Sun, protests and incredible rises on the 3rd day of the 49er South Americans

Image: Fred Hoffmann caught the flying boys on Guanabara Bay this Friday.

Rio de Janeiro – The third and penultimate day of the 49er and 49erFX South American Championships was raced in a condition that lives up to Rio de Janeiro’s reputation, a clear sunny and hot day (30°C), with a 10 to 12 knots breeze blowing from the south (180°). All happening in front of the Sugar Loaf and at the feet of Corcovado Mountain and Christ, the redeemer.

The first to touch the water today was the women’s FX fleet. All 18 officially entries, plus the new Isaf Sailors of The Year, the locals Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze, went to “Escola Naval” race area, around 11:30am, in a bit less wind, about 8 knots, and lots of current.

The Brazilians stars are doing the races just for fun and for training, even with the crew Kahena steering the boat on the last race. Since they missed the first day, with three races, and the event has only one discard, they opted to take it easy and sail around with less pressure.

Another different thing is happening in the front of the fleet. The Netherlanders Anemiek Bekkering and Rick Peacock form a somewhat different duo. In fact, Rick is the coach of the Dutch girls and exercising the possibility allowed in the race instructions to have mixed crews, is using the championship to test the boat with a heavier and stronger crew. And it’s paying off. In nine races, the double has won nothing less than seven and is leading the pack with only 14 points.

On second is the regular all female crew of Alex Maloney and Melly Meech, from New Zealand, with 25pts. The Britons Charlotte Dodson and Sophie Ainsworth, with 38pts, close the podium positions.

Men’s fleet – The 49er fleet went out a bit later, around 2pm, and the breeze was settled in 12knots. Repeating the incredible performance of yesterday, the kiwis Peter Burling and Blair Tuke continued to climb the scoreboard, and are now in fourth place, even counting 52 points of two of the three races they missed in the first day, when flying from Palma where they were nominated for the Isaf Rolex Sailor of The Year Award.

Another amazing rise was performed today by the Argentinians brothers Yago and Klaus Lange. With an almost perfect day they not only kept the South American title near their hands but also claimed the overall first place with 43 points. The vice-leaders, with 50pts, are the Danishes Jonas Warrer and Anders Thomsen that won a protest (and a redress) in a situation with the Italian and Austrian boats on the start of the 8th race. The French double Dyen Mann and Christidis Stephane are in third.

Among the South Americans, the second place is held by Marco Grael and Gabriel Borges, in 8th overall, and the thirds are Dante Bianchi and Thomas Low-Beer (19th). For tomorrow are predicted three more regular races with no Medal Races for this time.

The VII 49er South American Championship and II 49erFX South American Championship will come to an end on this Saturday and in the next week the fleets will be racing again The 49er and 49erFX Intergalactic Championship on the same race course.


Men’s results:

Women’s results:


Murillo Novaes