Sailing: World 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Foiling Championships Conclude, Two Quotas to be Reallocated

The 2020 49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 World Championships concluded today. The event also acted as the Oceania continental qualifier for those events. The highest ranked eligible boat in each of the three events qualified their nation to the Olympics. The 49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 World Championships were held in Geelong, Australia from February 8th to February 15th 2020.

The initial races saw the men’s 49er split into three groups and the women’s 49erFX split into two. Poor weather on the first day of races saw no races held. The second day saw three races in all three events with Great Britain’s Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stuart Bithell winning two of the races in their group to finish the day with 4 points. Great Britain was also in the lead for the mixed Nacra 17 Foiling where John Gimson and Anna Burnet won two of the races for a total of 12 points. In the women’s 49erFX it was Germany’s Tina Lutz and Lotta Wiemers who led all boats.

The third day saw three more races in each event. The worst result was now dropped. New Zealand’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, the defending champions took over the lead in the men’s 49er thanks to winning two out of the three races. A consistent Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey of Great Britain took the lead in the women’s 49erFX while Gimson and Burnet continued to hold onto the lead in the mixed Nacra 17 Foiling.

The boats for the 49er and 49erFX were combined to their final fleets on the fourth day where three races were held for the 49erFX and Nacra 17 Foiling and four races were held for the 49er. Dobson and Tidey retained their two-point lead over Spain’s Tamara Echegoyen and Paula Barcelo in the women’s 49erFX while in the men’s 49er Burling and Tuke were overtaken by Austria’s Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl who now held a one point lead. Similarly, Gimson and Burnet lost their lead to Australia’s Nathan and Haylee Outteridge in the mixed Nacra 17 Foiling where the pair took a nine-point lead.

Poor weather again on the fifth day saw no races held. The sixth and final day saw two main races along with the medal race. A poor first race by Bildstein and Hussl allowed Burling and Tuke to retake the lead in the men’s 49er where they held an insurmountable lead going into the medal race. The pair won gold with a score of 38 points. Silver went to Spain’s Diego Botin and Iago Lopez (58 points) and bronze went to Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (60 points).

In the women’s 49erFX it was Echegoyen and Barcelo who had the better final day as they passed Dobson and Tidey for the gold medal. The bronze was won by the United States’ Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea. A poor medal race by Nathan and Heylee Outteridge in the Nacra 17 Foiling allowed Gimson and Burnet to win the world title by one point with a score of 67 points. The bronze medal was won by Australia’s Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin.

In terms of Olympic qualification only the men’s 49er was allocated. The quota was won by Australia’s William and Sam Phillips. No eligible boats competed in the women’s 49erFX and mixed Nacra 17 Foiling. Therefore, the quota was reallocated to the next highest ranked boat at the 2019 World Championships, specifically France’s Julie Bossard and Aude Compan in the women’s 49erFX and Sweden’s Emil Jarudd and Cecilia Jonsson in the mixed Nacra 17 Foiling.

This was the final opportunity for Oceania nations to qualify in these events. The next continent to have qualifiers in these events will be Asia, set to be held in March.

Men’s 49er
* Australia

Women’s 49erFX
* France

Mixed Nacra 17 Foiling
* Sweden

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