With everything set for a final day show down between the leading four boats the weather gods who had been so benign all week decided this was the time not to play. After two hours of flat calm, huge thunderstorms rolled in down the valley and the call went out to strap down the boats. Torrential rain ensued and with the wind gusting over 30 knots and swinging wildly the race committee made the inevitable decision to call it off.
Steve Lovegrove and Shaun Barber (GBR 762) were crowned World Champions for the first time after an extremely hard fought regatta. They started with a bullet on day one but then collected two discards in the next two races (9th and 23rd) before tightening their game with a string of top four positions. Steve described their approach as 'not losing the regatta' and their conservative tactics allied to excellent pace and boat handling enabled them to steadily climb the rankings to take the lead by the eighth race. Both Steve and Shaun have served their time in the class with over 15 years of combined experience and, although they only pulled the campaign together late in the day, they were considered the team to beat.
Second place was settled on the tiebreak. Defending champions Tim Fells and Richard Dowsett (GBR 758) took second overall on the basis of their two race wins, ahead of Dave Hayes and Sean Dwyer (GBR 749) who had hit a rich vein of form in the last two days of the regatta when they collected eight points to Tim and Richard's twenty. Fourth went to Matt Snedker and Dave Dobrijevic (GBR 736) who looked on their way to the title when winning the penultimate race only to lose their chances with a capsize in the last race.
Overall this was a hugely successful regatta for the class. The level of competition has never been higher with six different race winners in the nine races. Throughout the fleet is enthusiasm and commitment with new faces emerging and coming through to challenge the established teams. Socially too the class is on a high with great camaraderie and committed partying. The fleet even managed two accepted proposals of marriage, one rather impressively made while blasting down wind under three sails including production of a ring!!
The class can now look forward to the fourth World Championships that will be held on Melbourne's Port Philip Bay in early January 2003.
Top 10 Overall
1st GBR 762 Steve Lovegrove and Shaun Barber (1,9,23,4,2,4,1,2,2) 16 pts
2nd GBR 758 Tim Fells and Richard Dowsett (2,5,2,1,16,1,9,7,3) 21 pts
3rd GBR 749 Dave Hayes and Sean Dwyer (9,4,6,11,3,2,2,3,1) 21 pts
4th GBR 736 Matt Snedker and Dave Dobrijevic (4,2,1,10,4,8,4,1,16) 24 pts
5th GBR 725 Matt Searle and Richard Bell (15,3,17,2,1,5,7,11,4) 33 pts
6th GBR 746 Jono Pank and Richard Edwards (12,7,7,3,DNF,6,3,16,7) 45 pts
7th GBR 733 Jonny Ellis and Spike Daniels (8,15,18,6,6,OCS,6,4,5) 50 pts
8th GBR 645 Chris Sallis and Dick Roe (7,20,5,14,12,3,5,12,10) 54 pts
9th GBR 756 Jason Andrews and Marcus Lynch (3,6,8,7,11,11,11,8,DNF) 54 pts
10th GBR 734 Steve Fisher and Neil Barber (6,22,9,12,5,7,10,20,6) 55 pts