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 . world board sport news
03 August 2021 - 09:21
Great Britain wins gold in 49er Men and Finn at Tokyo 2020
Brazil wins gold in 49erFX Women, Italy wins in Nacra 17 Mixed Multihull
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OLYMPICS SAILING - 49er, Finn, 49erFX, Nacra 17 Mixed Multihull. Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell (GBR) have won gold in the 49er Men with Pete Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) taking silver and Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) bronze.


Men's 49er Gold for Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell (GBR) at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition - photo © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

New Zealand wanted the right-hand side of the course and started on port tack off the committee boat end, closely followed by the Spanish. Great Britain started off the left-hand of the line going left with the rest of the fleet, although the Netherlands and Croatia had to return to restart after crossing too soon.

Near the top of the first leg, a close cross between Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell (GBR) versus Pete Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL), and it was advantage Great Britain.

The British rounded mark one in the lead, ahead of Germany and then New Zealand. Now the points were even between GBR and NZL. At the bottom mark Germany went around the right hand mark, GBR around the left, closely followed by NZL.

Up the next windward leg, GBR and NZL locked horns again, Fletcher tacking on top of Burling and forcing the Kiwis away to the right again. Meanwhile Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) had got into the lead, getting close to the podium depending on how Diego Botin and Iago Marra (ESP) were doing further back in the pack.

Around the final windward mark, Germany rounded narrowly ahead of Great Britain, New Zealand in third. As things stood, NZL would win by 2 points. Germany gybed away halfway down the course, Great Britain continued, holding out for better breeze on their side of the course.

In a photo finish Great Britain crossed the finish in first place, centimetres ahead of the fast-closing Germans. New Zealand crossed the line third. Gold medal to Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell (GBR).

Burling and Tuke become the first sailors ever to have won Olympic medals and the America's Cup in the same year.

Great Britain wins Finn gold at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition

Giles Scott (GBR) has won gold in the Finn with Zsombor Berecz (HUN) taking silver and Joan Cardona (ESP) bronze.


Finn class medallists (l-r) Joan Cardona (ESP) bronze, Giles Scott (GBR) gold, Zsombor Berecz (HUN) silver at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition - photo © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Giles Scott (GBR) had a poor first leg out of the start line, while Zsombor Berecz (HUN) and Joan Cardona moved into gold and silver medal positions. At this point the leaderboard was hanging in the balance by a point here and there.

Australia round the first mark in the lead followed by Hungary. Sweden was round in third while Scott had worked his way up to fourth, back into gold medal position, still by the narrowest of points.

Towards the bottom of the downwind leg, Scott was overtaken by three boats and now back to seventh, 1 point out of gold as Berecz maintained second in the race behind Jake Lilley (AUS).

Up the next leg the points were going back and forth between GBR and HUN. Then down the final leg Nicholas Heiner (NED) broke into the lead past Hungary. The pack was reshuffling by the second.

When Zsombor Berecz (HUN) pulled back into the lead for the final leg towards the finish, he crossed the line in first and was in gold medal position. Somehow Scott managed to haul himself Turkey and Spain in the dying moments of the race to claim gold by 2 seconds.

Berecz not only won the Medal Race, he won the last ever race to be contested by the Finn dinghy which has been in the Olympic Games since Helsinki 1952.

Scott has successfully defended his Olympic title from Rio 2016.

Brazil wins gold in 49erFX Women at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition

Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) have won gold in the 49erFX Women with Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke (GER) taking silver and Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz (NED) bronze.


Women's 49er FX Gold for Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Brazil were struggling for a lane out of the start but found a gap at the committee boat in the last 10 seconds and tacked out to the right on a lonely path while the other nine boats carried on towards the left.

First around the first mark was Argentina, Norway in second with Brazil in third and the Netherlands in fifth - advantage Brazil.

On the first downwind leg, the Netherlands were fighting with Germany and Spain for the silver and bronze but Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz (NED) got stuck on the outside of a slow mark rounding at the leeward gate, held up the French team. The Dutch were now at the back, in 10th and out of the medals.

However up the final windward leg the Dutch pulled back two critical places, enough to get them ahead of Tamara Echegoyen and Paula Barcelo (ESP) for the bronze medal.

Victoria Travasco and Maria Sol (ARG) won the Medal Race by a long distance from Norway. But a third across the finish was sufficient for Brazil to win the gold medal. Grael and Kunze have successfully defended the Olympic title they won at Rio 2016.

Italy wins gold in Nacra 17 Mixed Multihull at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition

Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) have won gold in the Nacra 17 Mixed Multihull event, with John Gimson and Anna Burnet (GBR) taking silver and Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer (GER) bronze.


Nacra 17 Gold for Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Poor positioning on the start line saw Italy and Great Britain starting in bad air, forcing both to tack early on to port. Meanwhile Germany was given a penalty turn by the on-water umpires for failing to keep clear of Australia who lined up to leeward of them. The battle for bronze had begun. First blood to the Boxing Kangaroo.

With both contenders for gold back in the fleet, first cross went Italy’s way, Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) comfortably crossing John Gimson and Anna Burnet (GBR) in seventh and eighth place respectively.

Great Britain got ahead of Italy further up the leg and were covering them on the approach to the first turning mark, all the while knowing that they’d to get a good few boats between them to overturn the Italian points advantage.

Leading around the top mark were the outgoing Olympic Champions from Argentina, Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) who were not in contention for the medals this time.

Around in sixth place were the Rio silver medallists Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) and, with the Germans fighting to recover from the effects of that penalty back in 10th place, the Aussies were up into bronze medal position.

On the downwind Italy passed Great Britain and moved ahead, making the gold medal even more secure for Tita and Banti. Germany was still a long way back in last place, desperately needing to move up or the Australians to drop down the standings for that bronze medal.

Towards the top of the final windward leg Germany overtook Brazil, a critical move that put them back into bronze if things could just stay that way.

Winning the Medal Race, even if not retaining their Olympic title, were Lange and Saroli (ARG), a great way for this popular team to round off their campaign. Great Britain crossed in fifth, a place in front of the Italians who started celebrating the gold. Silver for GBR, bronze for Germany, with Denmark just edging out Australia for fourth place overall.

by Andy Rice
World Sailing / www.sail-world.com
3 Aug 2021


 
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Next:
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) won gold in the 470 Men at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing – 04 August 2021 - 13:47
Timo Kapl produces upset victory at Red Bull Wake Capital – 08 August 2021 - 17:44

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Australia wins gold in Men`s Laser at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing – 01 August 2021 - 12:49
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