As the 2013 season draws to a close, the world of Olympic sailing is kicking into high gear. 2013, a post Olympic year, was a relatively quiet one, but going forward teams know that only a full push can results in the gold medal they all covet.
Allan Norregaard, Bronze medalist in the 49er in London, used 2013 to start a new partnership in the 49er with Anders Thomsen. Together, they placed second in the 2012 European championship, placed top 10 in every event they entered including a sixth at the worlds, though surprisingly didn’t win an event. What do they plan for 2014, you’ll have to listen to Allan to find out.
NACRA for Alan. Sailing with ex-49erFX crew Line Just and Anders will start crewing for her old helm, Lin Ea Cenholt. Lin and Line sailed 49erFX for one year, since the class was accepted for the 2016 games and will now get the benefit of teaming up with some every experience campaigners.
Given the success Allan and Anders have been having, it is a surprise to hear they are moving on to Nacra. In a lot of other ways, it is not such a suprise. The fact these two are somewhat underweight for the 49er, the fact pro sailing is increasingly done in multihulls, the fact that 49er and Nacra share so much in sailing styles and skill sets all contribute to teams being tempted to switch. A year of hard training in the Nacra will be sure to challenge both teams and by the time Santander rolls around it will be interesting to see who is on top of the heap in this new Olympic event.
Allan is a open minded and creative. He served on the 49er Class format committee and proposed many radical and many normal format options, always with the goal of having lots of good, fair racing deciding the winner. He was caught out by the sudden death nature of the 2012 Europeans, but was open minded enough to understand both the strengths and weaknesses of each aspect of the formats. He also brought to life Tower Trapezing and blames himself for poor timing and now wishes he’d saved the tower for a more dramatic event! Through all the tests, all the emails and all the calls, Allan has always been consistent about two things, fun and fair!
Allan is also a leader. His comments about the sailing conditions is Rio went around the globe as did his on the water interview that kicked it all off. With the opportunity that comes with an Olympic medal comes a responsibility to look after the sport. He clearly sees himself as a sailor for life and contributes to as many aspects of the sport as he can.
He’s bringing to his Nacra campaign the squad mentality that the Danes have used to great success in 49er and remains strongly linked to new crew Anders Thomsen. The Nacra fleet is gaining an experienced and fun asset to their events, though the 49er family will retain ownership of Alan long into the future. We wish all four sailors good luck in the future.
by Ben Remocker
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5:00 PM Fri 20 Dec 2013GMT
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