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Thunderstorms Cancel Racing at Laser & 49er Worlds

14th February 2020
Storms approach Geelong, the venue for the 49erFX Worlds Storms approach Geelong, the venue for the 49erFX Worlds

The fourth day of racing at the ILCA Laser Standard Men’s World Championship was abandoned today, owing to a series of thunderstorms that swept across Port Phillip Bay.

Scheduled to be the first day of Gold Fleet racing, which brings together the best 42 sailors at the event, it instead became a day of watch and wait for the race committee.

At 3pm, as the second of the fronts carrying thunder and lightning appeared on the horizon, Race Director Peter Merritt ordered AP over A to be hoisted on the Sandringham Yacht Club flagpole, signalling no further racing for the day.

With their Lasers already packed away to prevent damage from the storms, sailors and support staff made a beeline for the exit gate, looking to get home before the rain began to fall in earnest.

The race committee has announced that racing will start an hour earlier than scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, with three races now scheduled for those days.

If they are successful, the full complement of 12 races will be sailed.

After six races of qualifying, Phillip Buhl (GER) leads the regatta with a score of 6 points after discarding a 4th placing in the opening race of the regatta. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) is two points further back, with Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) in third. Only 15 points separate first from tenth, ensuring interesting racing for the remainder of the Championship.

Ireland’s Finn Lynch, lies in 22nd place, 36 points behind the leader. Ewan McMahon (63rd) and Liam Glynn (73rd) will compete in the Silver fleet.

Results can be found at http://sailingresults.net/?ID=80326

Meanwhile, in Geelong a similar fate beset the 49er, 49erFX Worlds. With no racing on Friday, February 14 due to summer storms that wreaked havoc with the breeze, Saturday’s final day of the 49er, 49er and Nacra 17 2020 World Championship looks like this:

Schedule:

  • Two gold fleet races for all three fleets commencing from 0955hrs
  • Two silver and bronze fleet races immediately following
  • Three medal races commencing from 1355hrs in the following order: Nacra 17, 49erFX, 49er

Saturday’s forecast is promising - wind out of the south-west building to the class’ upper limit of 25 knots, a figure that also takes into consideration the sea-state, which is not a factor at this flat-water venue. Showers are forecast and the hope is they will clear early and not hinder the breeze once again.

Summer storms passed over and around the host city, bringing thunder, rain and lightning, and leaving sick breeze in each frontal system’s wake. The race committee took off on boats after 4pm thinking there was a chance of a late green light, but it was not to be.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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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

Following a one year postponement, sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from 23 July 2021 and run until the 8 August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. 

Venue: Enoshima Yacht Harbour

No. of events: 10

Dates: 23 July – 8 August 2021

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