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2020 49er, 49er FX & Nacra 17 Oceania Championship at Geelong, Australia - Day 1

by 49er & Nacra 17 Sailing 31 Jan 10:50 GMT 30 January - 3 February 2020
2020 49er, 49er FX & Nacra 17 Oceania Championship - Day 1 ©

Michael Hansen and Mathias Sletten (DEN) had their best ever day racing 49er to kick off proceedings in Geelong. The young duo scored a 1 - 3 on their fleets two races, a much better result than most.

Coaching them was 2016 gold medalist Jena Hansen, with Peter Hansen, the squad's normal coach on another course in the qualifying stages. When asked how much credit 'sister' Jena should get Michael, like a typical brother would not give any credit saying 'she just said today is too crazy to analyse, let's just have fun and relax while we wait for racing." It obviously worked...

While none of these Hansens are actually related, the Danish squad is very much like a family anyways, and the youngsters might just be ready for the spotlight.

Sailing today was like in a hairdryer. Worse still, whoever was holding their hairdryer kept shaking it all over.

After six hours of trying to fun races in 40 degrees and gusts of 30 knots of wind, the 49er fleets got either one or two races, and 49erFX and Nacra 17 never got a chance to leave the shore.

In conditions like these, avoiding trouble can be the most important element with a large fleet and a short championship. Fletcher and Bithell (GBR) got a black flag in race 1, and then were the only team to finish race 2 in their fleet only to have that score erased by a abandonment as nobody else could get around the course.

Heil / Ploessel (GER) scored a DNF to go along with a 15 meaning that two of the top three from the 2019 Worlds are deep in a hole already. Many more scored poorly as well and will be unlikely to emerge into gold fleet.

"It was the hottest wind I've ever felt," said Lester Noble of Ovington Boats, down to support the fleet. "Like a hand drier turned to the max and running full speed."

It was a mixed up day to be sure, not much was decided. The fleet will continue for three more days of racing before resting a week and racing the World Championship.

Find more information here.

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