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20 August 2007, 07:14 am
Controversial Winner Of IMS Worlds
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World Champion Chinook

IMS World Championship 2007
Hankø, Norway

The IMS World Championship finished on 18 August with German winners both in Class 1 and 2, however there was some controversy over the winner in Class 1.
The J/V Evento 36, Beluga Racing Team whose skipper Christian PLUMP insisted he had completed the proper course during the long ocean race, despite the electronic tracking system, witnesses and his own admission to a local sailing magazine suggesting otherwise. It appears he sailed on the wrong side of a mark indicating course limits, which he and the skippers of Fram XV, Unique and Obnoxious Too all mistook as being the rounding mark off the Norwegian South coast town of Kragerø. As opposed to his competitors who were subsequently disqualified, PLUMP did return to round the proper mark correctly, thereby losing valuable time and distance, but apparently having sailed outside course limits, many of his competitors felt that PLUMP and his team also deserved to be penalized. Having said that, Beluga Sailing Team was clearly the fastest boat on the water, and therefore it seems a pity that the crew inflicted this situation upon themselves. Protests against the German boat were thrown out for formality reasons.

As it turned out, Beluga Sailing Team was declared World Champions with one race to spare, and they did not participate in Saturday's final race that was held in perfect sailing conditions 6-12 knots southerly breeze, off the island Hankø on the Norwegian South East Coast. In their absence the Czeck team of Bohemia Express won the race and the World Championship silver, while second in the day's race and the bronze medals overall went to Finland's Alfa Romeo, a sistership from the design office of Botin & Carkeek, Grand Soleil 42R, as was the best Norwegian boat in the fleet, Team Bergen. HM King Harald V of Norway, ISAF President of Honour, had to count his DSQ from the long ocean race and ended sixth overall, after having dominated the heavy air sailing on Wednesday.

Chinook, of Johann FRIEDRICHSEN (GER) dominated class 2 and won deservedly the gold medal, followed by his compatriots on Westwind. Thereafter came four Norwegian boats Felicia IV, Aiming First, Xtreme and Hyak.

The Championship turned out to favour the heavy weather experts as it blew strong southwesterlies throughout the regatta, on Friday the short ocean race even had to be cancelled, mainly due to the heavy seaways that made it extremely difficult to lay starting line and marks without jeopardizing the health and safety of the race management at sea.

Mikkel Thommessen (As Amended by ISAF)
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