Mussana, OMAN – Odile van Aanholt and Elise de Ruyter (NED) won the 49erFX world title, while countrymen Bart Lambriex and Floris van der Werken took matching golds in the 49er fleet. Both teams are new pairings since this summer, both teams made it hard on themselves on the last day, and both teams came through in the medal race when they needed to.
“It’s been a few years away from the 49er but it’s great to be back,” said Floris van der Werken, who didn’t have confirmation of the win until most of the fleet had finished. “Bart did an amazing job of putting the boat in the right place.”
In the 49erFX, the Dutch pairing proved that a new team can take on the world. Van Aanholt’s and deRuyter’s respective partners were injured leading up to the worlds. But the strong training community in Holland proved that sailors were interchangeable.
Happy and loose on shore throughout the week, and with the support of both their parents on shore, the pair made the win look easy. “We’re so happy with what we’ve done here,” said de Ruyter. “It’s great to be out here in Oman with my father, and Odile with her parents, to celebrate together. But I’m looking forward to going back home, even if the weather is cold, just to do normal things again.”
Helene Naess and Marie Ronningen (NOR) kept their gold medal hopes alive by gaining six points on the dutch in the last fleet race. In the medal race, the Norwegians sailed brilliantly, smoothly gybing into the top three downwind, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Dutch. Double Olympic Gold medalists Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA), were also unable to mount a real challenge, despite passing half the fleet in the last downwind leg and ended up in third.