The final group of Olympic sailing World Championships was held this week with medals and Olympic quotas being awarded in the Men’s 49er, Women’s 49erFX and Mixed Nacra 17 Foiling. Overall, four quotas were available in the men’s 49er, six for the women’s 49erFX and five for the mixed Nacra 17 Foiling where they went to the highest ranked nations not yet qualified in the respective events. The 2019 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Foiling World Championships was held in Auckland, New Zealand from December 1st to December 8th 2019.
Due to poor weather on the opening day of events, only the men’s 49er held races as boats were split into three groups with each one competing twice. The day was won by Germany’s Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel whom obtained a second and first place rank in their two races. The second day had a full day of racing where four races were held and the worst overall performance was dropped. This allowed Austria’s Benjamin Bildstein and David Hassl to take a narrow one point lead over New Zealand’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke and Heil and Ploessel. The third day saw Burling and Tuke and Heil and Ploessel extend their lead over the rest of the field over the three races held as the latter took a one point lead.
The top ships during the qualification round were combined into the gold fleet while others competed in the silver and bronze fleets. The first day of the gold fleet contained three races where Heil and Ploessel took a nine point lead over Burling and Tuke. That would be reversed on the next day where the New Zealand pair not only recovered, but took an 11 point lead over the Germans during the three races. The final day saw two more races along with the medal race. Despite the German pair cutting into the lead all New Zealand needed to do during the medal race was play safe in order to win the gold medal with a score of 86 points, the Germans won silver with 92 points while the bronze medal was won by Great Britain’s Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stuart Bithell (130 points).
The Olympic quotas were won by Spain, Austria, the Netherlands and Poland.
Poor weather on the first day of races prevented the women’s 49erFX from competing. The second day contained four races with boats split into two groups. With the worst performance dropped the leaders after the first day were Paris Henken and Anna Tobias of the United States and Denmark’s Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen whom had seven points each. The third day also contained four races where at least a top five performance in each of the races by Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze allowed them to hold a 14 point lead over the competition.
The top ships during the qualification round were then combined on the fourth day into the gold fleet while the others competed in the silver fleet. The first day of the gold fleet saw three races and the Brazilian pair hold the lead though defending champions Annemeik Bekkering and Annette Duetz cut the lead to eleven points. They would draw level on the second day where they finished ahead of Grael and Kunze in all three of the races leaving the final day to decide the medals between them. Two more races were held on the final day where the Netherlands’ pair would hold a slim two point lead going into the medal race. An unfortunate capsize by the Brazilians during the race essentially gave Bekkering and Duetz the gold medal as they finished with a score of 96. The silver medal went to Grael and Kunze (110 points) while the bronze medal went to Baad Nielsen and Olsen (124 points).
The Olympic quotas were won by Germany, Argentina, the United States, Poland, Spain and Singapore.
As with the 49erFX, the first day of races for the Nacra 17 Foiling were cancelled due to poor weather. The second day contained four races as boats competed in two separate groups. With the worst score dropped, the winner of the day was Great Britain’s John Gimson and Anna Burnet whom finished first twice and second once in the three races that counted towards their score. The second day also saw four races held. Gimson and Burnet maintain their overall lead, but were only a single point ahead of Italy’s Vittorio Bissaro and Maelle Frascari.
The top ships during the qualification round were then combined into the gold fleet while the others competed in the silver fleet. The first day of the gold fleet contained three races where Bissaro and Frascari took the overall lead by seven points. They maintain their lead on the next day after three more races where they held a six point lead over Australia’s Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin. The final day saw two more races held before the medal race. Going into the medal race the Italian pair held a one point lead over Denmark’s Lin Ea Cenholt and Christian Peter Lubeck with the Australian pair not too far behind. The Italians won this three-way race to win the gold medal with a score of 93 points while Cenholt/Lubeck (96 points) and Waterhouse/Darmanin (103 points) won the silver and bronze medals respectively.
The Olympic quotas were won by Spain, France, Germany, the United States and Norway.
As the 2019 World Championships holds a higher qualification priority over the continental qualifiers a few reallocations have occurred specifically from the North and South American qualifiers. In the women’s 49erFX the quotas won by Argentina and the United States have been reallocated to Peru and Canada respectively and in the mixed Nacra 17 Foiling the quota won by the United States has been reallocated to Puerto Rico. For the other continents the final opportunity to qualify to the Olympics in these events will be at their respective continental qualifier.