Great races conclude Enoshima session
After a hit and miss regatta the final day came in beautifully so catch the action in these videos of the medal races below. Analysis and spoilers to follow, so watch first if you haven’t seen.
The Nacra 17 medal race was compelling, there is no doubt. with 6 teams fighting for the win, all of which have tremendous pedigree a shootout is always fun racing. Combine that with beautiful building conditions and three internal battles between national team members and the race was set up perfectly.
The start got off cleanly with most teams on starboard and only Kohloff/Stuhlemmer taking the port tack option. A few teams tacked right after getting rolled, but it was an upwind battle among most of the favorites holding on starboard.
You have to feel for the Outteridge siblings as they won the lineup and moved briefly into Gold medal winning position up the beat. Then a 15 degree right shift came in meaning those that chose or got bounced right took the front positions.
The first downwind was where the action really lit up though. At least half the fleet suffered huge stuffs, with Jason Saunders (NZL) heading all the way around the bow as the action heats up. The Outteridges get stuck below Finland and then do a huge roll to windward, then we see Waterhouse / Darmanin (AUS) also stuff into their gybe.
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All the while, Tita and Banti (ITA) remain the most stable and calm, but as the clip progresses note how the whole fleet is in safety mode, with one hull in the water almost all of the time instead of trying to foil (more on this later). The is safety mode is really just trading one danger for another, but the teams have far more time to react to single hull stuffs than to falling off the foils while foiling, so that’s why they choose the healed ride.
The fleet gets it’s act in gear, but by the leeward marks Saxton and Boniface’s lead is in serious jeopardy, and the gold medal position is up for grabs. In front of the race it’s Tita / Banti and Delapierre / Audinet (FRA) who are out in front.
Delapierre is new to the Nacra 17 scene, only starting to race in 2019. He comes from some match racing and laser sailing, but then teamed up with Audinet, who is a veteran crew from the start of the Nacra 17 back in 2013. The team have done increasingly well through 2019, and could be a real contender for the French Olympic berth unless we see Besson and Riou return to the dominant from from the last quad.
The final run is where things really heat up. With the two lead boats fighting it out for who beats who medal positions, and then as Saxton/Bonniface move forward and backward the gold medal becomes in play or not.
As the run develops, watch the moment Tita and Banti start going for the win! They shift from safety mode to full foiling mode, throwing caution to the wind and trying to make the pass they need to secure victory. For a good few moments it looks like they’ll get it as they push forward and look like they’ll be able to roll the French for the win…
.. as the French start to suffer a few bad waves, their fate is looking dire, but then the Italians suffer the same troubles and they come off the foils and have to settle for second in the race and third overall.
Quite a race, shame the fleet only got to race for 20 minutes on the day instead of a full three races to catch up to schedule.
Check out the epic photos from our friends at Sailing Energy, and catch the action from the 49er races too!