silver medallist Nathan Outteridge – crewed by sister Haylee – holds third place and an 8-point advantage over the Rio Olympic silver medallists Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin.

Just a point behind the silver medallists are the Olympic gold medallists from Argentina – Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli – with no such worries about qualifying for Tokyo 2020. Now in his late 50s, Lange continues to prove that age is no barrier to performance in high-speed foiling catamarans.

Undone by a spreader

Spare a thought for Kevin Fischer and Yann Jauvin (FRA) who were leading the Worlds after three races with a 1, 4, 1 scoreline, setting themselves up for their best ever 49er Worlds placing. Overnight they had to replace their spreader as it was breaking, and then their new spreader also broke in the second race of day two leaving them with three DNF finishes and out of contention of the regatta.

Southern Spars, who supply all of the 49er and 49erFX masts were on site this morning to offer non-destructive testing for all teams that want it. The 49er Class has selected a new spar supplier starting after the Tokyo games.

Don’t cry (yet) for me, Argentina

The highest profile casualties of the 49er qualification series are Yago and Klaus Lange from Argentina. While their father Santiago Lange, the reigning Olympic Champion in the Nacra 17 is competing on the foiling catamaran course, the brothers could not harness the momentum from their 4th place finish in the Oceania Championships last week and finished in 32nd place. This leaves the Argentineans outside of Tokyo 2020 qualification. However, their fellow South Americans from Brazil, Marco Grael and Gabriel Borges have made gold fleet. By the way the continental qualification system works the Argentinians still have a shot. If the Brazilians finish in the top-four non-qualified countries, along with some other permutations that rely on the performance of the Australian crews, the Brazilians would end up grabbing a Games spot, which would throw open a continental spot to Argentina. The Brazilians are chasing an internal qualification criteria, so are equally motivated to perform well during the remaining three days.

Qualifying Hopefuls Take it to the Room

As two nations vying for one of the few Olympic qualifying spots on offer every little advantage had to be exploited. A port/starboard incident in race 5 resulted in the Irish team of Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle protesting Diego Botin and Iago Marra (ESP). The result meant the Spanish were disqualified and discarding the result. But some double-digit scores now meant they have it all to do on the final day of qualifying to get into the gold fleet. With their compatriots from Spain, the Alonso brothers, also carrying a letter score (UFD) but with marginally better scores, Spain (a nation which has in the past won a 49er gold and silver medal at the Olympics) was looking in danger of not making it into Tokyo 2020 at all.

Responding to the Pressure

The three 49er fleets were all going into the final race of qualifying at similar times, and as always, the points were close. Spaniards Diego Botin and Iago Marra (ESP 97) were staring down the barrel of gold fleet defeat this morning. It was a massive upset when they didn’t make gold fleet in Aarhus last year, and to have missed gold fleet two World Championships in a row would have been a massive upset for such a high-performing team.

“I woke at 4am and looked over at Iago, I could see he was awake too,” said Diego.

A sleepless night has turned out all right, with the last four qualification scores of 2,1,3,4 rocketing the Spaniards up to 9th overall. The re-energised duo will look to secure an Olympic qualification berth over the next three days. “Now the regatta begins,” said Marra.

Full results available at

https://49er.org/event/2019-world-championship/#49erresults

To watch the racing live

https://49er.org/live