At the 49er Europeans in Copenhagen, Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks successfully defended their European Championship title. The finals consisted of four short races with the two lowest placed boats being knocked out at the end of each race. Morrison and Rhodes managed to hold on for the first race but were finally knocked out in the second, earning them a seventh place finish overall, while Draper and Hiscocks sailed well in the last four races earning them the much wanted gold.
Draper commented, “Obviously we are really pleased to have won this event for the second year running, but we don’t really feel like we have sailed to be European Champions. We knew from the start it would all come down to the grand final, but it seems like all of the hard work the teams put in just got ignored. Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes went into the final in gold medal position and would have won the event but because of the grand final system all of our points were wiped clean and they ended up in seventh overall. Hopefully the World Championships will be run as a normal event and we can really see who deserves to be at the top of the leader’s board.”
Stevie Morrison explained, “We’re gutted about the results, but we knew from the start that the racing would be held in this format. We can only be pleased with the way that we have sailed at this event and hope to put in a similar performance at the worlds.”
1, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, GBR
2, Morgan Larson/Pete Spaulding, USA
3, Peter Hansen/Soren Hansen, DEN
7 Stevie Morrison/Ben Rhodes, GBR
1, Ian Martin/Ben McGrane, GBR
2, Roger Gilbert/Olivier Vidal
3, Alejandro Dominguez/Carlos De Bricio, ESP
9, David Evan/Rick Peacock
10, John Wilson/James Barker
1, Lennart Briesenick-Pundez/Morten Massmann, GER
2, Kristoffer Brink/Rasmus Jarvinen, FIN
3, Jeroen van Catz/Wilco Stavenuiter, NED
8, Mark Bell/Poul Bell
At the 49er European Championships the semi-finals began to heat up with the top three sailors changing places. British duo Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes, followed by the Italian team, the Sibello brothers and then by Olympic bronze medallists Draper and Hiscocks, finished in the top three today.
After completing two more races tomorrow, the top ten sailors will move into the finals where their points will be wiped clean and they will sail a series of short races. After each race the last placed boat will be knocked out until a winner is decided.
Morrison who jumped into first today explained that they had a “good solid day of racing with shifty winds. We went in and did our best, played it safe and stayed out of trouble and finished up in pole position.”
Results after day 4:
Semi-finals – Gold Fleet
1, Stevie Morrison/Ben Rhodes, GBR (2,2,1,5,6,(12),3,4,2) 25 pts
2, Pietro Sibello/Gianfranco Sibello (1,(23),5,4,11,1,1,7,1) 31 pts
3, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, (3,3,2,2,3,3,9,(12),11) 36 pts
Today in Copenhagen, the 49er European Championship semi-finals got underway. Due to a new scoring system the competitor’s overall score from the qualifying rounds is the only score that will be carried into the semi-finals.
Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks lead the Gold Fleet with thirteen points overall, followed by Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes with sixteen points. “We had 14-23 knots and some big waves today.” Draper explained, ”It was intense sailing downwind and there were boats pitch-poling and snapping masts all over the place. It would have been a great day for spectators! Over all we just had a lot of fun out on the water today.”
Results after Day 3:
Semi-finals – Gold Fleet
1, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, (3,3,2,2,3) 13 pts
2, Stevie Morrison/Ben Rhodes, GBR (2,2,1,5,6) 16 pts
3, Iker Martinez/Xabier Fernandez, ESP (12,8,6,1,1) 28 pts
12, John Pink/Alex Hopson, (17,12,17,14,6) 66 pts
25, Tom Smedley/Phil Kennard, (23,21,dns,dns,19) 115 pts
1, John Wilson/James Barker (10,10,3,12,1) 36 pts
2, Roger Gilbert/Olivier Vidal (13,5,5,13,5) 41 pts
4,Ian Martin/Ben McGrane (25,9,4,5,8) 51 pts
11, Paul Campbell-James/Jony Clegg (17,22,2,23,2) 66 pts
14, David Evans/Rick Peacock (2,18,6,dns,14) 75 pts
15, Fred Shone/Hugh Shone (4,2,25,10,dnf) 76 pts
3, Mark Bell/Poul Bell (5,8,10,15,3) 41 pts
13, John Reekie/Ryan Visser (18,6,5,dns,8) 71 pts
28, Edward Stevenson/Peter Nicholson (28,dns,dns,dns,dns) 164 pts
The completion of three more races at the 49er European Championships marks the end of qualifiers and the beginning of the semi-finals. In the race for the top slots, Team GBR is doing well.
Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes had a good string of finishes with a 1,2,2 and moved into second place overall. Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks are in third overall and will progress into the semi-finals.
In keeping with the new Grand Final racing format, the 49er European title will be decided with a series of final races. After the semi-finals the top ten sailors will move into the final round where their points will be wiped clean and a series races will determine the top positions.
“We had some good races today and one slightly dodgy race,” Chris Draper explained. “We missed some wind shifts but had good boat speed. Our game plan is to make it through to the finals where it all gets decided in one race.”
The 49er Europeans began today with a gusty 15-18 knots out on the course. The fleet was divided into four sections with each group completing four races and will sail in these groups again tomorrow.
Taking to the Copenhagen waters, Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks notched a series of confident wins, finishing 1,2,1,2 and first overall.
Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes also had a good series and ended the day with a first and a second, taking second place overall.