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18 December 2011, 12:16 pm
Spectators Treated To Fantastic Finale At Perth 2011
Dorian van Rijsselberge gets sprayed with Champage
Dorian van Rijsselberge gets sprayed with Champage

Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships
Perth, Australia

Thousands of spectators watched the final four Medal Races on Bathers Bay as the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships drew to a fantastic close.
Not a spare seat was available in the grandstand as the Women's 470, 49er, Men's RS:X and Laser World Championship title was decided.

Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos (ESP) took the Women;s 470 title, Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen clinched the 49er World Championship, Dorian van Rijsselberge came from behind to win the Men's RS:X and Tom Slingsby (AUS) showed his class as he won the Medal Race to seal an emphatic victory in the Laser.

Australia was awarded the IOC President's Cup for collecting the most Gold medals at Perth 2011.

Head Coach of the Australian Sailing Team, Victor Kovalenko, accepted the award telling fellow competitors "we are friends not rivals" and congratulated everyone on the success of the regatta.

Pacheco and Betanzos sailed consistently throughout the regatta to seal the Women's 470 gold medal. Great Britain's Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark led the Medal Race from start to finish to take the silver medal. New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie came through to take the bronze medal.

With an 11-point lead going into the final, Pacheco and Betanzos' seventh place in the Medal Race was enough to secure overall victory. "The others are really good and you have to do a hard job," Betanzos said. "Finally we did it and it was not easy."

Aleh and Powrie exceeded their expectations for the event, finishing third in the Medal Race to clinch the Bronze medal after starting the day in fourth position overall. "We came here just to qualify the country basically, so to come away with a medal is a real bonus," Powrie said. Aleh and Powrie's unexpected success and medal came at the expense of Israel's Gil Cohen and Vered Buskila, whose eighth place in the Medal Race cost them any hope of Bronze.

Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen confirmed their World #1 ranking in the 49er fleet with a World Championship winning performance. Finishing the regatta with 91 points overall, the Australian pair secured Gold ahead of silver medallists Peter Burling and Tuke Blair (NZL). Denmark's Emil Toft Nielsen and Simon Toft Nielsen took Bronze.

"It's amazing,"
Jensen said of the title win. "We haven't had a world title for a couple of years now and in the last one we were second, so it's good to not be the bridesmaids anymore I guess."

Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) capped off an outstanding week of sailing, holding off defending champion Piotr Myszka (POL) to make the RS:X world title his own in the Medal Race. "It means satisfaction for the last three years," van Rijsselberge said when he returned to Bathers Bay beach from the Centre Course. "I have shown that I am on top of the game, so it's really good for me."

With just one point separating van Rijsselberge and Myszka going into the final day of sailing, competition on the water was fierce. But despite his best efforts, the defending world champion couldn't keep his Dutch rival from securing the Gold, with Myszka settling for Silver.

While van Rijsselberge and Myszka battled for Gold, Poland's Przemyslaw Miarczynski and Nimrod Mashich (ISR) fought for Bronze, with the Israeli managing to push Miarczynski out of the top three. Both sailors ended with 52 points overall, but on a count-back Mashich took the bronze.

Slingsby cruised home comfortably on the final day of racing, winning the Medal Race to secure a 19-point victory overall to claim his fourth world Laser crown. In the final race of the regatta, Slingsby somersaulted from his boat into the water in front of cheering fans, lifting the host nation to a table-topping three world titles and leaving a handful of other sailors to battle it out for the other two podium spots.

On his fourth world title, Slingsby said, "This is definitely one of the best. Sailing, you're often off in the ocean and no one can see but to have it here and a grandstand all cheering your name chanting 'Tom', I haven't had that happen before so it's a pretty amazing feeling. You feel like a real sports star.

Great Britain's Nick Thompson collected the Silver medal with a second place finish in the Medal Race and 56 points overall. And New Zealand's Andrew Murdoch came through to secure the bronze medal.

The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships website will bring you results, tracking, live updates and all the latest news both on and off the water.

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