Denmark’s Graversen and Olrik dominate
the 29erXX SEIKO European Championship 2011
The 29erXX is the ‘sister’ skiff to the 49er, and is a fast-growing class that is on the verge of Olympic recognition. Teams representing five countries tested the waters off Travemünde, Germany from July 27 to 30 in the third edition of the 29erXX European Championship.
Calm or 20 knots, and nothing in between!
Throughout the week, weather conditions were in constant flux. On one day, no racing held as there was insufficient wind, while, the very next day, the sailors were met with steady winds of 20 knots, with gusts of up to 25.
In these challenging conditions, the team of Frederikke Graversen and Jeanine Olrik from Denmark dominated the 11 race regatta, posting mostly 1st’s and 2nd’s with a 4th as their discard. The silver medal was won by the German team of Jule and Lotta Görge who were ahead at the half way stage, but couldn’t catch the Danes in the last three races, finishing second to them in each one.
Graversen remarked, “Jeanine and I haven’t sailed in that much wind before in the 29erXX. And that was the biggest challenge. It was great fun to race in heavy wind, but the German sailors sailed faster than us in these conditions so we had to think about what to do different. During the regatta we tried different setups with the wires. Luckily, the wind dropped a bit and then we were first in the last three races!” “So for us the regatta was very successful and well organized. And we really love the SEIKO watches we won – they’re really cool!”
The growing stature of the 29erXX Class
In May 2011, the ISAF Council granted the 29erXX Class Association “Recognized Class” status. This recognition is an important boost to the Class which now looks forward to the three international regattas of 2011 in Canada, Spain and Australia and to the 2012 season, when it is proposed to hold the inaugural SEIKO 29erXX World Championship in Riva Del Garda, Italy in September.
SEIKO and the 29erXX
SEIKO has been the main sponsor of the International 29erXX Class since 2009. Through this agreement, SEIKO has assisted the growth of the sport and has supported the future development of the 29erXX sailing through the supply of funds and equipment to the new generation of sailors. In return, SEIKO has gained valuable insights into the needs and wishes of the top athletes in world sailing, and is incorporating this knowledge into each new generation of Velatura, its marine watch collection.