Please select your home edition
Edition
Sea Sure 2020 - LEADERBOARD

49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships 2021 at Thessalonikki, Greece - Day 1

by 49er & Nacra 17 Sailing 15 Sep 12:38 BST 14-19 September 2021
Malta rounding second at a tight leeward mark. © Nikos Pantis

New sis on the block

The Schultheis sisters had a storybook start to their first ever European Championships winning all three races. Fresh out of the 29er class, with only a Youth Worlds and Kiel week in their FX experience column, they were not phased by the 37 boat fleet and used great starts and great speed in the lighter conditions to stay clear of the chasing pack.

At only 20 and 18 years old, and accompanied by their younger brother in the 49er, they sailed hard all winter at home in Malta and then only break up to Europe for racing. Their brother was sailing FX against them early in the year, but now moved into the 49er as the youngest sailor in the fleet here, a family affair to be sure for these Maltese sailors.

With 37 boats on the line, it was easy to get caught up in tough mark rounding situations or loose lanes with big consequences. Not that it is likely to get any easier for these 49erFX teams. The winds in Thessaloniki have been remarkably consistent each day, with the sea breeze bringing winds from 6-14 knots, flat water but for the motor boat chop, and little respite for teams who prefer the stronger stuff.

Road to Gold is the 12 chapter tutorial system by Hamish Wilcox, explaining every aspect of top level sailing, guaranteed to improve any sailors performances. From new races to the world's best, everyone can learn from Hamish. Find out more here.

Gimson and Burnet continue their form from Tokyo

John Gimson and Anna Burnet (GBR) took two wins from three races but were pressured all day from some of the newer teams to the fleet. Just weeks after taking the silver medal in Tokyo, they cobbled together a training boat with their spare gear and came to race here in Greece at the last moment. As the only medal winners from Tokyo in Thessaloniki, the British pair are clear favorites to win the European championship, but had to fend off a number of fast young teams, especially Titouan Petard with Lou Berthemeau (FRA) who sit in second place. The British were perhaps a bit surprised to be challenged so tightly after having clear wheels at the games, but also recognized the young talent coming through.

Veterans Dani Paschalidis with Myrto Papadopoulou (GRE) are the most experienced local team here, and that local experience cost them a bit today. Expecting a typical left shift through the day, the positioned themselves to that side, but kept getting beat out as the right had a bit more pressure.

... meanwhile, Ruggero Tita (ITA) dining out on gold;)

Polish 49er squad lead out in depth

Lukasz Pryzybtek with Pawel Kolodzynski (POL) showed the young fellas in the 49er fleet how to convert good starts today and scored a 2, 4, 1 and lead the 61 boat 49er fleet. They started well, and had good speed, but critically, kept their heads of the boat and remained open minded as to what was working on the race course.

After a left favored first race, they went left again in the second race. Critically, they picked up on the right hand pressure and altered their strategy mid race, right to pass a number of boats on the second lap. Understanding what was going on, they then won the final race of the day to move clear ahead. These Tokyo Olympians were able to keep open minded about the race course and convert that into a lead.

They are chased by their Polish countrymen, Mikolaj Staniul with Kuba Storch who sit in second and Buksak with Wirrzbicki (POL) who sit in seventh. France and the USA sit in third and fourth respectively.

After a somewhat disappointing finish for the Polish team in Tokyo, they are looking to heading to Paris squad on the front foot.

Related Articles

49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Europeans overall
Staniul & Sztorch narrowly win 49er Euros in a first for Poland Mikolaj Staniul with Kuba Sztorch (POL) won a tit for tat battle with Tim Fischer with Fabian Graf that played out over two 49er gold races on the final day in Thessaloniki. Posted on 20 Sep
49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Europeans day 3
French Nacra squad making strides For three French Nacra 17 teams, they are working cooperatively on the med coast, sharing time between Marseilles and La Grand Motte, and working against time to move into the elite group as quickly as possible. Posted on 17 Sep
49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Europeans day 2
Next generation of Spanish, German, Austrian, and American skiffs Most of the big names in 49er sailing are taking some well earned time off after Tokyo. As such, now is the time for the Paris potential stars to usurp the aging veterans. Posted on 16 Sep
49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 Europeans day 1
Finally, racing starts in Thessaloniki for 112 teams The 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 European Championships begins racing on September 14, 2021. It was originally scheduled for May 2020, then September 2020, then May 2021, and now finally will occur in the denouement from Tokyo 2020. Posted on 14 Sep
Tokyo 2020: Great Britain and Italy take home gold
With the 49er class decided by the slimmest of margins Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell become the first British team to win 49er gold, and in the process knock Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) from their perch atop the sailing world. Posted on 3 Aug
Tokyo 2020: Setting up for the skiff medal races
Will the Rio gold medalists repeat? The 49er and 49erFX medal races each set the returning Rio Gold medalists against a cadre of worthy challengers. It will not be an easy task for either Peter Burling with Blair Tuke (NZL) nor Martine Grael with Kahena Kunze (BRA) to defend their titles. Posted on 2 Aug
Tokyo 2020: Narrow leads in 49er classes
A totally different challenge show top teams in full command of their skiffs Fleet racing at its best is meant to challenge teams to race across a variety of conditions in order to discover who is best. A phrase uttered dozens of times at elite regattas, Burling and Tuke (NZL) win the day to move into the lead. Posted on 31 Jul
Tita and Banti fly downwind for Nacra lead
Breakaway Speed separates Italians from fleet in Nacra 17 In the first full day of racing since the 2020 Worlds, it's clear that Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) have used their time wisely. Posted on 28 Jul
Strong winds make for lively FX start
Dobson and Tidey rise to the occasion at Tokyo 2020 After a slow start in the first race, Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) put the hammer down, moved through the fleet and proved unstoppable. It was a sign of things to come. Posted on 27 Jul
49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Junior Worlds
Poland and Italy secure dominant victories Mikolaj Staniul with Jakub Sztroch (POL) capped a wire to wire Junior Worlds victory by winning the final four races in a row. The 27 point margin of victory is the largest ever for a Junior World Championship. Posted on 13 Jul