The Dutch team of Coen DE KONING and Thijs VISSER are the 2009 Formula 18 World Champions, winning the title after a drama-packed final day in Belgium.
After a stop-start series, it was another very windy day in Belgium and the action was equally intense.
The gold fleet were decided early in the morning, with Mischa HEEMSKERK
and Bastiaan TENTIJ
(NED) taking the first race of the day just ahead of Coen DE KONING
and Thijs VISSER (NED) with Jean-Christophe MOURNIAC and Alexandre GUYADER (FRA) in third.
and Will HOWDEN
(AUS) won the next race as HEEMSKERK and TENTIJ, seemingly with the title within reach, capsized during a wind gust on the final run. The tension was obivious in race three with a general recall followed by a black flag. HEEMSKERK and TENTIJ again got away well and went on to take the gun.
With the wind gust up to 30 knots the Racing Committee called it a day. Everybody comes back to the beach quickly and more or less in one piece. Except for Adam PIGGOTT and Luke BUTLER (GBR), who capsized and were have difficulties getting their boat upright. Even with the rescue boat it proved impossible to get them back up. In the end they had to remove the mast in the wild seas. Finally they too were back on the beach safe and well.
When the crews returned to the beach there was one final twist in the tail with HEEMSKERK and TENTIJ black flagged in race three along with Billy BESSON
and Arnaud JARLEGAN
(FRA). These two crews plummet down the leaderboard and the World Championship titles goes to the consistent DE KONING and VISSER, with Rob WILSON
and Marcus LYNCH
(GBR) taking second and Hugh STYLES
and Ferdinand WEST (GBR) third.
Results - click here