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29 September 2002, 06:39 pm
Australians Win
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Tornado World Championship and Olympic Qualification Regatta
Marthas Vineyard

Darren Bundock and John Forbes (AUS) are the 2002 Tornado World Champions!
The turned in a brilliant performance with finishes of 2, (6), 1, 1, 2 5, 1, 4 for a total of 16 points. This is the fifth time that John Forbes has won the Tornado World Championship, breaking the record that he set in 2001. Darren Bundock now becomes a 3-time Tornado World Champion. This team is one of the most successful in the history of the class, and they give great credit to Coach Mike "Fletch" Fletcher, who is a champion in his own right.

Olivier Backes and Laurent Voiron (FRA) took second place in the Championship. The 2002 European Champions displayed a consistency that was quite remarkable with finishes of 3, 3, 3, 2, 3, 3, 2, 7 for a total of 19 points.

Mitch Booth and Herbert Dercksen, the 2002 Formula 18 World Champions took 3rd place with finishes of (12), 1, 7, 3, 1, 2, 8, 6 for 28 points.

Tropical storm Isadore passed well to the west of Martha's Vineyard and was also far to the north before the warm front arrived last night. There were periods of gusty west-southwest winds before dawn and a brief lull just before 0830, when the breeze swung quickly into the northwest. By 0900 the northwest breeze was up to 22-25 knots and the prospect for higher winds (and no racing) hung in the balance. But luck was with the Championship today. By 1030 the skies had cleared and the breeze had settled. Race 7 started on time at 1200 in 18-20 knots under bright, clear, sunny skies.

In Race 7, the front of the fleet played the left side of the course looking for flat water and a left shift near the shore of Cow Bay. They found both. The Championship leaders Bundock/Forbes and Backes/Voiron stayed on form, finishing first and second. Two new crews entered the top five, as Echavarri/Paz (ESP), Sonino/Bruni (ITA), and Wilson/Howden (GBR) took third through fifth.

The first attempt at Race 8 was postponed, as the breeze unexpectedly collapsed to just below the 6 knot minimum required in Tornado championship events. Again, luck was with the Championship. The wind backed to the north and built to 13-16 knots. The Race Committee reset the course and Race 8 began just before 1430. The left side remained favoured upwind, but the fleet broke back to the middle of the course halfway down the leeward legs, taking advantage of a knot of tide that was flowing towards Edgartown harbour.

Race 8 was dominated by Sydney 2000 gold medallists Hagara/Steinacher (AUT), they broke away from the fleet and won by a some 200 metres. The French team of Guichard/Espagnon had their best race of the Championship, taking second place. Third place went to the Spanish team of Calavia/Varea. Championship leaders Bundock/Forbes took fourth and the Italian team of Sonino/Bruni had another fine race, finishing fifth.

As the first opportunity to qualify their nation for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the following five nations whose sailors comply with Olympic elegibility requirements have gained an entry to Athens 2004: Australia, France, Austria, Argentina and Sweden. Greece, as host nation for the Games, receives an automatic entry. The next opoortunity to qualify will be at the Olympic Classes World Championship in Cadiz in 2003.

Final Top 10

Position Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Total
1 BUNDOCK / FORBES 2 6 1 1 2 5 1 4 16
2 BACKES / VOIRON 3 3 3 2 3 3 2 7 19
3 BOOTH / DERCKSEN 12 1 7 3 1 2 8 6 28
4 HAGARA / STEINACHER 1 12 12 4 8 1 12 1 39
5 LANGE / ESPINOLA DNF 9 5 12 13 4 6 9 58
6 STRANDBERG / MATTSON 4 8 4 9 11 13 14 11 60
7 KARSENBARG / HEEMSKERK 21 4 21 5 6 8 11 10 65
8 REVIL / GUILLEMETTE 11 5 6 10 7 16 10 22 65
9 GUICHARD / ESPAGNON 8 15 9 17 24 18 9 2 78
10 KIRILYUK / USHKOV 5 20 2 18 9 17 13 15 79
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