London Olympics 2012 - 49er fever intensifies

July 30, 2012 Weymouth, England - Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) after winning Heat 2 of the Mens Skiff (49er)
Action was fast and furious in the 49er class today as the double-trapeze rocketships tore around the Nothe course for their first official day of racing during this Olympiad. According to sailors interviewed ex post fact in the 'mixed zone' (read: media and sailors), conditions were shifty, with a gathering breeze.

Race One was dominated by the French team of Emmanuel Dyen and Stephane Christidis, edged out Danish sailors Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang by a Delta of a single second. Canadians Gordon Cook and Hunter Lowden rounded out the top three, finishing two seconds astern of the Danes.

Australian 49er favorites Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen were in danger of being caught OCS in the first race, so they opted to play their game clean and immediately suffer their penalty turn. Despite this setback, the Australians were able to claw their way back up to eighth place out of a hyper-competitive fleet of 20 boats.

'It’s not the ideal start but we did a great job to get back,' said Outteridge afterwards. 'There were a few testy moments so we just kept our composure and chipped away and that is what this week is all about... [You could get] a bad wind shift or a capsize and you just have to make sure you get back into that front group again.'

Americans Erik Storck and Trevor Moore posted a sixth place finish in Race One. According to Moore, the conditions proved to be no surprise as the team of super-quick Yanks have spent plenty of time sailing on these storied waters in the past few years.

Race Two was a total game changer, both in terms of winning teams and much wider margins between finishers. Outteridge and Jensen nailed their start and commanded the show to the finishing line, beating Portugal’s Bernardo Freitas and Francisco Andrade by a healthy margin of nine seconds. Sweden’s Jonas von Geijer and Niclas During finished some 15 seconds behind the Portuguese team.

Outteridge and Jensen on the final day of the 2012 49er World Championships - Photo Nikola Sisko

As for the rest of the week, the Australians are optimistic. 'We are in the harbor tomorrow, said Outteridge. 'I guess because we are in the harbor it is going to be a little less shifty. There is going to a be a lot less error in everyone’s sailing tomorrow and we have just got to make sure we don't make the mistakes and I am pretty confident we will have a pretty strong say tomorrow.'

Interestingly, the audio/video equipment (housed in a small dome that’s mounted on a bracket that’s fitted above the tiller/rudder assembly on each boat) was removed from each boat in the 49er class today, as there was concern that the mainsheet could foul the device on gybes. According to ISAF, this decision also reflected their commitment to ensuring that media equipment doesn’t unintentionally interfere with each sailor’s individual performances; furthermore, ISAF wanted to ensure that the media kit didn’t somehow damage boats and/or sailing equipment.

49er racing continues tomorrow, so stay tuned to the website for more news, as it unfurls.

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1DENAllan NorregaardPeter Lang24                                        66
2SWEJonas von GeijerNiclas Düring53                                        88
3AUSNathan OutteridgeIain Jensen81                                        99
4PORBernardo FreitasFrancisco Rebello De ANDRADE72                                        99
5FRAManu DyenStéphane Christidis19                                        1010
6IRLRyan Seatonmatthew mcgovern48                                        1212
7USAErik StorckTrevor Moore610                                        1616
8NZLPeter BurlingBlair Tuke97                                        1616
9CANGordon CookHunter Lowden316                                        1919
10ESPIker Martinez de LizarduyXabier Fernandez Gaztañaga156                                        2121
11GERTobias SchadewaldtHannes Baumann175                                        2222
12GBRStephen MorrisonBen Rhodes1212                                        2424
13AUTNico Delle - KarthNikolaus Resch1015                                        2525
14ITAGiuseppe AngilellaGianfranco Sibello1411                                        2525
15POLlukasz PrzybytekPawel Kolodzinski1114                                        2525
16JPNYukio MakinoKenji Takahashi1613                                        2929
17CROPavle KostovPetar Cupac1317                                        3030
18FINLauri LehtinenKalle Bask1918                                        3737
19GREDionisis DimouMichalis Pateniotis1820                                        3838
20BERJesse KirklandAlexander Kirkland21DNF19                                        4040
( ) - Excluded ScoreDPI - Discretionary penalty imposed
BFD - Black flag, disqualification under rule 30.3DSQ - Disqualification
DGM - Disqualification under rule 69.1(b)(2); not excludableOCS - On the course side of the starting line
DNC - Did not start; did not come to starting areaRAF - Retired after finishing
DNE - Disqualification (other than DGM) not excludable under rule 89.3(b)RDG - Redress given
DNF - Did not finishSCP - Took a scoring penalty under rule 44.3
DNS - Did not start (other than DNC and OCS)ZFP - 20% penalty under rule 30.2
Updated: Monday 30 July 2012, 19:58:19 GMT