Please select your home edition
ETNZShop-Merch-728x90 HR Top

470 Worlds report, Pan Am Games celebrations, SailGP update

by David Schmidt 13 Aug 2019 08:00 PDT August 13, 2019
Yamaha 2019 470 Worlds - Enoshima, August 2019 © Junichi Hirai / Bulkhead Magazine Japan

These may be summer's dog days, but there's plenty of high-end sailing action unfurling, both at home and abroad. Locally, in harbors and bays from coast to coast, racing sailors are making the most of the long daylight hours, the warm breezes, and the summer work culture to get in as many races as possible, and on the international stage, Olympic hopefuls are working towards earning country berths and individual qualifications for next year's Games. Moreover, Grand Prix sailors competing in events such as the SailGP series, are working towards solidifying the season's final standings and securing the $1M cash purse that goes to the winner of the season's finale.

On the Olympic sailing front, two events — the 470 World Championships, which unfurled on the waters off of Enoshima, Japan, and the Pan American Games, which took place off of Paracas, Peru — have dominated the conversation, with the former proving disastrous for North American sailing interests, while the latter bore important fruit for both the Canadian and U.S.-flagged teams.

First, the sour medicine. The top North American result in both the men's and women's divisions at the 470 World Championships was an 18th place, which was posted by Stu McNay and David Hughes (USA). Other North American performances in the Men's 470 class included a 51st finish for Americans Trevor Davis and Trevor Bornarth and a 52nd finish (out of 52 boats) for Canadians Joshua Yale and Michael Montagnese.

Things weren't any rosier among the Women's 470 results, with sisters Atlantic and Nora Brugman (USA) finishing in 30th place. They were immediately followed by two fellow American teams, including that of Nikole Barnes and Lara Dallman-Weiss, who finished in 31st place, and sisters Carmen and Emma Cowles, who finished in 32nd place out of 39 boats. Americans Emily Bornarth and Laura Slovensky finished in 38th place; no Canadian women raced in this event.

As a result of these performances, American and Canadian female sailors did not earn 470 berths for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (McNay and Hughes had already earned this for U.S.-flagged male 470 sailors at the 2018 World Championships). "I'm disappointed that we fell short of our hopes and expectations for both fleets," said Malcolm Page, US Sailing's Chief of Olympics, in an official team press release. "We will now be forced to qualify the country in the Women's fleet at the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami this January."

While these were not the results that anyone wanted for North American sailors at this World Championship regatta, the good news is that American and Canadian sailors fared much better on the waters off of Peru. All told, American sailors collected seven medals (two golds, three silvers and two bronze), while Canadian sailors racked up a perfect sweep of a single gold, silver and bronze medal to send their team home with a multi-colored trifecta.

For American sailors, this medal haul included gold in the non-Olympic mixed-sex Snipe class, which was earned by Ernesto Rodriguez and Hallie Schiffman; gold in the mixed-sex Nacra 17 class, courtesy of Riley Gibbs and Anna Weis; silver in the Women's 49erFX class (Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea), and silver in the Women's Laser Radial (Charlotte Rose). On the men's side, Pedro Pascual captured a silver in the Men's RS:X, Will Cyr took home a bronze in the Open Formula Kite, while Charlie Buckingham collected bronze in the Men's Laser.

For Canadian sailors, Women's Laser Radial sailor Sarah Douglas was on fire, capturing gold a full two points ahead of second-placed Charlotte Rose (USA). In the non-Olympic Sunfish class, former Olympic sailor Luke Ramsay took home silver, while Alexander Heinzemann and Justin Barnes took home a bronze medal in the Men's 49er class.

But for these talented sailors whose internal compass needles constantly points towards the 2020 Games, the window for celebration was understandably limited.

"I thought it was kind of funny," said Nacra 17 sailor Riley Gibbs in an official team press release. "Straight after the medal ceremony, we went back to de-rigging the boat, like nothing really happened. It's another stepping stone, we're already looking ahead to trying our best at the Olympic Test Event in Japan and putting it all out there."

Jumping from Olympic-track sailing to the wingsail-powered SailGP circuit, Tom Slingsby (AUS) and his Australia SailGP Team captured first place in all three races that were held on the waters off of Cowes, UK (August 10-11). The Aussies were joined on the winner's podium by skipper Nathan Outteridge and his Japan SailGP Team, who took second place, and by skipper Phil Robertson and his China SailGP Team.

Impressively, Slingsby and company tagged 50.0 knots of boatspeed in the regatta's first race to become the first sailing team to have hit this mind-numbing speed on an active racecourse. (This includes the 35th America's Cup, which used slower versions of the same boats.)

American interests were represented by skipper Rome Kirby and his United States SailGP Team, who sustained a capsize some 30 seconds after the regatta's first starting gun sounded, but they rebounded to compete in the rest of the racing following a pitstop with the SailGP tech crew.

Unfortunately for British-flagged interests, the team dug their bow into the brine during the first race's second-to-last leg, sending wing trimmer Chris Draper over flight controller and tactician Stuart Bithell. No-one was hurt, fortunately, however the team's steed was sent to the shed for repairs that cost the team the day's racing.

SailGP action will resume at the season finale event, which will take place on the waters off of Marseille, France, from September 20-22, and will determine final season standings and a $1M prize purse.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt North American Editor

Related Articles

Yes I, am the Great Contender
David Henshall gets excited in an overgrown field One boat that is not so much of a barn find, but a 'back of the field' feature, is a Contender, which has lain undisturbed for enough years for the brambles to claim it as one of their own. Yet this is a class that surely is worthy of a second look. Posted on 28 May
Hans Evers on the 2020 Miami to Key Largo Race
A conversation with Hans Evers about the 2020 Miami to Key Largo Race I checked in with Hans Evers, race chair of the 2020 Miami to Key Largo Race, via email, to learn more about this exciting sailboat race. Posted on 27 May
Savouring being back out on the water
But missing the karate sailing It seems I struck a chord when we published 'The great grass-roots revival?' a fortnight ago. Since then lockdown restrictions have been gradually eased in both Australia and England: we're allowed to go sailing! Posted on 25 May
Andy Burdick on Melges' 75th anniversary
Andy Burdick on Melges Performance Sailboats' 75th anniversary I checked in with Andy Burdick, president of Melges Performance Sailboats, via email, to learn more the company's proud boatbuilding history. Posted on 21 May
In conversation with Grapefruit's Andy Yeomans
From large-scale events to social distance signage for your club or business The Covid-19 crisis has caused the cancellation of all large events, wiping out the core of Grapefruit's business, but Andy soon had the team at work producing the social distancing signage and equipment. Posted on 20 May
Paul Westlake on North Sails' TP52 R&D work
David Schmidt checks out the development work in the TP52 class David Schmidt checked in with Paul “Flipper” Westlake, North Sails' executive vice president, via email, to learn more about North Sails' sail development work for the TP52 class. Posted on 19 May
X2. Times three...
This is the third instalment of information about the exciting new X2 by Farr This is the third instalment of information about the exciting new X2 by Farr. Since its inception we have been excited about the project, if for no other reason than it stood up to be counted as a true racing boat. Posted on 17 May
Terry Hutchinson guests on the Happy Hour podcast
Executive Director and Skipper of America's Cup Challenger NYYC American Magic In this episode we hear from Terry Hutchinson, Executive Director and Skipper of America's Cup Challenger NYYC American Magic. We hear about hours of grinding, preparing for New Zealand amidst COVID-19, and Terry even tells the boys "to grow a pair"... Posted on 16 May
The Colossus
There are boat builders the world over, and then there is Groupe Beneteau There are boat builders the world over, and then there is Groupe Beneteau. The conglomerate is one giant powerhouse, building boats across Europe, and in the USA as well. Posted on 15 May
The Red Mist falls in THE splASHES
Brits and Aussies clash in virtual Portsmouth & Sydney Harbour There's nothing quite like the rivalry between the British and Australians in sport, exemplified in cricket, rugby and sailing; so with eSailing taking such a hold in the past couple of months during lockdown, it was time for the inaugural splASHES. Posted on 14 May
Highfield Boats - Sailing - FOOTERMelges 14 2019 FooterMarine Resources 2019 - Footer