Jul 10, 2015

Nacra 17 Worlds 2015: Billy Besson & Marie Riou Champs X3

Images Mogen Hansen - gallery at his fb page & Flying Arubies - Billy Beson & Marie Riou finished 3rd the 2015 Worlds Medal Race and grabbed the new Nacra 17 Olympic Class Title for the third time in a row. They are the untouchable Masters of this new Olympic Multihull & Mixed format Class. Total domination for the French crew.
2nd place for Jason Waterhouse & Lisa Darmanin, the former Hobie 16 Youth team continue to show they want to be carrying the Aussie flag in 2016 and 3rd place for Mandy Mulder & Coen de Koning who are also rasing their leve.

At Aarhus the Worlds assigned 3 new spots for Rio, and those were taken by GER with Paul Kohlhoff-Carollina Werner, I didn´t heard of them till Kiel Week 2015 , so its quite surprising for me to see them qualifying Germany.
Their performance left the US flag in fourth place towards the Olympic qualy race  and out for now from 2016. Sarah Newberry & Matthew Whitehead were the best US team  finishing 18th overall.
Along Easton, Casey  and others they still have a chance on the continental qualifier.

The two remaining places are both great stories:  Iker Martinez & Marina Lopez putting the last Gold Medal winner Flag (Echavarri-Paz 2008 Beijing)  back again in the Games. Iker on a tough schedule combining  VOR Mapfre helm around the World , also changing Class from 49er to Nacra 17 and also changing crew from last year. First stage complete for the already Olympic medalist , check te interview we did last year with Iker on the VOR & Nacra 17 projects at catsailingnews.com/2014/08/iker-martinez-interview.html

But the big news from 2015 Worlds is without mistake the qualification of Aruba for 2016.
Thijs Visser was part of the strong Dutch team formed in 2013 and was left behind pretty early comparing to what France, GBR , Australia and other top teams are doing till now, that is keeping competition between their own boats targeting to benefit from a higher level of the entire Team.

When Thijs was left out, beyond he was doing really good crewing for Mandy Mulder, he decided his Olympic dream was not going to be cut just like that, and he paired with Nicole van der Velden
to race under the Aruban Flag.

Projects like these are easy to envision but super tough to achieve.
Last Worlds in  2014 they were close to get the slot but they couldn´t materialize their goal. The sailing level was there so the kept training hard and sailing every event getting mixed results.

Finally at Aarhus and with extreme sailing conditions Nicole & Thijs put pedal to the metal to their Olympic ambitions and secured a ticket to Rio de Janeiro finishing 7th overall. They must be so happy right, congrats Thijs & Nicole for such a feat.

Thijs past dutch teamates did well too with Mandy Mulder and 2x f18 World Champ (1 Title with Thijs as crew) Coen de Koning ending 3rd overall. Netherland already has their spot from 2014 Worlds.

Current qualified teams are: 1 FRA , 2 ARG , 3 AUS ,4 ITA, 5 NZL, 6 SUI, 7 GBR, 8 DEN, 9 AUT, 10 NED from 2014 Worlds

2015: GER, ARU & ESP

Aside from the pending Flags AUS, GBR, FRA, ITA, NED & ESP are yet to define which crew will represent their countries Rio.

Sadly Silver fleet only managed to complete 5 races in the entire week, I understand the extreme weather conditions but with  60 boats and two fleets I think they deserved to get more races, at least those wanting to go out and race like the Gold fleet did of course .

Below Top ten, Full results https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/438966762/Nacra17%20-%20Results.htm

13FRA 001Billy BessonMarie Riou-21111231163735
21AUS 003Jason WaterhouseLisa Darmanin13-225763886341
310NED 244Mandy MulderCoen De Koning34-15881215106651
48NZL 222Gemma JonesJason Saunders52-1386719546956
570GER 211Paul KohlhoffCarolina Werner-109242893206757
62ITA 262Vittorio BissaroSilvia Sicouri125-2153012228059
720ARU 212Nicole van der VeldenThijs Visser-12139851316127967
817DEN 281Allan NørregaardAnette Viborg641-10227144168474
925ESP 246Iker MartinezMarina Lopez Casanova8-1571292159149176
1016GBR 201John GimsonHannah Diamond4-9313251111188576