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4 September 2009, 03:52 pm
Bundock and Ashby Win 2009 Tornado Worlds
Darren Bundock (l) and Glenn Ashby at the Beijing Olympic Games
Darren Bundock (l) and Glenn Ashby have won the 2009 World title, with Bundock subsequently retiring from Olympic sailing

Tornado World Championship 2009
Lake Garda, Italy

There was no wind, no races and therefore no surprises on the fifth and final day at the Tornado World Championship, resulting in Australians Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby taking the 2009 World crown.
Overnight leaders Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby (AUS) added another World title to their several existing: Bundock is now seven times Tornado World Champion, three of them with crew Ashby. They are also three times F18 World Champions and Ashby is a six times A-Class World Champion. No shortage of titles here!

For Bundock, this year's Worlds also helped him reach another important decision. With the Tornado missing from the line up of events for the London 2012 Olympic Games (the IOC required the number of sailing events to be reduced from 11 to 10 and the multihull event was the one removed), the two-time Olympic medallist had started a 49er campaign but has now decided against continuing in the skiff. "This week has made it clear for me. I can announce my Olympic retirement, multihulls is my scene and love sailing. The 49er just does not do it for me," Bundock said.

Reflecting on the championship he added, "It has been a fantastic week of sailing and undoubtedly some of the best in my sailing career. Lake Garda is truly a special place for sailing with the cliff faces and picturesque scenery. The lake has not lived up to its reputation of strong wind this week but all the sailors have had a great time.

"It's still a fantastic feeling to win the Tornado Championships, its number seven now. I think it may be quite a while till some one beats that. This year was different, no Olympic or funding pressures we just sailed because we love the boat and had a great time."

Ashby commented, "A great week, yet a sad week for the Tornado Class to see an end of an era for the once Olympic multihull. We had fantastic sailing this week, it was nice to get back on the water and get the old team back together the first time since the Olympic Medal Race.

"We have now won seven World Sailing Championships together and must be close to being Australia's most successful sailing team."

Even though an early start was scheduled for the last day of the 2009 Tornado Worlds the wind did not help and racing was not possible.

Austrians Thomas Zajac and Thomas Czajka, second overall, had their best result ever in a Tornado Worlds and are a promising young team.

"It is really great to be Vice World Champions. I had a really bad climbing accident in March and broke my back and ankles and spent 100 days in hospital so for me it is a great triumph to be back sailing. It was a nice place to sail, but it's a shame about the wind on the final days", says Czajka.

The Greek team of Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis took third place. "We knew that the weather forecast wasn't good for the last two days. So we feel really lucky that we had at least a race yesterday and we got it right. It proved to be critical to our result," said Trigonis.

Carolijn Brouwer (BEL), the retiring International Tornado Association (ITA) President, and crew Jeroen Van Leeuwen (BEL) were fourth, followed by Russians Pavel Kalinchev and Sergey Dzhienbaev in fifth.

"Four years ago I fell in love with Tornado sailing, this week I fell in love with Lake Garda. Although some difficult conditions, the RC did an excellent job in providing us with good fair racing. It was a great week. I am very happy to come fourth in this Championship not having sailed the Tornado since the Olympics and sailing with a new crew Jeroen. It was a great combination and great fun", explains Brouwer.

Roland Gaebler (GER), 2000 Sydney bronze medallist will replace Brouwer as the newly elected ITA President:

"This Championship showed that we have an excellent mix of sailing legends and youth talent. We are very happy to see Thomas and Thomas Vice World Champions behind the world's best multihull sailors Darren and Glenn. But also seeing so many mixed teams shows that Tornado sailing is a sport for all".

Results - click here

Patricia Kirschner (As Amended By ISAF)
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