Eighty eight of the world’s best 49er teams have gathered in Grimstad, Norway, for the MasterCard 49er European Championship, which got underway today.
Competition is tight as all of the medal winners from the recent world championships in Hawaii are present, along with the top nineteen ranked teams from the most recent ISAF world rankings.
Fresh from success at the world championships in Hawaii, where they brought home a silver medal, RYA team GBR sailors Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks had a good start to the championships, scoring a first and two third places, to put them in second place overall, one point behind early leaders Michael Hestbaek/Rasmusterp Vanhansen of Denmark.
Fellow team GBR sailors Alister Richardson/Peter Greenhalgh are currently lying in tenth place overall after scoring a tenth, a second and a fourth place, with team mates and bronze world medallists Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith in thirteenth place overall.
Competitors will be regrouped at the end of each day and sail two more days of qualifying races before going into the finals on the 1 and 2 August.
Results after Day 1:
|1||MICHAEL HESTBAEK||RASMUSTERP VANHANSEN||DEN||1||4||1||6|
|2||CHRIS DRAPER||SIMON HISCOCKS||GBR||1||3||3||7|
|3||NICO DELLEKARTH||NIKOLAUS RESCH||AUT||2||4||2||8|
Three more races were completed under blue skies and a shifty 8-12 knot northeasterly on day two of the 49er European championships in Grimstad, Norway.
RYA team GBR sailors Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, who brought home the silver medal from the world championships in Hawaii in June, posted another good day, scoring a second, third and their second bullet of the championships. This gives them the most consistent score line out of all the competitors and places them in third place overall, but on equal points with Norwegians Christoffer Sundby and Frode Bovim who are in second place.
Fellow team GBR sailors and bronze medallists at the worlds, Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith, mirrored Draper/Hiscocks results, also scoring a 2,3,1 moves them up into fourth place overall after being able to discard their worst result, a twelfth place.
Alister Richardson/Peter Greenhalgh scored their first race win of the championships in the first race today, and added to it a sixth and a sixteenth, to put them in twelfth place overall.
The defending European champions, Michael Hestbaek and Rasmus Terp van Hansen of Demark currently hold a slender lead over the 88 strong pack. The competitors have one more day of qualifying before going into gold, silver and bronze fleets to sail the final series, with the European champions being decided on Friday.
Results after Day 2: (6 races, 1 discard)
|1||Michael Hestbaek||Rasmus Terp van Hansen||DEN||1||4||1||(6)||2||1||9|
|2||Christoffer SundbySundby||Frode Bovim||NOR||(BFD)||2||1||1||4||2||10|
|3||Chris Draper||Simon Hiscocks||GBR||1||(3)||3||2||3||1||10|
Today was the last day of qualifying for the gold fleet at the 49er European championships in Grimstad, Norway. Three races were sailed in a strong north easterly, gusting to 22 knots, which made for exciting racing.
RYA team GBR are showing good form and are the dominating nation, with three GBR boats in the top ten. Silver medallists at the recent world championships in Hawaii, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, have moved up one place overall into second, three points behind championship leaders, defending European champions Michael Hestbaek and Rasmus Terp van Hansen of Denmark.
Fellow team GBR sailors Alister Richardson/Peter Greenhalgh made good gains in a day, scoring two first places and a second, which sees them move up from twelfth position to fourth overall, two points behind Christoffer Sundby/Frode Bovim of Norway, who successfully seeked redress after a collision in race eight.
One place and one point behind Richardson/Greenhalgh are team mates and world bronze medallists Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith who today scored a fourth place and two thirds to give them one of the best score lines in the fleet.
Racing will continue to be tight and the results show the level of competition as recent world champions Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez of Spain are in fifth place overall.
The finals will start tomorrow with 25 boats in the gold fleet fighting for the title of European champion.
Results after Day 3: (9 races, 2 discards)
|1||Michael Hestbaek||Rasmus Terp van Hansen||DEN||1||(4)||1||(6)||2||1||2||1||2||10|
|2||Chris Draper||Simon Hiscocks||GBR||1||(3)||3||2||3||1||(DNS)||2||1||13|
|3||Christoffer Sundby||Frode Bovim||NOR||(BFD)||2||1||1||4||2||2||RDG||(DNS)||14|
Today was the first day of racing in the gold and silver fleets for the 88 competitors at the 49er Europeans in Grimstad, Norway. Five races were sailed in perfect conditions, 8-12 knots and a steady north-westerly breeze.
After five races (and counting their qualifying position) the points are close, Christoffer Sundby/Frode Bovim of Norway have a slight edge on the fleet and have moved up into first place overall, seven points in front of 2002 world champions Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez of Spain. Only one point behind them is Jonatanage Persson/Thomas Iversen of Denmark in third place.
World silver medallists and RYA team GBR sailors Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks had a mixed day today, scoring a 22nd, which they followed up with two third places and then added to it a tenth and a ninth. This puts them in fourth place overall and just four points away from a medal position.
Fellow team GBR sailors Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith, who won bronze at the recent world championships, also had a varied day, scoring a couple of results outside the top ten puts them in ninth place overall.
Team mates Alister Richardson/Peter Greenhalgh had an unlucky day. They capsized in the third race of the day, which dropped them to 24th in the race and then scored a bullet in race five, to later find out that they had started prematurely and therefore it would not be counted. They are currently lying in tenth position overall.
British sailors Steve Morrison/Ben Rhodes are currently leading the silver fleet by five points from Claushastrup Knudsen/Dennis Dengsoanderson of Denmark, after scoring a 6,2,1,24,5 score line today.
With the final day of racing tomorrow and three British teams in the top ten in the gold series, anything could still happen as five races are scheduled and the points are tight.
Results after Day 4:
|1||Christoffer SundbySundby||Frode Bovim||NOR||3*||4||1||5||(13)||2||15|
|2||Iker Martinez||Xabi Fernandez||ESP||6*||7||4||(9)||4||1||22|
|3||Jonatanage Persson||Thomas Iversen||DEN||7*||(11)||6||1||2||7||23|
On the final day of the 49er European championships, Grimstad, Norway, two races were sailed in a strong north-easterly breeze. Team GBR sailors Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks excelled in the strong breeze, scoring two first places to see them walk away from the European championships with a silver medal.
Draper commented, “After a nasty day yesterday, we sailed well today and proved that we can sail well under pressure. We didn’t get much time to do any further training between the worlds and this event, but we are working well as a team and are certainly pleased to walk away with the silver medal.” Draper continued, “The level of competition here has been no weaker than the worlds, and it has been good to race against some of the past Olympic medallists this week.
After winning a silver medal at the World championships in June, and now a silver at the Europeans, the Draper/Hiscocks team is showing real potential and it will be exciting to see how they progress at the Olympic Test Event in Athens later on this month.
Fellow RYA team GBR sailors Alister Richardson/Peter Greenhalgh also sailed a good final day, scoring a fifth and a fourth place to move them up into eighth place overall, with team mates Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith finishing in twelfth place.
World champions Iker Martinez/Xabier Fernandez of Spain added a Gold medal at the Europeans to their c.v’s, finishing two points in front of Draper/Hiscocks. Christoffer Sundby/Frode Bovim of Norway, who were leading going into the final day, finished in bronze medal position.
RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park commented, “This is a good result and I am pleased for Chris and Simon. As a new partnership, with just over three months as a team, they have moved on very quickly and have shown themselves to be the best of our strong 49er squad. With a second place at the worlds and the Europeans, they will be looking to closely evaluate their performance to date and use this as the basis of the coming winters training period.”
|1||Iker Martinez||Xabier Fernandez||ESP||6*||7||4||(9)||4||1||2||3||27|
|2||Chris Draper||Simon Hiscocks||GBR||2*||(22)||3||3||10||9||1||1||29|
|3||Christoffer Sundby||Frode Bovim||NOR||3*||4||1||5||13||2||(24)||8||36|
|8||Alister Richardson||Peter Greenhalgh||GBR||4*||9||8||24||5||(OCS)||5||4||59|
|12||Paul Brotherton||Mark Asquith||GBR||5*||8||(18)||16||11||5||16||13||74|