A strong European 49er championships start for last week's gold medal winners Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern was ruined yesterday by a start line disqualification in race three. The Ballyholme Yacht Club pair opened their Euro account with a solid sixth placing. They moved up to a second in the second race of the day before being scored 'UFD' in race three. The sole Irish pair in the 72–boat fleet lie 28th with more qualifying races today.
The UFD rule (similar to the Black Flag) came into effect yesterday as a means of keeping the highly competitive fleet from starting prematurely. Under the rule, a boat within the triangle formed by the ends of the line and the first mark during the minute before the start is disqualified without a hearing.
In the women's 49erFX division, Ireland's Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey also fell foul of the UFD rule in their opening race and lie 19th from 37.
The super competitive 49er fleets lined up and stretched their legs as racing got under way from the world class Barcelona International Sailing centre close to where the 1992 Olympics were held.
The 49erFX raced in the afternoon sessions of the day and Netherland's emerging stars Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz started the championship in the same dominant manner that they took home the Princess Sofia Trophy from Palma de Majorca last week.
The yellow fleet of the 49er got racing under way to start the championship, and all three active class medalists drew the same fleet and engaged with one another. Once again it was the London Silver medalists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke who got the best start of all.
In the Blue 49er fleet, Austrians Nico Delle Karth with Niko Resch, fresh off their Silver medal at the 2016 World Championship got off to a good start with a 1, 7, 2 to sit in second overall after the first night.
The forecast for the rest of the week in Barcelona is outstanding, with endless sun and wind on offer. It could get really windy for the final day of qualifying, so putting in solid performances on today's day 2's qualifying will be vital in case the third day gets blown out. The schedule for day 2 is for the 49erFX to start with three races followed by the 49er doing four races.
Results are here