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Ireland face an uphill battle to qualify the 49er for the 2020 Olympics at the Genoa World Cup event next Easter. That’s if the form over the last 12 months is the yardstick by which to judge Ireland’s chances at the last opportunity, the European qualifier for Tokyo 2020.

The remaining European contenders were done a huge favour through European countries taking the four places on offer at the just concluded World Championship in Auckland.

Form indicates that Genoa will be a four-way battle for the one remaining spot between Ireland, Belgium, Sweden and Italy. Adding to the difficulty of predicting the outcome is the fact that, like Ireland, there is more than one contending crew from two of the other countries.

Ryan seatonRyan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle - silver fleet in Auckland

Last year in Genoa, the Belgium team of LeFebvre/Pelsmaekers were one place ahead of Italians Visconti/Togni, with Howth Yacht Club's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove 11 places further back. The top placing of a nation in contention was by the Russian team of Chekh/Zotov, but they could only manage 56th in this year’s worlds.

Perhaps the most consistent performers are the Swedes, Hedstrom/Hamel, but it is the two Irish teams that are currently enjoying upward results trajectories.

rob and seanRobert Dickson and Sean Waddilove - gold fleet in Auckland

There is another World Championship in just two months time in Australia, but perhaps the Princesa Sofia regatta in Palma at the end of March will be the best indicator of form entering the decisive event. After all, that is a venue where Ryan Seaton has enjoyed one of his skiff career highs, winning the 2016 Trofeo Princesa event outright.

Read all Afloat's Olympic sailing coverage in one handy link here

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Despite a bravo performance by young Dublin skiff sailors who finished in the top quarter of the 88-boat fleet, an Irish Tokyo 2020 berth was not secured in Auckland today.

Four European countries were selected this week in a championship won by multiple Olympic and now five-time world champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke of New Zealand.

Now, in order to make the Tokyo startline at all, the two Irish skiff crews will be forced to scrap it out for one last remaining European country Olympic place to be decided in Genoa, Italy next April. It's a scenario that highlights why qualification at the 2018 Worlds in Aarhus was so important for Ireland two years ago.

Ireland, Belgium and Italy will be contenders for this single place (Ireland finished ahead of both Italy and Belgium this week) and the Irish Olympic representative will be decided by whichever crew qualifies the country, if any.

Team manager James O'Callaghan admits "Genoa will be a dogfight to qualify as it is a notoriously light airs and shifty venue". 

22nd for Dickson & Waddilove

World Under 23 bronze medallists Robert Dickson (Howth YC) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) ended the Gold fleet series in 22nd place overall in their best ever performance at senior level.

Highlights of the week for the Dublin pair were winning the opening race in the qualification round and a day of top ten results in the Gold fleet.

"This is a huge confidence boost, there's no reason we can't be back in the Gold fleet again."

Seaton Wants 'More Racing Experience'

Double-Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton (Ballyholme Yacht Club) with crew Séafra Guilfoyle (Royal Cork YC) didn't make the Gold fleet after losing out on a three-way tie-break on Thursday and sailed the remainder of the 17-race series in the Silver group.

"We're awfully disappointed with how our regatta turned out but very happy to see the young guys make Gold fleet," said Seaton. "But we know what we have to work to improve and it's not boat-speed - more racing experience will allow us to develop roles and better communication between us; we need to stick to our processes on board."

Spain, Austria, The Netherlands and Poland took the four country qualification places available in New Zealand. 

Burling & Tuke Win Fifth World Title

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have won a fifth world title to add to the four consecutive victories they enjoyed between 2013 and 2016. This will be one of the sweetest victories, however, not least because it’s on home waters, but also because of how hard the Kiwis were forced to work for this gold medal.

Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel had made a bit of a mess of the previous day’s racing but the Germans really turned it on at the end of the competition. With Burling/ Tuke forced out of the first Gold Fleet race of the morning due to a broken tiller extension, the Germans had the opportunity to close the points gap. Heil/ Ploessel came from deep in the pack to record a ninth place and then were fast out of the blocks in the next race, winning that one at a canter. Fortunately for home fans Burling/ Tuke had recovered their composure to finish third behind the Germans.

This gave New Zealand an 8-point gap going into the double-points, 10-boat Medal Race, effectively a four-boat buffer on their German rivals. As good as in the bag for the talented New Zealanders, surely...

But no! While racing up the first beat the Germans forced the Kiwis to tack off and Burling slipped from his trapeze handle during the tack to almost capsize. Rounding the windward mark in ninth and out of gold medal position, Burling and Tuke turned on their downwind jets - moving up the fleet and with a few more passes were up into fourth. With the Germans in second there was nothing left that could be done by Heil and Ploessel. Burling and Tuke rose to the occasion despite showing some rare unforced errors, and were pushed hard all the way by Heil and Ploessel. After a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Games, the Germans have displayed sufficient class to be able to dream of beating the New Zealanders to the top step at Tokyo 2020 next summer.

After looking like they might not even make the 25-boat cut for Gold Fleet earlier in the week, Diego Botin & Iago Marra (ESP) made the comeback of the regatta. The Spanish had a shot at the bronze medal if things went their way, and winning the Medal Race was the best way for them to conclude their time in Auckland. The 2017 World Champions Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell (GBR) looked to be in trouble but the Brits finished 8th in the Medal Race which was sufficient to hang on to the last medal by a single point from the Spanish. At least the Spanish have done enough to secure a spot for the Olympic Games after failing to make the Gold Fleet at the previous Worlds in Denmark.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Another three top ten results scored in the gold fleet of the 49er World Championships for Dubliners Robert Dickson (Howth YC) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) moved the pairing up to 19th overall in Auckland Harbour today. It's been this week's stand out Irish performance that saw them overtake rivals double Olympian Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle in the hunt for one of four elusive Tokyo places on offer in the 88-boat fleet.

The breeze on the race course today was a little softer than previous days, and at times extremely unpredictable and shifty.

The Irish Under 23 World Bronze medalists counted a seventh and a tenth are were heading for a race win in the third race when they were pipped into second place by multiple world and Olympic champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke who now lead the regatta.

Unfortunately, despite the bravo performance in their first senior gold fleet event, Dickson and Waddilove only move up one country place to seventh, with the top four countries in the fleet qualifying this week for the Tokyo Olympics.

Pre-event forecasts indicated a top-eight finish would be required to secure a place. The gap for Dickson and Waddilove (currently in 19th overall) to that fourth country place occupied by Poland in tenth place is some 21 nett points. The battle continues on Sunday in two final gold fleet races in the morning followed by the double points medal races later in the day for the top ten in the fleet.

Racing in the Silver fleet, double-Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton (Ballyholme Yacht Club) with crew Séafra Guilfoyle (Royal Cork YC) overcame their disappointment from Thursday counting two top ten places and a 16th for the day and are 34th overall.

Failure to secure an Olympic berth this weekend means Ireland will look for the single final place on offer next year at the European Continental Championships in Genoa in April.

Burling and Tuke are the benchmark

Following four years of dominance leading up to their gold medal at Rio 2016, Burling and Tuke continue to prove that they are the benchmark in 49er racing. Heading into today’s racing the Olympic Champions needed to gain seven points to reel in the regatta leaders of Erik Heil / Thomas Ploessel (GER). Finishing the day with a race win, the four-time 49er World Champions amassed a 13 point lead over the second-placed Germans. However, they didn’t do it by themselves – with Heil / Ploessel stumbling in a major way to rack up a whopping 38 points from just three races. 

Closing in on the top pair but with still a large gap are the 2017 World Champions Dylan Fletcher / Stuart Bithell (GBR). Even more interesting is the pack of four boats behind them with only 17 points separating this bunch, all of whom will be scrapping hard to climb on to the podium on Sunday.

Full results are here

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Plucky World Under 23 bronze medallists Robert Dickson (Howth YC) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) are now 24th overall in the world championship and Olympic qualifier in New Zealand with two days of racing left to sail. As they chase one of four Olympic nation berths on offer this week in the fleet they are currently in eighth country position.

The pair counted two 20th places in Friday's racing in what is effectively their first taste of senior-level Gold fleet competition in the 88-boat fleet.

Full results are here

Ireland's chance of securing an Olympic berth narrowed when top hopes Double-Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton (Ballyholme Yacht Club) with crew Séafra Guilfoyle (Royal Cork YC), crashed out of the gold fleet on Wednesday. They continue the series in the Silver fleet where they count two top 20 results from day four of the competition and in 37th place overall.

Racing continues on Saturday and Sunday with the final series in Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets. Five races remain leading to a medal race final for the top ten boats. Eleven nations are already qualified for Tokyo with four further berths to be decided this week.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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In only their third-ever appearance at a  senior event, World Under 23 bronze medallists Robert Dickson (Howth YC) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) have qualified for the 49er World Championships Gold fleet after a high stakes day in Auckland Harbour and stay in the hunt for a Tokyo 2020 Berth this week. 

Double-Olympic Ryan Seaton (Ballyholme Yacht Club) with crew Séafra Guilfoyle (Royal Cork YC) missed a Gold fleet place in a three-way tie-break for 25th place and will sail the remainder of the series in the Silver fleet. Unfortunately, It is a return of the lack of consistency that has dogged the campaign billed as Ireland's top hope for Olympic qualification.

Results are here. Results denoted in a blue bar represent countries still seeking an Olympic place.

Following a nine-race qualification round at the 49er World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand today, the north Dublin pairing of Robert Dickson (Howth YC) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) have qualified for the event Gold fleet, no doubt buoyed up by their opening race win on Monday.

Dickson and Waddilove remain in the hunt for one of four Tokyo 2020 Olympic nation places available this week but only four places are available with the sole Irish duo now lying in eighth unqualified country position and 20th place. A top-eight finish is predicted as the requirement to make the Tokyo cut.

The duo were extremely consistent scoring three top ten places of 3.0, 4.0 and 9.0 in qualifying races six, seven and eight to leapfrog the Irish favourites and sail into the gold fleet at the first time of asking.

"Regardless of where Rob and Sean finish, they've achieved a personal best and have had a great regatta," commented James O'Callaghan, Irish Sailing's Performance Director. 

The end of the Qualifying Series in any Olympic-class World Championship is always a fraught scramble to make it through to the Gold Fleet Finals. Scrape through to the final 25 and you live to fight another three days. Fail to make the cut – and the best you can finish is 26th overall.

Add to that the fact that qualification to the Olympic Games is also on the line for many teams at the Hyundai 49er, 49erFX & Nacra 17 World Championships in Auckland, and there is an awful lot at stake for this group of committed sailors.

Seaton and Guilfoyle started the third day of racing with a sixth place in their flight, repeating their consistency from Wednesday. A dip in form followed with an 18th in the penultimate race. Starting with the leaders for race nine, an incident at the first turning-mark meant taking a penalty and they lost ten places to finish 18th once more.

"There's just no room for error and they had an error," said O'Callaghan. "Ryan and Séafra are very disappointed but they accept that it's a fine margin at this level and that they missed the cut for Gold fleet."

Racing continues on Friday with the final series in Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets leading to a medal race final for the top ten boats. Eleven nations are already qualified for Tokyo with four more countries to be decided this week. If qualification is not made this week, Ireland has one more chance to Q next year where a single final berth is on offer at the World Cup in Genoa.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Some consistent scoring from Ireland's two 49er skiff teams on day two of the 49er World Championships in Auckland harbour sees Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle lead the Irish quest for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Regatta qualification.

Day two saw lighter winds than the breezy opening races on Monday. 

Counting 12, 7, 16, 4, 8 and 7 after six races sailed so far, the Belfast Lough-Royal Cork pairing is lying 21st overall in the 88-boat fleet. 

Likewise, Howth Yacht Club duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, who notched up their first world championship race win in the opening rounds yesterday added a third-place to their scoresheet today to be 26th overall with results of 1, 13, 13, 12, 20 and 3. They lie just outside the gold fleet cut but with more racing to follow.

Full results are here. Organisers have indicated countries seeking Olympic berths with a blue bar. 

The Irish teams sailed in separate flights of 30 boats each in these qualifying rounds.

Three races remain on Thursday to decide the Gold, Silver and Bronze fleet splits for the 88 crews representing 30 countries.

As Afloat previously reported, this week's Championships is the most important regatta for sailors outside of the Olympic Games and four Olympic berths are up for grabs but Ireland must finish in the top eight overall to be in with a realistic chance of securing one of these prized places.

After six races from a possible 20 in six days, both Irish teams are still some way off the predicted top eight cut but the early consistent form shown in a fleet with such a depth of talent is a promising sign. 

Racing continues on Thursday with three more qualifying races to decide Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets.  A further nine races are then scheduled including Sunday leading to a medal race final for the top ten boats.  

Watch a blue fleet start below:

49erFX - Tidey is Eighth

Royal Irish Yacht Club sailor Saskia Tidey who sailed for Ireland in Rio in the 49erFX but will represent Team GB in Tokyo 2020 with Charlotte Dobson is lying eighth overall after four sailed. The Dun Laoghaire sailor is discarding a 16th scored in the opening race. Results are here.

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A race win in breezy conditions for Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove was the best possible start for the Howth Yacht Club and Skerries duo who are one of two Irish teams trying to qualify Ireland this week at the 49er World Championships in Tokyo

As Afloat previously reported, this week's Championships is the most important regatta for sailors outside of the Olympic Games and four Olympic berths are up for grabs but Ireland must finish in the top eight overall to be in with a realistic chance of securing one of these prized places.

High winds delayed the racing schedule on Auckland Harbour today.

After two races from a possible 15 for the complete series, Dickson and Waddilove are 16th overall with double Olympian Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle lying 26th overall. Irish teams sailed in separate flights of 30 boats each.

After a general recall, the Blue fleet, , in which Dickson and Waddilove were sailing, was the last race to get going as they suffered from unstable winds. By the time racing did get going the wind started picking up quickly and many top teams got caught out on the wrong rig settings.

Some of the favourites in this fleet - such as Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski (POL 42) - found themselves with a lot to do at the first windward mark. Portuguese sailors Jorge Lima and Jose Costa suffered rig damage and were forced to pull out of competition for the rest of the day, a disappointing start to the regatta with Costa also suffering an ankle injury.

Showing no hesitation were Rio Olympic bronze medalists Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER 4), but in tacking to the left side upwind the experienced Germans let slip the 2018 Junior World Champions from Ireland, Dickson and Waddilove, who overtook for the lead.

In a tight downwind battle, the young Irishmen held off the Olympic medallists to win their first ever race at a World Championship, a massive moment for any sailor.

For the world's best this week is the best measuring stick for how they stack up as a fleet. Teams doing well will be the ones to beat in Tokyo, and their countries will deliver the resources needed to take aim at Tokyo for those who they think can win a medal.

A bit farther down in the fleet, there are four Olympic qualifying berths on offer and currently, Dickson and Waddilove are the fourth country, but it is far too early in the series to lay claim to a Tokyo berth. Full results are here. Organisers have indicated countries seeking Olympic berths with a blue bar. The key to success for Ireland will be a string of consistent results and this morning's opening bid shows Ireland has the potential to be in Tokyo.

Only 20 teams make it to the Olympics, and many top sailing teams are still not qualified for Tokyo. Qualifying is a three-stage process, where the first berths were awarded last year at the 2018 World Championship in Aarhus, and the 2019 Worlds is the second stage. The final stage is called continental qualifying, and it will occur in the spring of 2020 on each continent.

Organisers had to wait for a weather front to clear the racing area causing a six-hour wait for the 89 crews representing 30 countries and day two of racing will begin one hour earlier on Wednesday to catch-up on the lost programme.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Two Irish 49er crews aiming to qualify Ireland for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games face a stern test when the 49er World Championship series gets underway next week (evening of Monday 2nd December 2019 Irish time). Four nation places for next year’s games will be decided on the Gulf of Hauraki off Auckland.

As Afloat previously reported it is predicted Ireland will need at least a top-eight finish and having already completed this week's pre-world Oceania championships warm-up regatta, team bosses say there needs to be a significant step up in performance if qualification is to be achieved. Results of the Oceania event are here 

Double Olympic veteran Ryan Seaton from Ballyholme Yacht Club and now paired with crew Séafra Guilfoyle from the Royal Cork YC are best positioned for the coming week. The duo posted a top ten overall result and appeared in the medal race final at the recent Sailing World Cup held at the Japanese Olympic venue at Enoshima.

A fleet of 91 boats from 30 countries will contest the series that is the second of three Olympic qualification opportunities available to the Irish sailors. Eleven countries have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Regatta.

Robert Dickson from Howth YC with crew Sean Waddilove from Skerries Sailing Club are also contesting the series with growing form that included a bronze medal at Under 23 world championship level this year.

As four-times world champions and double Olympic medalists, Peter Burling with Blair Tuke are clear favourites for the overall win. Burling also won the America’s Cup in 2017. The pair won Gold at Rio 2016 with two races to spare.

“It’s an incredibly long series and if everything goes to schedule there’ll be 20 races sailed in six days,” commented James O’Callaghan, Irish Sailing’s Performance Director. “Olympic qualification is never easy and the depth in the 49er class makes it all the harder.”

While Seaton and Guilfoyle have improved from top 20 in Palma at the start of the season to top ten in Japan in September, the pair have also had to deal with two spells of injury and illness this year but are now enjoying the longest period of uninterrupted training. A significant step-up in performance will still be needed over the coming week to achieve qualification for Ireland.

“The pre-worlds series in Auckland certainly confirms out how tough a task it is,” said O’Callaghan. “Ryan has achieved this level before in previous Olympic cycles though not with Séafra but his experience will be invaluable in this championship. Rob and Sean are in the early days of their senior career and any result inside the top 40 would be an achievement.”

Racing gets underway at 11 am (New Zealand time GMT+13 hours) on Tuesday 3rd December with the qualification round to decide Gold, Silver and Bronze fleet splits. Fleet racing continues until Sunday before the top ten boats contest the medal race final.

If the sailors fail to qualify in New Zealand there is a single European Olympic slot available next April at the World Cup in Genoa but that would be the last chance saloon.

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Currently sitting in 19th place, Irish skiff duo Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle have got off to a good start (two fifths in three races) at this week's warm-up Oceania Championships in Auckland that is a precursor to next week's critical 49er World Championships, an Olympic qualification event for two Irish boats seeking a single Tokyo berth from four on offer.

Howth rivals for Tokyo, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, former 49er youth world champions, also got off to a good start (a 15 and a 17) yesterday but a black flag in race three meant after three races sailed they are 66th from 81 starters. 

Full results are here.

As Afloat previously reported, next week's championships represent the best chance of securing a Tokyo skiff berth for Ireland in the 19-boat Olympic fleet with just a single final place available next season in Genoa.

Glamour conditions greeted the 178 international teams on the opening day of racing at the 2019 49er, 49erFX and Nacra17 Oceania Championships. The three-day warmup regatta before next weeks world championships is hosted by Auckland’s Royal Akarana Yacht Club. With the weeks leading up to the event being filled with strong winds and sunshine, the bar was set high and New Zealand certainly delivered.

The 49er class once again staked its claim of being one of the tightest fleets in Olympic sailing. Just ten points separate the top 13 teams after three races with the young American team of Andrew Mollerus and Ian MacDiarmid taking the top honours. France’s Erwan / Pequin were the only team to record two wins and see themselves just one point behind the Americans, while the red hot Kiwi squad were lead by young guns Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie, finishing the day in third.

America’s Cup heroes Peter Burling and Blair Tuke had a consistent day to see themselves in 7th overall and just five points off the lead.

Day one in the 49erFX class was also lead by a team from the United States with Stephine Roble & Maggie Shea relishing in the conditions, claiming two wins and a third to lead by 7 points from Rio 2016 Gold Medallists Martine Grael & Kahena Kunze of Brazil, with reigning European and World Champions Annemiek Bekkering & Annette Duetz just two points further back.

“We’re excited about how we sailed today,” Roble commented after racing. “It was a really fun day out there in really beautiful conditions on Auckland Harbour. We really just focused on good start execution and trying to sail big lanes upwind to just let it rip and try to get to the pressure; staying on the lifted tack and we were really happy with just keeping it simple out there.”

New Zealand’s Alexandra Maloney & Molly Meech finished the day in 5th place, with two second places marred by a 13th in race three.

It was the Ben & Nikki show in the Nacra 17 mixed multihull fleet. The reigning European Champions from Great Britain, Ben Saxton & Nicola Boniface rattled off three bullets from as many races in the building conditions to lead the fleet by 5 points. This show of dominance sets the scene for a thrilling selection battle with their fellow teammates John Gimson and Anna Burnet, currently 7th. The two teams have been trading wins throughout 2019 and a decisive win at the 2019 worlds could book the winning team a ticket to Tokyo.

USA’s Riley Gibbs & Anna Weis showed blistering speed downwind to finish the day second, ahead of Finland’s Sinem Kurtbay & Akseli Keskinen, with the chasing pack all producing consistent results across the board. The Auckland conditions are proving perfect for the foiling multihulls, with strong winds and flat water producing blistering speeds and tight racing across the fleet.

The full schedule of racing was streamed live to a global audience by broadcast partner SidelineApp. Hosted by New Zealand’s Jesse Tuke and featuring commentary from the likes of three-time Olympian PJ Postma and match racing expert Chris Steele, viewers were treated to previously unforeseen coverage of a continental championship. Live and free coverage will continue over the next two days of racing, (find at 49er.org/live) with viewers tuning in from 10:00 am Auckland time (NZDT / GMT+13).

(Live coverage of the 2019 Hyundai World Championships will be available for 9.95 euro if purchased before November 30, or 14.95 euro thereafter.)

Results

49er

1st Andrew Mollerus & Ian Macdiarmid (USA) 3-6-2; 11pts

2nd Fischer Erwain & Clément Pequin (FRA) 1-10-1; 12pts

3rd Isaac McHardie & William McKenzie (NZL) 1-4-7; 12pts

4th Diego Botin & Iago López Marra (ESP) 9-1-3; 13pts

5th Dominik Buksak & Szymon Wierzbicki (POL) 5-7-2; 14pts

Published in Tokyo 2020
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Irish sailing fans can look forward to seeing two Irish teams bid for an Olympic berth at the 49er World Championships live in New Zealand next month thanks to new streaming technology announced by the international class association.

As Afloat reported previously, a top-eight position is needed to secure Ireland’s single place at next year's Tokyo Olympics by Ryan Seaton (a double Olympian) and Seafra Guilfoyle or rivals Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove who have each shown how capable they are this season at separate events.

The International 49er and Nacra17 Class Associations, along with the host club Royal Akarana Yacht Club, have announced a partnership with New Zealand streaming platform SidelineApp which will see the upcoming Oceania and World Championships broadcast in their entirety, live and available to sailing fans around the world.

In addition to the Sky Sport New Zealand broadcast announced in September, the additional coverage by SidelineApp will see each and every race broadcast live and on demand.

“We are tremendously excited to partner with SidelineApp and deliver such comprehensive coverage to our dedicated sailing fans. For the first time ever, the moments that matter in an Olympic sailor's life can be shared in real time with their friends, family, clubs, supporters, and countrymen as they unfold,” said 49er and Nacra17 Class President Marcus Spillane who is also a member of Ireland's Olympic Steering Group.

The 2019 Hyundai World Championships will be of huge importance for the sailors and nations competing, and now fans will have the opportunity to be part of the action. Alongside the three World Championship titles on the line, Olympic qualification and selection is up for grabs for the majority of the competitors. The Oceania Championships, November 25-27, and World Championships, December 3-8, will herald a new era of the sport’s coverage.

The Regattas

The 2019 Hyundai World Championships will be the most important event in the sailors’ calendars in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, held in July and August next year. For the world’s best, it is the measuring stick for how they stack up as a fleet, plus there are at least 15 Olympic qualifying berths on offer among the three classes; four in the 49er, five in the Nacra 17 and six in the 49erFX. Only 20 teams per fleet will earn the privilege of representing their country at the Olympic Games, and many top sailing nations are yet to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

49er FXRio 2016 Olympic gold medallists Martine Grael & Kahena Kunze (BRA)

The 2019 Hyundai Oceania Championships will serve as the warm-up regatta for the three classes prior to the 2019 Hyundai World Championships. As the contintental championships for the Oceania region, world ranking points are on offer as well as offering one last opportunity for teams to make any last minute adjustments to their sailing before the Hyundai World Championships begin.

Racing begins on 25th November with the three-day Oceania Championships, followed shortly after by the 2019 Hyundai World Championships, raced from 3rd to 8th December. Live broadcasting will be available from two of the four courses during the Oceania Championships, in addition to the extensive World Championships coverage.

The Sailors

Racing will feature some of the world’s best sailors, including New Zealand’s own Rio 2016 Olympic gold medalists and America’s Cup champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in the 49er, alongside their fellow Kiwis and Rio 2016 silver medallists in the 49erFX, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech.

The list of Olympic medallists and World Champions continue throughout the 49er fleets, including the 2017 49er World Champions Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell (GBR) and Rio 2016 49erFX gold medalists Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) plus reigning European and World Champions Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz (NED). The Nacra 17 foiling multihull repeats the gold medal standard, featuring Santiago Lange and his crew Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG), gold medallists from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and London 2012 49er Olympic gold medallist and Japan SailGP skipper Nathan Outteridge, combining with his sister Haylee (AUS).

In total there are 14 Olympic Gold medalists competing at the regatta; Peter Burling (NZL), Blair Tuke (NZL), Santiago Lange (ARG), Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG), Martine Grael (BRA), Kahena Kunze( BRA), Sime Fantela (CRO), Nathan Outteridge (AUS), Tamara Echegoyen (ESP), Iker Martine z(ESP), Tessa Parkinson (AUS), Anna Tobias (USA), Jonas Warrer (DEN), and Sophia Bekkatorou (GRE).

Overall there are 206 teams competing from 41 nations comprising 412 athletes.

Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists Martine Grael & Kahena Kunze (BRA)

The Technology

The 2019 Hyundai World Championships broadcast will include some of the latest 4G bonding technology and include tracking of every team using TracTrac, on board 4G cameras thanks to Icarus Sports, drones and stabilised on-water cameras. Swiss Timing’s 2D & 3D graphics, featured at recent World Sailing events, will be incorporated into the broadcast package, as will the Sky Sport regatta coverage.

The broadcast will be hosted by New Zealand’s Jesse Tuke, the younger brother of Olympic 49er gold medallist Blair Tuke, and feature commentary with analysts and sailing experts, special guests and interviews from the sailing world

“It’s a tricky sport for traditional broadcasters to comprehensively cover due to the many moving parts, the number of cameras needed to cater for large fleets, and the technology of streaming vision away from land,” SidelineApp founder Luke Thompson said. “4G has opened the floodgates for providing reliable streaming content across the globe, and we’re really focused on the new 4G bonding and 5G technologies coming to the market.”

How to Access

Live streaming will be available via our live portal at both 49er.org/live and Nacra17.org/live. Access to the Oceania broadcast will be provided free of charge for sailing fans around the world.

SidelineApp’s World Championships package can be purchased for the early bird price of 9.95 Euros for all LIVE and On Demand. After November 30 the package is 14.95 euros. *Geoblocked territories, if any, will be confirmed prior.

“While it is not traditional to have subscription based coverage for sailing, we do think it could be the best way forward. As the class that has pioneered live coverage since 2012, we have only been able to offer a single course area for up to three days of a championship. If the sailing public can get behind this type of comprehensive coverage, we have a chance to take a long-term leap forward in what we can offer passionate sailing fans globally,” said classes manager, Ben Remocker.

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