Worlds RS500 Riva del Garda – English Report

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RS500 Day Five – final day of racing

After a tense day of waiting on the shore – being unable to sail the final day of racing – Brits Tim Wilkins and Heather Martin were given the news that they had won the Magic Marine RS500 World Championships 2012. For Carrie Howe and Mischa Heemskerk (USA) it was all to play for today – they needed to secure two wins on the water to overtake the leaders, and they weren’t far off rising to the challenge. However, it seemed that Tim and Heather had secured enough first places during the week to put them ahead of the US team when the series was completed, since it all came down to a tie-breaker. With one extra first place to count the victory went to Tim and Heather; it couldn’t have been closer for the two teams at the top!

In race one Carrie and Mischa placed second behind rising star Greg Bartlett sailing with his father Paul (GBR), who sailed a brilliant week and did enough to get on the podium to pick up a bronze medal. After making a very clever call in race two Carrie and Mischa snatched first place, overtaking half a dozen boats on the final downwind leg to get in front of the leaders – Bad Boys Barend Hiltermann and Max Blom (NED).

After a little wait in the heat the breeze started to build and got stronger all through the first race and several wind shifts resulted in moved marks (and positions) at almost every leg. Greg and Paul (GBR) sailed fast and just stretched away in free wind chased in vain by the rest of the sailors.

The second race got away in a good breeze and the Bad Boys (NED) were in their element just roaring away straight to the cliffs on the right hand side of the course. They were followed closely by all girl team Wibke Wriggers and Annika Ellerbrock (GER) and Dutch team Michiel Geerling and Hilde van Susante. Two more Dutch teams performed well with Marleen Blomsma and Jody de Jager sailing in the top ranking throughout the race, with Willemijn van Susante and Nick van Alphen sailing into their best position of the week in seventh. The US team Carrie and Mischa worked hard up through the fleet and got ahead of the Bad boys who had a long lead ahead of the fleet. They couldn’t hold on to it and finished in second behind Carrie and Mischa. The race was all about finding the pressure and hitting the (long!) lay line from the cliffs – something the German girls were very successful at, finishing in third place.

Top womens team was Wibke Wriggers and Annika Ellerbrock (GER) who sailed a very consistent series all week to finish seventh overall.

Top youth team was Luca Carlini and Rudolfo Rubino – also top out of nine Italian teams – finishing in eighth place overall.

After the extreme partying last night at an evening hosted by the Dutch sailing team, it was amazing to see everyone looking so fresh this morning and ready to get on the water for the last day of racing.  We heard on the grapevine that it all ended with a midnight dip in the lake – no surprises there!

Tonight is the red, white and blue party in honour of the UK Olympics starting today, and to help celebrate the week of sailing along with the prize giving. It has been a fantastic week sailing and socialising with friends old and new, and early plans are already in place for the 2013 World Championships to be held in Gottskar in Sweden.

Heather Martin

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