Tight at the top at Nacra world champs


Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders endured a "frustrating" day at the Nacra 17 world championships in France overnight (NZ time) which included broken gear but they did well to limit the damage and are only one point off third.

Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders are well placed after two days of the Nacra world championships in France. Photo: nacra17.org

The Kiwi pair broke an outhaul off the start line in their third race, meaning they had to stop and fix the problem, but recovered well and made their way through the fleet to finish seventh. It came on the back of a 14th in their first race, which is presently their discard, and a third and they are seventh overall after two days at the world championships.

But it's incredibly tight at the top with only six points between second and 10th. The Danish pair of Lin Ea Cenholt Christiansen and Christian Peter Lubeck, who won the recently world championships test event in Aarhus, hold a six-point lead over Ben Saxton and Katie Dabson of Great Britain in second.

"It so close on points so it will come down to gold fleet racing when anything can change," Jones said. 

The teams are scheduled to have three more qualifying races overnight before the top half of the 47 boats move through into gold fleet.

That will be the aim for Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson, who moved up four places overnight to 18th. The young duo showed they are getting to grips with their new foiling catamaran - they took possession of the boat three days before the start of the world championships - when they finished second in their first race overnight.

Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson were second in their first race overnight. Photo: nacra17.org.

Jones and Saunders didn't start the day particularly well, finishing 14th in their first race sailed in 8-9 knots, and it wasn't the end of their problems.

"It was a little bit of a tough day for us today," Saunders said. "Unfortunately, we didn't have our best first race in pretty light and shifty conditions but we had a really good second race when the breeze got up a bit more and we had some good speed and a nice start.

"We were trying to do the same in the last race but we broke our outhaul system just after the start so we had to stop and fix it. It meant we started far behind everyone but we did a really nice job to come back and get up to seventh. We had two keepers and an average one but we are reasonably happy.

"The points are pretty close and we just have to have one more consistent day tomorrow and get into the gold fleet and then push on from there. We are pretty happy with the way we are sailing. We just need to tidy up in a few little areas and I think we can try to push for a podium for sure."

Similar conditons are forecast for tonight, with a light breeze giving way to stronger winds later in the day which will challenge the teams who are all trying to get to grips with the new foiling Nacras that will be used at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Results and standings at the Nacra 17 world championships in La Grande Motte, France, overnight (NZ time):

1st: Lin Ea Cenholt Christiansen / Christian Peter Lubeck (DEN) (12) 1 1 3 4 4 - 13 points
2nd: Ben Saxton / Katie Dabson (GBR) (6) 4 2 6 5 2 - 19 pts
3rd: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Banti (ITA) (12) 2 10 6 1 2 - 21 pts

7th: Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders (NZL) 3 5 4 (14) 3 7 - 22 pts
18th: Olivia Mackay / Micah Wilkinson (NZL) 7 11 (16) 2 14 10 - 44 pts

06 Sep 2017
08 Sep 2017