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13 May 2012, 02:39 pm
Australia's Outteridge And Jensen Take 49er Title
The Medallists Celebrate Together
The Medallists Celebrate Together

49er World Championship
Zadar, Croatia

Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen secured history by winning the 49er World Championship, although under not as joyful times as they would have liked.
News arrived as sailors awoke in Croatia that Frank Bethwaite (91), father of Julian and an instrumental partner in the design and continued development of the 49er, had passed away overnight. While many of the current sailors may not have known Frank, they certainly were enjoying his product and more than likely many had read one of his books on high performance sailing.

Two races were held in the morning for the silver and gold fleets and the bronze fleet results stood on the previous days score. Six to eight knot winds mixed the fleet up a bit as last attempts were made to make the medal race. As a tribute, the medal race winners carried a black card in their sails in memory of Frank Bethwaite. Young guns Marcus Hansen and Josh Prebski (NZL) sailed a brilliant medal race to move them up in the standings with the medal race held directly in front of the S.C. Uskok to the delight of the crowds that had gathered on the beach and pier to cheer on the sailors.

Second overall was the team of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) who had incredible speed and amazing ability to pick the right shifts on the water all week. Danish Olympic team members Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang moved into the bronze medal position by having two great races earlier in the day and finishing 4th in the medal race.

Silver fleet was won by Matthieu Frei and Yann Rocherieux (FRA) who maintained a consistent series. The Bronze fleet was won by Jan Hauke Erichsen and Max Lutz (GER).

The medal ceremony was held directly afterwards and began with a moment of silence by all competitors.

Although champions were crowned the Class was saddened by such a great loss. As the sun set in Zadar, friends bid farewell to see each other at another championship and Olympic teams prepared for the Games this summer.

Full results, photos and videos can be found on www.49erworlds.org.

View highlights on the ISAF TV Player here.

Jerelyn Biehl
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