|The 49er Format Working Party has held one meeting and will continue discussions. We are seeking input from the FX community… if you’re reading this, that means you. If you’re new the fleet and want to shape your future, or if you’re experienced and want to share your learnings, please reach out to Ben to join the group.
The Nacra 17 Working Party will put forward the following proposal to the community during the next AGM. The proposal aims to shift the emphasis of racing from upwind boatspeed to a broader group of skills, support the IOC in their aims at entertaining sports fans, and ensure there is a fair and worthy podium.
2 days of qualifying where the top 20 boats advance to the gold fleet in a single fleet and only the placing carries forward. At the Olympics, this is not part of the format.
Gold fleet will have 3 days of racing with a 20 minute target time, with boundaries added if possible to avoid banging the corners and increase action. If possible, the first race of each day will be a reaching start to a Sail GP course configuration followed by two windward starts in our typical course configuration.
Then on the final day, there will be a final fleet race that is umpired. At the conclusion of that race, the bronze medalist will become known as the team in third place. The first and second place teams will move to a match race final, first to two wins, with the leader starting on one win. So it could be finished in one race or two.
The teams will enter from each end of the line the way America’s Cup has been doing it with a 10 second head start for the port entry into the box.
This format should produce a fair and worthy champion, provide an exciting climax to the regatta for fans and the viewing audience, and keep all teams (countries in the Games) involed through the final day.
It also should shift the emphasis of skills toward boathandling, reaching starting and downwind, and match racing, while upwind boatspeed will remain critical as well.
The Working Party asks that teams practice match racing during their training sessions to see what you think of it. The practice should be valuable as a training exersize and it would be great if many of you have hands on experience with this prior to our group discussions.