Queens of the Day
In a life-changing day on the Atlantic Ocean, Germans Marla Bergmann with Hanna Wille won all three 49erFX races on day five to move from 15th place into fourth place. They did it at the most critical moment in their bid to qualify for the single Olympic berth available from the European Championships, as the young Germans are now only 21 points behind Germani and Bertuzzi from Italy.
Just a perfect day…
The young German pair executed great starts from the committee boat end of the line and demonstrated wonderful speed in the light breeze and flat water, especially downwind, to sail quite cleanly through all three races. There was live coverage of the racing for the second and third races of the day, so watch their clinic if you wish.
Helene Næss with Marie Ronningen (NOR) remain in the lead, and will be hoping the teams chasing them start worrying about winning an Olympic berth, which they already earned from their performance at the Sailing World Championship in August. The veteran Norwegians are chasing their first major title in the 49erFX after being second at the Europeans and the Worlds respectively in past years. “It’s five years since we won the European Championships,” said Ronningen. “We’re going to go all out tomorrow to win it again. We’ve been improving through the week, and so have many others in the fleet, but we’re pleased with how we’re going in the light winds.”
There is a third team that sailed well today and is in contention for the European Olympic berth. Aleksandra Melsaka with Sandra Jankowiak (POL) have moved up into fifth overall. The final day of the championship will see a single fleet race plus a medal race with all to play for.
Last Out First In
Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros were the last team out of the venue on the evening of Day 4, doing their best to survive a minor measurement protest. That setback didn’t hold them back on day 5 as they secured three top 10 finishes to move into the overall lead. As the light sea breeze decayed to the very lower limit of what’s possible to race in, they held strong through the third and final race of the day to finish with a second place. We covered the final race live.
Following on from a stressful evening in the protest room the previous night, Amoros was pleased and relieved to have hit the reset button so effectively for the day’s challenges on the water. “It wasn’t easy waiting around until 8pm last night we just said to ourselves at the end of the hearing, it’s finished, and now we just move on from today. We focused on what we need to do for the coming day.”
Top performers from the day were the 2018 World Champion Fantela brothers (CRO) who had sailed a fairly inconsistent regatta up until today. Sime and Mihovil won the first race of the day and the final race of the session, with a tenth in the middle to move up to seventh overall. “We were a bit out of practice after taking some time out after the Worlds in The Hague,” said helmsman Sime. “So it has taken a while to find our form and get up to speed but we’re improving in light winds along with the rest of the fleet.”
There is a tight battle for the single European qualification spot on offer. Ireland and Italy are in eighth and ninth overall, only separated by 3 points pending any protests. Hopefully, both teams will make the medal race tomorrow and we can keep watching this critical battle play out all the way to the end.
For more information on the Nacra 17 racing, visit the event page: https://nacra17.org/event/2023-european-championship/
For full results: visit this page
The final day will include a single fleet race for both gold fleets and the nacra 17 fleet, two fleet races for the silver and bronze fleets, and then the three medal races.