United States and Germany win in Cascais
It looks like Tokyo in Cascais,
On the last day of the 2021 Cascais 49er & 49er Fx Championship after a stormy morning, the sun shyly appeared and filled the bay of Cascais with light. The championship could not have ended in the best way with the Cascais Bay delivering the best for the Olympic sailors, its fantastic conditions for sailing. In these fabulous conditions, the Olympic sailors had the day most similar to the sea conditions of Sagami Bay, in Tokyo, with a large and wide wave. The last day was reserved for the medal race for both fleets. This is a single race for each class, 49er and 49erFx. This regatta is special since it was double points for the overall with only the ten best competitors in each division being eligible to race.
Magic Medal Race of Lima and Costa
The first Medal Race was for the male Olympic skiff class, which started at noon as scheduled. The race course at that time was in a northwest wind and 14 knots in intensity. With these conditions, the tactical decision for Olympic sailors was to go to the left side of the race course where the wind was more consistent with better pressure, or to race on the right side where the wind direction was more favourable to reach the windward mark. After the start signal, the fleet split in half when choosing the course side, and on the first approach to the weather mark, both tactical choices resulted in a balanced approach, since the fleet of a dozen boats remained compact. The first pass in the windward mark occurred with the French boat of the young team of Astride Girou and Noah Chauvin leading the medal race. The Gallic team maintained the lead for half of the first race but in the second part they lost the championship lead to the Irish, who were leading the championship on the second passage of the windward mark. During this show at the front, the experienced locals Jorge Lima and José Costa were recovering ground for the opponents at the front. The turning point of the Portuguese duo’s race was the choice of the leeward gate that they chose to follow the left hand mark and so they made the second beat on the rigth side of the course, which in the end brought fruits by recovering distance for the leaders hanging around in the second position. Already on the last leg of the course, the Portuguese team shows its experience again, having gybed first than the leader, and thus having caught the wind shit first than its opponents, thus having won the leading position of this race. After taking the lead on the last leg Jorge Lima and José Costa did not let go of the head of the race and thus got a bullet in the Medal Race. Unfortunately, the victory in the final race was not enough to win a place on the podium of the Olympic class. Lima and Costa finished this championship in the fifth position of the general.
The big winners of the championship in the Olympic class 49er were the North Americans Nevin Snow and Dane Wilson who led the leaderboard for a couple of days. Irish youngsters Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove were runner ups. In the lowest place on the podium were the North Americans Ian Barrows and Hans Henken.
Lutz and Beucke win the overall in the 49erFx Medal Race
After the Men’s Medal Race, it was the ladies’ turn to take the stage in Cascais. With the weaker wind that made the wind shift on the right more prominent for the 49erFx class race. After the start, the Dutch team of Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz started on pin end side, with some advantage for the rest of the fleet, followed with the Danish team Ida Nielsen and Marie Olsen to protect their short advantage on the overall. With a less successful start and with nothing to lose, the British team of Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey bet full chips in the right corner of the race course and gained a huge advantage over the rest of their opponents. The English have never left the lead since the first windward mark, having with this good result in the final race finished the championship in the 6th position of the overall. In the middle of the Medal Race fleet, it was where everything was decided. Spaniards Tamara Echegoyen and Paula Barcelo had a race with some difficulties and finished in eighth position. With a less successful result from Spain, the German team of Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke did not give up and everything took place in this medal race. Lutz and Beucke had a conservative race having finished the final race in fourth place, this result being enough to overtake Echegoyen and Barcelo by one point and thus conquer the highest place on the podium in Cascais. While Denmark and Holland were glad to compete in the medal race regatta for the supposed third place, the team from Brazil also had a very successful regatta having finished in second place. This good result from Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze was enough to leave the northern European teams out of the podium in this championship. Grael and Kunze ended their show in Cascais in the third position of the overall.
In total, 4 continents were represented – America, Europe, Asia and Oceania – in a total of 19 nationalities will sail in Cascais bay. The championship was taken place in Cascais from the 4th to the 9th of May, where 28 races and two medal races took place for the two Olympic classes.
The next championship for the Olympic classes of 49er and 49erFx will be here in Cascais from the 7th to the 12th of June. This championship will be closed to teams already qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games to be held this year in early August. We already have the confirmation of the candidates for the gold medal, on 49erFx class, in Tokyo, the team from Spain, New Zealand, Brazil. In the men’s class, we have confirmation of the teams that are candidates for victory in Tokyo, which are Spain, Croatia, Germany. It will be a show at the 2021 Cascais 49er & 49erFx Championship – act II
This championship was supported by Turismo de Portugal, Visit Cascais, Cascais Town Hall, Portuguese Sailing Federation, Cascais Marina and Vista Alegre. We also have the institutional support of the non-governmental association Sailors For The Sea – Portugal