Aug 12, 2018

Nacra17 Worlds 2018 @Aarhus: Tita & Banti World Champs

Photos by Sailing Energy / World Sailing, click images for slideshow & bigger size. -- Ruggero Tita & Caterina Banti were crowned today 2018 Nacra 17 World Champions. This time around it wasn't an easy ride for the italians, who won several events before even starting the medal race on the gap established in the qualy & final series of past regattas.

At Aarhus Tita & Banti started with flare (Triple bullet first breezy day) , but they struggled badly already the second day which had tricky unstable calm with some gusts. Dsq, 16,13,16  were positions which rendered a catastrophe for a crew who has been domitaning the Class at will.

No one thought they could recover, Lange & Carranza were on cruise mode leading every day, along Albrecht & Nicolino and the Outteridges performing.  Nevertheless nothing was defined, or so the italians internally thought.
From Race 8 onwards, a series of top 5 followed, with an average 7th in race 12, and a perfect lucky 13 one closing the gold fleet series with a  bullet.
Those results were not enough for them to rest at ease and 'watch'' the Medal Race from the course as done several time.
While they have an impressive recovery, Nathan & Haylee Outtridge were as impressive, and only an 18th in race 11 relegated them to second overall by 1pt.
Lange & Carranza went from a cruising leadership with top 5 results to a series of +10 positions that put the Argentines in 3rd overall.

Meanwhile super power viking gilr Lin Ea Henholt helmed as the best of them along Christian Lubeck crewing to a 4th overall with chances also for the title at the Medal Race.

Sadly the organization priorized the Live stream today Sunday, which is a great asset we have to recognize from World Sailing , but letting the Nacra 17 Class without a perfect finish cancelling the Medal Race due to a dying breeze was a pity.

RSX Medal races were streamed, but we have to say that this Class is overdue in tech by now. As we criticized the ackward antics made by the 470, Laser and Finn crews having an Olympic windsurfer equipment unable to plane in 10-11knots of wind (for the RSX Men race) was hard to bare and watch.
Discussion for another post, but surely Windsurf foiler will replace RSX soon enough.

In the end we all got frustrated on how this regatta ended, but Tita & Banti put on a show with a comeback for the ages. They were already the best crew towards Tokyo 2020 and they demonstrated this week their versatility and focus under pressure to grab the 2018 World title.
Hat off to both.

Special mention to Nathan & Haylee Outteridge, just when you thought Australia had a top notch established crew like Jason Waterhouse & Lisa Darmanin (Silver Rio 2016) , Nathan & Haylee sailed as seasoned Nacra 17 sailors, this result and near World Title will put high pressure for the internal Aussie qualy towards next Olympics. Just like Jason & Lisa did to Bundy past Olympics.

From the top ten, it was a pity having Mateo Majdalani & Euge Bosco out of the top ten in the last day. A capsize in race 11 put them out of trim for the final two races and the Argie young top guns went from 2 first days, to 5th, to 8th overall before the last day to a 15th final position.
Nevertheless we are all more than proud on their performance, once more taking account they don;t even have a formal or established coach. Bright future for both.

Argentina got his ticket for 2020 as Santi & Ceci finished in 3rd place overall. The Gold medalists didn't care much on the new Nacra 17 foiling configuration defined after Rio 2016 and with solid consistent results sent a message to the rest of the fleet: We are here for more Glory.
See their emotion in pics above, I can translated those on giving themselves another chance to compete in Tokyo plus the high expectations to actually compete in the Medal Race, only 3pts behind the leaders was a perfect scenario for them to aim for the title and match their opponents strength in such high pressure all or nothing situation.

Nations qualified for Tokyo 2020 are:
1 Italy
2 Australia
3 Argentina
4 Denmark
5 Brazil
6 Great Britain
7 Austria
8 New Zealand

Aarhus 2018 World Championships Top ten below, complete list here:

12  ITA 26Ruggero TITA10469111-dsq161316352371
262  AUS 46Nathan OUTTERIDGE887055135837135-1896
34  ARG 1Santiago LANGE10772322236411-ufd1210107
420  DEN 71Lin Ea CENHOLT9675756712105-2135195
Christian Peter LÜBECK
515  BRA 435Samuel ALBRECHT103819351141248-2216810
Gabriela NICOLINO de SÁ
66  AUS 2Jason WATERHOUSE12691543-35455227141417
710  ITA 5Vittorio BISSARO12493322142017-31947438
83  GBR 21John GIMSON13410681276646-28111181413
95  AUT 3Thomas ZAJAC12810927114-198106151613215
Barbara MATZ
101  GBR 91Ben SAXTON15612111164-35113113113141123