The penultimate day saw the medal races for the men’s 49er and women’s 49erFX. Due to poor weather only 12 races plus the medal race were held. In total, 8 quotas in both events were up for grabs, with a maximum of one boat per nation per event. Japan is also excluded due to already qualifying as host. The championship is being held in Aarhus, Denmark from July 30th to August 12th 2018.
France’s Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros had a great start to the men’s 49er where they were at least tied for the lead during the first three days and six races. However, a disqualification in the seventh and a poor eighth race caused them to tumble down the rankings with Croatian brothers Sime and Mihovil Fantela taking the lead. The brothers enter the medal race with 13 point lead. Sime, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the men’s 470 has successfully made the switch to the 49er by becoming World Champion (72 point). By winning the medal race France’s Mathieu Frei and Noe Delpech won silver (92 points) while Germans Tim Fischer and Fabian Graf won bronze (93 points).
The initial standings for the women’s 49erFX was dominated by Danish sailors with 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and defending World Champions Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen taking the lead after the first day of racing and Ide Baad Nielsen and Marie Olsen taking the lead after the second and third days. The Danish sailors would eventually be passed by Austrians Tanja Frank (2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the Nacra 17) and Lorena Abicht whom took an 11 point lead into the medal race. However, a disastrous race where the Austrian pair capsized their boat part-way through the race cost them the gold medal as Netherlands sailors Annemiek Bekkering and Anette Duetz won gold (89 points) while Frank and Abicht finished with silver (91 points). Great Britain sailors Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth won bronze (94 points).
Great Britain continues its impressive run of a perfect qualification with seven boats qualified. The next opportunity for nations to qualify to the Olympics in these events will be the 2019 World Championship.