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July 23 - August 8th, 2021 / Tokyo, Japan

2020 Olympic Games

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2020 49er Olympics

CountCountryQualification MethodHelmCrewNotes
1JapanHost NationLeo TakahashiIbuki KoizumiWon internal qualification
2CroatiaTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusSime FantelaMihovil FantelaSime won 470 gold at Rio 2016
2018 49er World Champions
3FranceTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusEmile AmorosLucas RualWon internal qualification
4GermanyTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusErik HeilThomas PloesselBig lead in internal Germany qualifier. Bronze medal in 2016.
5Great BritainTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusDylan FletcherStuart Bithell2017 World Champions
6New ZealandTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusPeter BurlingBlair TukeRio 2016 Gold Medal
6x 49er World Champions
7PortugalTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusJorge LimaJose Costa3x Olympians
8SwitzerlandTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusSebastien SchneiterLucean CujeanHit Swiss qualification at 2020 Worlds
9DenmarkTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusJonas WarrerJakob Precht JensenJonas Warrer - Beijing 2008 Gold Medal
10SpainTop 4 remaining nations at 2019 WorldsDiego BotinIago Marra2nd at 2020 World Championship
11AustriaTop 4 remaining nations at 2019 WorldsBen BildsteinDavid Hussl3rd at 2019 World Championship
12NetherlandsTop 4 remaining nations at 2019 WorldsBart LambriexPim van VugtNot yet named by Dutch Olympic team, must meet national qualification criteria.
13PolandTop 4 remaining nations at 2019 WorldsLukasz PrzybytekPawel Kolodzinskito be 3X Olympians
14CanadaNorth American continental placeWilliam JonesEvan Depaul
15BrazilSouth American continental placeMarco GraelGabriel BorgesMade internal selection criteria at 2020 Worlds
16AustraliaOceania continental placeWill PhillipsSam PhillipsMade Australian criteria at 2020 Worlds
17TBDAsian continental placeTBD
18IrelandEuropean continental placeRobert DicksonSean Waddilove2018 Junior World Champions
19TBDAfrican continental placeTBD

2020 49erFX Olympics

CountCountryQualification MethodHelmCrewNotes
1JapanHost NationAnna YamazakiSena TakanoHosts
2NetherlandsTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusAnnemiek BekkeringAnnette Duetz2x World Champions
3AustriaTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds Aarhus
4BrazilTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusMartine GraelKahena KunzeRio 2016 Gold Medallists
5Great BritainTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusCharlotte DobsonSaskia Tidey2nd at 2020 World Championships
6DenmarkTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusIda NielsenMarie Olsen2x European Champions
7New ZealandTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusAlex MaloneyMolly MeechRio 2016 Silver Medallists
8NorwayTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusHelene NaessMarie Ronningen3rd at 2019 World Championships
9AustraliaTop 8 nations at 2018 Worlds AarhusTess LloydJaime RyanWon internal selection
10GermanyTop 6 remaining nations at 2019 WorldsTina Lutz Susan Beucke2019 European Champions
11ArgentinaTop 6 remaining nations at 2019 WorldsVicky TravascioSol Branz2x Olympians
12USATop 6 remaining nations at 2019 WorldsStephanie RobleMaggie Shea3rd at 2020 World Championships
13PolandTop 6 remaining nations at 2019 WorldsAleksandra MelzackaKinga Lobado
14SpainTop 6 remaining nations at 2019 WorldsTamara EchegoyenPaula Barcelo2020 and 2016 World Champions, 2012 Gold medalist.
15SingaporeTop 6 remaining nations at 2019 WorldsKimberly LimCecilia LowBoth Opti World Champions
16CanadaNorth American Continental SpotAli Ten HoveMariah MillenInterview with Ali - https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-92/clip/15835994
17PeruSouth American Continental SpotDiana TudelaMarie Devoize
18FranceOceania Continental SpotWent to next best placed nation after no additional Oceania Teams.
19TBDAsian Continental Spot TBD
20BelgiumEuropean Continental SpotIsaura Maenhaut Anouk Geurts
21TBDAfrican Continental SpotTBD
Back to overview

Pietro Sibello and the Burling-Tuke teams each had distinct racing styles on the 49er circuit – styles they developed and optimized in a decade each at the top of the class. These America’s Cup leaders are all now part of large teams, but with Burling in control and Sibello/Tuke each in strongly influential positions, it will be interesting to see if their 49er styles will emerge in the fight for the America’s Cup.

A quick note here to say that Francesco Brui, Marcus Hansen, Jacopo Plazzi and Umberto Molineris are all 49er sailors of repute as well, but in Bruni’s case, he’s gone on to do almost two decades in other classes where his sailing style will likely have evolved, and for Hansen, Plazzi, Molineris they are each part of their boats power plants, and therefore sailing style would be hard to detect from within such big teams.

Pietro Sibello, with his Brother Gianfraco emerged on the 49er scene in 2002, essentially displacing Bruni as the top Italians and were at the top of the 49er game for the next 10 years. Bruni moved on to a Star career, but the 49er the Sibello brothers were known for going very fast, and being gentlemen on the water. Few teams won more pin ends of the start line than the Italian brothers, and I doubt there is a sailor from their generation they raced against who would have a bad thing to say about them. They were a team that would do their turns if they ever fouled, generally avoided mixing things up too much, and kept the boat going fast in the right direction.

Burling and Tuke, on the other hand, are known for their out of the box thinking, conservative starts, boat handling in all conditions, and extreme speed on the downwinds. Because of their ability to hold tough lanes on the upwind, Burling and Tuke often start in the middle of the line keeping their options open, and are very in tune with the fleet and the wind. In unstable conditions, like most conditions, they have been virtually unbeatable in the 49er. They sail a more aggressive boat on boat style than the Sibello’s ever did, and if that sends them back to mid pack or deeper, they would rely on an amazing ability to put the boat in the best wind and go extremely quickly to make up places on the downwind.

The outcome of the America’s Cup in New Zealand will be determined by a lot more than sailing style but here’s what we can look out for.

  • When conditions are stable and the race is up for grabs, look for the Italians to be less aggressive than we might normally see from a Spithill lead team, opting instead to keep the boat moving quickly to the favored side of the course.
  • When conditions are unstable, look for Burling and Tuke to think out of the box. Think about that moment in the Christmas regatta when Tuke suggested Emirates Team New Zealand gybe instead of tack on the upwind to stay on the foils. That’s just an inclination of how Burling and Tuke are unconstrained by match racing playbooks and public opinion if they think they can get the job done in a creative way.

The Cup is almost always decided by boat speed, and there is little reason to think this one will be any different. But in a long series, there is bound to be some actual racing too, so let’s see what choices these skiff legends make.

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