Sailing: France’s Benson and Riou Retain Nacra 17 World Championship Title

France’s Billy Benson and his crew Marie Riou repeated their performance from 2014 by winning the 2015 Nacra 17 World Championships. The event was held at the Kalovig Center in Ronde, Denmark from July 5th to July 10th. In total 8 races along with a medal race were held in two stages where the worst score in the qualifying round was discarded. In total 3 spots were up for grabs for Olympic qualification to nations which have not qualified a boat in this event.

The first day of sailing was cancelled due to low winds, but once sailing begun it was France’s Billy Benson and Marie Riou that dominated the qualifying round by winning four out of the five races and finishing second in the other race. As the boats were split into gold and silver fleets the nations vying for one of the Olympic quotas was cut to nine with Germany, Aruba and Spain occupying the three spots.

More low winds caused only three races to be held for the gold fleet. Benson and Riou won two of those races, but a 23rd place finish on the other race took a large dent out of their lead. The Olympic quotas were decided going into the final Match Race as Germany, Aruba and Spain all finished within the top 10. Benson and Riou placed third in the final race, but it was enough for them to win the overall event with 35 points. Australia’s Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin placed second with 41 points while Netherlands’ Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning took the bronze with 51 points.

All is not over for other prospective nations as qualification for Nacra 17 will continue over various continental qualifiers to be held in 2015 and 2016.

Quotas by Nation

  • Aruba – 1
  • Germany – 1
  • Spain – 1



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