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British Team at 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships day 1

by British Sailing Team 3 Dec 2019 12:23 GMT 3-8 December 2019
Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell - 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships day 1 © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy

The headlines:

  • Big breeze in Auckland curtails racing on opening day
  • 49erFX and Nacra 17 fleets sent home - 49ers sent out in late afternoon
  • 49ers banked two races in varying conditions
  • 2017 world champs Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell lead British charge in ninth with a solid 9, 2
  • Jack Hawkins and Chris Thomas excel in testing conditions, sit 13th
  • 49erFX and Nacra 17 fleets forced to wait until day two to get action under way
  • Racing continues at 11am local time Wednesday / 10pm GMT Tuesday

What they said:

Stuart Bithell (33, Rochdale, Manchester), 49er

"Interesting first day of the regatta, we were held ashore even though the conditions looked perfect, but officials were worried about a front coming through in the afternoon so we waited for hours! Finally we got launched with a first possible start at 5pm. Conditions were by then much lighter, 8-12k, which is how we raced the first of two. It was shifty and patchy but we managed a counter. The second race was much windier, 18-22k. We had a great start and were in the mix at the top. After the final run which was very windy we snuck up to second. A solid start."

Chris Thomas (25, St Mawes, Cornwall), 49er

"After a six-hour postponement we knew one of the big challenges was going to be getting the brains switched back on. So we made sure we were super regimented with all our pre-race routines to ensure we didn't miss anything. Race 1 was really shift-based and we managed to make a few good decisions on the first beat which put us up front. Come race 2 the breeze had built to about 18 knots with a savage chop. We had a poor first beat but we had good speed and some tidy boat handling pulled us through the pack. Credit to our windy training in Weymouth over the autumn and winter!"

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