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49er and 49erFX World Championships at Lanzarote - Day 5

by Lanzarote Sailing Center 9 Mar 11:57 PST 4-10 March 2024

Day 5 of the 49er and 49erFX World Championships brought the windiest and waviest conditions so far in Lanzarote.

With the breeze gusting between 15 and 19 knots from the north-west, today would be the toughest physical challenge yet. The Gold Fleet departed Marina Rubicon for three hard races on the huge Atlantic swell.

Port Tack Starts for the French

Fischer and Pequin favoured a port-tack approach to the starts, passing behind the bulk of the fleet starting on starboard. It proved to be a winning strategy as the French launched into clear air on the right-hand side of the course nearer to Marina Rubicon on the Lanzarote shore. They sailed to finishes of 3,2,3, a level of consistency that none of their rivals could match.

Sebastien Schneiter and Arno de Planta (SUI) won the first race of the session, next it was the reigning World Champions Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken (NED), and last winners of the afternoon were the surprise package of this week from Great Britain.

New Boy in Golden Form

James Grummett had never competed in the Gold Fleet of a major 49er regatta before, but having teamed up with Rhos Hawes just three months ago this new partnership have clicked straight away. Their race win puts them in 4th overall, just 0.2 points off the Spanish in 3rd.

Meanwhile there's a close battle developing between two Polish teams both vying for Olympic selection. Currently Mikolaj Staniul and Jakub Sztorch sit in 5th but just 5 points ahead of Lukasz Przybytek and Jacek Piasecki in 6th.

French Revolution?

With one more Gold Fleet race in the morning followed by the Medal Race on Sunday afternoon, the French team go into the final day with a 30 point advantage over the Dutch, and 12 points further back are the Spanish favourites Diego Botin and Florian Trittel.

In more than a quarter of a century of 49er World Championships, France has never won the world title. On the strength of today's performance, Erwan Fischer and Clement Pequin could be on the brink of making 49er history.

Speedy Swedes

Big breeze conditions tend to play into the hands of the tall Swedes, Vilma Bobeck and Rebecca Netzler. So it proved as the reigning World Champions turned on an extra notch of speed that no one could match. Two wins from two.

They didn't start so well in the third, but surely their boatspeed would pull them through again. On the charge down to the bottom of the course, the speedy Swedes were already pulling through to second and chasing down race leaders, Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz.

Swimming Swede

But then - disaster for Sweden as Netzler was swept out the back of the boat by a rogue wave and had to swim back almost 200 metres to catch up the capsized boat.

Van Aanholt and Duetz won that race and, coupled with other scores of 3rd and 2nd, the Dutch look well placed to win back the world title from their Swedish training partners. They carry a 25-point advantage into the final day, with the second-placed Swedes 20 points ahead of Italy's Jana Germani and Giorgia Bertuzzi.

Dutch on Pole

The top two teams - the Dutch and Swedes - look very likely to take the top places on the podium, but the battle for bronze is wide open. Close behind the Italians, Australia, Brazil and Spain all have a serious shot at the podium.

The forecast for Super Sunday looks lighter from the north, so the wind could be shifty and difficult to read. While the 49er and FX titles might look secure, nothing is certain on this tricky Lanzarote race track.

Watch the Livestream broadcast on Sunday morning to witness the climax of competition in Lanzarote.

The Lanzarote International Regatta is organized by Marina Rubicón and has the collaboration of the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation, as well as the institutional support of the Tourism area of the Lanzarote Cabildo through the sports product European Sports Destination (managed by SPEL-Turismo Lanzarote), Promotur Turismo de Canarias, the Yaiza City Council and the private entities Dinghycoach, Naviera Armas and Cabrera Medina (Cicar).

Results after Day 5: (top three)

49er Worlds
1. Erwan Fischer/Clément Pequin (FRA), 11+1+7+3+1+3+1+2+3+(10)+2+3+3+2+3=45pts
2. Bart Lambriex/Floris van de Werken (NED), 5+4+1+7+4+1+1+1+(20)+16+3+20+4+1+7=75pts
3. Diego Botín/Florian Trittel (ESP), 13+18+3+3+2+3+15+1+6+7+1+1+9+5+(20)=87pts
... up to 71 classified

49erFX Worlds
1. Odile van Aanholt/Annette Duetz (NED), 1+3+1+3+6+9+8+1+1+1+(13)+5+3+2+1=44pts
2. Vilma Bobeck/Rebecca Netzler (SWE), 14+2+3+2+1+5+6+1+8+14+11+1+1+(23)=69pts
3. Jana Germani/Giorgia Bertuzzi (ITA), 3+2+5+16+12+2+4+2+6+6+22+6+(25)+3=89pts
... up to 51 classified

Full results available here.

Find out more at 49er.org/events/2024-world-championship.

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