Monthly Archives: September 2013

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Kiwis win 2 gold & 1 silver at 9er Worlds


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 Photo © Christophe Launay / www.sealaunay.com

 

Seiko 49er & 49er FX Worlds at Marseille, France – Overall

 

 

New Zealand dominated the Seiko 49er & 49er FX World Championships in Marseille with a dazzling display of confidence and maturity by three young teams all in their early 20s.

First up was the 10-boat, three-race short-course final for the FX women, and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech hammered home their points advantage with a straightforward victory. Behind them was a much tighter battle for silver and bronze that wasn’t settled until the final few seconds of the final race. Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze clinched silver by less than a boatlength from France’s Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard.

Immediately afterwards the men raced their three 10-minute heats, and when Peter Burling and Blair Tuke won the first race by a big margin, it looked unlikely any other crew would threaten them for gold. However, they had a poor second heat with a 9th place finish, while their younger team mates Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski won the race, moving to just 10 points behind the Olympic silver medallists. If they could get four boats between them in the final heat the world title would go to NZL-6 rather than NZL-2, but in the end Burling and Tuke did enough to win the Worlds by 12 points.

Burling and Tuke have won silver at the past two 49er World Championships, plus Olympic silver, and now the gold.

“Great to take the win,” said Burling, who also won the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup a month earlier in San Francisco. “Good to give the NZ yachting community a bit to cheer about after what happened with the Cup earlier in the week. For us, we were feeling for them, we know them well, but it was good to just get on with our own little thing and get it on.”

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech capped off a successful first season in the new women’s Olympic skiff with an impressive win in Marseille.

“Pretty awesome, especially with the guys winning too,” said Meech, who was also mindful of the tough time for her compatriots in San Francisco.

“I think Dean Barker did an amazing performance, and we’re all proud of what Emirates Team New Zealand achieved. But hopefully today’s win will put a smile on a few people’s places. We’ve put a whole lot of hard work into this year, and it’s all paid off. But this is all just one stepping stone to Rio 2016, and it will get harder over the next few years.”

 

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While Kiwi gold was virtually assured going into the final double-points race, the battle for silver and bronze was a tight five-way battle between Germany, Great Britain, Italy, France and Brazil. It was close all the way to the finish, with the Dutch winning the race, but crucially for the Brazilians, a second place was just enough to secure silver ahead of the French who took bronze. Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze were delighted to win silver, the same colour they won at the Europeans in Denmark two months earlier.

“It was great,” said Grael. “Early this morning Kahena had all her belongings stolen from the hotel. She was very, very mad! But I think it helped. We’ll go to the police to report it, but first we celebrate!”

Marseille is the training base for France’s strong 49er and FX squads, and the cheers were loud across the bay as the home team won bronze in both fleets. Manu Dyen has taken most of the last year off since the Olympics, becoming a father for the first time. But today he and crew Stephane Christidis scored their first ever Worlds medal.

Even more impressive was a bronze for Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard who only started sailing the 49er FX less than three months earlier.

“When we found out we had won the bronze medal, it went crazy. We’re really happy because we have only sailed together since July. We still have a lot of room for improvement. This bodes well for the future.”

Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen relinquished their world crown after winning four of the last five 49er World Championships. They had a shocking start in the first race today, but kept on chipping away and finished 5th overall. Bearing in mind they haven’t raced since winning gold at last year’s Olympics, the opposition know that the Australians remain one of the hot favourites for Rio 2016.

Just ahead in 4th place were Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign who had led for much of the week but suffered in the strong winds of Saturday. The British team still had their sights set on a medal today, but missed out to the French by 3 points.

“Pretty hard to take,” said Alain Sign. “We’ve been working all season for this moment. We’ve been sailing well all week, starting and speed is good, but it’s such a fine line in this fleet, and dropping the mainsheet out of a tack in the first race was the difference that cost us a medal. That mistake probably took us from being first or second around the top mark, to being last. We thought we would get across the French boat that won bronze but we had to do a penalty turn. He took a bit of an aim at us, but that’s going to happen in this racing where it’s all about inches.”

No nation is nailing the Olympic skiff like New Zealand right now. Blair Tuke was savouring the moment. “Pete and I haven’t won a world champs since our junior days and to do it here in the 49er, and to have our Kiwi training partners in 2nd place is a dream come true. And to have the girls win the first FX World Championships – a good day for Kiwi yachting.”

 

49er: Final top five
1. Peter Burling / Blair Tuke, NZL, 72 points
2. Marcus Hansen / Josh Porebski, NZL, 84
3. Manu Dyen / Stephane Christidis, FRA, 94
4. Dylan Fletcher / Alain Sign, GBR, 97
5. Nathan Outteridge / Iain Jensen, AUS, 101

 

49erFX: Final top five
1. Alexandra Maloney / Molly Meech, NZL, 78
2. Martine Soffiatti Grael / Kahena Kunze, BRA, 98
3. Saarah Steyaert / Juli Bossard, FRA, 100
4. Giulia Conti / Francesca Clapcich, ITA, 106
5. Annemiek Bekkering / Claire Blom, NED, 107.7

 

For full results see: 49er.org/event/2013-world-championships

By 49er Sailing media

 

 

Kiwi teams dominate in strong winds

 

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Photo © Pierick Jeannoutot / www.pierik.fr

 

 

Seiko 49er & 49erFX World Championships, Marseille, France

 

New Zealand crews sit at the top of both leaderboards going into the final day of the Seiko 49er & 49erFX World Championships in Marseille. In the 53-boat women’s FX fleet, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech took a firmer grip on the Seiko yellow jerseys after a masterful display of strong-wind boathandling in four Semi-Final races on a gusty, shifty course close to the shore.

The Kiwi girls scored 15,3,3,1, moving them further ahead of France’s Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard. Inspired by the girls’ performance, Pete Burling and Blair Tuke went out on to the same race course for four men’s 49er races and racked up 2,1,9,2. This moved them into the lead of the 97-strong men’s division, 12 points in front of another Kiwi crew in 2nd place, Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski.

Good to stretch our legs today and a couple of opportunities to do better today, but all in all a good day,” said Tuke. “We’re just getting the boat shipshape and ready for tomorrow. We’re happy with how we’re going in theatre-style racing and how we’re sailing. We’re both really excited about the chance of winning a world championship. We haven’t won a world title since our junior days so we’re very motivated.”

 

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photo © Christophe Launay / www.sealaunay.com

 

The Kiwis were good today, but the Australians were better, and they needed to be. Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen started the day in 18th place, a long way from the 9th place or less that would guarantee their place in the Final. As it was, a score of 1,3,3,1 rocketed them up to 6th overall. The Aussies’ downwind speed also earned them the purple jerseys for Kings of the Downwind, coming in at almost a minute faster than the second boat across all of today’s eight downwind legs.

“It was a massive snakes and ladders day,” said Outteridge. “Every race was very different in terms of where you had to go, so there was no pattern to it, which we like.” But with 25 points still to make up on the Kiwi leaders, can Outteridge really hope to make Marseille his fifth 49er World title? “I think with the format we’ve got I’d say anything is possible. We haven’t done any of the theatre style racing, but it’s three double-points races. If you get it wrong you get 60 points. Pretty easy for it to go bad.

“I think tomorrow will be lighter, will be shifty and ugly racing, and we’re going to have to fight pretty hard. But at least we might have a chance of fighting back enough to get on the podium.

 

 

49er Worlds D5 sf pjPhoto © Pierick Jeannoutot / www.pierik.fr

 

If Burling and Tuke look a little out of reach for the reigning World and Olympic Champions, the others look very catchable. The second Kiwi team are just 13 points ahead of Outteridge, with France’s Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis 3 points further back in 3rd overall. In the game of snakes and ladders, the previous series leaders slid down more snakes than they would have liked. Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign have slipped to 4th overall. “A day we don’t really want to remember but still one you have to learn from,” said Sign. “You have to debrief from it, pick up a few points then bounce back tomorrow. Today, everything was happening pretty quickly and we weren’t that great at reacting to that today. Tomorrow we’ve got to come back fighting and show we can win a world championship.”

It was far worse for another British team, John Pink and Simon Wheeler, who started the day in 3rd. Some sub-par performances saw them drop down the rankings to the point where they were in danger of missing top 9 qualification. In the final race they surged into the lead, and although Outteridge caught them on the final beat, they were second as they gybed for the finish line. Then, a massive gust and a capsize saw them tumble to 13th in that race, and down to 11th overall. “A bit gutting,” said Pink. “I think that puts us in the repechage.” Tomorrow the teams from 10th to 21st overall compete in the Petit-Finals for one coveted place in the Final. So Pink might yet find redemption from that capsize. “We have it all to do again tomorrow, a mini-series to get ourselves back in the Final, and see where we go from there.”

For the women, that Petit-Final might allow sailors like Australia’s Olivia Price and Caitlin Elks to get back into the Final. Like Pink, they capsized in today’s really tough conditions, and the Olympic silver medallist Price will be working hard to get back in for the FX Finals.

The crucial, final day of racing will be live streamed on 49er.org from 12pm local time on Sunday.

 

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Photo © Pierick Jeannoutot / www.pierik.fr

 

For full results and more see: 49er.org/event/2013-world-championships

 

By 49er Sailing media

 

 

 

Swiss capsize ends title fight

 

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Billy Besson & Jeremie Lagarrigue capsize in the finals – Photo © Meredith Block / C-Class

 

 

C-Class Catamaran Championship at Restronguet Sailing Club, Falmouth, UK 

 

For the first time in 7 days, Franck Cammas’ Groupama C had a case of ‘the slows’. And for the first time in 7 days, Billy Besson and Jeremie Lagarrigue aboard Hydros II beat Cammas to the starting line and to the top mark.

Their task wasn’t as difficult as it may sound, Cammas and Viat didn’t even launch their boat, preferring to remain ashore in the gusty Easterly breeze. With a 2-0 lead in the Finals of the 2013 International C-Class Catamaran Championship and time running out for Besson, the Swiss team sailed without competitors, foiling upwind on the first leg of the race.

They bore away at the first mark of the 6-leg course, playing it conservatively in 15-18 knots of breeze when disaster struck.

“With Groupama sitting on shore, we made the mistake of perhaps taking it too easy,” explained Lagarrigue. “These boats are not designed to go slow, and when we set up for the gybe we stalled the rudders, and the rest is history.”

Lagarrigue said they would probably have been alright were it not for a big gust of wind hitting their massive wing at that moment.

“Billy jerked the rudders to get through the stall and broke the tiller, losing control at the most critical time,” said Lagarrigue.

Hydros II’s wing pitched over its now-submerged bows in a pitch-pole capsize, destroying most of the wing’s structure and further damaging the steering system while dozens of spectator craft looked on.

The team’s support crews quickly righted the boat, and Besson and Lagarrigue showed the strength of their spirit as they completed four more legs of the course with their wingsail disintegrating to pieces above them. Groupama finally made it onto the course as Hydros sailed through the finish line, to the applause of hundreds of onlookers on shore and on the water.

“What a shame to see it end like this,” said 2007 and 2010 Little Cup Champion Fred Eaton, who finished 6th overall at the 2013 event. “Jeremie and Billy showed they are true warriors today, and all of Team Canada is sad we didn’t get to see them battle it out with Groupama in breeze more suitable for their boat,” said Eaton.

Cammas was overjoyed to become the first French C-Class Champion in history, even though it came at the expense of long time friends Lagarrigue and Besson.

“These conditions are some of the toughest possible for a C-Class, and while we’re sad it ended this way for Billy and Jeremie, we’re proud to bring the Little Cup back to France for our team, our fans, and for Groupama,” Cammas said.

 

Overall Results:

1 – Groupama C – Cammas/Viat
2 – Hydros Lombard Odier I – Besson/Lagarrigue
3 – Cogito – Guck/Kramers
4 – Canaan – Gooderham/Pavey
5 – Hydros Lombard Odier II – Heemskerk/Tentij
6 – Fill Your Hands – Eaton/Clarke
7 – Patient Lady VI – Bentemps/Gahinet
8 – Aethon – Clark/Moore
9 – Invictus – Phipps/Bader
10 – Alpha – Patience/Aviles
11 – Wild Horse – Cayola/Balieto

 

For more info see: The Event Website

 

By Ken Docherty

Kiwis find their wings in stronger winds

 

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All photos © Christophe Launay / www.sealaunay.com

 

 

Seiko 49er & 49er FX Worlds at Marseille, France

 

An increase in breeze elevated young Kiwi team Alex Maloney and Molly Meech to the top of the leaderboard at the Seiko 49er & 49er FX World Championships in Marseille. With the top 20 women’s teams now competing in Gold Fleet Semi-Finals, the New Zealanders put in a solid set of scores in four races in moderate breeze, racking up 6,2,6,1.

“Nice to win the last one,” said Meech. “It was a good day out there, and great to stretch the legs at last after three light days. We’re expecting more wind tomorrow too. It was quite tricky, shifty wind and a really nasty chop, so it was nice to finish on a good note.”

It’s tight at the top of the standings in the 49er FX fleet, with the New Zealanders moving 3 points ahead of yesterday’s series leaders from France, Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard, who sit just a point in front of Italians Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich.

Although the FX boat is new to all 53 teams racing here in Marseille, Steyaert and Bossard’s progress is particularly impressive considering they only started sailing the Olympic skiff in July. Both women have a good racing pedigree, with Steyaert winning the 2007 Laser Radial World Championships, but no one is meant to get the hang of skiff sailing quite this quick. “We have a lot of improvements to make,” said Bossard, “and we have a lot of things to work on this week and in training for the coming months. But we are making good starts and good first upwind legs, then it gets a bit more difficult.”

The 2008 Olympic Champion in the Laser Radial, Anna Tunnicliffe, would agree with that. Sailing with crew Molly Vandemoer, the American team sits in 10th overall.

“I guess you could say we’re having moments of brilliance,” said Tunnicliffe. “If you look at the first two minutes of the race, we won the day. But when you look at the finishing scores, we didn’t win the day! It’s about time in the boat, we’re still too new to the boat to understand what it’s doing. Every day you’re out there you get better and better. More time in the boat means you get more comfortable about how the boat feels, making sure you’re in the right mode, not having to talk to much about it, doing it automatically.”

 

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This was also the day the top 20 of the 97-boat men’s fleet moved into Semi-Finals racing. As they came ashore, yellow jersey holders from Great Britain Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign hoped they had done enough to stay in the top five, maybe even top three. In fact, being such a high-scoring day for everyone, the Brits had done enough to retain the yellow jerseys for another day, staying just 2 points ahead of Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang from Denmark.

“Starting at the pin end didn’t work out as well as we hoped,” said Sign, “because with these short courses we didn’t have enough runway to be able to tack and cross the fleet. But we had some good comebacks, and we were able to get out of the leeward gates quickly. We were able to move forwards from some bad positions.”

Young newcomers to the fleet, Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl, continue to impress in their first ever 49er World Championships. The Austrians sit in 3rd overall just a point in front of French Olympic representatives Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis.

 

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Olympic Champs plummet

 

For the defending World Champions and 2012 Olympic gold medallists it was an uncharacteristically tough day. Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen were black flag disqualified in the third heat, and their other scores of 18,14,17 weren’t much better. The Australians got caught up in the congestion of the leeward gate roundings, with multiple collisions ensuing. The 2012 Olympic Champion was pressing ahead with a protest against the 2008 Olympic Champion, Jonas Warrer, claiming he was infringed by the Dane.

“There must have been about five boats involved [in collisions] at one mark, but we were the only one to do turns, and that’s quite disappointing. People just get away with whatever they can and until you protest they just keep going until they realise you can’t do it any more. To do a penalty turn takes you from 5th to 15th, it’s a big loss.”

The Aussies can’t afford any more big losses if they’re to hold on to their world crown. The top 20 of the 49er and 49er FX divisions continue racing in the Semi-Finals tomorrow, before the top 10 showdown in the Finals on Sunday. Racing will be live streamed on 49er.org from 10am local time on Saturday.

 

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For full results and more see: 49er.org/event/2013-world-championships

 

By Andy Rice, 49er Sailing media

 

 

Too much wind halts play

 

2013 C-CLASS CATAMARAN CHAMPIONSHIPS-DAY SIX

Photo © Meredith Block

 

 

C-Class Catamaran Championship at Restronguet Sailing Club, Falmouth, UK

 

Near gale force winds lashed the shores of Carrick Roads today, shutting down racing and all but the most adventurous kitesurfers spread throughout the 2013 International C-Class Catamaran crews.

With Franck Cammas and Louis Viat two points ahead of Billy Besson and Jeremy Lagarrigue, Cammas needs only two more victories for his Groupama C team to claim the prestigious Little Cup as the Class’s first-ever French International C-Class Champion.

Groupama’s bright green foiler has shown a significant speed advantage in most conditions, most notably upwind, foiling clear of the water during up to 80% of the upwind legs. The Swiss Hydros boats may be even faster downwind, though not nearly enough to compensate for Cammas’ upwind and light-air advantage.

Racing tomorrow (Saturday) has been moved up by 30 minutes to a 1030 hrs start.

 

For more info see: The Event Website

 

By Ken Docherty

 

 

Two bullets earn yellow jersey for French FX Team

 

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All photos © Pierick Jeannoutot / www.pierik.fr

 

 

Seiko 49er & 49er FX Worlds at Marseille, France 

 

Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard sailed a stunning third day of qualification, winning both of Thursday’s heats and moving to the top of the women’s leaderboard at the Seiko 49er & 49erFX World Championships in Marseille. The former Laser Radial World Champion from La Rochelle moved to Marseille three months ago and the local knowledge showed. Where most of the 53 teams could make little sense or pattern of the extreme light airs on the Mediterranean, somehow the French team found a consistency that no other crew came close to matching.

“Starting was really important,” said Steyaert. “We did not do good starts the last two days, and it’s important because it can be very ‘go left’ in these conditions. But today we thought the pressure was everywhere so we started close to the committee boat. We sailed well tactically, and we weren’t so fast but we handled the waves OK, which are quite different from most places.”

Olivia Price, Australia’s match racing silver medallist from last year’s Olympic Games, put in a good day with crew Caitlin Elks.

“We didn’t really get off the start line that well but we found some clear air and could start sailing our own race,” said Price. “We picked up a few boats on the downwind, went round the starboard mark rather than most people going round the port mark.” Their alternative downwind strategy served them well, and the GPS tracking revealed they had spent the least time sailing downwind, making the Aussies the queens of the ‘downwind for the day’.

Despite a good day, Price saw little rhyme or reason to the conditions. “It was very hard to see the wind on the water, you have to feel it on the boat and look at the boats round you.” Price uses a sixth sense that she finds hard to explain, when ‘feeling’ the breeze. “If the boat doesn’t want to accelerate you’re not sailing in pressure. And you can’t wait for the wind to come to you, you have to find it yourself.”

Anika Lorenz agreed with Price’s assessment. Although she and her helm Victoria Jurczok had to hand on the Seiko yellow jerseys to the French team now leading the series, the Germans had a good day even if they found the conditions very challenging.

“Our first race was 7th and then a 5th,” said Lorenz. “We had a problem with being late on the start, and had to catch some boats during the races. We couldn’t start, but we could come from behind. We just look for pressure and try to catch it – there was no real strategy that worked all the time.”

With 28 nations represented in Marseille, there are race winners from around the world, with the Japanese FX women Chika Hatae and Noriko Okuma emulating their male compatriots’ victory from yesterday with their own race win today.

 

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The women now divide into Gold and Silver fleets, while the 97-boat men’s 49er fleet moves through to the next stage. Today was a frustrating outing for the top 40 men who were divided into two groups of 20. Despite starting a race in very light airs, the breeze dropped too light to complete a heat for either group.

It was a missed opportunity for some teams in the 20’s to climb up into the top 20 for Friday’s Semi-Final. The Lübeck brothers from Denmark remain in 21st overall, tantalisingly close to moving up the standings. “A bit disappointing,” said helmsman Mads, “but we couldn’t do anything about it. We kind of missed the opportunity because we messed up the start, but of course now it doesn’t count anyway. We just have to be prepared for tomorrow and stay in 21st place. Our goal is to hold that position, win the second fleet, and get back into the gold fleet on the day after.”

A place behind in 22nd, Philipp Müller and Kilian Holzapfel were also sad to miss a chance to move up to gold fleet, although the German team has already exceeded its expectations for this regatta. “We were hoping for the top 40, so anything else is a bonus for us,” said Müller. “We are happy.”

British team Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign remain top of the standings and will wear the Seiko yellow jerseys going into the Semi-Finals, which will be live streamed on 49er.org from 11am local time on Friday. Straight afterwards the women will go into their Semi-Final, also going out live from Marseille.

 

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For more info and full results see: 49er.org/event/2013-world-championships

 

By Andy Rice, 49er Sailing media

 

 

Groupama C is looking unbeatable

 

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Photos © Jim Champ

 

 

C-Class Catamaran Championship at Restronguet Sailing Club, Falmouth, UK

 

In light airs and gradually increasing Cornish fog, three Petit Fleet races were held on Thursday in Falmouth Bay followed by two intense match races between Groupama and Hydros 1. The fog became so thick that racing was ended for the day.

In the Petit Fleet races there was a clean sweep for the North Americans, Canaan and Cogito swapped first and second in race two and three, and Fill Your Hands was victorious in race one.

Franck Cammas continued his dominance of the event, now in match racing against Hydro, his boat foiling to victory in the two races today.

Racing will start on Friday at 11.00 hrs local subject to conditions, with 30 knot winds predicted.

 

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Match Race Results:

 

Pos Boat Name Sail No Helm Crew Team R1 R2 Pts
1st Groupama C FRA7 Franck Cammas Louis Viat Groupama 1 1 2
2nd Flyer SUI1 Billy Besson Jeremie Lagarrigue Hydros Lombard Odier 2 2 4

 

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Petit Fleet Race Results: (after three races)

 

Pos Boat Name Sail No Helm Crew Team R1 R2 R3 Pts
1st Cogito USA104 Lars Guck Max Kramers Project Cogito 2 2 1 5
2nd Canaan CAN9 Billy Gooderham Chritian Pavey Fred Eaton 7 1 2 10
3rd Above Archmedus SUI11 Mischa Heemskerk Bastiaan Tentij Hydros Lombard Odier 3 4 4 11
4th Fill Your Hands CAN10 Fred Eaton Magnus Clarke Fred Eaton 1 6 6 13
5th Patient Lady VI FRA2 Gurvan Bentemps Gwenole Gahinet Challenge France 4 5 5 14
6th Aethon USA105 Steve Clark Oliver Moore Project Cogito 6 3 7 16
7th Invictus GBR38 Tom Phipps Cedric Bader Team Invictus 8 7 3 18
8th Alpha ESP8 Luke Patience Sito Aviles Sentient Blue 5 DNC DNC 25
9th Wild Horse POR25 Diago Cayola Nuno Balieto Team Cascais 9 DNC DNC 29

 

For more info see: The Event Website

 

By Ken Docherty

 

Dreams and Nightmares

 

yandy99511 All photos © Pierick Jeannoutot / www.pierik.fr

 

 

Seiko 49er & 49erFX Worlds at Marseille, France 

 

For anyone aspiring to win the Seiko 49er & 49erFX World Championships in Marseille, day 2 was a critical hurdle. For the 97 men’s teams from 28 countries, it was all about making the cut for the top 40. Tomorrow the top 40 will re-order into two groups of 20, while for those that didn’t make it through, they still have a slim but fading chance of making it back into the final stages.

The day’s highest profile casualty was the German team of Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel, 7th at last year’s Worlds, but sitting in 43rd place, a single agonising point away from scraping into the top 40. A black flag disqualification for the Germans yesterday was compounded by a collision with Polish team Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski, resulting in a capsize for the Poles and a setback for both teams. If Heil was having a nightmare, his girlfriend Victoria Jurczok had a dream day in the 49erFX fleet, moving into the overall lead with crew Anika Lorenz after scoring 2nd in their heat.

It was another light airs day with crews single-trapezing in 4 to 8 knots of breeze on a hot sunny day on the Mediterranean. Jurczok and Lorenz are living up to their billing as one of the favourites if the breeze continues to stay light, and displaced the Singapore team Griselda Khng and Sara Tan from the top of the leaderboard, although only by a point. Dutch team Nina Keijzer and Annette Duetz sit in third place overall. Race wins for Germany’s Leonie Meyer and Maren Hahlbrock and Australia’s Olivia Price and Caitlin Elks move these teams within striking distance of the top 10 in this 53-boat fleet.

 

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Change of leader in the 49er FX fleet – photos © Pierick Jeannoutot / www.pierik.fr

 

With nine nations in the top 10 of the FX fleet, only the Danes have two crew in the top group. The surprise is that European Champions Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen aren’t one of them. After hitting the windward mark and taking a penalty turn yesterday put them in 26th overall, the much fancied Danish crew at least scored a 5th place to move up to 17th overall.

“We only made one small mistake – that penalty yesterday – which cost us a lot,” said Nielsen. “But today was much better. We like all kinds of weather, a good mix of everything would be good. We have been practising in light winds so we are ready.”

In the men’s racing, after the dominance of individual teams winning both of yesterday’s races, the winning was much more evenly distributed around the fleet. Gonzalo Pollitzer and Federico Villambrosa won a race today, moving the Argentineans up to 6th overall. Last year’s Olympic representatives for France, Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis, move up to 10th overall with their race win, while a bullet for Yukio Makino and Kenji Takahashi puts them in 18th overall.

 

yandy99534 Early leaders European Champions Dylan Fletcher & Alain Sign (GBR) – Photo © Pierick Jeannoutot

 

Holding on to their lead are Great Britain’s Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign, who won another race to add to their two bullets from day one. While the game in Marseille has mostly about getting a good start and holding a lane out to the left-hand side, the European Champions made their committee-boat start tactics work well for them.

“A tricky first race, where we weren’t quite on the ball,” said Sign. “But the second race we upped our game. We started on the committee boat end and tried to roll a few boats to get out to the left. We were keen to lead the boats out on that side, and we managed to win that one. Then that last one we had an entertaining start. One of the Swedish guys snapped our tiller extension just as we were starting, but we managed to fix that and found a few shifts and gusts and got back up to 3rd in that one.”

Sitting in 2nd place is the 2008 Olympic Champion Jonas Warrer with crew Peter Lang from Denmark, while in 3rd and 4th on equal points are two Kiwi teams, Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski sitting level with Olympic silver medallists Pete Burling and Blair Tuke. “A nice solid day, getting a 4,3,1,” said Tuke. “We got off the start line a bit better and the boat’s going well. Still early days but working out well for us.”

Reigning Olympic and World Champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen sailed a solid but unspectacular day to sit in 8th overall. To find out who won the coveted jerseys for fastest off the line, fastest downwind, and more, click here…

More light winds are expected for tomorrow as the women continue their FX battle and the men move into 49er Qualifying Round 2.

 

For more see: 49er.org/event/2013-world-championships

 

By Andy Rice, 49er Sailing media

 

 

 

New Little Cup Champion guaranteed

 

CCC D3 mb

Photo © Meredith Block / C-Class

 

 

C-Class Catamaran Championship at Restronguet Sailing Club in Falmouth

 

France, Switzerland advance to finals, Defender comes up short

 

More light air on Falmouth Bay played into the hands of Franck Cammas and his Groupama C as they sailed to two more wins and a third place on the final day of qualifying for the 2013 International C-Class Catamaran Championship. Cammas and crew Louis Viat scored a perfect 7 points from 7 races after dropping their two high scores.

Billy Besson and Jeremie Lagarrigue aboard Team Hydros’ SUI 1 were neck-and-neck with teammates Mischa Heemskerk and Bastian Tentij until a strategic error by the Dutch sailors aboard SUI II saw them retire from Race 8 and score a last place in the final race. With that error, Besson/Lagarrigue clinched the final spot in the one-on-one match racing final for the International C-Class Catamaran Championship Trophy.

Two-time Little Cup Champions Fred Eaton and Magnus Clarke (Fill Your Hands) sailed a strong day to finish third overall in the qualifying standings, missing the finals match by just 3 points, while Americans Lars Guck and Max Kramers aboard Steve Clarke’s non-foiling veteran boat Cogito turned in a blinding performance to sneak ahead of Heemskerk for fourth place. The fleet will square off tomorrow to challenge for the final podium position in a fleet racing format.

The final match begins Thursday at 1100 GMT, with fleet racing beginning once two match races are completed.

 

Results after Day 4: (nine races, 2 discards)

 

1 – Cammas/Viat, Groupama C, 12 points

2 – Besson/Lagarrigue, Hydros I, 35 points

3 – Eaton/Clarke, Fill Your Hands, 38 points

4 – Guck/Kramers, Cogito, 56 points

5 – Heemskerk/Tentij, Hydros 1, 59 points

 

 

Walking on water! – Is there nothing that this man is not capable of?

Groupama pic

Franck Cammas clears weed from his rudder foils for better speed performance! – Photo c Team Groupama

 

For more info see: The Event Website

 

By Ken Docherty

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