Could this be the year history is made? Nathan Outteridge (AUS) is chasing his fourth 49er World Championship and is bringing Iain Jensen as his crack crew to help him secure the deal. Their finishes today (8-4-1) moved them one day closer to the dream with a 9 point lead over the second place team of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL).
He's in good company; Chris Nicholson, current skipper of CAMPER in the Volvo Ocean Race won the first 3 49er World Championships. Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez, 2011 ISAF Sailor's of the Year and currently also on the Volvo Ocean Race on Telefonica are 49er World Champions in 2002, 2004 and 2010 as well as Olympic Gold medallists in the Athens Olympics in 2004. Those are big shoes to fill and strong role models to chase.
But Nathan is no stranger to being a role model. He's a 3-time ISAF Youth World champion and 3-time 49er World champion as well as holding world titles in other classes. When asked about chasing Nicholson and Martinez he commented, "It's a massive achievement and he's (Chris) someone I've always looked up to. Nico was an Australian guy who was leading the way and I wanted to carry on the Australian legacy and with Goobs (Iain) we've won two worlds so far and we're in a pretty good spot at the moment. As for Iker, he and Xabi get in the boat for 2 weeks and are back at it. That's impressive." Impressive is that Outteridges' next trip will be to the America's Cup where he has joined forces with Team Korea as their skipper. Looks like the 49er Class breeds champions.
Tomorrow will be the final day of racing in the gold, silver and bronze fleets with 2 races a piece and a medal race for the gold fleet.
Currently leading the sliver fleet is Matthieu Frei and Yann Rocherieux (FRA) and Jan Hauke Erichsen and Max Lutz (GER) continue to lead the Bronze fleet.
The forecast for tomorrow's racing calls for a bit more wind.
Follow the action on www.49erworlds.org
. The finals conclude Saturday with the medal race and prizegiving held in the afternoon.
View highlights on the ISAF TV Player here.