The 2001 J22 World Championships concluded with Ian Ainslie (RSA) taking the title.
With six wins from nine races he dominated the event that concluded in Port Elizabeth Bay, South Africa on 31st May.
Mark Sadler (RSA) and Michael Giles (RSA) took silver and bronze respectively. The scheduled races 10, 11 and 12 did not take place due to strong winds on the final scheduled day of racing (1st June).
DAY 4. 31 May 2001
Racing gets under way more or less on time in a moderate northerly breeze producing a very testing chop with some wave sets having as many as 6 steep and closely spaced waves each. This was perfect for Ian Ainslie who quickly established a lead of some 100m by the weather mark, with Michael Giles in 2nd place ahead of the rest of the fleet.
With the wind freshening and marginally choppier water, this made the 2nd beat a challenge for the whole fleet, as one missed wave result in a bone jarring slam into the following wave, stopping the boat in its way. Unfortunately the wave size and breeze did not build up enough to get any surfing going, but also did not give anybody a chance to even think of challenging Ainslies position. He finished at least two minutes ahead Giles with Will Voerman (RSA) putting in his best performance of the regatta by working his way up to 3rd place and putting a deserved grin on his face. The first non RSA boat was Tigchelaar (NED) in 9th position, always there but never quite in the money.
With the breeze showing signs of fading, little time was wasted in getting the 2nd race of the day started. The right hand side of the course appeared to be slightly favoured as the wind continued backing to the East. Giles was 1st to the weather mark with Ainslie not far off his stern and Ewald Sternagel (RSA) also up there in the lead bunch, his best performance for the regatta. The wind failed during the second down wind leg and the race officer wisely decided to shorten the race by one beat and finish the boats on the run, leaving Giles in first followed by Ainslie and Sternagel, while Mark Sadler who had looked dead and buried in the following pack some how got out of jail, and slipped through to score a fourth, with young Reuvers on Nordex Jagg-ed (RSA) achieving a very creditable fifth.
Race 10 (abandoned)
After a forty five minute wait and one general recall the race was started in a dying breeze still swinging to the east. The fleet made slow going in the first beat resulting in an abandonment before the first mark was reached, with Ainslie and Felix Scheder Bieschen (GER) looking like they may have reached the mark in the lead.
DAY 5. 1 June 2001
With shipping movement in the harbour and fleet kept on the moorings, the wind increased rapidly in strength as the result of a passing cold front. Reports from the local met office had the wind increasing from an average of 17 knots with 25 knot gusts to 23 knots, with 30 knot gusts and rising. The Bridge Officer decided to call it a day to give a nine race regatta and start the mad dash for the crane.