9 December 2019 – This week on the Weekend Wrap-Up we check in on the Clipper boats as they reach Australia, the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Worlds, the Stars Sailors League crown their champion and Sail Cape Town was practically blown out. Plus Miss South Africa was crowned Miss World!
Stars Sailors League – Montagu Bay, Nassau
After ultra-light winds in the Quarter and Semi-Finals, the breeze finally filled in at Nassau’s Montagu Bay providing great conditions for the four-boat finale of the 2019 SSL Finals, an event that seeks to determine the ‘star of the sailing world’. With “close sailing” being the theme of the entire regatta, this final was no different.
Committing to the left hand dude of the course paid off for Percy/Ekström, giving them a tiny lead at the top mark ahead of the French and Melleby/Revkin. Initially Rohart/Ponsot appeared ahead but Percy/Ekström finished first. The Olympic legends were crowned SSL Finals champions – 2019’s stars of the sailing world.
“It was tighter than we wanted, but exciting,” said a jubilant Percy. “There must have been three boats within a metre. That’s what it’s all about here – it was brilliant. You keep plugging away and sometimes it works out like it did for us today.”
Sail Cape Town – Cape Town, South Africa
A beautiful calm Cape Town morning greeted the teams but there were promises of strong winds in the afternoon. The S+L Team was lucky enough to get out on the water on one of the chase boats to watch the racing. We waited a short while for the wind to fill through which easily reached 20-25knt for the start of race 1.
International Team Phoenix 12 on the TP52, Cape Fling and Windpower 2 started first with all three coming off the line looking evenly matched until Phoenix 12 turned on the power, shooting up the course with impressive speed. With Tina Plattner at the helm the team held strong throughout, finishing with an impressive lead. Unfortunately Windpower 2 tore their spinnaker on the first downwind leg widening the gap between them and Cape Fling, which remained until the finish.
The Cape 31’s are always great to watch as they show just how class racing can prove skill and speed come purely from the crew on board. With the anticipation proving too much for some, Nemesis was OCS while Vulcan clipped the pin at the start, both having to return for a penalty. However Vulcan brought their A-game and climbed through the fleet to finish 4th. Seascape Yanmar showed their skills once again by comfortably taking first place for the Cape 31s, followed by Orion and Nitro. The young female team led by Sibu from Royal Cape Academy, Team Co-Ordination, took first in Class B showing all the guys how it’s done.
As the breeze built in the bay it became clear before the end of race 1 that the gusts would prove too much for the boats, so Bridge Officer Doug Allison called off sailing for the rest of the day. And in true Cape Town Summer style the breeze stuck around and unfortunately sailing was cancelled on Sunday as well. The NOR allowed for a one race regatta do prize giving was held at 10am. For results go to RCYC
The Clipper Race Update – Fremantle, Australia
After a three-week game of cat and mouse across the Southern Ocean, it was Team Qingdao who clinched a narrow victory beating Team Ha Long Bay across the finish line in Fremantle, Australia at 18:41:35 UTC on 7 December.
Talking of Race 4: The Marlow Southern Ocean Sleigh Ride, Skipper Chris Brooks said: “It’s been an epic journey. Above anything else the weather has been challenging, just keeping positive when there is nothing but rain and grey skies. But it’s been amazing, so brilliant to come in first.”
In the final days of their race, the frontrunners Qingdao and Ha Long Bay Viet Nam, hunkered down to play their last strategic moves around incoming weather systems. Crossing the finish line just a little over an hour behind Qingdao, Ha Long Bay Viet Nam claimed a well-earned second place on the Race 4 podium, crossing the line at 19:54:07 UTC.
South African-skippered Go to Bermuda came across the line in fourth place. Having left his hometown of Cape Town behind 21 days ago, Skipper David ‘Wavy’ Immelman lead his team on the 4,750 nautical mile race to their highest finish so far. “Fourth position is brilliant, especially after Race 1 when we were heading towards third place and then ended up coming third last but this time we just got it right.”
Hyundai 49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 World Championships – Auckland, New Zealand
Pete Burling and Blair Tuke took gold at the 2019 49er World Championships on their home waters in Auckland making them 5 x 49er World Champions. The German crew, Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel, may have had an unsteady day of racing before the final, but they came back guns blazing to challenge the New Zealanders. However Burling and Tuke held on and pushed hard to come out on top.
South African’s Alex Burger and Benji Daniels competed in the 49er Class. After some devastating damages to their boat on day 1 they could not reach the top ranks.
Alex and Benji had been training in Europe as a build up to the 49er World Championships. Their campaign came to a devastating end because of multiple breaks in their spreaders during the early stages of the regatta. Due to the courses being set so far out they couldn’t make it back in time for the starts after the repair, and so they missed 4 races. Relegated to the Bronze Fleet they placed quite well there but this wasn’t enough and so finished 72nd overall. Hopefully they can come back in the upcoming 49er events to rally points for Olympic selections. We back you Alex and Benji!
49erFX: Brazilian Capsize Confirms Dutch Victory
The 49erFX Championship was a prize fight between the Olympic Gold medallists Martine Grael & Kahena Kunze (BRA) and the reigning World Champions Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz (NED). The Brazilians used some downwind magic in the first race of the morning to pull in front, but the Dutch sailed perfect beats in race two. The overall lead changed in both races with the Dutch ultimately taking a 2-point advantage into the Medal Race. In other words, no advantage at all, under the double-points format of the Medal Race.
With the rest of the fleet hurtling toward the leeward gate the Dutch played it fairly safe and rounded but the Brazilians, hot on their tail, couldn’t release the spinnaker halyard and ended up in a spectacular capsize with Grael jumping clear of the boat as they flipped over the leeward mark. Essentially the race for gold was over at that point, with the Dutch guiding their boat safely around the course to claim their gold.
Bekkering and Duetz are now the only two-time 49erFX World Champions in the history of the skiff class, and they won the European Championship earlier this year as well. While Grael and Kunze are never to be ignored, the Dutch may have taken over their status as favourites for Tokyo 2020 next summer.
NACRA 17: Italians Prevail In 3-Way Catfight
The Nacra 17 Medal Race was a three-way battle for gold, with only 3 points separating Bissaro/Frascari (ITA 5), Cenholt/Lubeck (DEN 71) and Waterhouse/Darmanin (AUS 2). Each of these three teams took different paths up the first beat, none of which worked out tremendously. However it was the Italians who were ahead of the Danish, with the Australians back in last place. The Italians shifted over in the second upwind and forced the Danes backwards with a tight cover on DEN 71. The Danes had one final chance to make the pass they needed on the final downwind, but the Italians were not to be denied and took Championship victory by just a few boat lengths.
For the Full results
Swedish VO65 Childhood 1, skippered by Bouwe Bekking, has taken Line Honours in the 2019 RORC Transatlantic Race. Childhood 1 crossed the finish line outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada in an elapsed time of 11 days 11 hours 34 mins 49 secs. The International Maxi Association Secretary General, Andrew McIrvine, presented Bouwe Bekking and the team with the IMA Trophy for Monohull Line Honours.
The rhumb line for the race course from Marina Lanzarote to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina is approximately 2,900nm. However the optimum route taken by Childhood 1 took the team far south, racking up nearly 4,000nm in the race. The majority of the crew were young sailors with the ambition to take part in The Ocean Race 2021-22.
Childhood 1 crew: Bouwe Bekking, Antonio Cuervas Mons, Ysbrand Endt, Pablo Garcia Mujica, Julius Hallstrom, Edmond Hilhorst, Steven Melkman, Pelle Norberg, Simbad Quiroga, Aage Reerslev, Pieter Tack, Jelmer van Beek, Jorden van Rooijen and Laura van Veen.
Childhood 1 is a new project racing for children’s rights, raising awareness and funding for the Childhood Foundation. One of the project leaders Pelle Norberg was part of the crew for the RORC Transatlantic Race.
Race Officials announced for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
The world governing body of sport, is pleased to announce the names of the Race Officials who have been appointed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition. The 60 International Race Officials from 31 nations are spread across the Technical Delegates, Race Management Team, International Jury, Technical Committee with an additional Event Disciplinary Investigating Officer.
Tom Duggan of the USA will head the Race Management Team as the Principal Race Officer (PRO) and Spain’s Maria Torrijo will act as the Deputy PRO. Both Duggan and Torrijo attended the READY STEADY TOKYO – Sailing Olympic test event and hold several years of international experience across the sport.
Duggan and Torrijo will lead a team of six Course Representatives, responsible for running the racing for each of the Olympic classes, with 12 further International Race Officers supporting the team.The Technical Committee will bring together 11 International Measurers and will be Chaired by Dimitris Dimou of Greece with Belgium’s Jurgen Cluytmans acting as Vice Chair. The team includes International Measurers with specific expertise on the six pieces of Olympic Equipment that will be in Enoshima. They will be responsible for ensuring that each boat complies with the Class specific rules.
Alastair Fox and Jon Napier from World Sailing will lead the International Race Official team as Technical Delegates to ensure a fair competition and level playing field for the 350 sailors racing across ten Olympic Events to compete on.
The Eddie Aikau – Hawaii
The Eddie is the premier event in the sport of Surfing – The Super Bowl of Surfing. The Eddie Big Wave Invitational celebrates the current lineage of big wave surfers, as well as the ones that came before. The 2019 event has the biggest and best names in big wave surfing including Kelly Slater and Andrea Moller. Our very own Matt Bromley has been invited as an Alternate.
Miss Universe – Atlanta, Georgia
Hailing from South Africa, 26-year-old Zozibini Tunzi is the first black woman from her country to win the Miss Universe crown. She works as an activist and is particularly passionate about fighting gender-based violence. Natural beauty is also important to Tunzi, who believes women should “love themselves the way they are.” What an incredible story and win for South Africa!
[The Weekend Wrap-Up 9 December 2019]