Tuesday, January 5, 2010
(c) FRIED ELLIOTT / friedbits.com
Words of a 3-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 2-time 49er World Champions who currently hold the lead with a 3-1-1 after day 1 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 also sailed a great first day with fellow countrymen John Pink and Rick Peacock in 3rd overall; each team sharing a win in their 3-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 were true to their number 1 ranking and were on the starting line giving the fleet their best at winning the World Championship.
Sailing on the 29er 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 Ferdindo Gwozdz of Argentina 1 point behind in 2nd. Bettini remarked “we had a huge lead and next thing we’re in 6th…It’s challenging sailing.” Gael Jaffrezic and Julien Bloyet of France round out the top 3.
Racing continues tomorrow in both classes with 3 races scheduled for all.
To follow coverage, go to http://www.29erworlds.org/ and http://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.