Italians secure Nacra 17 gold with dominant medal race victory

Italians secure Nacra 17 gold with dominant medal race victory

Italians secure Nacra 17 gold with dominant medal race victory


17/08/2023 - 18:00

It was the first medal race of the Allianz Sailing World Championships as a fleet of 10 Nacra 17s lined up in good conditions with about 11 to 12 knots of breeze.

With one eye on the bronze medal, the Dutch team Laila van der Meer and Bjarne Bouwer made a great start out of the line while the Swedes, Emil Jarudd and Hanna Jonsson were stopped at start time. Somehow, after bailing out to the right-hand side, the Swedes hauled themselves back into contention just halfway up the first leg of the two lap course. With choppy water and a gusty northerly breeze, consistent foiling upwind was very difficult but the Dutch looked very comfortable on home waters as they led in the early stages.

However by the first turning mark it was the unstoppable Italians, Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti, who had overtaken the young Dutch and were first to hoist the powerful gennaker for the rapid ride downwind. With the British team John Gimson and Anna Burnet further back in the pack, the Italian grip on the gold medal looked stronger than ever, while Britain was doing enough to retain silver.

Meanwhile the battle for bronze hung in the balance as two contenders opted for different sides of the final upwind leg. The Dutch went left and the Swedish went right. It was neck and neck as the breeze flicked from side to side.

So another glittering gold medal for Tita and Banti as they crossed the finish line more than 300 metres in front, the Italians successfully retaining their world crown. “We had good speed this week,” said Tita. “That meant we didn’t have to take too much risk on the starts and it made our job easy.” Silver for the Olympic silver medallists Gimson and Burnet who crossed in sixth. After a shocking start it was an incredible comeback for the Swedes to cross the finish line in second place. Their reward is the bronze medal and a first time on the World Championship podium for this fast improving young crew from Sweden, Jarudd and Jonsson.

Final countdown to the Cannes Yachting Festival
Okada and Yoshioka celebrate golden day for Japan as Italians win Nacra 17