Gold fleet cut off a harsh moment in 49er racing

Day 3 marks the end of qualifying, with the top 25 teams from 9 races making the gold fleet in 49er. The fleet of 83 boats gets whittled dramatically.

Sixteen countries make up the 25 spots in gold fleet in 49er. The 25 place cutoff is harsh, and always a battle to get into. Fifteen of those countries, excluding France who are automatically qualified, will now battle for the 10 nation spots on offer.

None were more pleased and relieved with their performance than Tom Burton and Max Paul (AUS). The pair tied for the third-best day in the whole fleet, with a 5, 2, 3 to move up more than a dozen spots and claim the final gold fleet position.

Burton is the 2016 gold medalist in the laser and has switched over to 49er this quadrennial. Together with Max Paul the pair have been working hard. “We have been so fast all week, but just didn’t have the boathandling to survive yesterday,” said Paul. “We were in the top three to every top mark, but then six capsizes upset our day considerably. It’s such a relief to score finishes to our potential today and get a chance at gold fleet.

Hernan Umpierre and Fernando Diz (URU) were not happy with their performance today, but still managed to make their second every 49er gold fleet.

Three American teams made gold fleet. Mac Agenese (USA) was thrilled to make his first-ever gold fleet, sitting in 17th place. “This has been a long time coming, something I’ve been thinking about and dreaming about,” commented Mac. “It’s a very good fleet out there, the quality is so high, it’s amazing racing.”

Scores – tracking – photos etc.

Bart Lambriex and Floris Van De Werken leading at the 2023 Worlds Credit: Sailing Energy / World Sailing. 13 August 2023.

Lamriex and van de Werken Versus Botin and Trittel round 3

Diego Botin with Florian Trittel (ESP) had the best day today of all teams, sporting a 1,1,2. This comes on the heels of a big racing incident to close out day 2 that they ended up successfully gaining some redress for. (see the bottom of this article for details) Heading into gold another battle between the Spanish and the double-defending champion Dutch shaping up.

Lambriex and Floris van de Werken (NED) took the 2022 Worlds from the Spanish on the final day in Nova Scotia. Just a few months earlier, it was the other way around to close out the 2022 European Championship in Aarhus. (there is a pretty cool video of the two of them battling upwind, each on new versus old sails from that regatta)

The Dutch currently hold a 1.8 point lead over the Spanish, which essentially means they are tied heading into gold fleet.

Przybytek and Piasecki (POL) are in third place, and lead a trio of Poles in Gold fleet. As it stands there are 10 nations in the top 10 overall, and then the French in 11th. The battle to keep in those top 10 nations will be fierce as all eyes are aimed at getting a spot in Paris.

Gold Fleet Qualifying Maths with One Race Remaining

(written earlier) Here is the 49er situation after 8 races, with the 9th race ongoing as we type.

25 boats will make the gold fleet, so the red line is our separator. To figure out who needs to do what to either stay in the gold or move up, here is the working. We then know the 26th place team has 64 points from 7 counting races, so just over 8.6 points per race. So, if everyone performed on average, the line might move up as 72.5 points (64+8.5) but no lower than 65 points, since the 26th-place team will score at least a single point.

Looking above the line, we then check who might score over 65 points. URU have a 17 as a drop and 48 points, so could be up to 65 points. They seem highly likely to make it, as they would have to have to score a drop and have CHN 616 win the race to loose out. From there, the logic is similar for each team, with the teams currently below URU each having a slightly bigger chance of missing out, while the teams behind China have a worse chance to get in.

16th place through 33rd place still has a chance to make the gold fleet, and keep their Olympic qualifying dreams alive. POST SCRIPT – before protests, it seems the above prediction of 72.5 points is bang on, as 71 points has made gold while 74 has not!

Lawyer Logic helps and hurts Botin / Trittel

In the second race of day 2, Meggendorfer and Spranger (GER) crashed into the back corner of Botin and Trittel (ESP) as they both rounded the leeward marks. It’s the sort of incident that can easily happen in a big wind, big waves 49er race. Both boats capsized, and when the Germans got back upright, they did a penalty turn and continued on their way, acknowledging being in the wrong for the incident. Again, this is all the sort of typical behavior that goes on in 49er racing. Where the incident gets more interesting is when the Spanish boat was damaged. The back end of the wings has bungy going across it, running through pulleys, holes, or the foot straps that goes up tot eh mainsheet system and back down the other side. This bungy bunches the leeward tiller extension onto the aft wing. Without these bungies, it is very hard to do tacks and gybes, as the skipper much pick up a new tiller extension that could be anywhere as they go through a maneuver. The Spanish retired to complete a repair instead of continuing to try and finish the race.

The case went to a hearing, and because the damage forced the retirement of the Spanish, the Germans were disqualified. The Spanish would not be entitled to redress for the forced capsize or due to losing positions but are entitled to redress because they retired from the race. The redress given to them was to get the last place of the boats that finished, 24th, a better position than DNF as quite a few boats did retire as the conditions were so rough.

Then the Spanish, with their hasty repair raced the final race of the day. They were first to the windward mark, but their repair was not holding, so they ended up capsizing during the first downwind. Eventually, they finished 11th in the race. So the damage still caused them trouble in the second race, but this time they got a score of average points for the first 5 races, meaning they got 6.8 points for that race. Read the full case decision here.

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