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1 April 2014, 01:18 pm
Danish 49er And 49erFX Racers Team Up To Commence Nacra 17 Journey
Allan Norregaard and Line Just Emsvang in training
Allan Norregaard and Line Just Emsvang in training

ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca 2014
Mallorca, Spain

Having taken two medals from the last two Olympic Games in the 49er and with a strong 49erFX squad it's fair to say the Danish skiff program is in a good place.
Three of the top Danish teams in both the 49er and 49erFX are racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca - Trofeo Princesa Sofia but with such strength in depth present the competition for the sole Olympic spot is a fierce one.

Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang (DEN) took bronze at London 2012 and split shortly after with Lang opting to crew with Beijing 2008 gold medallist Jonas Warrer and Norregaard stepping in the 49er with Anders Thomsen.

After posting some solid results together in the 49er Norregaard and Thomsen have now taken a different route, stepping away from the high pressure 49er squad and into a Nacra 17, "It's a new challenge," commented Norregaard. "I've been sailing the 49er for many years now and it seems that the future is going more towards cat sailing so I wanted to get some more experience in that. It's a fun challenge."

Norregaard has teamed up with Line Just Emsvang in the Nacra 17 whilst Thomsen has taken to crewing with Lin Ea Cenholt Christiansen. On the formation of the teams Norregaard explained, "It worked out really well. She [Line] is one of the FX girls. So we had her FX team and then our 49er team joined up to make two Nacra teams so we have two really good teams now.

"We have a good program set up for the next couple of years."

The London 2012 bronze medallist had raced 49ers with a male crew since 2001, with a two year Tornado stint from 2006-2008 and has enjoyed the female company on the boat, "It's actually really fun. It's a new challenge and up until now it's worked out really well and I'm surprised how easy it was. I was expecting it to be more difficult but it's turned out to be really good."

As one of the newest pieces of Olympic equipment, racing in the Nacra 17 has been a huge learning curve for all of those with the boat. Norregaard first raced the boat at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, finishing 20th and is thankful for the experience gained from the skiff, "These boats are more similar to 49er sailing than they are to Tornado sailing as I've done a couple of years of Tornado sailing as well. It's short course racing and the boat is really small and quick at manoeuvring so it actually comes closer to 49er racing. It's been pretty easy for us to step into this boat.

"Right now the Nacra is a better challenge for me. The 49er is a great boat too but this boat is a little bit more modern than the 49er. This is towards the future of sailing."

Norregaard and Emsvang and Thomsen and Cenholt Christiansen are playing catch up with some of the fleet amassing many hours of on-water training and racing. Nonetheless they have their eye on qualifying Denmark for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Chapionships. Norregaard concluded, "That's the goal for this year and we hope we manage to. We're a little bit under pressure to get our level up that quick but we hope we can do that."

After three races in the Nacra 17 Norregaard sits in 26th.

Follow the Nacra 17 and all other results from ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca here

Live Tracking from ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca - Trofeo Princesa Sofia will commence on Wednesday 2 April and can be viewed on the ISAF website here

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