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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
17INDAsian continental placeK.C. GanapathyVarun Thakkar2021 Asian Champions
18IrelandEuropean continental placeRobert DicksonSean Waddilove2018 Junior World Champions
19RSAAfrican continental placeBenji DanielAlex Burger2021 African Champions

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 AarhusTanja FrankLorena AbichtSilver 2018 Worlds
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 SpotLili SebesiAlbane DuboisConfirmed
19CHNAsian Continental Spot TBD
20BelgiumEuropean Continental SpotIsaura Maenhaut Anouk Geurts
21TUNAfrican Continental SpotEya
Guezguez
Sarra
Guezguez
Back to overview

The Brazilian 49erFX Champions repeated their Rio performance after beating their challengers in another incredibly tight medal race. Sailing as always with courage, guts, and smarts, Grael and Kunze (BRA) worked hard to win the boat end of the start line, got the first shift, consolidated over the top of their challengers, and then extended forward cleanly with win comfortably in the end.

The Brazilians were tied on points heading into the final race with Annemiek Bekkering with Annette Duetz (NED) who continued to sail to their strengths by winning the pin end. Unfortunately for the Dutch, they didn’t have as clean a start as they would have liked and were blocked from a perfect lane by Norway and Argentina who went on to win and place second in the race.

The critical moments came halfway up the first beat. Both the Brazilians and Dutch headed toward each other from their respective sides, the main difference being the Brazilians were powered up and sailing alone, while the Dutch had to do a few ducks and sail in a controlled lane. For much of that convergence, the Brazilians were holding a half knot boat speed advantage which put them ahead when they converged. Brazil rounded cleanly in third, while the Dutch got mixed up with the bulk of the fleet and gradually fell back through the race as the traffic and a tough leeward mark rounding kept pushing them backward.

“This week was a very big challenge to come all the way from behind and little by little go up in the fleet, even having some other results, some not so good. It was really tough – every single point.” Martine Grael

Starting in the front row and sailing a safe but effective race was the German pair of Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke.  The critical moment in their race came halfway down the first downwind. The German pair gybe set along with the Brazilians and Dutch, while Tamara Echegoyen with Paula Barcelo (ESP) straight-set to what turned out to be the favored side. As the German and Spanish came back together, the Spanish had to give way to the Germans as they were on port. By the most slim of margin, the Spanish spinnaker brushed the back of Lutz (GER) on the way by, a clear but unfortunate port/starboard foul for the Spanish, who were penalized and had to do a penalty turn.

Spain hits Germany with their spinnaker as they try to duck.

The Germans continued onward, moving up into the fourth position by the second windward mark, ultimately finish in fifth, but moved into the Silver medal position based on the Dutch finishing more than two places behind them!

The German story is one of perseverance. They began racing together in 2007, missing out on selection in 2008 and 2012 in the 470, then again in the 49er in 2016. They stuck together, and improved their sailing through the quadrennial, winning two European Championships. They made it to Tokyo and have now converted their fifteen years of experience into a Silver medal.

For Annemiek Bekkering with Annette Duetz (NED), a Bronze medal is a wonderful prize, but they have some unfinished business at the front end of the fleet. The two burst onto the elite 49erFX scene winning back to back World Championships in 2018 and 2019. Perhaps covid threw off their momentum as they did not do much traveling or racing over the break, yet they were ever so close to the top.

The Spanish continued to factor in the race, but ultimately could not make up any ground and finished in fourth for the second consecutive Olympics. Let’s spare a moment for any team finishing twice at a games. Tamara did win gold in London 2012, and two 49erFX World Championships, but that is a heartbreaking result for one of the most popular sailors in the boat park.

Argentina continued their light air dominance in Tokyo by winning the medal race which moved them up the standings another position into fifth. They were incredibly close to a Bronze medal in the end, and had just one more boat finished ahead of the Spanish and Dutch they would have won a medal.

Travascio and Branz share a hug after they win the medal race

Britain, Norway, and Denmark filled places six through eight overall. Each of these teams had medal performances through the quadrennial and would have been dreaming of medaling at the Games. For the British, they had such a great start to the regatta, but could not hold that lead as the regatta turned lighter. For Denmark and Norway, they each had a couple of days that didn’t go their way, and then the days that did go their way were not enough to move any higher.

France and Singapore round out the top 10. Each of these teams is in their first games and will take positives from the performances as they turn their eyes toward Paris.

Full results, photos, and stories about the 49erFX fleet.

The Games are On

A Games unlike any other is about to begin. Normally, many of us would be in Tokyo, but since we’re all remote, let’s figure out how to be a part of it. The racing kicks off for ILCA 6/7 (formerly Laser/Radial) and RSX windsurfing tomorrow, and then other fleets are added to stagger the start and finish of racing. … and it’s sailing, so the schedule is bound to change.

What days? To keep track of the schedule, have a look at our Olympic site – we will update the maxtrix of racing when it changes. We’ll also update the photos, results, and other content we can get our hands on.

Each day, one course is live broadcast, and it will usually be the fleet highlighted in blue, below. They do have the agility to change on the fly though, which is why there is a secondary course highlighted in yellow. An example of how to read the maxtrix, you should be able to watch 49er and FX on the 27th, and Nacra on the 29th, etc.

Details about live tracking are here.

What Time? Each day, racing starts at noon local time, and so does the broadcasting. There are two waves of races scheduled on most courses on most days, so the second half of the racing starts between14:30 and 15:30 each day, depending on how long the first fleet takes to do their racing. Here are the detailed fleet start times as they stand today:

July 27 – FX 12:00, 49er 14:50

July 28 – 49er 12:00, Nacra 17 14:35, FX 14:50

July 29 – Nacra 17 12:00 July 30 – 49er 12:00, FX 14:50

July 31 – 49er 12:00, FX 12:00, Nacra 17 12:00

Aug 1 – Nacra 17 12:00

Aug 2 – FX Medal Race 14:33, 49er Medal Race 15:33

Aug 3 – Nacra 17 Medal Race 15:33  

How to Watch? There should be sailing live broadcast every day from July 25th to August 4th. The way the Olympics works is that every country has the rights to the broadcasts sold to a national broadcaster. While sailing makes the main channel very seldom in most nations, some nations do put all the broadcasts online. If you are from one of those countries, you’re in luck. However, if you are not one of the lucky ones, you can still watch but it will take a bit of tech workaround. You will need to have your computer pretend it’s sitting in another country that does have internet broadcasts, and then log in through their systems. So you can download a VPN (virtual private network, we recommend NordVPN (5 euros)) and then there are a few options. In Europe, there is a Eurosport offering. So you need to pretend you’re in the UK or France, etc., and then sign up for Eurosport for the month, for 10 Euros. However, it seems to require a European based method of payment, so that might not work for you. You can try a US based network, and go to https://www.nbcolympics.com/sailing You can try a UK based network and go to the BBC iPlayer You can try New Zealand and go to https://www.tvnz.co.nz/livetv (free account creation required). Each channel will have a common video feed, and most will have their own commentators. Both the BBC and New Zealand seem to only have limited amounts of the racing, but NBC looks like they will have everything, and it will be available on demand too. The final thing fans can look for is the live trackers. These

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