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8 June 2005, 09:11 am
World's Best Gather In La Rochelle
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Tornado World Championship 2005
La Rochelle, Port des Minimes, France

Tornado sailors are gathering in La Rochelle, France for the 2005 ISAF Grade WC Tornado World Championship from 12-18 June. The Championship is shaping up to be a clash of the titans with all of the top five of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings on the 60 strong entry list for the Championship.
21 nations are due to be represented with Great Britain sending by far the largest team of 13 crews. Even the French, sailing on home waters, currently only have eight crews entered.

Current and two time Olympic champions, Roman HAGARA and crew Hans Peter STEINACHER (AUT) have won the World Championship only once in 1999 and will be looking to add to that tally in La Rochelle. However, in their only appearance in an ISAF Graded event of 2005 they finished a rather disappointing 18 in the ISAF Grade 1 Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères held in April.

All three winners of the ISAF Grade 1 Tornado events held to date in 2005 appear on the entry list. Hyères winners, Xavier REVIL and Christophe ESPAGNON (FRA), will be on home waters and looking for a result to lift them into the top ten of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings. Victory in the ISAF Grade 1 Holland Regatta for Fernando ECHAVARRI and Anton PAZ BLANEO (ESP) was their second of 2005 and lifted them to second in the Rankings. Fighting against the European challenge, 2004 Olympic silver medallists and ISAF Grade 1 Miami OCR winners, John LOVELL and Charlie OGLETREE (USA), will arrive in La Rochelle on a high, after successfully defending their International Catamaran Challenge Trophy last week. The Americans will be aiming to go one better on their runners up spot last year in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

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Roman HAGARA will be
looking to repeat his Olympic
form in the Worlds
© Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images
Darren BUNDOCK (AUS) has enjoyed plenty of success in this competition, counting four World Championship titles, including most recently the 2003 ISAF World Championship in Cadiz, Spain. The 2000 Olympic silver medallist and Holland Regatta runner up is set to pair up with new crew, Aaron WORRALL here in France.

Mitch BOOTH won the World Championship back in 1992 and adds more Olympic experience to the fleet, lining up with crew, Herbert DERCKSEN (NED). New leading team in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, Roland GAEBLER and Gunnar STRUCKMANN (GER), have been the most consistent finishers of 2005, although victory in an ISAF Graded event has alluded them since the International German Championship in 2003.

The only big name currently missing from the entry list is defending World Champion and 2004 Olympic bronze medallist, Santiago LANGE (ARG). However the Argentinean's usually crew, Carlos ESPINOLA (ARG) does appear on the entry list, with helm, Aaron MCINTOSCH.

The first race of the Championship is scheduled for Monday 13 June, with Sunday reserved for measurement, a practice race and the opening ceremony. Ten races are scheduled with the final races and the award ceremony on Saturday 18 June. The Championship also includes the 2005 Tornado Youth World Championship.

ISAF. Image, Darren BUNDOCK has had massive success in the Worlds:© Mark Cole
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