Olympic Gold medallists Nathan Outteridge (NSW) and Iain Jensen (NSW) have climbed up into seventh place at the 2015 49er and 49er FX World Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Friday (20 November) local time with one more race day to go.
Four more races plus the top-ten Medal race are scheduled for Saturday local time after Gold fleet racing had to be cancelled on day four of the event (Thursday 19 November) when winds built to gusting strength and a downpour of rain flooded the area.
On the penultimate day on Friday, the Gold fleet was sent out to a beautiful morning on the water with a light Southerly wind, but even though the sun was shining and the sailors were ready, the light conditions prevented the sailors from racing more than one race until midday. Once again sailing in unstable conditions was what the venue delivered, and only a few in either fleet really got a handle of what was going on out there.
Unstable and light conditions saw 49er crews cast to the front and back of races all day long, but Outteridge and Jensen had a commendable day, with Jensen slowly recovering from a gastro illness and pulling into seventh overall and within striking distance of the medals.
“We finally got our first few races of Gold fleet underway. We got there early for a ten o’clock start, but then had a dying Southerly and a really tricky first race. We missed a few shifts and finished 17th. Then we had a three hour wait between the first and the next few races and eventually the thermal breeze came in and it was super unstable and shifty but we managed some good results in the top ten and finished off the day with a second. It was a pretty good day for us considering how tough it was and we sit in overall seventh,” Nathan Outteridge summed up the day.
“Seventh is a big improvement on where we were a couple days ago and Gooby’s (Iain Jensen) health is a lot better now. He’s just started to enjoy a bit of food, so he’s pretty chirpy and we are looking forward to tomorrow.”
And for the last regatta day ahead he added: “Tomorrow is the last day of the event and we have a ten o’clock scheduled start and as we are behind schedule we’re probably trying to get four races in, followed by a Medal race in the afternoon. The forecast looks better with a stronger north-easter that will blow most of the morning so there’s a good chance we’ll get all our races in and we’re looking to push closer and closer to the front of the top ten.
All Australian 49er crews had qualified for the top-30 Gold fleet, but struggled with the challenging conditions and currently sit outside the top-ten with four more races in the final series to go. Going into the final day, Australian Sailing Squad’s Will Phillips and brother Sam are ranked 18th with Australian Sailing Team’s David Gilmour (WA) and Rhys Mara (VIC) following in 19th, while Queenslanders Joel Turner and Lewis Brake are ranked 21st.
Four races were also completed in the 49erFX with Tess Lloyd (VIC) and Caitlin Elks (WA) are still in reach of the top ten Medal race after finishing the day in 14th (eighteen, three, eighteen, nineteen).
“We had four races today to make for the missed day yesterday and went into today ranked tenth overall. Unfortunately we had a couple of average races and dropped into 14th. So tomorrow we’ve some points to catch up on to get into Medal race contention. We’ll have four races ahead of the Medal race so fingers crossed we can get back up there,” Caitlin Elks said.
Gold and Silver fleet races will continue on Saturday, 21 November with the Medal Races scheduled from 14:55 local time (AEDT Sunday, 22 November 3:55 a.m.).
Live Tracking will be held for the Gold fleet. There will be YouTube broadcast tracking with commentary via 49er.org. For in depth analysis and self guided live tracking, please visit event website.
The 2015 49er/FX World Championships are the men’s and women’s skiff season highlight and a total of four Australian Sailing men’s skiff crews are competing in Argentina including Australian Sailing Team’s (AST) Olympic gold medallists Nathan Outteridge (NSW) and Iain Jensen (NSW), David Gilmour (WA) and Rhys Mara (VIC) as well as Joel Turner (QLD) and Lewis Brake (QLD). Australian Sailing Squad’s Will Phillips (VIC) is joined by his brother Sam Phillips (VIC). The 49erFX crew of Tess Lloyd (VIC) and Caitlin Elks (WA) complete the Australian contingent in Argentina.
2015 Laser Radial World Championships
In other World title events Australian Sailing Squad’s Ashley Stoddart (QLD) kicked-off the 2015 Laser Radial World Championships in Oman in overall 30th after two races (15, 18).
The second day of racing (races three and four of the Qualifying Series) continues today. Once again the fleet will split into Yellow and Blue groups, with the first race scheduled for 1200 local time (AEDT 19:00).
Australian Sailing Squad’s Ashley Stoddart (QLD) as well as former Australian Sailing Team sailor and London Olympian Krystal Weir are contesting the event, which also provides the opportunity for Australia to secure country qualification in the Laser Radial for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The final chance to qualify the boat class for Australia will be at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Melbourne mid-December.
Results 2015 49er/FX World Championships (as of 20 November 2015):
Men’s Skiff – 49er
– Nathan Outteridge (NSW) and Iain Jensen (NSW) – AST: 10, 5, (UFD), 7, 17, 27, 2, 2, (17), 9, 6, 2 – seventh
– Will Phillips (ASS – VIC/VIS) and Sam Phillips (VIC): 12, 22, 10, 3, (BFD), 12, 6, 9, 21, 7, (23), 8 – 18th
– David Gilmour (WA/WAIS) and Rhys Mara (VIC/VIS) – AST: 5, 16, (16), 10, 15, 13, 5, 11, 8, 20, 11, (21) – 19th
– Joel Turner (AST – QLD/QAS) and Lewis Brake (ASS – QLD/QAS) – ASS: 27, (UFD), 11, 1, 4, 2, 23, 12, (24), 12, 8, 19 – 21st
Women’s Skiff – 49erFX
– Tess Lloyd (VIC/VIS) and Caitlin Elks (WA/WAIS) – ASS: 11, 10, 12, 3, (16), 2, 9, 2, 18, 3, 18, (19) – 14th
by Cora Zillich