Defending champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen of Australia set the early pace on day one of the 49er World Championship in the Bahamas.
Words of a 'three-peat' were already muttered to Nathan Outteridge
after the first days racing who humbly replied, "I had a good day today." Outteridge and crew Iain Jensen
of Australia are returning 49er World Champions (Outteridge also won the 2008 title with former crew Ben Austin
) who currently hold the lead with a 3, 1, 1 scoreline after day one of the 2010 49er Worlds. Conditions in the Bahamas were perfect with winds of 8-15 knots on flat azure waters sailed inside the coral reef.
British sailors Stevie Morrison
and Ben Rhodes
, the 2007 World Champions, also sailed a great first day with fellow countrymen John Pink
and Rick Peacock
(GBR) in third overall; each team sharing a win in their three-race day. At the beginning of the week, it looked like Pietro Sibello
of Italy would be out of the competition after an equipment issue that caused his foot to be in a cast. But come race day, Pietro and brother Gianfranco Sibello
were true to their #1 World Ranking and were on the starting line giving the fleet their best at winning the World Championship. After day one they sit in fourth place overall, just ahead of Australian brothers Will Phillips
and Sam Phillips
Both of the highly acclaimed Spanish crews competing in the 62-boat fleet suffered early setbacks. Olympic gold and silver medallists Iker Martinez
and Xabier Fernandez
(ESP) posted a 17th in the opening race, although recovered somewhat with an eighth and a second place to lie 15th overall. Meanwhile 2008-2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup winners Federico Alonso
and Arturo Alonso
(ESP) are sixth places further back in 21st after opening scores of 11, 18, 4.
For the 29er World Championship fleet, sailing on the course held just east of the 49er course was quite challenging with shifting winds. Oscar Haumann
and Klaus Holtug
of Denmark lead the fleet with Pepe Bettini
and Fernando Gwozdz
of Argentina one point behind in second. Bettini remarked, "We had a huge lead and next thing we're in sixth…It's challenging sailing." Gael Jaffrezic and Julien Bloyet of France round out the top three.
Racing continues tomorrow in both classes with three races scheduled for all.
Results - click here
To follow coverage, go to www.29erworlds.org and www.49erworlds.org as well as the Facebook: 49er World Championship page and Twitter. Int49er. Channel 49er, the latest video link for the 49er Class has video and interviews.
Seiko is the official sponsor of the 49er Class and title sponsor of the 2010 World Championships.
World Championship Page
Click on the link below for our 49er World Championship page containing all the news, photos, results and more from this year's 49er Worlds.
Click here for our 49er World Championship page.