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11 July 2005, 01:17 pm
BONNITCHA Becomes First Female Winner
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29er World Championship 2005
San Francisco, California, USA

Australia's Jacqui BONNITCHA is the first woman to win the 29er World Championship with crew Euan MCNICOL after a week of sailing on San Francisco Bay, USA. David O'CONNOR and Scott BABBAGE (AUS) made it an Australian one two whilst local heroes John HEINEKEN and Matt NOBLE (USA) claimed the final podium spot.
While heavy currents and varying wind conditions challenged competitors all week, the 6th annual 29er World Championship delivered on the promise of bringing world class racing to San Francisco Bay. With a field of approximately 140 competitors, the week long event hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club featured a broad range of weather conditions, sailing skills and thrills for both competitors and spectators alike.

The overall fleet included sailors from almost a dozen nations around the world including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, Finland, China, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. 40 races were conducted over the course of the week long competition. After a qualifying series of 16 races (eight for each competitor) which concluded on Thursday 7 July, the fleet was divided into gold, silver and bronze fleets with the top 25 boats competing in the gold class. The final series consisted of ten additional races for the gold class (eight for the silver and six for the bronze).

'With boats crossing at 20 plus knots, crews hiking out on trapezes and day-glo spinnakers the 29er World Championships brought the excitement of first-class, international sailing to San Francisco Bay,' stated Race Developer Paul HEINEKEN of the St. Francis Yacht Club. 'Over the course of the week, the weather varied significantly challenging competitors to showcase a broad range of sailing skill and abilities and attracted significant numbers of spectators to Crissy Field,' he added.

In fourth place overall, Justin VISSER and Simon WHEELER (GBR) claimed the Junior World Championship crown with the Girls' Junior World Championship going to Ashley SIMPSON and Nina VEGGI (USA).

'The St. Francis Yacht Club has a long tradition of promoting youth sailing,' proclaimed St. Francis Yacht Club Commodore Doug HOLM. 'We've seen some fantastic racing this week and we've been honoured to host such strong a strong field of competitors from all across the globe.'

Scott Marx (As Amended By ISAF). Image:© Event Media
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