Final Nacra 15 Youth Olympic Games spots decided

Final Nacra 15 Youth Olympic Games spots decided
© Laurens Morel

Buenos Aires 2018 YOG

Henri Demesmaeker and Frederique van Eupen from Belgium won the 2018 Nacra 15 World Championship in Barcelona, a Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games qualification event.

From 21 - 27 April in Barcelona, Spain, 60 eager Nacra 15 youth teams representing 18 Nations and four continents sailed with the aim of qualifying to the Argentinean YOG. Competitors were from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Spain, Finland, France, Great Britain, Italy, US Virgin Islands, Holland, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. 

Catalonian weather conditions, although beautiful, were difficult with Monday and Tuesday leaving the fleet ashore without a breath. After a long wait afloat on Wednesday, when it did fill for three races it was shifty and puffy suiting the tactical and lighter teams. 19 races were scheduled for the championship and the race committee did well to run a total of 10. Thursday saw maximum effort to get the race count in with a scheduled 08:15 start seeing the fleet prepare at dawn. Unfortunately after two attempts to get the fleet away the light northerly gave out slowly swinging to the east and after a very long wait, finally giving the fleet a further 3 races again in light wind conditions. 

Saving the best until last, on the final day Barcelona delivered. Friday was excellent conditions with the building breeze testing the sailors and giving the older more powerful sailors the opportunity to push on, twin trapezing and really getting the best from the exciting Nacra 15. The breeze built in the first three races and dropping again for the fourth of the day. Although a predominantly light regatta, there was something for everyone giving a balanced, hard-earned result.

Winners Nacra 15 World Championships 2018:

  1. Henri Demesmaeker & Fredrique van Eupen (BEL)
  2. Doran Gouran Le Rich & Kenza Coutard (FRA)
  3. Thomas Proust & Martineau Clement (FRA)

The best team under 16 was the French team Thomas Proust (11 years-old) & Martineau Clement (14 years-old). After the first two days, they were leading the fleet, but could not consolidate this during the final racing day with more wind. 

For full results:

This championship was important for the qualification of seven further countries to participate in October 2018 during the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina. The goal, to be one of the fourteen Nacra 15 teams representing their respective countries who will participate in these Youth Olympic Games.

The teams must be mixed teams in the age born between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2003. The qualification system to participate the Youth Olympics is based on four qualification events: In October 2017 in Medemblik the countries Switzerland and Tunisia for the European and African spots; in November in America the countries USA and Uruguay for North and South America and in January in Australia the countries Australia and Singapore qualified for Oceania and Asia.

Host Nation, Argentina has a wildcard to participate the Youth Olympics. After the Nacra 15 Worlds in Barcelona 7 more countries have qualified: Belgium, France, Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Germany.

The Nacra 15 Worlds has taken place at Barcelona International Sailing Center and is organized by Federació Catalana de Vela, Real Nautical Club, Reial Club Maritim Barcelona and the International Nacra 15 Class Association. The event is sponsored by the Government of Barcelona, Forward WIP, Island Tribe sun protection, Code Zero, Harken, PEGA trailers and Nacra Sailing.