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9 July 2007, 07:15 pm
Day 7: World Titles To Brazil And Spain
Star World Champions Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA
Star World Champions Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA

ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007
Cascais, Portugal

The first of the 11 Worlds titles have been decided at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships. Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA) are crowned Star World Champions and gain a Gold Star, whilst Fernando ECHAVARRI and Anton PAZ (ESP) win the 2007 Tornado World Championship.
It has blown an absolute hooley all day long in Cascais, with fierce winds causing the abandonment of every scheduled race. The forecast did predict strong winds, but not the 35 knot blasts that swept across Cascais bay, climbing well over 40 knots on the outer race courses. Just after 19:00 the breeze did drop slightly to just under 20 knots and the Stars went out to sail their Medal Race, but the conditions worsened again and the fleet was sent back to shore.

World Champions

With the Medal Races abandoned, SCHEIDT and PRADA win their first World title in the Star, with the silver going to Xavier ROHART and Pascal RAMBEAU (FRA). British duo Iain PERCY and Andrew SIMPSON (GBR) won the bronze.

ECHAVARRI and PAZ repeat their 2005 Tornado World Championship title. After a terrific week in Cascais, Carolijn BROUWER and Sebastien GODEFROID (BEL) picked up the silver medal, with bronze going to Mitch BOOTH and Pim NIEUWENHUIS (NED).

After the Star Medal Race was abandoned the Medal Ceremonies were held just by the breakwater and the top three crews presented with ISAF Medals. In the press conferences following the Medal Ceremonies, both ECHAVARRI and SCHEIDT admitted the were pleased not to have to race today - as SCHEIDT explained, 'we had a lot to lose and nothing to gain'.

Star World Title #1

SCHEIDT said winning the Star Worlds was 'a dream come true'. After winning eight World Championship titles in the single-handed Laser class, he launched his Star campaign for Beijing with PRADA at the beginning of last year. They have met with instant success, finishing second at last year's Worlds in San Francisco and now claiming the World Championship title in Cascais.

'Me and Bruno have been training really hard for the past two years, but I think it came pretty soon for us and we're really happy,' said SCHEIDT.

PRADA admitted the victory had yet to really sink in, but spoke of his pride in joining such an illustrious list of names engraved on the World Championship trophy.

'To win the Star Worlds, you have maybe one or two chances your whole life, so we are very happy to be part of this club of Star World Champions.'

In response, bronze medallist PERCY joked, 'Bruno said you don't get many opportunities to win a Worlds. Well Robert may have said that ten years ago in the Laser - let's hope he doesn't make a habit of winning in the Star too!'

Gold For Spain

For ECHAVARRI and PAZ this is World title number two and both have come after extremely trying final days. In 2005 they had to use video footage to gain redress for an incorrect black flag ruling in the final race.

ECHAVARRI described the last few nervous hours ashore today, when it looked possible that the breeze might drop enough to fit in the Medal Race, 'The wind started to go down and we start preparing everything to go to the race course. But when we were prepared and everybody thought we were going to sail, it was near the time limit and suddenly the A [AP flag] came up and it was postponed.'

Although he admitted that the team were please not to have to race, he said they were prepared to for any eventuality, 'We've been stressed all day, but that's the game, you have suddenly think you are going to race and try to do you're best.'

Since a fantastic year in 2005, which culminated in the Spanish pair being named ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year, ECHAVARRI and PAZ seemed to struggle to refind that form. However, over the past seven days in Cascais they have been the standout Tornado crew, consistent across all conditions and courses and worthy winner of their second World Championship title.

Tomorrow

The lack of any racing today means there is a fantastic Medal Race in prospect for the Laser Radials tomorrow. Petra NIEMANN (GER) holds the overall lead, but just eight points cover the top six. Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) goes into the Laser Medal Race with a 12-point lead over Mate ARAPOV (CRO).

The 470 fleets will have an extra race tomorrow to complete their qualifying series, whilst their will also be additional racing in the 49ers. The Finn gold fleet have two scheduled races to decide their Medal Race line up as do the Ynglings. The Men's and Women's RS:X fleets are scheduled to complete their first two races in their gold fleets.

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