I’m watching a replay of the 49er class’ first race from the Olympic Sailing venue at Weymouth Bay.
Fascinating little boats, the 49er class. Highly technical, inherently unstable, and very demanding, they are nothing more than a potato chip equipped with an insane amount of sail area. The entire boat weighs a mere 160 pounds.
The action is fast and furious and changes minute by minute. These guys make it look so easy, it’s almost criminal.
The 49er, along with a handful of other planing, high performance classes is a lot of fun to watch, unlike almost all of their keel bearing, full displacement cousins which, from a spectating point of view, smack of the tired old growing grass analogy.
Oops. Team USA is a hero to zero at the third mark. The breeze seems pretty steady, however. No giant shifts or increases in velocity. Armchair coaching on my part, but it appears a couple of significant tactical errors late in the race will hold them out of the Top 5 for Race #1.
Another surprise is the Aussies finishing way back in the fleet. Waaaay back in the fleet. Those nut bags practically invented the insanely overpowered, trapeze-rigged mono hull – look no further than the Australian 18 skiff, or as they say, the Eye-deen, mate. Suicidal blood bath, those things. Scary fast and power than can hurt folks.