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Cascais 49er & 49erFx Championship - Overall

by Clube Naval de Cascais 9 May 12:17 PDT 4-9 May 2021

On the last day of the 2021 Cascais 49er & 49er FX Championship after a stormy morning, the sun shyly appeared and filled the bay of Cascais with light.

The championship could not have ended in a better way with Cascais Bay delivering the best for the Olympic sailors with fantastic conditions for sailing. In these fabulous conditions, the Olympic sailors had a day most similar to the sea conditions of Sagami Bay in Tokyo, with large and long waves. The final day was reserved for the medal race for both fleets, a single race double points race for the top ten in each class.

Magic Medal Race of Lima and Costa

The first Medal Race was for the men, which started at noon as scheduled. The race course at that time was in a north-west wind of 14 knots. With these conditions, the tactical decision for the sailors was to go to the left side of the race course where the wind was more consistent with better pressure, or to race on the right side where the wind direction was more favourable to reach the windward mark.

After the start signal, the fleet split in half when choosing the course side, and on the first approach to the weather mark, both tactical choices resulted in a balanced approach with the fleet remaining compact. The first pass at the windward mark occurred with the young French team of Astride Girou and Noah Chauvin leading. The Gallic team maintained the lead for half of the first race, but in the second part they lost the lead to the Irish, who lead on the second windward leg.

During this show at the front, the experienced locals Jorge Lima and José Costa were recovering ground. The turning point for the Portuguese duo's race was the choice of the leeward gate left hand mark, which in the end brought fruits by recovering distance on the leaders. On the final leg of the course, the Portuguese team showed its experience again, having gybed first ahead of the leader, catching the wind shift first to take the lead.

Jorge Lima and José Costa held on to their lead to take the winner's gun. Unfortunately, this final race victory was not enough to win a place on the podium, finishing in fifth overall.

The big winners of the championship were the North Americans Nevin Snow and Dane Wilson, who topped the leaderboard for a couple of days. Irish youngsters Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove were runners-up. The podium was completed by the North Americans Ian Barrows and Hans Henken.

Lutz and Beucke win overall in the 49er FX

Next it was the ladies' turn to take the stage in Cascais. A weaker wind made the wind shifts on the right more prominent for the 49er FX race. After the start, the Dutch team of Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz started on the pin end side, with advantage over the rest of the fleet, followed by the the Danish team of Ida Nielsen and Marie Olsen to protect their short advantage on the overall.

With a less successful start and with nothing to lose, the British team of Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey bet full chips on the right corner of the race course and gained a huge advantage over the rest of their opponents. The English then never let go of the lead to win the medal race and finish the championship in 6th position overall.

The middle of the Medal Race fleet was where everything was decided. Spaniards Tamara Echegoyen and Paula Barcelo had a race with some difficulties and finished in eighth position. With a less successful result from Spain, the German team of Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke took advantage with a conservative fourth place enough to overtake Echegoyen and Barcelo by one point and thus win overall.

While Denmark and Holland were glad to compete in the medal race regatta for third place, the team from Brazil also had a very successful race, finishing in second place. This good result from Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze was enough to leave the northern European teams out of the podium in this championship. Grael and Kunze ended their showing in Cascais in third position overall.

In total, four continents were represented - America, Europe, Asia and Oceania - with a total of 19 nationalities sailing in Cascais bay. The championship saw 28 races and 2 medal races in total.

The next championship for the Olympic classes of 49er and 49er FX will be here in Cascais from the 7th to the 12th of June. This championship will be limited to teams already qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games to be held this year in early August. We already have confirmation of teams from Spain, New Zealand, Brazil, Croatia & Germany. It will certainly be a show at the 2021 Cascais 49er & 49erFx Championship - Act II.

This championship was supported by Turismo de Portugal, Visit Cascais, Cascais Town Hall, Portuguese Sailing Federation, Cascais Marina and Vista Alegre. We also have the institutional support of the non-governmental association Sailors For The Sea - Portugal.

Results can be found here...

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