On the eve of the 17th 49er World Championship and 1st ever 49erFX World Championship, the city of Marseille eagerly anticipates a great battle.
Ireland’s Olympic sailors Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern, will be hoping to replicate the recent successes of their teammate Annalise Murphy as they compete in their biggest event of the year – the 2013 49er & 49erFX World Championships. The Providence Team IRL sailors will face a physically gruelling six day and potential 25 race regatta which will be held in Marseille, France.
Included in the high quality, 96 boat fleet will be three-time World Champions and London 2012 Gold medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen from Australia who have most recently been competing in the America's Cup. Kiwis Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, London 2012 Silver medallists and 2013 49er European Champions will also be in attendance.
This championship will conclude what has been a busy summer for Seaton and McGovern. The pair, who both hail from Northern Ireland, had their best performance of the year at the Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth in June when they won Gold. The pair are targeting a solid top 10 finish at the World Championships.
ISA Performance Director James O’Callaghan Commented “With the Worlds being late in the season it has given everyone a chance to get back up to speed post Olympics. Without doubt this will be the toughest event of 2013 for Ryan and Matt“.
Also competing at the regatta but in the female 49erFX class will be Ireland’s newest Olympic campaigners Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey. The pair have only just begun sailing together and the Worlds will be somewhat of a baptism of fire.
Note: The 49er has 95 participants, the second highest total ever and the largest in a decade. This championship is the first World Championship of the Rio Olympic Quadrennial and many teams are eager to find out where they stack up looking toward Rio. The 49er has been very competitive through the year, with 11 different winners so far since the London Olympics. This regatta also marks the return of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen to 49er racing. Nate and Goobs have been with Artemis for the America’s Cup all year and come to Marseille with only 1 month of practice. Their rivals are hoping to knock them from their perch on top of the 49er world as they have been dominant since they teamed up in 2009.
The 49erFX has 53 teams entered, which is a fantastic fleet size for any women’s fleet, and especially one that only became official in November of 2012. These sailors have had huge smiles on their faces all year as they learn to conquer the 49erFX. It’s a tough and demanding boat that is testing them all to their fullest.
Racing to date has had a number of national teams do well by putting together 3-5 teams and having them all develop and push each other. The Danes, Brits, and German’s have been at the top of the leaderboard so far, but we can’t forget about the Brazilians, Kiwi’s, Italians, Irish or Dutch. As this is the first world championships of the 49erFX, there will surely be some nervous sailors on the start time on day 1, Tuesday Sept 24.