Norwegian and French sailors victorious at prestigious event in Vilamoura on Portugal’s Algarve

Image of winners' podium in Vilamoura.

Image of winners' podium in Vilamoura. Credit: 49ersailing on Instagram

SAILORS from Norway and France were victorious in the 2023 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 European Championships.

This six-day sailing spectacle was held in Vilamoura on Portugal’s Algarve between November 8 and 13. It is known as: ‘one of the most important international sailing events’.

Helene Næss and Marie Ronningen from Norway won the 49erFX European title, five years after claiming their first victory in the same competition.

Six points behind were Italy’s Jana Germani and Georgia Bertuzzi, who not only collected the silver medal but also secured a place for their nation at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris. Tamara Echegoyen and Paula Barceló from Spain took the bronze.

A smiling Næss commented: ‘It is a good time to be back. We have had our ups and downs but now is a good time to be up, with less than year to the Olympics’.

‘It is nice to breathe again. Yesterday we admitted to each other that neither of us have been sleeping well this week. It has been a tense few days so now it is nice to know that we have won at last’, added Ronningen, according to

‘It is a great feeling to know we have done that for the country, and we are very pleased to have achieved that’, Germani admitted about their second place. ‘Now we have to race in our national trials to see if we can be the team that goes to Paris next year’.

Who won the 49er European Championships?

Victory in the 49er European Championships went to the French pairing of Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros. They pushed Poland’s Dominik Buksak and Szymon Wierzbicki into second place by just 0.4 points to pick up their first major victory in the 49er class.

As the news outlet explained, had the lack of wind not caused the final regattas of the last day to be cancelled then there could well have been a tie between the two boats. The bronze went to New Zealand’s Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie.

‘If the Medal Race had gone ahead, they would have gone in effectively tied and ready to compete in a who-beats-who scenario. Actually, the points were so tight in the men’s 49er that any of the top six would have had a realistic shot at the gold medal’, they detailed.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at