Top six emerging in 49er
Jonas Warrer, the 2008 gold medalist, sailing with Jakob Jensen (DEN) had the best day on the water for the two make-up races on day 3. But the bigger story is how six teams have sailed to the top of the table leaving teams like Poland, Australia, Austria, and Croatia to play catch up.
On top is Dylan Fletcher with Stuart Bithell (GBR) tied with Diego Botin with Iago Marra (ESP). Both teams sailed solidly with only one race each outside of the top 10.
Dylan Fletcher (GBR) was feeling like the Spanish team of Diego Botin and Iago Marra (ESP) were paying him a bit too much attention. “They kept on tacking on us,” said the British helm racing with crew Stu Bithell. “But I suppose that means there’s a compliment there.”
Marra denied that they were paying any special attention to the British, saying it was too early to be focusing on any one team.
The best performers of the two-race session in the 49er were the Danish duo of Jonas Warrer and Jakob Precht Jensen. A port-tack start off the committee boat end of the start line launched Warrer towards the right-hand side where he saw more breeze and that led to a race win, followed by fourth in the next.
The Danes were committed and on their game for all four beats on the day, getting the side right and then winning that side. They figured out the right was working early on and committed hard to use it all.
Burling and Tuke (NZL) have yet to really hit their form, but even out of form remain in fourth. On the first race of the day, they were sailing well on the right side of the first beat, in the top group. Their speed wasn’t quite what it normally is, and were getting slowly rolled by the German team. On the final tacks into the windward mark, Burling fell overboard, and while the Germans rounded and cruised to a second-place finish, the Kiwi dropped into the teens and could only recover to tenth. In the second race of the day, Burling and Tuke were again in the mid-teens through the first lap, but then took advantage of a large left shift on the second beat to move into the lead pack, taking the win on the downwind. Lucky… maybe… but only lucky enough to balance the bad luck from the previous race.
NED and GER continue to sail strongly, with the top six teams separated by only 9 points heading into the second half of the regatta. While teams like Austria are only another 12 points behind and could still catch up, without a standout day or two, the field looks whittled down. We know all teams will continue the fight though, as 49er racing is notoriously high scoring and anything can happen.
Teams farther down the pack today were helped out overnight, as both Brazil and Ireland, two teams that had great days on the water were disqualified from both of the day’s races. Upon returning to shore, the entire fleet had the weight of their trapeze harnesses measured, as the maximum weight is 2kg per harness. Both teams exceeded the maximum, by only 0.09 kg for the Irish, but by 0.35 kg for the Brazilians.
Races 7 through 9 are scheduled with the FX on the TV course, be sure to tune in.
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The Nacra 17 Fleet was locked into a seesaw battle for the lead, be sure to check it out.