Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 2018 Velocitek ProStart 728x90

49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 European Championship at Gdynia, Poland - Day 4

by Ben Remocker 11 Jul 22:17 BST 8-13 July 2018
2018 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championship - Day 4 © Drew Malcolm - www.drewmalcolm.com.au

Spanish Junior Sailing Sisters, Including Teenaged Crew, Take Over Outright Lead in Olympic 49erFX Finals

Despite a long onshore delay and shifty and unstable conditions on the water today as the Finals began in the 2018 49er and Nacra 17 European Championship. With the fleets split by their ranking into gold and silver fleets, the top twenty-seven Nacra 17 crews and top twenty-five 49erFX teams hit the water under an angry grey sky in around 10 knots of Northerly breeze.

For Spanish 49erFX sailors Carla and Marta Munté, the racing was well worth the wait in their first ever European championship. The former 29er world champions (2014, 29er) have been quietly stalking the leaders in the class all week, but today's breakout performance, combined with inconsistent finishes from some top competitors, meant not just the lead for the Munté sisters, but an 8 point gap back to overnight leaders Helene Naess and Marie Roningen. That's the biggest lead we've seen in the FX all week.

Carla Munté said that awareness was one of the keys to winning the day with a 5,4,2 including an impressive comeback in the final race of the day. "With two winds fighting each other, the pressure was so different across the course," said Carla Munté. Her sister Marta said that they never stopped looking for wind. "We had to be constantly looking all over for the best pressure and to try to stay out of the worst of the waves too." If the lightweight sisters can hang on to this lead for two more days, they would become the youngest-ever European Champions in FX history.

Reigning European Champions Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke (GER) looked to be making a run at defending their title, storming off to an easy race 1 victory before giving back many of their gains with a 16 in the second race. The third race of the day gave the accomplished Germans the chance to shine, and after a good start and beat, the pair sailed two tactically brilliant downwind legs culminating in a last-gybe pass of Australian duo Tess Lloyd/Jaime Ryan just meters from the finish. With two bullets in three races, it was the first time all week we've seen Lutz and Beucke back on the form that's carried them so far over the past 12 months, but their happiness wouldn't last long: Coach Evans pulled up to the boat and informed the team they'd been called over early and disqualified from the race.

Tina and Susann immediately realized their first place had become a 25th, and their anguished sighs rang out over the now-calm water. The top Germans may still have a mathematical chance to win here in Gdynia Poland, but what was once a real possibility became a massive mountain to climb in the blink of an eye. The sportsman's old refrain is as applicable as ever: "You can't win a regatta on the first day, but you can lose it!"

While the FX fleets struggled with light air, a massive thunderstorm system erupting over the mainland helped create a brisk, 15 knot Northeasterly that allowed the foiling Nacra 17 fleet to reach speeds well over 20 knots at times. With characteristic aggressiveness and a willingness to take what seemed at the time like high-risk moves, Italy's Ruggero Tita and Catarina Banti threw a hurt on the fleet, proving their speed and smarts in both the light air and heavy with two wins in two races! Tita/Banti's strategy was simple and powerful: Start on port tack, take transoms, and go hard right. The Port Tack Option worked out well for him both times.

It worked like a charm, and Banti and Tita take the lead over Jones/Saunders (NZL) by just 2 points with more light air ahead.

After a long layoff resulting from a serious condition and resultant brain surgery, Rio 2016 skipper Paul Kohloff (GER) feels he and 18 year old crew Alica Stuhlammer are getting more and more settled as the year goes on. "When you're a heavier crew like we are it's really easy to go fast, so we got away with maybe not having the best settings today," said Kohloff, who said sailing has been one of the keys to a successful recovery long recovery. "There's nothing better for me in the world right now," said Kohloff.

No 49er racing could be conducted as PRO David Campbell James sent the 49er fleet home almost immediately after they arrived at the race area due to the approaching storm.

The 2018 49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 European Championship, at Volvo Sailing Day Gdynia, is from July 8 – 13. The 49er and Nacra 17 Classes are sponsored by Magic Marine. Follow all the action via 49er.orgnacra17.org

Nacra 17 Top 5 After Day 4:

1 NZL Ruggero Tita, Caterina Banti 16pts
2 GBR Gemma Jones, Jason Saunders 18pts
3 ESP Fernando Echavarri, Tara Pacheco 25pts
4 ITA Ben Saxton, Nikki Bonniface 33pts
5 USA John Gimson, Anna Burnet 42pts

49erFX Top 5 After Day 4:

1 NOR Carla Munté, Marta Munté 39pts
2 GBR Helene Naess, Marie Ronningen 47pts
3 ESP Sophie Weguelin, Sophie Ainsworth 48pts
4 USA Julie Gross, Hanna Klinga 58pts
5 DEN Stephanie Roble, Margaret Shea 66pts

49er Top 5 After Day 4:

1 POL Lukasz Przybytek, Pawel Kolodzinski 30pts
2 ESP Diego Botín, Iago Marra 31pts
3 ARG Yago Lange, Klaus Lange 40pts
4 GER Justus Schmidt, Max Boeme 41pts
5 GBR Dylan Fletcher-Scott, Stuart Bithell 43 pts

Related Articles

Weguelin and Ainsworth aiming for World Champs
The two Sophies say they've not yet hit their peak British Sailing Team athletes Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth say they've not yet hit their peak after scooping bronze at the 49er FX class European Championships. Posted on 15 Jul
49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 Europeans overall
Chaos and calamity for 49er, FX leaders as new European Champs crowned for both classes With racing starting an hour early to compensate for lost races earlier in the week, sailors hitting the water for the final day of the 2018 49er and Nacra 17 European Championship saw what by now is a rare sight: A consistent 8-11 knot breeze! Posted on 14 Jul
49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 Europeans day 5
Dismal day disappoints, but champs push forward Between the dark skies, sheets of fog and mist, and the charcoal-colored Baltic, the Bay of Gdansk this morning was indeed 50 shades of grey as the penultimate day of the 2018 49er & Nacra European Championship began in the ancient fishing village Posted on 13 Jul
49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 Europeans day 3
Disappointment and joy as qualifying ends Lady luck shone on the men's 49er skiff fleet this morning, as the final day of qualifying for the European Championship began just off the beach in Gdynia. Posted on 11 Jul
Entries for 2018 Sail Melbourne are now open
To be held at Royal Brighton Yacht Club in December Entries are now open for the 2018 Sail Melbourne International to be hosted out of Royal Brighton Yacht Club on the shores of Port Philip Bay from 12 December through to 16 December 2018. Posted on 10 Jul
49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 Europeans day 2
The baltic's two faces At days break, most of the fleet expected to spend the day sitting on shore awaiting wind. Pleasantly, an unexpected North Eastern wind built before start time to about 8 knots, making for great racing. Posted on 10 Jul
49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 Europeans day 1
Polish summer smiles, familiar faces and upstarts triumph With just 24 months remaining until the lighting of the Olympic Torch in Tokyo, it's time for athletes competing for the right to represent their country in Japan to get down to business. Posted on 9 Jul
49er Europeans preview
Over 90 boats are racing in Gdynia The fleet is not just competitive in depth, but for the first time in a long time, 49er titles are being won by a different team each month it would seem. Posted on 7 Jul
Fletcher and Bithell mount European title defence
49er FX and Nacra 17 combine with 49er Europeans in Poland World number one 49er crew Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell will look to defend their European title in Gdynia, Poland, in their final test ahead of the Sailing World Championships. Posted on 6 Jul
Australian Sailing Team at Kiel Week
Sound preparation and focus under pressure Sound preparation and focus under pressure proved the decisive factors in Australia's World Champion 470 crew, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan, capturing a hard-earned gold medal, as the Kiel Week regatta in Germany wound up overnight. Posted on 25 Jun