In front of a packed harbour and surrounded by television cameras, it was a terrific end to an excellent Austrian adventure.
During 10-20 May, the ISAF World Sailing Games brought a festival of sailing to Lake Neusiedl, in southeast Austria, with over 700 sailors from more than 60 nations arriving to take part in the action. With the competitors facing off in supplied equipment, this was truly a test of pure sailing skill out on the tricky, shifty conditions on the lake.
The Austrian team went into the racing brimming full of confidence. Laser star and Olympic silver medallist Andreas GERITZER (AUT) explained at the opening press conference that, 'Lake sailing is nothing like sailing on the sea,' and was optimistic that home advantage could prove crucial. Meanwhile Secretary General of the Austrian Sailing Federation George FUNDAK identified four classes in which, 'Austria has a very, very good chance of a medal.'
|Medal Races In Depth|
|Highlights on Sail.TV|
However it was to be Australia, and not Austria who set the pace. The Aussies swept unchallenged through the qualifying series, led by a dominant Laser display from the recent crowned Hyres winner Tom SLINGSBY (AUS). However the 21 year old Aussie was not getting carried away at this early stage, claiming the results from the qualifying series were not important to him, simply, 'The aim is to keep on learning a bit more about the lake.'
Towards the middle of the fleets though the results were everything. A good performance on the final qualifying day would mean a spot in the gold fleets along with some of the World's best. Malaysia's Kevin LIM looked to have missed his opportunity when he capsized at the bottom mark. Forced to gamble he played the middle of the course as the fleet went hard right. The move paid off massively as he crossed the line second to secure his spot in the gold fleet.
The weather through the qualifying series had provided a mixture of big breeze and glassy conditions, with days three and four virtually windless until the late afternoon. The up and down trend continued through the final series, with the first day of the gold fleet racing severely restricted due to very light breezes. However from then on there was wind, and in varying strengths and directions. Day eight brought storms and gusts over 30 knots, light winds followed on day nine, with day ten and the decisive races taking place in a strong 15-20 breeze which dropped through the day. The changeable weather and the tricky, shifty conditions on the lake meant the sailors really had to show their versatility to avoid high scores.
Some of the
|Tom SLINGSBY led the Aussie
charge in the Laser
|The Hobies put on a great
show in Podersdorf
|Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm
PAGE won in the 470
ISAF World Sailing Games
|Sophie DE TURCKHEIM lost out in
the Medal Race to Paige RAILEY
|Ruslana TARAN and Olena
PAKHOLCHYK of the Ukraine
...from the 2006
|ISAF President Gran PETERSSON
at the opening ceremony
ISAF World Sailing Games
Team Racing Champion USA 1
The RS:X windsufers get off to
Spain's Iker MARTINEZ and Xabier
Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadege
The Aussies had excelled in the strong breezes that had dominated the racing days of the qualifying series. However the arrival of the invited sailors from the top of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings brought another influx of talent into the event, with the French team in particular looking strong. The big Austrian hopes of GERITZER and 49er pairing Nico DELLE-KARTH and Nikolaus RESCH also joined the line up, whilst the Spanish team was bolstered by the likes of 49er Olympic Champions Iker MARTINEZ and Xabier FERNANDEZ (ESP) and ISAF Youth Worlds Champion Blanca MANCHON (ESP). Meanwhile in addition to the strong European showing, World Champion and World number one Paige RAILEY (USA) joined the Laser Radial fleet.
Right from the start of the final series a number of trends emerged which would only go on to become more prominent through the week. In the battle for the Kings Trophy, awarded to the best performing nation in Austria, three nations immediately marked themselves out as the front runners. After their performances in the qualifying series it was no surprise to see the Australians challenging at the top, whilst defending champions France were also off to a strong start. The Ukrainians meanwhile were the surprise package, with top performances in both RS:X fleets, the 49er and the Womens 470 putting them at the forefront of the challenge for the Kings Trophy.
In the Team Racing, Great Britain and the USA justified their reputations down in Rust by qualifying for the gold fleet. The Australian team also came up trumps, beating the Brits to second place to guarantee themselves a spot in the decisive races which would now take place in Neusiedl.
With the racing in Austria following on shortly after the ISAF Grade 1 Semaine Olympique Franaise in Hyres, it was clear that many of the top sailors from France were picking up immediately where they left off. RAILEY and SLINGSBY impressed in the Laser Radial and Laser respectively, whilst 49er Olympic Champions Iker MARTINEZ and Xabier FERNANDEZ (ESP) looked to be at the top of their game.
With the strong winds on the second day of the final series 'it was just important to survive' according to Austrias 470 helm Matthias SCHMIDT. World number one Women's 470 crew Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadege DOUROUX (FRA) immediately demonstrated their class to take the early lead. As the week progressed, the French crew maintained their lead, whilst qualifying series winners Elise RECHICHI and Tessa PARKINSON (AUS) emerged as their closest challengers. Meanwhile in the Mens fleet it was Australia who led from France, with World Champions Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE (AUS) having the edge on Benjamin BONNAUD and Romain BONNAUD (FRA). In both fleets the leaders scored much better than their nearest rivals in the final race, meaning they took a slight points cushion into the Medal Race.
There was also a very definite French/Australian theme in the two Hobie fleets. When the wind got up and caused chaos amongst the Hobie Tigers, Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY (AUS) were waltzing to one bullet after another and an eventual twelve point lead going into the Medal Race. In the Hobie 16s, 2002 World Sailing Games Champion Marie DUVIGNAC and crew Pauline THEVENOT (FRA) claimed three bullets in the final four races to move ahead of Annie NELSON and Susan KORZENIEWSKI (USA).
The strong Ukrainian challenge was being spearheaded by Maksym OBEREMKO and Olga MASLIVETS in the two RS:X fleets. Amongst the men however Julien BONTEMPS (FRA) demonstrated fantastic speed on the penultimate day to take two bullets and a seven point lead. In the womens fleet Qiubin CHEN (CHN) was showing fine form in both light and heavy winds to take an eleven point lead into the Medal Race. With Rodion LUKA and Georgiy LEONCHUK (UKR) second behind MARTINEZ and FERNANDEZ in the 49er, the Ukraine had three very strong points scores for the Kings Trophy. Fifth place for Ruslana TARAN and Olena PAKHOLCHYK (UKR) in the Womens 470 fleet gave them a total of 33 points. However with France and Australia both having three crews in the gold medal spots and each also holding at least one second place going into the Medal Races, the battle for the Kings Trophy was set to be a two horse race.
Whilst the Ukrainian sailors were performing brilliantly things were turning sour for the Austrians. HAGARA and STEINACHER had a terrible penultimate day in the Hobie Tiger to rule themselves out of the race for medals, whilst Olympic silver medallist GERITZER failed to even make the Medal Race after getting a yellow flag in Fridays opening race. The only respite for the Austrians came in the Womens 470, where Sylvia VOGL and Carolina FLATSCHER (AUT) put in a strong 5,5,2 performance to move up into the bronze medal position.
Saturday dawned with a gentle breeze over Lake Neusiedl and bright sunshine. A five to six knot south westerly in the morning built through the day, so the concluding race of the World Sailing Games in the Laser Radial got underway in twelve to 15 knots. With a crowd of excited spectators gathered around the pier in Neusiedl, and the television crews and cameramen busily preparing their equipment, the Lasers got racing underway in the first of a series of Australian/French battles, which would ultimately decide the fate of the Kings Trophy.
On a short windward-leeward course, with the start-finish line just a few metres from the pier, the Laser race got underway with SLINGSBY carrying a twelve point lead over his closest rival Thomas LE BRETON (FRA). SLINGSBY never looked troubled as he kept a close eye on his rival, never letting him get away and finishing one place ahead of him to take the title. 1-0 to Australia.
Next up in Neusiedl were the Womens 470 fleet, and this time it was the French leaders PETITJEAN and DOUROUX who controlled their Australian challengers RECHICHI and PARKINSON. The French pair ended a comfortable fourth to take the title and square things up in the Kings Trophy battle. Meanwhile there was disaster for Austria as Sylvia VOGL and Carolina FLATSCHER (AUT) spent their whole race tracking fourth place Emanuelle ROL and Anne-Sophie THILO (SUI) and leaving fifth place Ruslana TARAN and Olena PAKHOLCHYK (UKR) to take second in the Medal Race and with it the bronze medal.
Meanwhile down in Podersdorf there was a major upset in the Hobie 16 Medal Race, where Kerstin WICHARDT and Anja HAFKE (GER) won a light wind race by such a massive margin everyone else missed the time limit and the Germans took the title. Marie DUVIGNAC and Pauline THEVENOT (FRA) dropped to second place and suddenly it was advantage Australia.
Back in Neusiedl, Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY (AUS) quickly pressed the advantage home by sailing to second in the Medal Race to take the Hobie Tiger gold medal. Then France stuttered again as Julien BONTEMPS (FRA) lost his seven point lead by finishing ninth in the Mens RS:X Medal Race and dropping to third overall. Maksym OBEREMKO (UKR) raced to second place and the gold medal. With two gold medals and a silver to Frances one gold, two silver and one bronze, Australia where suddenly within a inch of the Kings Trophy. One more gold would clinch it for them and they had World Champions Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE (AUS) taking a five point lead into the Mens 470 Medal Race. However their nearest challengers were Frances Benjamin BONNAUD and Romain BONNAUD.
First though the 49er Medal Race in Podersdorf saw Olympic Champions MARTINEZ and FERNANDEZ round off a dominant week in Austria to take gold. Next followed the 470s, and the Aussies were not to be denied. WILMOT and PAGE kept their French rivals under wraps right through the race, eventually finishing eighth to their tenth, taking the gold medal and securing the Kings Trophy for Australia.
Meanwhile in the Womens RS:X, Chinas Qiubin CHEN just managed to hold on gold as Lee KORZITS (ISR) fought back to pip Olga MASLIVETS (UKR) to the Medal Race bullet. Second place saw MASLIVETS finish one point off the gold, with CHEN therefore securing the only Asian medal of the event.
The Laser Radial Medal Race brought the Championship to a fitting close, with the tightest battle of all the Medal Races between the defending World Sailing Games Champion Sophie DE TURCKHEIM (FRA) and Laser Radial World Champion and World number one Paige RAILEY (USA). RAILEY held the slight advantage, and whilst DE TURCKHEIM tried boldly to evade the Americans clutches on the first upwind, RAILEY never allowed another sailor between them, hauling in DE TURCKHEIM on the downwind and then never looking out of control as she sailed to seventh place and the gold medal.
She gave the USA their second gold medal, after the USA 1 team of Danny PLETSCH, Caleb SILSBY, Carrie HOWE and Paige HANNON won an incredibly tight team racing final in front of an enthralled audience on the Neusiedl pier. Having beaten the American World Champions in the semis, GBR3 went into the final on a high. In a match filled with up and downs they fought back to level things at 2-2. The final race was equally as close, but the Americans won a furious tacking duel up to the final beat in what proved to be a decisive move.
The racing was over, the French had performed admirably, but ultimately it was the Australians who held their nerve in the Medal Races and lifted the Kings Trophy. The Closing Ceremony saw ISAF President Gran PETERSSON (SWE) formally bring proceedings to a close, with the winners picking up their awards and Australian Head Coach Victor KOVALENKO lifting the Kings Trophy for the first time.
The 2006 ISAF World Sailing Games were over.
ISAF would like to thank the Organizing Committee in Austria, the Austrian Sailing Federation and all the volunteers who helped to make the 2006 ISAF World Sailing Games the success it was.
ISAF would also like to thank Performance Sailcraft Europe, Neil Pryde, Hobie Cat Europe and Nautivela for supplying the equipment that makes the World Sailing Games such a unique event.
Top Ten Results
|4||BRA||Ricardo SANTOS||(26) OCS||17||6||2||2||9||2||4||12||54|
|5||GRE||Byron KOKKALANIS||2||2||(26) DNF||3||5||22||12||13||2||61|
|9||ISR||Nimrod MASHIAH||8||10||15||14||(26) OCS||13||3||3||14||80|
|2||UKR||Olga MASLIVETS||8||3||1||1||(28) OCS||13||1||2||4||33|
|3||ESP||Blanca MANCHON||4||(28) OCS||5||2||13||8||5||5||12||54|
|4||ISR||Lee KORZITS||14||2||(28) DNF||28 DNC||4||3||3||1||2||57|
|6||HKG||Wai Man CHAN||9||6||8||8||7||4||(15)||13||6||61|
|7||CHN||Wei Ming LIU||10||8||(15)||4||5||10||9||9||8||63|
|10||ITA||Flavia TARTAGLINI||(11)||11||11||9||6||1||7||3||22 OCS||70|
|2||FRA||Thomas LE BRETON||3||1||1||2||8||14||(19)||4||14||47|
|3||ARG||Diego ROMERO||2||3||11||8||17||3||(41) DNF||5||16||65|
|10||NZL||Andrew MURDOCH||14||(28)||19||25||24||5||1||2||22 OCS||112|
|2||FRA||Sophie DE TURCKHEIM||3||6||10||3||(37) OCS||2||6||7||18||55|
|1||AUS||Nathan WILMOT||Malcolm PAGE||6||3||(12)||7||3||6.6 RDG||3||12||16||56.6|
|2||FRA||Benjamin BONNAUD||Romain BONNAUD||16||11||4||6||7||3||2||(19)||20||69|
|3||ESP||Francisco SANCHEZ||Alejandro RAMOS||12||18||1||3||13||(23)||16||6||6||75|
|4||RUS||Dmitry BEREZKIN||Alexander ZYBIN||(33) DNF||10||22||2||6||2||14||14||8||78|
|5||FRA||Vincent GAROS||Pierre LEBOUCHER||19||13||(25)||10||8||9||11||9||2||81|
|6||NED||Sven COSTER||Kalle COSTER||2||2||3||16||(24)||17||19||11||12||82|
|7||JPN||Kazuto SEKI||Shoichi YANAGAWA||(33) OCS||21||9||4||4||10||28||5||4||85|
|8||ARG||Matias BUEHLER||Marcos LAMAS||15||9||7||18||(26)||8||15||4||10||86|
|9||POL||Patryk PIASECKI||Marcin JOZEFOWSKI||17||12||2||8||22||4||4||(31)||18||87|
|10||ISR||Gideon KLIGER||Ehud GAL||5||4||21||(33) OCS||27||6||8||7||14||92|
|1||FRA||Ingrid PETITJEAN||Nadege DOUROUX||2||1||(18)||3||8||1||2||1||8||26|
|2||AUS||Elise RECHICHI||Tessa PARKINSON||5||8||6||1||3||4||1||(11)||12||40|
|3||UKR||Ruslana TARAN||Olena PAKHOLCHYK||12||9||1||4||5||(14)||13||5||4||53|
|4||AUT||Sylvia VOGL||Carolina FLATSCHER||(18)||4||5||10||6||5||5||2||16||53|
|5||SUI||Emanuelle ROL||Anne-Sophie THILO||7||(12)||4||8||2||9||6||6||14||56|
|6||JPN||Yuka YOSHISAKO||Noriko OKUMA||10||6||11||2||(19)||17||7||7||2||62|
|7||RUS||Vlada IJIENKO||Natalia GAPONOVICH||(20) DNC||11||2||14||1||7||11||15||6||67|
|8||POL||Katarzyna TYLINSKA||Marta KASZALOWICZ||6||7||3||7||(16)||15||15||13||10||76|
|9||CZE||Lenka SMIDOVA||Elisabeth KRATZIG||1||15||16||(18)||14||2||3||9||18||78|
|10||SLO||Teja CERNE||Alja CERNE||8||5||15||(17)||10||6||8||10||20||82|
|1||ESP||Iker MARTINEZ||Xabier FERNANDEZ||1||1||3||1||4||1||(6)||2||4||2||2||21|
|2||UKR||Rodion LUKA||Georgiy LEONCHUK||2||2||8||(14)||3||3||1||10||2||4||10||45|
|3||ITA||Pietro SIBELLO||Gianfranco SIBELLO||3||8||2||3||2||(9)||3||6||7||1||22 OCS||57|
|4||ESP||Alberto PADRON||Javier DE LA PLAZA||(13)||6||4||8||9||12||4||4||5||5||4||61|
|5||AUS||Nathan OUTTERIDGE||Ben AUSTIN||7||10||7||6||5||5||2||(14)||6||7||6||61|
|6||DEN||Jonas WARRER||Martin KIRKETERP||(16)||4||1||2||7||7||9||1||12||12||8||63|
|7||POL||Marcin CZAJLOWSKI||Krzysztof KIERKOWSKI||10||9||10||4||6||8||(14)||5||1||6||22 OCS||81|
|8||POR||Jorge LIMA||Francisco ANDRADE||4||11||(13)||13||8||2||10||3||9||3||22 OCS||85|
|9||FRA||Emmanuel DYEN||Yann ROCHERIEUX||5||16||(18) DNF||7||1||13||8||13||8||10||12||93|
|10||FRA||Alexandre MONTEAU||Damien GUILLOU||6||14||15||5||13||11||(18) OCS||7||3||9||14||97|
|1||AUS||Darren BUNDOCK||Glenn ASHBY||8||9||1||1||1||(10)||1||1||4||26|
|2||NED||Mitch BOOTH||Herbert DERCKSEN||(17)||16||2||2||4||6||4||2||2||38|
|3||NED||Coen DE KONING||Mischa HEEMSKERK||5||12||8||3||5||(13)||5||3||6||47|
|4||FRA||Yann GUICHARD||Laurent GUILLEMETTE||9||3||11||4||(18)||16||2||4||8||57|
|5||FRA||Xavier REVIL||Christophe ESPAGNON||4||5||5||(21) DNF||10||3||7||5||18||57|
|6||AUT||Thomas ZAJAC||Thomas CZAJKA||1||8||(14)||7.6 RDG||6||9||8||10||16||65.6|
|7||CAN||Oskar JOHANSSON||Kevin STITTLE||7||(13)||7||7||3||4||10||8||20||66|
|8||AUT||Roman HAGARA||Hans Peter STEINACHER||6||2||3||(21) DNF||17||1||16||12||10||67|
|9||GBR||Andy WALSH||Ed BARNEY||3||4||10||5||9||14||(18)||11||14||70|
|10||RUS||Andrey KIRILYUK||Valery USHKOV||16||7||18||(21) DNF||13||2||3||7||12||78|
|1||GER||Kerstin WICHARDT||Anja HAFKE||4||4||3||4||(9)||5||8||1||7||3||2||5||(17)||2||48|
|2||FRA||Marie DUVIGNAC||Pauline THEVENOT||2||(20) DNF||2||1||13||(14)||1||2||3||1||7||1||1||22 DNF||56|
|3||USA||Annie NELSON||Susan KORZENIEWSKI||3||2||(16)||7||3||4||3||4||(10)||2||5||2||3||22 DNF||60|
|4||RSA||Belinda HAYWARD||Kim WILKINSON-DAVIES||6||3||(11)||5||4||1||2||(7)||5||7||1||3||4||22 DNF||63|
|5||AUS||Belinda ZANESCO||Bridget WATERHOUSE||1||5||9||8||2||3||5||(15)||(20) DSQ||4||12||6||6||22 DNF||83|
|6||ITA||Silvia SICOURI||Lara SICOURI||(20) DSQ||1||1||2||5||9||(20) DNF||10||8||14||6||7||2||22 DNF||87|
|7||MEX||Pamela NORIEGA||Andrea MIER Y TERAN||10||(13)||4||11||7||6||7||(17)||2||5||8||4||5||22 DNF||91|
|8||AUT||Sonja ZELINKA||Christine MOSER||9||10||7||3||1||8||4||6||1||10||11||(15)||(15)||22 DNF||92|
|9||AUT||Margit PRETTENHOFER||Claudia MANDL||5||8||13||(15)||11||12||6||8||(20) DNF||6||3||10||13||22 DNF||117|
|10||NZL||Sharon FERRIS||Ashley HOLTUM||(20) DNF||(20) DNF||5||9||6||11||20 DNF||3||4||20 DNF||4||17||7||22 DNF||128|
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