Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

49er/49erFX World Championships - New Zealand dominates in Marseille

by Ben Remocker on 30 Sep 2013
Teams in action ©Pierick Jeannoutot
At the 49er and 49erFX World Championships, New Zealand dominated in Marseille with a dazzling display of confidence and maturity by three young teams all in their early 20s.

First up was the 10-boat, three-race short-course final for the FX women, and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech hammered home their points advantage with a straightforward victory. Behind them was a much tighter battle for silver and bronze that wasn’t settled until the final few seconds of the final race. Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze clinched silver by less than a boatlength from France’s Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard.

Immediately afterwards the men raced their three 10-minute heats, and when Peter Burling and Blair Tuke won the first race by a big margin, it looked unlikely any other crew would threaten them for gold.

However, they had a poor second heat with a ninth place finish, while their younger team mates Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski won the race, moving to just 10 points behind the Olympic silver medallists. If they could get four boats between them in the final heat the world title would go to NZL-6 rather than NZL-two, but in the end Burling and Tuke did enough to win the Worlds by 12 points.

Burling and Tuke have won silver at the past two 49er World Championships, plus Olympic silver, and now the gold. 'Great to take the win,' said Burling, who also won the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup a month earlier in San Francisco. 'Good to give the NZ yachting community a bit to cheer about after what happened with the Cup earlier in the week. For us, we were feeling for them, we know them well, but it was good to just get on with our own little thing and get it on.'

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech capped off a successful first season in the new women’s Olympic skiff with an impressive win in Marseille. 'Pretty awesome, especially with the guys winning too,' said Meech, who was also mindful of the tough time for her compatriots in San Francisco. 'I think Dean Barker did an amazing performance, and we're all proud of what Emirates Team New Zealand achieved. But hopefully today’s win will put a smile on a few people's places. We’ve put a whole lot of hard work into this year, and it's all paid off. But this is all just one stepping stone to Rio 2016, and it will get harder over the next few years.'

While Kiwi gold was virtually assured going into the final double-points race, the battle for silver and bronze was a tightfive-way battle between Germany, Great Britain, Italy, France and Brazil. It was close all the way to the finish, with the Dutch winning the race, but crucially for the Brazilians, a second place just enough to secure silver ahead of the French who took bronze. Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze were delighted to win silver, the same colour they won at the Europeans in Denmark two months earlier. 'It was great,' said Grael. 'Early this morning Kahena had all her belongings stolen from the hotel. She was very, very mad! But I think it helped. We’ll go to the police to report it, but first we celebrate!'

Marseille is the training base for France’s strong 49er and FX squads, and the cheers were loud across the bay as the home team won bronze in both fleets. Manu Dyen has taken most of the last year off since the Olympics, becoming a father for the first time. But today he and crew Stephane Christidis scored their first ever Worlds medal.

Even more impressive was a bronze for Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard who only started sailing the 49er FX less than three months earlier. 'When we found out we had won the bronze medal, it went crazy. We’re really happy because we have only sailed together since July. We still have a lot of room for improvement. This bodes well for the future.'

Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen relinquished their world crown after winning four of the last five 49er World Championships. They had a shocking start in the first race today, but kept on chipping away and finished fifth overall. Bearing in mind they haven’t raced since winning gold at last year’s Olympics, the opposition know that the Australians remain one of the hot favourites for Rio 2016.

Just ahead in fourth place were Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign who had led for much of the week but suffered in the strong winds of Saturday. The British team still had their sights set on a medal today, but missed out to the French by three points. 'Pretty hard to take,' said Alain Sign. 'We’ve been working all season for this moment. We've been sailing well all week, starting and speed is good, but it’s such a fine line in this fleet, and dropping the mainsheet out of a tack in the first race was the difference that cost us a medal.

That mistake probably took us from being first or second around the top mark, to being last.

We thought we would get across the French boat that won bronze but we had to do a penalty turn. He took a bit of an aim at us, but that's going to happen in this racing where it's all about inches.'

No nation is nailing the Olympic skiff like New Zealand right now. Blair Tuke was savouring the moment. 'Pete and I haven't won a world champs since our junior days and to do it here in the 49er, and to have our Kiwi training partners in second place is a dream come true. And to have the girls win the first FX World Championships - a good day for Kiwi yachting.'







Barz Optics - Kids rangeWildwind 2016 660x82PredictWind.com 2014

Related Articles

Armel Le Cléac'h wins the Vendée Globe in record time
Armel Le Cléac'h has today won the Vendée Globe, setting a new record for the solo non-stop round the world race French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has today won the Vendée Globe, setting a new record for the solo non-stop round the world race in the process.
Posted today at 4:58 pm
Clipper Race – Qingdao ambassadors selected after intensive trial
Qingdao has a rich history in the Clipper Race, the only event which trains amateur sailors to become ocean racers Qingdao has a rich history in the Clipper Race, the only event which trains amateur sailors to become ocean racers, and is the event’s longest standing Team Sponsor. The 2017-18 race edition will mark the seventh time Qingdao, also a Host Port, has entered a team in the biennial race across the world’s oceans.
Posted today at 4:31 pm
Armel Le Cléac'h due to finish Vendée Globe at 1530hrs UTC
The French skipper is currently 36nm from the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, travelling at just over 12 knots. The French skipper is currently 36 nautical miles from the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, travelling at just over 12 knots.
Posted today at 2:25 pm
RORC Caribbean 600 – Winning ways
American yachts have had a winning streak in this classic race, winning five out of eight editions of the 600-miler. American yachts have had a winning streak in this classic offshore race, winning five out of eight editions of the 600-miler, starting and finishing in Antigua.
Posted today at 2:06 pm
Four years and counting – WIM Series going from strength to strength
Last month the U.S. Virgin Islands hosted an amazing conclusion to the fourth year of the WIM Series. Last month the U.S. Virgin Islands hosted an amazing conclusion to the fourth year of the WIM Series. Altogether 147 sailors in 28 teams from 17 countries battled it out in the 2016 season
Posted today at 2:00 pm
Quantum Key West Race Week reels off three races in fading winds
After a windy and wavy start to the regatta today's conditions were far more manageable. The Mount Gay Rum Boat of the Day was awarded to J.D. Hill's (Houston, TX) Second Star (J/122) in the ORC Class.
Posted today at 12:55 pm
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 3 images by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action.
Posted today at 7:39 am
Vendee Globe - Le Cleac'h flying home
Vendee Globe race leader Armel Le Cleac's is on the final tack for the finish of the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race. Vendee Globe race leader Armel Le Cleac's is on the final tack for the finish of the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race. At the 0400UTC position report he had 145nm to sail to the finish at Les Sables D'Olonne and was expected to be greeted by a crowd of hundreds of thousands of French sailing fans on Thursday afternoon or early evening local time.
Posted today at 7:14 am
Le Cléac'h closes in on Vendée Globe finish line
French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has one hand on the Vendée Globe trophy this morning as he bears down on the finish line French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has one hand on the Vendée Globe trophy this morning as he bears down on the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. At the latest position update Le Cléac'h, skipper of Banque Populaire VIII, was 146 nautical miles from finishing the solo round the world race with a lead of 87nm over second-placed Alex Thomson.
Posted today at 6:05 am
Vendee Globe Race - View the finish LIVE
The arrival of the Vendée Globe will be broadcast LIVE on January 19 between 5.30 p.m and 8.00 p.m (GMT) French skipper Armel Le Cléac'h and British skipper Alex Thomson will finish their non-stop solo round the world race on Thursday afternoon or evening local time. The arrival of the Vendée Globe will be broadcast LIVE on January 19 at 1530hrs UTC on the event's channel
Posted today at 5:10 am