Circus Act

Danska 49er-seglarna provar nya cool trick.

Danish 2012 Bronze medallist Allan Norregaard with new crew Anders Thomsen have been testing a rather unconventional form of crewing which landed them in the jury room a few nights ago. Ruled legal by the Int. Jury, Norregaard and Thomsen talked about the theoretical ‘ultimate trapezing’ technique that has been unleashed on the fleet this week on Lake Garda during the SEIKO 49er European Championship.

While sailing upwind, Norregaard passes the tiller to Thomsen, and then climbs up him until he’s standing on his shoulders. Norregaard commented that “it works in stable conditions; 15-20 knots and Lake Garda is the perfect place.” The two of them are so good at it that it looks natural. From a distance it’s hard to tell things are amiss but up close it’s apparent just how much leverage they are creating. This also raises the question of windward/leeward and boat lengths when it comes to mark roundings.

Initially the fleet was upset; some in awe. Some teams have tried to replicate and French coach Nicolas Huguet commented, “Our teams tried and had difficulty; more credit to them.” No doubt there will be discussion in the near future to adjust the Class rules.

Photo by Peter Bucktrout.