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1 November 2001, 12:47 pm
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2001 IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championships
St. Petersburg, Florida

Brian Mackie (CAN) won the Sonar Class at the IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championships, whilst Heiko Kroeger (GER) absolutely dominated the 2.4 mR class with eight wins from eight races.
Second in the Sonar Class was Andy Cassell (GBR), and third finished Jens Kroker (GER). In the 2.4mR Class second was Thomas Brown (USA), and third Bjornar Erikstad (NOR).

After five days of challenging sailing, sailors are packing up and heading for home. Many thanks to all of the sponsors - Rolex for great first place trophies, the Hilton hotels for housing athletes and officials, All-Star limo for arranging all of the airport pickup, the City of St. Petersburg with 2500 square feet of new accessible docks, and many more. Sailors and volunteers had a great event, and an exciting awards ceremony.

Throughout the week, winds stayed at a constant 15 knots, dropping only on the last day to a beautiful 8-10. Heavier teams that could transfer from side to side while tacking were at a great advantage over the teams that were more limited in mobility. This was shown with a position shake-up on the last couple of days with Rick Doerr (USA) finishing 2nd and 3rd on Tuesday and Gustaf Fresk (SWE) winning the last race on the Sonar course.

The 2.4 mR fleet was dominated by Heiko Kroeger, who added a second Rolex to his collection and ended the event by saying that the winds were great, and his ideal conditions. Third place finisher Erikstad from Norway received a standing ovation from competitors and officials alike after a challenging week. Sailing a 2.4 mR with hands that spring directly from his shoulders, Erikstad normally prefers lighter air, but was uncertain exactly what to wish for after a series of strong finishes in the heavier air. Brown (USA) lamented the fact that he had not been on the water for more than three days since the Paralympics, but has been enjoying teaching his 17 month old daughter Molly all sorts of new tricks. She hasn't been in a 2.4 mR quite yet, but plans are to introduce her soon.

Many of the sailors will leave their boats in St. Petersburg for the next two months, and then sail in the upcoming Miami Olympic Classes Regatta in January, the 2.4 mR World Championships and Sonar NOOD regatta in February, and the International Disabled Midwinters in April.

Final Results:

Sonar Class, 9 races, 1 discard

1 CAN Brian Mackie 24 pts, 1 2 1 1 (16\OCS) 1 1 1 16\DNC
2 GBR Andy Cassell 31 pts, 4 5 2 2 6 (8) 6 4 2
3 GER Jens Kroker 33 pts, 3 3 7 7 1 3 (16\DSQ) 6 3
4 CAN Ken Kelly 39 pts, 7 4 3 (10\ARB) 7 2 5 2 9
5 IRL John Twomey 42 pts, 6 (7) 6 3 4 6 4 7 6

2.4 mR Class, 9 races, 1 discard

1 GER Heiko Kroeger 8 pts, (1) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
2 USA Thomas Brown 28 pts, 6 4 3 4 2 2 5 2 (15\OCS)
3 NOR Bjornar Erikstad 36 pts, 2 5 (15\DNF) 3 9 4 4 3 6
4 NOR Jostein Stordahl 38 pts, 9 3 5 2 6 3 (15\OCS) 6 4
5 NED Ruud van Holsteyn 42 pts, 4 2 11 9 5 (12) 3 5 3

Serge Jorgensen/News Editor
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