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5-11 July 2021 / Gdynia, Poland

2021 Junior World Championship

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The Path to Paris is one year shorter than normal, but like normal, Princessa Sophia (Palma regatta) kicks off the unofficial start of the action. All of the 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 Gold Medalists are returning to defend their titles, but behind them, there are quite a few new and old teams they will need to face down.

Chasing more Bling

Martine Grael with Kahena Kunze (BRA) are chasing a three-peat. Only Ben Ainslie and Paul Elvstrom have won three gold medals in a row, four in their cases, the dynamic Brazilian pair could be joining sailing royalty.

Dylan Fletcher (GBR) in the 49er has a new crew, Rhos Haws at the bow. Stuart Bithell (GBR) retired on top, having won his second Olympic medal while the ever-hungry Fletcher returns with the aim of being the first repeat 49er gold medalist.

Ruggero Tita with Caterina Banti (ITA) aims to repeat in the Nacra 17 in Paris. Ruggero will be doing double duty, with commitments to team Prada as one goal while retaining their spot at the top of the foiling world on the other.

Once you go Black

Each of the 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 have some noticeable differences in the boats. The skiffs have new masts, which have almost the same spec as the old mast so not too obvious outside of the fleet. However, the skiffs also have new sails, very similar in size to the old ones but being jet black in color marking a dramatic change to the look of the class.

With the goal of increased consistency and durability, North Sails 3Di process won a competitive bid to build the 49er and FX sails for the quadrennial. So far about 2/3 of the fleet has been supplied with the new sails so the fleets will race in any configuration of new and old sails they may wish to over the European spring season before the summer championships require the new sails.

Loyal to the Foil

The Nacra 17 fleet also undertook a small technical change. The rudder rakes for Paris are now adjustable be while racing. For Tokyo was required to be fixed in place once the start gun sounded. Teams are rigging control systems to allow movement of the rudder rakes, and crucially the elevator angle of attack, so they can move the rudders in Parallel, in scale, and even differentially while racing.

Visibly the change to the Nacra 17 is much less dramatic than in the 49er, but its impact on the racing could be substantial. All eyes will be turned into the first day of racing to see if the era of upwind foiling is upon us. The ability to adjust the rudder angle means teams don’t have to make a race-long commitment to trying to foil, dramatically reducing the risk of trying to upwind foil and has resulted in a lot of foiling practice. Whether the out-of-competition training translates to racecourse success will determine the modes teams ultimately land on, but there is a buzz developing.

Switcheroo

The entire podium of Nacra 17 teams are returning to the Olympic chase. In the cases of John Gimson with Anna Burnett (GBR), they are completely focused on the task. “In the last quad I was still with Artemis Racing, and could not focus completely on Nacra 17 sailing. This quad I’ve committed to spending the full two years completely focussed on getting the gold medal,” said John Gimson. Paul Kohloff with Alica Stuhlemmer (GER) also returns looking to move up on their bronze medal performance. In early practice the young German duo seems to have an edge in upwind foiling, having tried it the most last quad as well.

Beyond the top three, however, there is a lot of change in the Nacra 17 fleet. Tara Pacheco (ESP), who was 6th in Tokyo now teams up with Iago Marra (ESP) who was 4th in Tokyo in the 49er. Likewise, each of their partners, Diego Botin and Florian Tritell now team up together in the 49er. Similarly, Santiago Lange with Cecilia Carranza (ARG), the 2016 Gold medalists and Tokyo 7th place finishers have traded with Vicky Travascio with Sol Branz who themselves placed 5th in Tokyo. Now, the two skippers combine in the Nacra 17 with Santiago helming for Vicky, while the two crews team up with Sol moving to the helm and Cecilia crewing for her.

As usual, the Dutch FX teams continue to mix around. 2021 World and European Champion, Odile Van Aanholt, who won the 2021 championships with different crews, now teams up with Tokyo Silver medalist Annette Duetz.

Sticking with the 49erFX, 2013 49erFX Bronze medalist Sarah Steyaert (FRA) returns to the class from almost a decade in the radial to pair up with Tokyo Gold medalist, Charline Picon, who moves to the 49erFX from windsurfing.

The 49er fleet also sees a couple of medalists from other events joining the skiff scene. Tokyo Silver medalist from Sweden, Fredrick Bergstrom, begins his 49er career.

Partnerships in Olympic sailing are extreme relationships. Total commitment and dedication, learning, growing, and an excruciating magnifying glass from the outside are the daily reality for these sailors. Additionally, much of the Olympic slate has been shifted around from Tokyo to Paris necessitating some changes.

What we are seeing with so many top sailors continuing to sail, but also changing partnerships is the wonderful feeling of empowerment and ambition the Olympics can curate in a sailor, building motivation. As these sailors seek a catalyst to reach a higher level than before, perhaps a new partnership will be the key they have been so close to finding.

Palma 2022

Racing runs from April 5 to 9, 2022. Find all the results, photos, and stories on the Trofeo Princess Sofia webpage and follow along our social channels @49ersailing @nacra17sailing

Photocredit: Lloyd Images – Fletcher and Haws blast into a new quadrennial.

Day 1 Highlights

The link to the official notice board for further updates is here

Sailing Instructions

Open file

Registration for Sailors is open now. It can be found here, and don’t forget to also become a member of the class.

https://www.manage2sail.com/en-US/Home/EventRegistrationRedirect/f8e5bcc6-005d-414b-b69b-2c9fdb840f60

 

Registration for coaches is open now. It can be found here:

https://events.pya.org.pl/49er-49erfx-and-nacra17-junior-world-championships,e38

You can register after clicking “entry form” bookmark and adding “Support boat fee / Coach fee” to the cart. Then you need to proceed to checkout. Preferred payment method is credit card.

Notice of Race

Open file

Arrival and Quarantine Information

The teams can arrive as early as they like. However we, as PYA will finance their mooring in the Gdynia Marina only from 2nd of July (the starting date of the whole GSD). Before that they will need to discuss leaving their equipment in the Marina with the Marina managers, which should not be a problem.   The current Polish restrictions are as follows:   Rules for travelers coming to Poland from the Schengen area   Travelers will be quarantined unless they test negative for COVID-19. The test will have to be performed no later than 48 hours before crossing the border. Test type: PCR or antigenic. The new rules will apply to all means of transport: collective and individual transport as well as crossing the border on foot. Travelers who have been quarantined in Poland will be able to take a test, the negative result of which will release them from quarantine.   Rules for travelers coming to Poland from outside the Schengen area   Each traveler will be placed in quarantine. A test performed in the country of origin of the person will not be released from quarantine. Travelers who have been quarantined may take a test in Poland, the negative result of which will release them from quarantine. Test type: PCR or antigenic.   The vaccine will release you from quarantine   People vaccinated against COVID-19 will be released from quarantine. This will apply to people who have been issued a certificate of vaccination with a vaccine that has been authorized in the European Union.

For competitors from outside the EU:

Legally, Polish borders remain closed for travelers from outside EU. But, there is a permit for sports: 9. foreigners whose arrival takes place in connection with the participation, as a competitor, member of the training staff, doctor, physiotherapist or referee, in international sports competitions organised on the territory of the Republic of Poland by an international sports federation operating in Olympic or Paralympic sports or another recognized by the International The Olympic Committee or organized by an international sports organization with a continental range belonging to such a federation or a Polish sports association, as well as accredited journalists, after documenting to the Border Guard officer the fact of the competition, the date and nature of participation in a relevant letter issued by the organiser of the competition or certified by the Polish sports association competent in given sport. Each of these cases is considered individually by the Polish Border Guards. So sailors from outside of EU that would like to join the event, need to provide a scan of their passport and details about their flight (or other way of crossing the borders), preferably directly to Anna (email Anna Kuder <a.kuder@pya.org.pl>). She will let the Border Guards know about our event and try to obtain permits for the crews.