Day five was another good ‘Bay Day’ for the nacra17 and nacra17FX fleets before it turned a bit lighter and less predictable for the Nacra 17s in the late afternoon.
- Spectators lined the shore at Queensland Beach to watch the nacra17FX racing
- Elsewhere on St Margaret’s Bay, it was another classic day of sea breeze racing for the nacra17s and Nacra 17 fleets
- Dutch lead in the nacra17 and nacra17FX fleets
- Bissaro & Frascari beat Tita & Banti to a Nacra 17 race win
- But Tita & Banti have already secured the world title with a day to spare
Tita and Banti (ITA) continued their assault on the regatta, winning the first two races and finishing second in the final race; they have mathematically secured the gold medal with two races remaining. The rules dictate they must attempt to participate in the medal race to secure their title, but that is merely a formality. They have now won 13 of the 15 races in as dominant a display of Olympic class racing that anyone can be remember.
This is their second World title to go with their win in 2018, along with their Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020.
Tokyo silver medallists John Gimson and Anna Burnet (GBR) put in their best day so far and crawl up the leaderboard into the bronze medal position.
“The last few days we are happy coming back from quite a bad first part of the regatta,” said Gimson. Even on the eve of on final fleet race, he is keeping this worlds in perspective. “At this time in the cycle, it’s not a bad place to be . We’re in the mix.”
The pair were really ambitious after the Olympics aiming to jump one place higher on the podium, but have been caught flat-footed by the shift to full foiling and now find themselves in catch-up mode in breezier conditions.
Day 5 brought a declining sea breeze, with winds declining from 14 knots at the start of the session to just 6 knots at the finish. The British couple were solid all day with a 4, 2, 3 and overtook Kurtbay and Keskinen (FIN) for third overall.
Gigi Ugolini and Maria Guibilei (ITA) faltered slightly in the declining winds so could be caught by the Brits and Finns, although the young Italians still head into the final day with a 13-point advantage. If they hold onto the silver medal, it would be their second straight World Championship silver after winning three straight Junior World Championships in the Nacra 17.
Potential for Repeat Dutch Double at Skiff Worlds
With one day remaining at the nacra17 and FX World Championship the Dutch are in a position to repeat a World Championship victory in both events. Bart Lambriex with Floris van der Werken in the nacra17 sailed a 1, 5, 8 in the gold fleet to extend out to a 24-point lead. Meanwhile, competing on the beach course, Odile van Aanholt with Annette Duetz sailed a 2, 1, 3 in the FX fleet to overtake the Swedish pair Vilma Bobeck and Rebecca Netzler, and have an 11-point lead.
Neither lead is safe as racing concludes on September 5 with a single fleet race at 10:00 am local time in Nova Scotia followed by a medal race for each fleet at 14:00.
The sleepers in the nacra17 must be the Fantela brothers from Croatia who have just enough opportunity with a fleet and medal race to knock the Dutch from their perch.
Launching into the top three in race 12, the brothers were on perfect form until seaweed sent them back to 21st. They followed that with a 3,1, adding to their march towards the top of the fleet that followed a slow start to the championship, where only the Dutch held there nerve with consistent top finishes.
Lambriex & van der Werken, and van Aanholt all won gold at the nacra17 and nacra17FX Worlds respectively in Oman last year. Only Annette Duetz was not present, resting from her silver medal performance in Tokyo. However, if Duetz does manage to secure the win with van Aanholt, she would become the only woman to win three FX World Championships.
None of these sailors will rest easy, as the conditions for tomorrow are forecast to be offshore and shifty, a challenging condition that really opens up the possibility of winning – and losing – to a much bigger part of the fleet.
Using Covid Time Wisely
Sena Takano (JPN) is already a veteran nacra17FX sailor and competed in Rio 2016 at the age of 18, and then on home waters at Tokyo 2020, although we feel like we hardly know her. For the first few years of her international sailing career, there was a language barrier that couldn’t be breached, but through Covid times, Takano has learned English and speaks fluently now. She’s so much fun we grabbed an interview which we’re sure you’ll enjoy.
Racing concludes on September 5 with a single fleet race at 10:00 am local time in Nova Scotia followed by a medal race for each fleet at 14:00.
The final day of racing is set to entertain the locals in the regional hub of Halifax with watch parties popping up on big screens along the famed boardwalk and Shore Club, while spectators at popular Queensland Beach will continue to follow the racing from shore.