Early Titles Claimed In 49er And Nacra 17 At Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL), in the 49er, and Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA), in the Nacra 17, both took their second consecutive world title after dominant displays in Santander.
Giles Scott (GBR) is nearly there in the Finn whilst the game is wide open in the 49erFX with a winner takes all shoot out on the cards.
Billy Besson & Marie Riou (FRA) sealed the Nacra 17 World Championship with a day to spare after a dominant week of racing.
It all boiled down to the penultimate day for the Nacra 17 fleet with the stakes high. After a long wait the sea breeze came up around 14:00 and the sailors left the beach around 14:30 to go to the race area. But the wind conditions at sea still were weak and the Race Committee decided to wait. Finally at 16:45 the starting signal was given for the tenth race with around 6 knots of wind. Only one race could be sailed because after the finish of this first race the wind dropped down.
The Italian team of Federica Salva & Francesco Bianchi liked the light wind conditions and took the race victory. Salva said, “We were hoping for light wind during this week like we had during our training weeks. But we it was a week with two days a lot of wind, which is not quite our speciality. With this score we are now 15th overall. We would to go to the [ISAF Sailing World Cup] Final in Abu Dhabi and hope it will be there light wind too, so we can show our strength.”
Besson & Riou finished fifth and made their score complete with a total score of 21 points, 34 points clear of the Italian team, Vittorio Bissaro & Silvia Sicouri. With those points they are sure to be the 2014 World Champions before the Medal Race.
It is their second Nacra 17 world title and they are the only crew to hold it in the class’ second year. After racing Besson said, “We are very happy now and it was a good week for us. We did a lot of training during winter with the French teams, which made us stronger. This week we worked very hard to reach this position. Sometimes we made some mistakes but fought back to keep our position in the front. We are also very proud that we will win the third gold medal for France during this event.”
Bissaro and Sicouri are now second overall with Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin moving up to third. With the points close in the bunch at the top it will be close racing on the final day for the remaining podium spots.
Nacra 17 Report Courtesy of Edwin Lodder, International Nacra 17 Class Association
It was a case of ‘hats off’ to Burling and Tuke (NZL) who secured their second consecutive World Championship title and extend their undefeated streak in the 49er to eight regattas since London 2012. There was only a single race on the penultimate and late in the day they sailed to a comfortable fifth to secure the title.
For the Medal Race on Sunday 21 September there is a great fight for the silver and bronze medals on the cards. Jonas Warrer, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Gold medallist, along with team mate Anders Thomsen (DEN) had an 11th today, but managed to leap frog Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) on the leader board as they had a shocker back in 25th.
Also leaping forward into medal contention are Portugese veteran Jorge Lima and Jose Costa who are preparing to finish their highest ever placing at a World Championship. They will be over the moon if they can secure a medal.
In the 49erFX class it's going to be a barn burner, as the two most consistent boats all year will go head to head making it a winner takes all for the Championship title. Ida Nielsen and Marie Olsen (DEN) are on 33 points after sailing well today with a 5, 3, 9. That could not compete with the day that Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) had, with a 3, 2, 1. The race area was right hand favoured, so it was vital to get an early lane to the right and have the boat speed to hold. The Brazilians started excellently and were able to apply the pressure.
Giulia Conti and Fancesca Clapcich (ITA) are fresh back from some time off due to injury but it hasn't held them back. Clapcich injured her ankle in Helsinki for the Europeans and has been out of the boat since July. They seem to have done the right thing and rested enough that they have been able to race well this week where they find themselves locked into the Bronze medal position for the final Medal Race.
One more team worth noting are Vicky Jurczok and Anika Lorenz (GER). This team were 25th after qualifying, the last team to make it into gold fleet and have been on fire since then moving all the way up to sixth place, with a chance to move up to fourth tomorrow if the cards line up.
49er and 49erFX Reports of Ben Remocker, International 49er Class Association
The 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander came full circle on Saturday with the last of the fleet racing series abandoned in almost identical conditions that led to the abandonment of Monday's racing, six days ago.
Since then one man has dominated the fleet and has built a 20 point lead, never scoring worse than fourth in any of the eight races sailed. With no races sailed today Giles Scott (GBR) takes this comfortable margin in Sunday's medal race off the breakwater. All he has to do is finish the race tomorrow to lift his second Finn World Championship, for the Finn Gold Cup, one of the most prestigious trophies in the sport of sailing.
His immediate reaction, “I'm nearly there. It might just seem like a formality tomorrow, but I've still got to finish, without having an OCS and without gear failure to make absolutely sure, but other than that, I am very happy.”
On not racing today, “It's good for me because I keep my 20 point lead but it was odd out there today. There was a big split in pressure. To the left was really light and to the right was probably raceable. By the time we moved over to the right, it immediately shut down and we came ashore. So maybe it would have been possible but it was marginal at best.”
Finn Report courtesy of Robert Deaves, International Finn Class Association
Schedule of Racing:
15-21 September, 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17
Live Blog – A live blog will follow the ISAF Worlds from Thursday 11 September through to Sunday 21 September. The live blog is available here http://www.sailing.org/events/isafworlds/live-blog.php