Introducing the Combined 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 European Championship
The notices of race was made public today for the combined 2017 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 European Championships from Kiel, Germany. This regatta marks the second time these three Olympic events have gotten together for a major championship, and it also will be the first time ever the Full Foiling Nacra 17’s will race! Check out the event website for details, racing dates are July 30 – August 4th, 2017.
The Full Foiling Nacra 17’s are in production. The class, along with Nacra Sailing, agreed that in the interest of fairness there will not be broad distribution of the foiling boats until the bulk of the top of the fleet can all get one at the same time. As such, no boats will be released to sailors until June 26th, leaving only 1 month of preparation for these teams ahead of the Europeans! While many of the skills will cross over from the ‘C’ foil boats that raced in Rio, there is sure to be a huge learning curve in the lead up to a spectacular first regatta.
In the mean time, there is a Ongoing Learning program from the Netherlands, where fleet members can sail the foiling boats. There are three functions of the learning sessions. The first is to push the boats with the hopes of revealing any improvements that remain outstanding and can be put into the boats in production. The second is to get teams a chance to do some foiling before the boats are ready. The third is to allow teams interested the class to get a look at what the full foiling future looks like.
There is a schedule of learning sessions published.
Everyone is Invited
On the surface this is already a large regatta, with 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17, but it’s even bigger than it might appear. Also invited are the male and mixed Junior 49erFX sailors, as well as the ‘C’ foiling Nacra 17 sailors.
There is a large and growing movement to use the 49erFX fleet as a bridge from Youth Sailing to Senior Olympic sailing. What we are seeing is that 17-22 year olds are teaming up in every combination, male, mixed, female to train together as a group, before ultimately landing into senior fleets of 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17. As such, there are a fair number of 49erFX sailors without many regattas to attend. We have designed the racing of this European Championship to cater to all the class needs in 49erFX.
In the qualifying series, all 49erFX will race together for three days. When the fleets split, the male and mixed teams will be restricted to the Silver Fleet, leaving the elite and Olympic minded female teams to race among each other for the senior Championship.
In the Nacra 17 it is also going to be an inclusive event. Since only about half the teams who have bought boats will have their boats delivered before the championship, we will also hold a regatta for ‘C’ foiling Nacra 17’s. The boat configuration that raced in Rio will be run as a class championship, not a European Championship, but will have a full regatta in a separate fleet from the foiling boats.
As in previous 49er Championships for the past 4 years, there will be live broadcasting of the final three days of racing. With our partners at the Kiel Yacht-Club and from the Olympic venue of Kiel-Schilksee, we will produce compelling race coverage of the gold fleet racing and theatre style final day. Make sure to join our newsletter to get updates for live racing at 49er.org/subscribe
Yes, Theatre Style racing is back. After being denied from using the progressive format in Rio, World Sailing has approved Theatre Style Racing for Tokyo. This racing is action packed, with small boat fleets, short races, and the ability for cameras and fans to get really close to the action. We invite spectators to even become part of the sidelines to literally have a front row view of the action, or for those of you at home, just watch it for free on Youtube!
The details for Tokyo include the Nacra 17 fleet doing reaching starts. With the fleet only starting to foil one month in advance of the regatta, reaching starts will have to wait until 2018, but that shouldn’t diminish the action.
Perfect Timing for Stars
Many of the world’s top sailors will have the chance to race. With the America’s Cup finishing at the end of June, and the Volvo Ocean Race starting in November, this European Championship is set to be a top destination for the World’s Best. While Burling and Tuke of New Zealand and Outteridge and Jensen of Australia have yet to commit, Jason Waterhouse will race his Nacra 17. Likewise Frank Cammas has yet to decisively commit, and there are loads more from the America’s Cup squads that we suspect will be thankful to go back to pure fleet racing after the AC.
The European Championship of the year after the games marks the unofficial start of the 2020 campaign season. This will be the first opportunity to see who is serious for Tokyo. Some sailors will be returning after a break. Others will have pushed through the winter hoping to make a leap up the standings while others were resting, and new teams will be looking to establish themselves. It’s the start of the best journey there is, the one to the rings!