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16 July 2007, 10:51 am
Gold For USA
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G4S Tasar World Championship 2007
Phuket, Thailand

The G4S Tasar World Championships, held in Phuket, Thailand from 2-11 July have come to a very successful close. Olympic sailor Jonathan MCKEE and his wife Libby JOHNSON-MCKEE of the USA sailing West Coast Sailing clinched the championship on the last day of competition with a razor slim margin of two points.

West Coast Sailing overcame a very tough patch in the middle of the race to storm home to a great finish. Nine races were held in conditions ranging between 15 to 25 knots - magnificent conditions for racing Tasars.

Until the final two races held on the last day, any of the top three boats could easily have won. The reigning world champions, Australian father/daughter team Rob and Nicole DOUGLASS, sailing Chukkel, faded in those last critical races, finishing a disappointing third and fourth. At the end of the day they were forced to settle for the overall number two spot.

Another Australian boat, Code Flag Z, sailed by Brett YOUNG and Kevin KELLOW, came on strong over their last four races with two firsts and two seconds, but it wasn't enough to stop the MCKEES. Code Flag Z finished a respectable third overall.

The Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Jonathan ROSS, and his team of Paul RIDGWAY and Alistair MURRAY were, 'Ecstatic at the end of the regatta by the way it all came together.' Their gamble of holding the G4S 2007 Tasar World Championships at a distant resort venue, without support from a local yacht club, had paid off beyond their hopes. The benefits of all competitors living in a compact resort setting with the sailing at their doorstep created an unprecedented level of camaraderie throughout the fleet.

The Naming Sponsor, G4S, took sponsorship of the event to a new level with their direct contribution as well as participation throughout the regatta by Gordon BLACKWOOD, Managing Director of G4S Thailand, and Michael TURNER, Regional Director. Strong support from other sponsors including Ronstan, Halcyon Daze, and the Cape Panwa Hotel was evident throughout the event, as was that of the Support Sponsors, Asia web Direct, QBE Insurance. The Tourism Authority of Thailand, and Regatta Manager all played a vital role.

Race management under the experienced guidance of international race manager Kevin WILSON was, according to ROSS, 'absolutely flawless.' Making up for the lack of a host yacht club, Robert WARNES, a noted Phuket sailor, assembled a team of local volunteers who played key roles throughout the regatta. 'We couldn't have pulled it off without them,' noted RIDGWAY.

The social programme was a key element in bringing al participants together, with the daily prizegivings, fun awards and highlights setting the tone. Great prizes were distributed throughout the fleet, while the wit and charm of 'Fun Officer' Alistair MURRAY put special spark into every occasion.

World Tasar Council President George MOTOYOSHI closed the regatta by inviting all participants to compete in the 2009 Tasar World championships to be held in Japan.

Virtually all participants in this year's event well also were talking of a return to Thailand, praising the wonderful service of the Cape Panwa Hotel, and the friendly, welcoming Thai people found everywhere on Phuket.

Jonathan Ross (As Amended By ISAF). Image, The Tasers lined up ashore:© Jonathan Ross
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