Thessaloniki, Greece: Mikolaj Staniul with Kuba Sztorch (POL) won a tit for tat battle with Tim Fischer with Fabian Graf (GER) who fought in both races for gold in the 49er on the final day of the Europe championship.
The two leading teams were only two points apart before the start of the day. Both teams got off to decent starts at first, but the Germans then fouled another team and had to spin, dragging them back into the fleet. At the top of the time, the Poles were in the lead, then managed to finish with a boat between the Germans, creating a tie before the final race.
The two boats were well out of the line and were both heading towards the middle of the course on the port side first when the Germans tacked and dug a little further. By the time the two reunited again, the Poles were again in the lead, and then again tied the Germans around the race track to secure victory.
For Staniul and Sztroch, they have now set a milestone for Poland in the 49er single scull after years of being incredibly close to winning the European Championship.
Their two Polish teammates, Lukasz with Pawel and Buksak with Wiersbicki, came very close to winning the Euro, but failed each time. In this victory, the young Poles mark a milestone for their program, but also beat their training partners for the first time in a championship. It is certainly an event to express their intentions towards the inclusion of Paris.
In second place, Fischer with Graf (GER), who hadn’t raced for over a year since losing his entry to the Tokyo 2020 squad at the last European Championship. The years of practicing came through clearly as it piled up throughout the week and had an incredible run to the diamond. Poland also got the bronze medal thanks to Lukasz with Pawel, who led during the early parts of the regatta but faltered in the final days.
The silver medal won in Tokyo by Bekkering with Duetz inspired the Dutch team of FX sailors to continue working on their craft. The team mentality they share in the Netherlands, frequently changing partnerships, paid off in Thessaloniki as van Aanholt teamed up with de Ruyter just two weeks before starting the regatta. Both teams were trying to figure out what to do as their respective teammates fell injured (in non-sailing incidents). They decided to team up and sailed a week filled with drama to climb to the top of the rankings.
In their first race, they lost a shroud and had to perform a replacement on the water between races. In the fifth race, van Aanholt was hoisted by the jaw by the boat behind them on a plateau and had to be taken to hospital (after finishing the race) to ensure that no structural damage was caused. The next day wasn’t their best, but they managed to recover after that and managed to get six top 10 results in a row before finishing second in the medal race to win by 30 points.
Van Aanholt’s parents dutifully watched from the shore, who commented on the number of obstacles each champion must overcome on their journey. Winning isn’t easy for anyone, and while the public can witness the victory celebrations, it’s the trials along the way that define the sailor. Some of the biggest smiles of the week will come from the Dutch pair, and then we’ll see if they continue in partnership.
The remainder of the podium battle was pretty close, with seven teams chasing medals ahead of the medal race. With a ten-point margin, the Croatian pair Nincevic-Vituri managed to retain the silver medal with a sixth place in the medal race. Nincevic and Vitturi were heartbroken after missing Tokyo’s kick-off in European qualifiers in Lanzarote this spring. They took a short break, then started sailing again.
As they watched the Olympians race in the early hours of Europe, they followed that up with hard training every day, eager to make sure they were not left behind anymore.
The bronze medal was hotly contested throughout the medal race, with just four teams separated by four points and another ten points behind. Denmark, Canada, Malta and Poland were essentially tied, with only the Poles needing a boat in between to win the bronze medal between the peloton. Canada and Denmark split after the start, with the Dane winning the hairpin and the Canadians taking the right after a start with a port tack option.
The Maltese and Poles exited the line on the starboard side and moved to the left, leaving only the Canadians on the far right. One by one, as the top of the pace rolled out, it looked like the boats on the left were behind the boats on the right, and this turned out when the Italians and Canadians completed one, two, closely followed by the rest of the teams.
The tailwind proved ineffective but most of the teams seemed to change tactics for the second lap, staying on the left side of the course. The Canadians got around clearly and then covered the Maltese team in time. The Dutch took second place, but Canada’s Lewin-LaFrance sisters, Georgia and Antonia, stood up to the Maltese team and took third place in the medal race, and won the bronze medal. The Maltese sisters Schulteis finished fourth overall and third in Europe showing great form for a crew of 20 and 18 respectively.
While the other medalists of the “fast boat” fleets take vacations and sign autographs, John Gimson and Anna Burnet (GBR) are already heading for Paris.
They returned directly to the Nacra 17 fleet “to do more races,” said Burnet, commenting that there had been so few races in the past two years that they could not pass up the opportunity. to gain more experience. It feels like a team firmly focused on the next leg of their journey. “It seems like every quad, the teams that get off to a good start, manage to keep up the pace,” said Gimson. Tita was well ahead in 2017 in the last quad, and they also finished in the lead.
Gimson and Burnet had prepared well for the regatta by the time the fleet races were abandoned for the medal race. They finished with 30 points ahead of Ugolini and Calfi (ITA). The medal race was a bit dramatic, as the wind was quite high and low, affecting White most severely with Unwin (GBR) getting stuck deep in the straight-line turn while many others in the jibe in the fleet almost doubled. their speed at the first downwind.
This confusion in the order of the fleet allowed Petard with Berthomieu (FRA) to overtake the second British crew and secure a bronze medal for France.
For full results see: https://49er.org/event/2021-european-championship/