Australians win the SEIKO 49er European Championship in Helsinki
Two-time world champion Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen from New South Wales, Australia came from behind to win the 49er Open European Championship in Helsinki, Finland on July 13, 2011. They had been in fourth after the opening day of racing but slowly moved up through the field to win the gold medal. Runners-up Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign from the UK were the leading European team and the bronze medal was taken by the Danish team of Simon and Emil Toft Nielsen.
Sixty-five teams from twenty one nations competed in the 2011 SEIKO 49er European Championship, which were held in sheltered waters very close to the center of the city of Helsinki. The Championship took place over six days of competition and was held in generally light winds, conditions that made for close and exciting racing.
The Championship demonstrated once again how competitive the 49er Class has become. Teams from Austria, Australia, Denmark, UK and Germany all held podium positions at various points and teams from six nations filled the first ten places at the end of the Medal Race that decided the Championship.
The medal-winning sailors received SEIKO Velatura 49er Class Chronograph watches as their prizes. SEIKO has sponsored the International 49er Class Association since 2007 with finance and equipment. The sponsorship has allowed the Class to broaden its appeal and support new sailors from emerging sailing nations to compete in the Class, which is the fastest in the Olympic regatta. SEIKO now looks forward to supporting the Class at the 2011 World Championships in Perth, Australia, in December.