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Follow the athletes around the world using #sunbrellauncharted and experience the athletic journey through their eyes.

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49er FX – I Have a Need for Speed

If gymnastics and Formula 1 got married and had a baby, the result would be 49er FX racing. In windy conditions, teams of two women–a skipper and crew–scream across the water standing on the boat’s wings with their bodies suspended over the water in a maneuver known as trapezing that helps keep the craft balanced and moving fast.

While sailors love the 49er FX for its speed, it also requires a high level of teamwork. They are in constant motion moving from one wing to the other when turning to keep the boat balanced. Some of the most spectacular moments come when teams round a buoy, transitioning from one wind direction to another, and the crew extends the spinnaker sail – a brightly colored sail that flies at the front of the boat.

Developed as a women’s counterpart to the men’s 49er high performance skiff, the 49er FX requires athleticism, teamwork, balance and courage to sail. Sailors who hope to be competitive in elite 49er FX racing must have excellent core strength and cardio endurance, as well as a mind for racing tactics and strategy.