The video below of two German Women – Tina Lutz and Lotta Wiemers – doing well at the 49erFX World Championships in Geelong, Australia reminded me of the Mirror World Championships hosted in Algoa Bay during 2007.
That World Championships dished up a number of firsts:
For the first time in living memory the Mirror World Championships sailed in Port Elizabeth, South Africa served up four firsts by the Anna Mackenzie and Holly Scott express:
- The FIRST female Mirror World Champions – Anna Mackenzie and Holly Scott (GBR), and
- The FIRST time that the same team – Anna Mackenzie and Holly Scott (GBR) – have won BOTH the Mirror Pre Worlds and the Mirror World Championships.
- The FIRST GBR team to win since 1997.
- The FIRST time that current or former members of the RYA Junior Development program have won a Mirror World Championships.
That World Championships brought many overseas sailors to South Africa and sealed Algoa Bay as one of the best venues to sail in in the world.
International Juror, Vaughan Giles said of the Mirror Worlds 2007; “This is the best regatta I have ever attended.” This was echoed by the President of the International Mirror Class Association who said; “In my years involved, I have been to many great clubs, seen some great racing and participated in some fantastic events, ABYC has now joined that elite group with perhaps the best combination of location, sailing (wind and water) and club spirit that I have ever witnessed.”
Writing in the SA Sailing Magazine Mike Robinson concluded by saying; “If the 2007 Mirror Class World Championships hosted by Algoa Bay Yacht Club in Nelson Mandela Bay was not the best regatta ever, it certainly set the benchmark for regattas world wide in terms of competition, organisation, race excellence and social vibe.”
The 2020 49erFX World Championships are presently being sailed in Geelong, Australia.
The Former German 49erFX teammates combine beautifully to lead on the first day of racing – much to their surprise.
Tina Lutz’s regular crew Susann Beucke injured herself soon after the 2019 World Championship in Auckland and Lotta Wiemers agreed to step back into the boat to crew for the second half of the Down Under series of back-to-back world championships.
The decision to bring the pair together delivered the German sailing team early fortunes in the six days series hosted by Royal Geelong Yacht Club. “I don’t know what happened today, we somehow went always in the right direction,” said a genuinely surprised and delighted Lutz.
“It felt always very good out there. Today was just crazy….we are super happy with our first day of racing,” Wiemers added. “I haven’t sailed for two-and-a-half years but I think we are doing a good job of finding the middle of pushing it, but [being relaxed too].”
A condensed qualification round got underway at the 2020 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championship at Geelong. There will be at least one more day of qualification before the two skiff fleets are divided into Gold Fleets for the final three days. All racing finishes on Saturday February 15.
It’s been a frustrating start to the world title for sailors and administrators with day one blown-out and day two race one in 8-12 kts of westerly before the breeze transitioned to the SSE, but not before collapsing to the point it was unsailable for hours.
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