Sailing: Four Nations Qualify to Olympics at Lanzarote International Regatta

The medals were awarded today at the 2021 Lanzarote International Regatta. The event also doubled as the European Olympic qualifier for the men’s 49er, women’s 49erFX and mixed Nacra 17 and the African Olympic qualifier for the mixed Nacra 17 where the highest ranked eligible boat qualified their nation to the games. The Lanzarote International Regatta was held in Playa Blanca, Spain from March 19th to March 26th 2021.

The men’s 49er saw a total of 16 races plus the medal race. Boats were split into two groups for the first nine races where the fleets were combined and the best competed in the gold fleet while the rest competed in the silver fleet. After the first day it was Ireland’s Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove whom had the overall lead.

A relatively poor second day allowed 2017 World Championship gold medalist Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stuart Bithell of Great Britain to overtake the lead. A DNF in the seventh race meant it was Spain’s Diego Botin and Iago Lopez, the 2020 World Championship silver medalist turn to take the lead. The pair would extend their lead over the final three days to the point where they were guaranteed the gold medal going into the medal race. The silver medal was won by Denmark’s Jonas Warrer and Jakob Precht Jensen while the bronze and Olympic quota was won by Dickson and Waddilove.

The women’s 49erFX followed a similar schedule as the 49er. On the first day, France’s Lili Sebesi and Albane Dubois held a joint lead with Norway’s Helene Naess and Marie Ronningen. Naess and Ronningen would have a better second day to take sole possession of the lead. However, a poor day which included a 15th and 12th place finish allowed 2019 World Championship silver medalists Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze of Brazil to take a solid lead.

The pair would hold onto the lead going into the final day where the penultimate race gave them an uncatchable lead. The podium was rounded out by the Netherlands’ Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz and Spain’s Tamara Echegoyan and Paula Barcelo. The Olympic quota was obtained by Belgium Isaura Maenhaut and Anouk Geurts.

Only a single fleet for the Nacra 17 raced together for the entire regatta where a total of 16 races plus the medal race was held. The regatta was initially led by Germany’s Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer, but a relatively poor third day allowed Spain’s Tara Pecheco, the 2017 World Championship silver medalist and Florian Trittel to take the overall lead. The duo formed a partnership back in 2019.

Pecheco and Trittel would go on to win the gold medal ahead of Kohlhoff and Stuhlemmer and France’s Quentin Delapierre and Manon Audinet whom won silver and bronze respectively. The European Olympic quota went to Finland’s Sinem Kurtbay and Janne Jarvinen while the African quota went to Tunisia’s Mehdi Gharbi and Rania Rahali.

The fleet for the Nacra 17 Foiling is complete while two spots remain for the 49er and 49erFX to be decided at the African and Asian qualifier set to begin next week. Both African and European nations can still qualify in other sailing events scheduled to be held over the coming weeks.

Qualified Nations

Men’s 49er
* Ireland

Women’s 49erFX
* Belgium

Mixed Nacra 17 Foiling
* Finland
* Tunisia

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