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2-10 April 2021 / Mussanah, Oman

2021 Mussanah Open Championship

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Fantela brothers at full stretch

Day four was a classic ‘Bay Day’ with 12 to 14 knots of steady sea breeze for the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships in Nova Scotia, Canada.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • After a wait for the sea breeze to settle across St Margaret’s Bay, it was a classic day of sea breeze racing where good starts, lane holding and boatspeed were the key factors
  • Fantela brothers move up the leaderboard in the 49er gold fleet
  • The Dutch reclaim the FX lead from Sweden
  • Three more bullets in the Nacra 17 for the unstoppable Tita & Banti

Two bullets and a fifth made Sime and Miho Fantela (CRO) the best 49er crew of the day. The Croatian brothers move up to second overall and close the gap to the lead to just 13 points. Bart Lambriex & Floris van der Werken (NED) had a solid outing to hold on to the series lead, showing great tactical judgement to steal a second place at the end of the first race and going on to score another second and a seventh. Diego Botin & Florian Trittel (ESP) slipped to third overall behind the Croatians but remain very much in touch, with Logan Dunning Beck & Oscar Gunn (NZL) just one point behind in fourth place. Benjamin Bildstein & David Hussl (AUT) won the last race of the afternoon which lifts the Austrians to seventh overall.

Dunning Beck and Gunn on the bearaway

Tita and Banti showing total dominance

2022 World Championship August 31st – September 5th, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada © SAILING ENERGY

Ruggero Tita & Caterina Banti (ITA) returned to a perfect performance with three bullets from three races in the steady sea breeze. After the wacky races of Friday when the Italians slumped to 20th in one race, on a boatspeed track Tita & Banti have an extra gear of upwind foiling that is unmatched by any of their rivals. 

Best of the rest was another Italian crew, Gianluigi Ugolini & Maria Giubilei (ITA), who have increased their grip on second place with a 13-point buffer on Sinem Kurtbay & Akseli Keskinen (FIN) who continue to hold third overall. John Gimson & Anna Burnet (GBR) finished off their afternoon with a second place which lifts the defending World Champions to fourth overall and within striking distance of the Finnish team.

Dutch and Swedes trade lead again

Swedes laser focused on the lead
Dutch laser focused on the lead

Odile van Aanholt & Annette Duetz (NED) rebounded from a wildly inconsistent performance on Friday with a much more solid showing in Saturday’s steadier sea breeze conditions. Scores of 4,3,2 made the Dutch the outstanding team of the day and puts them back in pole position at the top of the leaderboard.

At the end of race one, the signs were looking ominous for a Swedish whitewash. Once clear of the pack, Vilma Bobeck & Rebecca Netzler (SWE) were about 0.5 knot faster upwind compared with their rivals and it was simply too much for early race leaders Steph Roble & Maggie Shea (USA) to deal with. Could the Swedes go on to dominate the day and extend their lead? As it turned out, no they couldn’t. In the next race they went a bit too far right on the first upwind leg and couldn’t find a clear lane to exert their boatspeed edge. A 14th place finish was less than satisfactory although the Swedes made amends with a 2nd in the last race of the afternoon. This puts them in second place overall, five points back from the Dutch leaders.

The best part of a very good day for the British team was a race win in the second heat of the afternoon, lifting Freya Black & Saskia Tidey (GBR) to third overall. Poland’s Aleksandra Melzacka & Sandra Jankowiak (POL) continue to rise up the scoreboard and a race win lifts them to fifth overall, just two points back from Tamara Echegoyen & Paola Barcelo (ESP) who dropped to fourth after an average outing for the double World Champions from Spain. Martine Grael & Kahena Kunze (BRA) are leaving their bid for the podium pretty late after another up and down day for the Olympic Champions. The Brazilians sit in eighth overall and 30 points adrift of the podium.

Black and Tidey (GBR) up into third.

Oman at a Glance

Perched on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate of Oman’s stark beauty and vastly contrasting landscapes have enchanted growing numbers of tourists each year.  With its magnificent desert, secret oases and  breathtaking mountain ranges, Oman is an alluring destination. A tropical underwater paradise lies beneath the turquoise sea, caressing the white sandy beaches that adorn the country’s stunning 3,165 km coastline.  

Alongside this natural wealth is Oman’s rich culture, which blends with modern infrastructure and historical features that span over 7,000 years. Grand forts, exquisite palaces and mystical souqs are sights to behold in the capital, Muscat. A visit to Oman makes you feel right at home from the time you arrive, until the moment you leave. The Sultanate is full of opportunities for adventure, including fascinating tours with an Arabian flavour.  

Oman’s coastline is a paradise for explorers. Its abundance of wildlife includes whales, dolphins, turtles, seahorses, and flamingos. Underwater, its incredible marine life is found close to the water’s surface.  

 

 

 

 

The mountains cover approximately 15% of the country’s land mass. Oman’s main mountain range is the 10,000 foot Al Hajar, which runs from Musandam in the North to the extreme limit of the Arabian Peninsula, Ras Al Had.  

 

 

 

 

Sands and deserts occupy the remaining area; these include two large sand deserts – The Wahiba Sands known as Rimalat Al Wahiba and part of the Empty Quarter (Rub Al Khali). Here you can learn about Bedouin culture, camp under a dome of stars and experience the beauty of dawn in the desert.

 

 

 

Oman is known for its tropical climate whilst still subject to seasonal changes. From October through April, the Sultanate offers a lovely climate, with an average temperature of 23 degrees C. Combined with welcoming hospitality, warm seas and stunning landscapes, you can see why tourism in Oman is a growing industry.