Dueling training regattas along the Atlantic Seaboard sees a 49er and a Nacra fleet in Santander, an FX and another 49er fleet in Cascais!
The preparation for Tokyo continues to be a wild affair for all teams, as the NOR for Tokyo was recently updated with a TBD on the arrival and venue opening date.
Here we are in May with little insight on when the Olympic fleets can defend on Enoshima and less than eight weeks to go.
The preparation may be hardest for the champs, as Burling and Tuke have left New Zealand and are presumably on the road till Tokyo.
With strict quarantine requirements on re-entering NZ, they’ll be chasing around Europe until heading to the Games.
After winning back to back world titles in 2019 and 2020, they put their 49er aside to defend the America’s Cup which took the bulk of their focus well into March.
With only four months between winning the AC36 and the start of the games, that alone would put any team under pressure, but they also launched their Sail GP team and just spent two weeks in Bermuda (mostly) rigging a GP 50 and then have two more Sail GP regatta between now and the opening ceremony.
Santander, Spain – An Olympic-sized 49er fleet with about half the Tokyo lineup is racing a training regatta in Santander currently.
Burling and Tuke (NZL) are in contention for the lead after 12 races, beating all of their Olympic rivals and only sitting behind their countrymen Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn, and Spain’s Diego Botin and Iago LÓPEZ Marra.
While the world’s hottest sailing pair have won 3 of the 12 races, they also have an 11th, 13th, and 8th on the scorecard, from a fleet of 16.
This may indicate the Kiwi duo haven’t lost a bit of their boat speed, but may not quite be in the racing form once they get mixed up with the pack. The winds have also been light, which typically means more variable scoring.
There is plenty of talent chasing the Kiwis for Tokyo glory. Spanish 2020 World Championship runners-up, Diego Botin and Iago Mara, just won the Lanzarote regatta by a landslide and seem to have developed some extra pace while little racing has been going on.
Also chasing in Santander are Ben Bildstein and David Hussle (AUT), the Fantela Brothers (CRO) and Eric Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER), who missed the first day of racing and are therefore not in contention on the leaderboard.
Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell (GBR) are not racing in Santander as they’ve exceeded their time allocation in Europe this spring, and are home training with the British squad instead.
49er – Santander Test Event – Final Leaders after 12 races (16 entries)
1st NZL – Logan DUNNING BECK and Oscar GUNN – – 44 pts
2nd ESP 97 Diego BOTIN and Iago LÓPEZ MARRA – – 51 pts
3rd NZL 1 Peter BURLING and Blair TUKE – – 53 pts
4th AUT 29 Benjamin BILDSTEIN and David HUSSL – – 61 pts
5th CRO 10 Sime FANTELA and Mihovil FANTELA – – 65 pts
6th FRA 95 Lucas RUAL and Emile AMOROS – – 66 pts
Nacra 17 – Santander Test Event – Final Leaders after 10 races (18 entries)
1st DEN 71 Lin CENHOLT and Cp LÜBECK – – 37 pts
2nd GER 77 Paul KOHLHOFF and Alica STUHLEMMER – – 53 pts
3rd USA 23 Riley GIBBS and Adele Anna WEIS – – 56 pts
4th AUS 2 Jason WATERHOUSE and Lisa DARMANIN – – 61 pts
5th NZL 7 Micah WILKINSON and Erica DAWSON – – 63 pts
6th ESP 28 Tara PACHECO VAN RIJNSOEVER and Florian J. TRITTEL PAUL – – 66 pts