Sideline Rewind: 2019 49er, 49FX, Nacra17 Oceania Championships
SidelineApp and the host club of the 2019 Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships, Royal Akarana Yacht Club, announced a partnership to make SidelineApp the official international broadcaster of the prequel and the pinnacle sailing events in early-December.
The 2019 Oceania Championships represented SidelineApp’s initial foray into livestreaming competitive sailing – and we marked the launch by offering free access to our content for the November 25-27 event at Hyundai Marine Sports Centre.
The 2019 Oceania Championships was the World Championships warm-up for the three Olympic classes. It served as practice for race officials and sailing teams, and with it being a continental championship it counted towards world ranking points.
The 49er is a two-handed skiff-type high-performance sailing dinghy and has been an Olympic event in men’s sailing since 2000. The 49er class reaffirmed its status as one of the tightest in world sailing at the 2019 Oceania Championships.
Young American duo Andrew Mollerus and Ian MacDiarmid finished Day One at the top of the leaderboard, but mixed results over the remaining two days saw them finish 15th. Likewise, French pair Fischer Erwan and Clement Pequin were just one point off the lead courtesy of two Day One wins, yet slumped to 17th by the end of the competition.
Rising Kiwi combination Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie enjoyed an encouraging three days at the Oceania Championships, coming away with a win to finish Day One in third and maintaining solid form to land fifth overall.
The Oceania Championships 49er title ultimately went to Austria’s Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl, who edged Spain’s Diego Botin and Iago Lopez Marra on a thrilling final day, reversing the teams’ positions from the end of Day Two. Bildstein and Hussl finished with a Netto of 28.0, with Botin and Lopez Marra on 31.0.
The high-profile New Zealand team of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke – Olympic silver medallists at London 2012 and gold medallists at Rio 2016 – came third with a Netto of 35.0, a whopping 13 points ahead of the rest of the field.
The 49erFX is a two-handed skiff-type high-performance sailing dinghy, derived from the 49er but with a re-designed rig. It was selected by World Sailing to be the women’s high performance double-hander ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games.
In the 49erFX’s Olympic debut in Rio, Martine Grael and Kahena Kruze won a gold medal for the host country with New Zealand’s Alex Maloney and Molly Meech taking the silver. The teams had already forged a keen rivalry: Maloney and Meech pipped Grael and Kunze for the World Championships gold in 2013, while the Brazilian pair took the title a year later with the Kiwis 12th.
The duos resumed their fierce competition at the 2019 Oceania Championships – and again home advantage proved critical. Maloney and Meech claimed first place in Auckland after three days of thrilling 49erFX action, four points ahead of the second-placed Grael and Kunze.
USA’s Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea finished a further seven points back in third position. Defending world champions, Dutch pair Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz, endured a torrid time on Days Two and Three to finish 21st but would bounce back slowly at the following week’s World Championships in Auckland.
Young guns Crystal Sun and Olivia Hobbs were the next-best Kiwi team in 44th.
NACRA 17 CLASS
The Nacra 17 is a performance catamaran designed in 2011. It has been the focus of Olympic multihull sailing since its debut at Rio 2016 and was created to meet the criteria for a new discipline for sailing a mixed crew boat.
Argentina’s Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza won the historic Nacra 17 gold medal at the 2016 Olympics with Australian duo Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin the silver medallists, but they could only manage fifth and fourth respectively at the 2019 Oceania Championships.
Billy Besson and Marie Riou dominated the class after its introduction to the World Championships – winning four straight titles from 2013-16 – but they finished a disappointing sixth at the Rio Olympics. The French pair proved they are still a force to be reckoned with in Auckland, however, finishing second at the Oceania Championships.
But the Oceanias belonged to British team Ben Saxton and Nicola Boniface, who dominated from go to whoa. They took a solitary point away from all three races on Day One – and five from the nine races in total, with a worst score of 4.0 – to finish with a Netto of 11.0, 16 points ahead of Besson and Riou.
Austria’s Thomas Zajac (a bronze medallist in Rio alongside Tanja Frank) and Barbara Matz finished third.
A trio of Kiwi teams – Gemma Jones and Josh Porebski (11th), Olivia Mackay and Jason Saunders (13th), and Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson (15th) – all had solid Oceania campaigns on home waters.