49er, 49erFX & Nacra17 World Championships - Day 1

Day 1 of the 49er, 49erFX & Nacra17 World Championships at Clearwater in Florida, USA. First results in for the 49er race 1 flights have winners: Peter Burling and Blair Tuke of New Zealand, and Jonas Warrer and Anders Thomsen of Denmark.

Second in the 49er race 1 flights were: John Pink and Stuart Bithell GBR, and Julien D'Otoli and Noe Delpech FRA. And in third: Jacek Nowak and Tomasz Januszewski POL, and Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl AUT.

Britain's Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign were ninth. Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen were 29.

As the sailors made their way from the course back into the channel they learned early in the regatta that by dropping their mainsails they avoided capsizing in the treacherous channel. The opening to the channel leading into the racing area is particularly shallow, and shallow waters are the 49er’s ultimate enemy. A total of six masts were snapped after today’s boat-breaking conditions.

In the Nacra17, multi world champions, Billy Besson and Maria Riou of France took the first race win, with second the Swiss pair, Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger and third Iker Martinez and Julia Rita of Spain.

Best British crew were Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves in sixth place. Tom Phipps and Nicola Boniface were 15 and Lucy Macgregor and Dave Evans 16. The top Kiwi team, Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders came a cropper towards the bottom gate and finished 29.

The Australian team of Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin were one of a number of crews who had come down to the boatpark to discover that some of their kit had either been damaged or disappeared altogether. Stormy winds and a high tide had washed the water high up the beach, with a few boats actually afloat on the shallow sands.

Some teams’ sails were buried below the sand, there was damage to some hulls, but for the Aussies their sail and equipment box had floated away completely. Fortunately it showed up in a marina further down the coast and Waterhouse was able to use his waterlogged equipment to notch up a 4th place finish.

The 49er, 49erFX and the Nacra17 fleet were all sent back ashore, the women's 49erFX not racing. Conditions are worsening and as the race course only has 3 or 4 meter of water quite shallow, therefore the waves are very steep and short behind one another.

For full results see manage2sail.com