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Irish Tokyo Bid in 49er Skiff Races Will Be Streamed Live from Auckland

19th November 2019
Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove of Howth are one of two Irish teams competing for an Olympic berth in Auckland next month Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove of Howth are one of two Irish teams competing for an Olympic berth in Auckland next month Photo: Afloat

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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Olympic Sailing features a variety of craft, from dinghies and keelboats to windsurfing boards. The programme at Tokyo 2020 will include two events for both men and women, three for men only, two for women only and one for mixed crews:

Event Programme

RS:X - Windsurfer (Men/Women)
Laser - One Person Dinghy (Men)
Laser Radial - One Person Dinghy (Women)
Finn - One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) (Men)
470 - Two Person Dinghy (Men/Women)
49er - Skiff (Men)
49er FX - Skiff (Women)
Nacra 17 Foiling - Mixed Multihull

The mixed Nacra 17 Foiling - Mixed Multihull and women-only 49er FX - Skiff, events were first staged at Rio 2016.

Each event consists of a series of races. Points in each race are awarded according to position: the winner gets one point, the second-placed finisher scores two, and so on. The final race is called the medal race, for which points are doubled. Following the medal race, the individual or crew with the fewest total points is declared the winner.

During races, boats navigate a course shaped like an enormous triangle, heading for the finish line after they contend with the wind from all three directions. They must pass marker buoys a certain number of times and in a predetermined order.

Sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from 27 July to 6 August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. 

Venues: Enoshima Yacht Harbor

No. of events: 10

Dates: 27 July – 6 August

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Dates

Sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from 27 July to 6 August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. 

Venue: Enoshima Yacht Harbour

No. of events: 10

Dates: 27 July – 6 August

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