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19 July 2009, 09:30 pm
Australia Wins Gold At 49er Worlds
Nathan OUTTERIDGE and Iain JENSEN of Australia
Nathan OUTTERIDGE and Iain JENSEN are the 2009 49er World Champions

49er World Championship 2009
Riva del Garda, Italy

Australia's Nathan OUTTERIDGE won his second consecutive 49er World Championship title as he and crew Iain JENSEN took control on the final day of competition at Riva del Garda, Italy.
Nathan OUTTERIDGE and Iain JENSEN (AUS) took the title after two races of the final series followed by the Medal Race in Lake Garda today. It's a stunning results for the young Aussie pairing who only started sailing the 49er as a pair this season and have just two previous regattas together under their belt, (OUTTERIDGE won the 2008 Worlds with Ben AUSTIN), although they had previous completed together with great success on the youth sailing circuit - winning gold in the 420 at the 2004 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Poland.

"It's pretty hard to win your first two regattas together but to have the Worlds as one of them is awesome," said OUTTERIDGE. "I couldn't be any happier at this stage, we had a good range of conditions here and we performed well in all of them."

"The key to our win was being consistent and at the end of the regatta we only dropped 18 points while others around us were dropping 30 odd," he said. "We came here thinking that a finish in the top five or top ten would be good but to take the victory it couldn't have gone any better."

JENSEN was just as pleased, with the hard work the pair has been putting in on and off the water paying off.

"We've been doing a lot of training in the last few months, working on some areas where we weren't quite as quick as we'd like to be," said JENSEN. "In Holland in May we were quick in the light winds and we knew we had a bit of work to do in the heavier stuff we'd face here in Italy so we've worked hard at that and it's paid off."

"It's great to be successful so early in the partnership,"
he said.

John PINK and Rick PEACOCK (GBR) maintained British sailing's enviable record of 49er World Championship medals, clinching silver ahead of Italian brothers Pietro SIBELLO and Gianfranco SIBELLO.

It was the first World Championship that PINK and PEACOCK, members of the Skandia Team GBR development squad, have contested together, although the pair have hit good form this season having won silver medals at the Miami and Palma events of the ISAF Sailing World Cup series.

"I don't think it's really quite sunk in yet, but we're massively happy," said the 23-year-old PEACOCK.

OUTTERIDGE and JENSEN started the day just four points ahead of Nico DELLE - KARTH and Nikolaus RESCH (AUT), but events soon swung in their favour with the Austrians posting a 15th in the opening race of the day held in winds of 17-19 knots, won the SIBELLOs, compared to a fourth for the Aussies. The Australian duo consolidated their lead with an eighth in the next race, coming in just behind the Italians in seventh. This gave OUTTERIDGE and JENSEN a five-point advantage of the Italians going into the Medal Race. PINK and PEACOCK were tied on 68 points with DELLE - KARTH and RESCH, one point behind teammate and 2007 Worlds Champs Stevie MORRISON and Ben RHODES (GBR).

With the wind dropping off a little to around 12 knots, Danes Peter HANSEN and Søren HANSEN won the Medal Race, elevating themselves up to seventh overall. However the key battle was behind them and the Australians had a slow start and were in eighth place halfway up the first beat. By exploiting one shift of gust near the top mark they rounded the first mark in sixth.

"Then the real good stuff begun to happen," said 49er coach Emmett LAZICH. "The boys were blessed with a good burst of pressure down the early part of this run, and got the inside line on most boats ahead."

"Perfect gybe timing and execution allowed a pass on three of those boats which put them into third position. If they could hold third, then no matter where anyone else placed, they would be the champions. But they went one better and moved into second place, passing the SIBELLO brothers," said LAZICH.

PINK and PEACOCK were next across the line in third good enough to propel them up to the second step on the podium as the Italians fell further back.

PINK, 26, explained, "After we finished the Medal Race we thought we were third and were happy enough with that, but then it turned out the Italians were another boat behind where we thought they were, which gave us the silver so that made it even better!

"It had been a pretty tough week and it really paid to be consistent,"
continued PINK.

"We made some mistakes, but we had to make sure we kept plugging away. With only one discard in the final series we had to make sure we didn't get any terrible scores and we managed to do that and keep ourselves in with a chance."

The championship concluded with the prizegiving ceremony, attended by ISAF Vice-President Teresa LARA (VEN).

Results - click here

ISAF (source: Lindsey Bell/Craig Heydon)
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