First for the French, Danish team to Follow: Nacra 17 2016 Worlds Final Results
By Katy Nastro
Clearwater, FL. Final day for the Nacra 17 World Championships. The final medal race was sailed right off Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach, a pretty cool vantage point for the viewers on shore. Even though the winners were announced yesterday, the day was still filled with competitive vigor amongst the sailors who look to take the remaining podium spots.
The Unbeatable Billy Besson and Marie Riou chose to sail the final race of the series even though their point spread was enough to call it a week! Billy and Marie are definitely please with their performance and with the event as a whole. They feel the race committee, and all of the organizers were great on the support and thank them for helping put on a successful World Championship. The pair took a 2nd place finish to add to their already extremely low score. When asked how he felt about his days finish Billy replied, “It was a little bit complicated near the harbor because the wind is going to be shifty with the buildings. We finished two, which is not so bad, but when we are competing, we like to win every time.” Never settling for second best apparently.
Interestingly enough, competing on just another race course away from the Nacra 17 fleet, the 49er skiffs also had their 2016 World Championship. They too had a World Champion announced. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke also took home their fourth World Championship title. Billy notes, “We were in competition to see who could get the four World titles, haha.” Well Billy, it seems you both take home the win!
Still sitting in second, taking their first ever silver medal at a World Championships is Danish team of Allan Norregaard and Annette Viborg Andreasen. Allan gave us a quote before going out as he was all smiles and completely relieved. Today Allan and Annette found out they are the Nacra 17 duo going to represent Denmark in the Rio Olympic Games, this August. Three regattas were used in the Denmark national selections: 2015 Europeans in Barcelona, 2016 Miami World Cup, and this final 2016 World Championships. The second boat in contention Lin Ea Cenholt Christiansen and Christian Peter Lübeck fought hard to stay near their compatriots, but after the final points/protests, they were unable to beat out Allan and Annette. “It’s a big relief to be over that trial, and now we are surprisingly in such a good position, which we didn’t know because we were defending our trial, it’s really surprising for us that we would end up so high on the scores, so it’s really just a bonus for us now to go out there and fight for a medal,” said Allan. “It turned out as good as it could for us, cannot complain!”
Allan and Anette finished just two places in front of the Italian to give them just a five point lead ahead of Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri of Italy. The strong Italian team pushed their way back on the podium managing a third place finish, bumping their overall place into third.
The Danish team of Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank came to shore with low hanging heads. The pair competed very strongly throughout each day, and were very much looking forward to ending this 2016 World Championship with some silverware.
The final medal race took a turn for the worse for these two Austrians. The boat was focused very much on their competitors around them that they weren’t focusing on the shifty conditions that only progressed as the race went on. “It was nice to see that we can fight for a medal, and looking at the 2015 Worlds, they were not like this, so that was quite great. Even with the medal race, we are proud we had come so far,” Tanja admits.
This pair will be have their chance in the coming months to take on their competitors once again before the ultimate athletic event in Rio.
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin came back from a bit of a dip in scores to steadily finish in fifth overall. The pair took a bit of a risky move going into the first upwind leg and had to fight back to keep a near top position. “We still were able to pull off a fifth off at the Worlds which is a great achievement, especially after coming off a silver in Miami, so its a great way to finish off our US tour,” Jason Waterhouse feels he and Lisa will be able to keep this momentum going into the rest of their season continues. “Now, back home for a bit of rest, and then back at it training in Sydney harbor!”
The sailors all enjoyed their time in Clearwater, and with the trying and variable conditions, they all felt this venue definitely helped to showcase the extreme talent amongst the fleet.