• USA Showing Up At Hyundai World Championships

    DAY 2 - Hyundai 49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 World Championships

    It has been a feature of the Nacra 17 fleet in Championships to date that the favourites rise to the challenge and begin the series strongly. None more so than the never-ending saga for British nomination to the Tokyo Olympics between Ben Saxton with Nicola Boniface and John Gimson with Anna Burnett. The two British teams fighting for the selection are lying first and second overall on the leaderboard, both with two dominant days to start the regatta. However there are four teams at the top, all within a point of each other. Along with the Brits are Riley Gibbs and Anna Weis (USA) in third overall, on the same points as Lin Cenholt and CP Lubeck (DEN). Best of the rest are the Italians, Vittorio Bissaro and Maelle Frascari in 5th overall. But those other Italians, the most dominant so far of this quad, Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti find themselves back in 23rd overall.

    49erFX - some surprises at the top

    On the other side, it has been a feature of the 49erFX fleet that the top guns stumble at least once carrying deep scores and setting up a high scoring championship in the women’s skiff. So far only two teams have scored top 10 finishes across all four races in the 49erFX and it is not a surprise to see Ida Nielsen with Marie Olsen (DEN) and Martine Grael with Kahena Kunze (BRA) showing consistent form so far. While Paris Henkin and Anna Tobias (USA) started their championship with a lowly 18th from their half of the qualifying draw, the Americans soon discovered their mojo, winning the next two heats and ending the day with a 5th. This places USA at the top of the scoreboard of a 49erFX World Championship for the first time in their careers. Denmark’s highly experienced team of Ida Marie Nielsen and Marie Olsen (DEN) kept all their scores in the top 10 and finished off the day with a race win. They’re tied on points with the Americans at the top of the scoreboard. There’s a three-way tie for third place, two of those teams being the arch rivals from Rio 2016 - the Olympic gold and silver medallists from Brazil and New Zealand respectively. However, placing ahead on countback ahead of Maloney/ Meech (NZL) and Grael/ Kunze (BRA) are the Singaporeans, Kimberley Lim/ Cecilia Low. Singapore won their third heat but finished the day with a 20th which they’re currently able to drop from their scores.

    49er - Austria in the lead

    In the 49er Men, Austria’s Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl have been knocking on the door of greatness for some time. Could Auckland be their week? Along with the Swiss team in fifth overall, the Austrians are the only crew to have kept all their qualifying race scores inside the top 10. Today’s stellar results of 1,5,2,2 launch Austria to the top of the rankings, a single point ahead of local heroes and reigning Olympic Champions, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.

    We have one last day of qualifying to come. Each fleet will have another four races and for many sailors still aiming to qualify for the Olympic games, it will be the most critical sailing day of their careers. Qualifying for the Olympics will almost certainly require making the cut for gold fleet at the end of tomorrow’s racing. Saving their best for tomorrow will be vital.

    Anna (Tunnicliffe) Tobias has her best ever day in a 49erFX

    The 2008 Laser Radial Gold medallist Anna (Tunnicliffe) Tobias now crews for 2016 Olympian Paris Henken (USA). The duo have not been full-time sailors on the circuit. Paris is still attending university and Anna is competing at the very highest levels in Crossfit. Over recent months they have been gearing up for this Championship and with two bullets and a fifth-place today they must be very pleased with how their US trials are beginning.

    Anna has raced the 49erFX on and off since 2013. While she has had occasional success over the years, today’s results with Paris are a significant improvement and their best ever day in the 49erFX.

    Kim and Lim (SIN) in pole position for Olympic qualifying

    Singapore’s Kim and Lim are no stranger to performing well at World Championships, as both are Optimist World Champions. However, Singaporean sailors are well known for receiving great support and funding at youth level. Success at Olympic level has to come from the efforts of the sailors themselves and it’s rare to see the Singapore flag at the front of the Olympic fleet. So far so good for Kim and Lim; they won a race and had two more top 10s to sit third overnight making a great start toward earning one of the six qualifying spots for Tokyo.


    AUCKLAND, NZL (December 1, 2019) - Without a long wind delay this morning, all three classes were able to get some racing in 9 knots that built to about 15-16 knots by mid-afternoon. After four races in the 49erFX and Nacra classes, Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Anna Tobias are leading the 49erFX fleet, and Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.) and Anna Weis (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) are in third in the Nacra 17 fleet.

    In the 49erFX class, Olympic sailing veterans, Henken and Tobias, had an incredibly consistent day at the top. While they were campaigning part-time early in the quad, they have a lot of experience under their belt. Henken represented Team USA at the Rio 2016 Games in the 49erFX and Tobias (formerly Tunnicliffe) is the Beijing 2008 Gold Medalist in the Laser Radial. Now that they have been full-time campaigning for over a year, it’s clear the hard work is paying off.

    The pair finished two races in first and the final race of the day in fifth. Henken attributes their successful day one on the water to keeping it simple, “We executed the starts really well and had some incredible boat speed which we have been working on all month, here in New Zealand.” She continued, “Our priorities were to minimize maneuvers and just keep the boat going fast.”

    Their coach, Willie McBride (Santa Barbara, Calif.) agreed and mentioned that Henken and Tobias had some fun incentives to win. “We have a deal with our Danish Training partners,” McBride said, referring to Ida Marie Baad-Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard-Olsen (DEN), “when either team wins a race, everyone eats a piece of cake.”

    McBride also noted that some of their successes of the day were also due to the team behind the team, “Their kite ripped in race two, while they were in the lead. Because of the supporters who helped Paris and Anna get to New Zealand, they had a spare kite and were able to right it up in time to win the next race.”

    It seems keeping it simple is the name of the game in New Zealand. Though Nacra sailors, Gibbs and Weis didn’t have any cake incentives on the water, the pair also had a consistent day at the top with three finishes in the top three and all scores within the top five.

    “We kept it pretty simple today,” said Gibbs. “We tried to keep our bows clear of any traffic. Making high-percentage moves around the racecourse gave us the ability to sail in more clear air than our competitors. We seem to have decent speed and when we’re sailing in a good lane, going the right direction, we’re definitely not slow.”

    While Gibbs and Weis felt some of their decisions were little conservative, they are pleased with their first day on the water. “As they say, you can’t win the regatta on the first day, but you can definitely lose it,” said Gibbs.

    After having a two-race head start on the 49erFX and Nacra 17 fleets, Men’s 49er athletes sailed one race at the end of the day. U.S. teams of Nevin Snow (San Diego, Calif.) and Dane Wilson (Ojai, Calif.), and Ian Barrows (Miami, Fla.) and Mitchell Kiss (Holland, Mich.) both finished another race in the top ten. Snow and Wilson currently stand in tied for tenth place and Barrows and Kiss are in 16th.

    With the exception of yesterday’s delay, Auckland has been serving up some pretty ideal conditions. US Sailing’s Olympic Coach and Performance Manager, Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wisc.), noted, “Today, beautiful clear skies allowed for a perfect building sea breeze and sea state today on the outer courses.” Auckland’s tides also seem to be allowing more racing in heavier breeze that would usually create a sea state too high for these boats, “Managing to sail all four races today in the incoming tide kept the waves from getting too massive as the wind picked up this afternoon.”

    The competitors at the 2019 Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships will resume racing tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. local time. Sky Sport will be broadcasting the entirety of the 2019 Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships to their New Zealand Audience. SidelineApp’s coverage of the Worlds will be available to international viewers with a one-time subscription fee of just 14.95 euros. Click here to stream the event live.

    U.S. Results at the 2019 Hyundai 49er, 49erFx and Nacra 17 World Championships
    1st - Paris Henken & Anna Tobias, 49erFX
    3rd - Riley Gibbs & Anna Weis, Nacra 17
    11th - Nevin Snow & Dane Wilson, 49er
    12th - Sarah Newberry & David Liebenberg, Nacra 17
    16nd - Ian Barrows & Mitchell Kiss, 49er
    18th - Steph Roble & Maggie Shea, 49erFX
    25th - Ravi Parent & Caroline Atwood, Nacra 17
    31st - Judge Ryan & Hans Henken, 49er
    39th - Harry Melges IV & Finn Rowe, 49er
    53rd - Andrew Mollerus & Ian MacDiarmid, 49er
    53rd - Kate Shaner & Kathleen Love, 49erFX
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    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2019 Hyundai 49er, FX, Nacra 17 Worlds Auckland started by Photoboy View original post