49er (dinghy)

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49er black.svg
Class symbol
49er skiff.svg
Boat
Crew 2 (double trapeze)
Draft 1,447 mm (4 ft 9 in)
Hull
Hull weight 94 kg (207 lb)
LOA 4,876 mm (16 ft)
Beam without wings:
1,752 mm (5 ft 9 in)
with wings:
2,743 mm (9 ft 0 in)
Sails
Spinnaker area 37.16 m2 (400 sq ft)
Upwind sail area 19.97 m2 (215 sq ft)
Racing
D-PN 68.2[1]
RYA PN 710[2]
Current Olympic equipment

The 49er and 49er FX is a two-handed skiff-type high-performance sailing dinghy. The two crew work on different roles with the helm making many tactical decisions, as well as steering, and the crew doing most of the sail control. Both of the crew are equipped with their own trapeze and sailing is handled while "flying".

The 49er was designed by Julian Bethwaite (the son of Frank Bethwaite) and developed by a consortium consisting of Bethwaites, Performance Sailcraft Japan, Peter Johnston, and Ovington boats.[3] The boat has been an Olympic class since it was selected by the International Sailing Federation after a series of trials to be the men's high performance double handed dinghy Sydney Summer Games of 2000. Its derivative featuring a re-designed rig, the 49er FX, was selected by ISAF to be the women's high performance double-hander at the Rio Summer Olympics of 2016.

History[edit]

The 49er's name comes from its hull length of 4.99 metres. It incorporates ideas developed in Julian Bethwaite's 18ft Skiffs, notably the Prime Computer series of boats, which were double handers.[4]

For a controllable and fast gust response, the mast was tuned to deflect from the top downwards with an increase in wind speed, causing the upper main to twist off and flatten, reducing the heeling moment. The use of solid wings, rather than tubes as on similar boats (RS800 etc.), makes it easier for the crew to run across the deck from gunwale to gunwale during maneuvers.

49er skiffs in a race
49ers at the Extreme Sailing Series in Boston harbor preparing to race, 4th of July, 2011

The 49er made its first Olympic appearance at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and has continued to grow in popularity ever since.

With a Portsmouth yardstick Handicap of 710 the 49er is the fastest two person one-design monohull dinghy.

In 2009 the boat received a new rig design, including a larger fully carbon mast (replacing the aluminum mast) and square top (roach) mainsail.[5]

Construction[edit]

As a one design class, the 49er has two licensed suppliers, Mackay Boats in Australasia and Ovington in the UK.

Hull[edit]

The hull is made of Epoxy GRP and foam sandwich laminate with carbon fibre in high load areas. It includes two solid wings, also called racks, that clip into the side to increase righting moment of the trapezing crew.[6] Its length was fixed at 4.99 metres because the ISAF brief for the high performance Olympic class dinghy called for a 5-metre boat, but Tokao Otani, a member of the development consortium, pointed out that there was a tariff in Japan for boats over 5 metres long.[3] It has a fine entry to efficiently transition between the low speed displacement, and high speed planing modes.[7] According to the International 49er class rules, the minimum hull weight including all permanent fittings can not be less than 94.0 kg.[8]

49er at the 2012 London Olympic Games

Spars[edit]

Southern Spars, part of the North Technology Group, is the licensed supplier of the 49er mast. It is a three piece male-moulded assembly made from 100% standard modulus carbon.[9] It is 7.0 meters tall and capable of supporting a combined crew weight up to 165 kg from its dual trapeze. The mast is braced by three sets of shrouds that connect to a fitting on the side of the boat. The crew is able to adjust them by tightening or loosening them, depending on the wind speed and sea states.[10]

The boom is made from an aluminium alloy extrusion.

Foils[edit]

The rudder and daggerboard are made out from a composite of epoxy, carbon and glass, covered by a hard gelcoat surface. The head of each class legal foil carries the embossed 49er logo and the ICA label.[8]

Sails[edit]

The 49er contains three sails: a main sail, jib, and spinnaker. The main and jib are 20 square meters, fully battened and made of reinforced Mylar (film polyester). The main was redesigned in 2007 from a full, curved roach plan to having a square on top in order to provide more sail area and to control more shape adjustment. The spinnaker is 38 square meters in a tri-radial asymmetric shape.[6]

Events[edit]

Olympics[edit]

Men's 49er[edit]

Games
Gold Silver Bronze
2000 Sydney
details
 Finland (FIN)
Thomas Johanson
Jyrki Järvi
 Great Britain (GBR)
Ian Barker
Simon Hiscocks
 United States (USA)
Jonathan McKee
Charlie McKee
2004 Athens
details
 Spain (ESP)
Iker Martínez
Xabier Fernández
 Ukraine (UKR)
Rodion Luka
George Leonchuk
 Great Britain (GBR)
Chris Draper
Simon Hiscocks
2008 Beijing
details
 Denmark (DEN)
Jonas Warrer
Martin Kirketerp
 Spain (ESP)
Iker Martínez de Lizarduy
Xabier Fernández
 Germany (GER)
Jan-Peter Peckolt
Hannes Peckolt
2012 London
details
 Australia (AUS)
Nathan Outteridge
Iain Jensen
 New Zealand (NZL)
Peter Burling
Blair Tuke
 Denmark (DEN)
Allan Nørregaard
Peter Lang
2016 Rio de Janeiro
details
 New Zealand (NZL)
Peter Burling
Blair Tuke
 Australia (AUS)
Nathan Outteridge
Iain Jensen
 Germany (GER)
Erik Heil
Thomas Plößel

Women's 49er FX[edit]

Games
Gold Silver Bronze
2016 Rio de Janeiro
details
 Brazil (BRA)
Martine Grael
Kahena Kunze
 New Zealand (NZL)
Alex Maloney
Molly Meech
 Denmark (DEN)
Jena Mai Hansen
Katja Salskov-Iversen

World Championships[edit]

Men's 49er[edit]

Year
Gold Silver Bronze
2013 Marseille  New Zealand
Peter Burling
Blair Tuke
 New Zealand
Marcus Hansen
Josh Porebski
 France
Manu Dyen
Stéphane Christidis
2014 Santander
details
 New Zealand
Peter Burling
Blair Tuke
 Denmark
Jonas Warrer
Anders Thomsen
 Australia
Nathan Outteridge
Iain Jensen
2015 Buenos Aires
details
 New Zealand
Peter Burling
Blair Tuke
 Australia
Nathan Outteridge
Iain Jensen
 Spain
Federico Alonso
Arturo Alonso
2016 Clearwater[11]  New Zealand
Peter Burling
Blair Tuke
 Austria
Nico Delle Karth
Nikolaus Resch
 Great Britain
Dylan Fletcher-Scott
Alain Sign
2017 Matosinhos[12]
details
 Great Britain
Dylan Fletcher-Scott
Stuart Bithell
 Great Britain
James Peters
Fynn Sterritt
 Austria
Benjamin Bildstein
David Hussl

Women's 49er FX[edit]

Year
Gold Silver Bronze
2013 Marseille  New Zealand
Alex Maloney
Molly Meech
 Brazil
Martine Grael
Kahena Kunze
 France
Sarah Steyaert
Julie Bossard
2014 Santander
details
 Brazil
Martine Grael
Kahena Kunze
 Denmark
Ida Marie Baad Nielsen
Marie Thusgaard Olsen
 Italy
Giulia Conti
Francesca Clapcich
2015 Buenos Aires
details
 Italy
Giulia Conti
Francesca Clapcich
 Brazil
Martine Grael
Kahena Kunze
 Denmark
Ida Marie Baad Nielsen
Marie Thusgaard Olsen
2016 Clearwater[13]  Spain
Támara Echegoyen
Berta Betanzos
 Denmark
Maiken Foght Schütt
Anne-Julie Schütt
 Germany
Victoria Jurczok
Anika Lorenz
2017 Matosinhos[12]
details
 Denmark
Jena Mai Hansen
Katja Salskov-Iversen
 Brazil
Martine Grael
Kahena Kunze
 New Zealand
Alexandra Maloney
Molly Meech

Related boats[edit]

The 49er FX was developed by Mackay Boats to be a women's Olympic class. It consists of a 49er hull, wings, and foils, with a scaled down rig designed to suit the weight of an elite female crew.

The 29er is a smaller, single trapeze trainer to the 49er. It has become popular in North America, Europe and Australia as a fast youth boat. Recently the 29erXX, a twin trapeze version of the 29er, has been produced with a rig very similar to the 49er.

The 59er dinghy was put into production in Australia and the UK in 2002. It is a non-trapeze, 4.7m (15 feet 5 inches) sailing dinghy, rigged with an asymmetric spinnaker. It is designed for a crew weight of 145 kg to 180 kg (320 lb to 400 lb).

References[edit]

External links[edit]