Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze won the Open European Championships, the Olympic Champions from Brazil in a different class this week in Weymouth. The greater interest for the Medal Race was which of the chasing pack would succeed in taking the silver and bronze. There were six teams in contention for the minor medals, but the team that needed to climb on to the podium more than any other were the reigning World Champions from the Netherlands, Annemieke Bekkering and Annette Duetz. On the back foot after their Dutch rivals won the previous regatta in Italy, the Hempel World Cup event in Genoa, Bekkering and Duetz need to pull out all their experience and ability to withstand pressure as they lined up on the Medal Race start line.
The Dutch won the pin end of the line and cruised off towards the left-hand side in the soft, 6 knot breezes. They reached the windward mark in first place and looked set for a straightforward win until they were beaten to the final windward mark by the Norwegian crew, Helene Næss and Marie Rønningen. The Norwegians held the lead on the last downwind leg and crossed the finish line ahead, sufficient to give the 2018 European Champions the bronze medal. The Dutch held their nerve to cross the line in second place, making them the European Champions (excluding the Brazilians) and earning them a place at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. Grinning from ear to ear, Bekkering and Duetz hugged each other in relief at their double victory.
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech of New Zealand finished fourth, one place ahead of the big discovery of the regatta, the 2018 Junior World Champions from Sweden who have flourished at senior level in all conditions this week. Vilma Bobeck and Malin Tengstrom were really fast in the strong wind but getting better by the race in the light winds.
The 49erFX fleet have enjoyed all kinds of sea state and wind conditions that has been a true all-round test, one that will linger long in the memory of Bekkering and Duetz in particular.
Wednesday 8 May 1700 Beach Clean
Monday 13 May 1055 Qualifying Races
Tuesday 14 May 1055 Qualifying Races
Wednesday 15 May 1055 Qualifying Races
Thursday 16 May 1055 Fleet Races
Friday 17 May 1055 Fleet Races
Saturday 18 May 1055 Fleet Races
Sunday 19 May 0955 Fleet Races
1500 Medal Races
TBC Prize giving
49er & 49erFX – https://49er.org/event/2019-european-championship/#photos
- From May 16-19 a live show including coverage of the racing will be broadcast via the 49er class Youtube channel and the Nacra 17 class Youtube channel. The presenters are Genny Tulloch, Andy Rice, Stevie Morrison, and Hannah Mills.
1. 49er Sailing – Gold Fleet Day 1 – 2019 Volvo European Championship
2. 49er Sailing – Gold Fleet Day 2 – 2019 Volvo European Championship
3. 49er Sailing – Gold Fleet Day 3 – 2019 Volvo European Championship
4. 49er Sailing – Gold Fleet Day 4 – 2019 Volvo European Championship
5. 49er Sailing – Medal Races – 2019 Volvo European Championship
Results will be posted race by race, as they happen