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14 July 2002, 02:56 pm
Filip Matika (CRO) Takes the Title
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On the downwind

ADT Optimist World Championship
Corpus Christi

With little prospect of wind on the morning of the scheduled final day PRO Mike McCutcheon took the courageous decision to finish out the schedule in the light wind of Friday evening.
Tiredness or nerves meant that few of the leading sailors scored well in this final race but Filip was in the happy position of being able to discard it (and fears of a DSQ from an outstanding protest).

He has sailed an outstanding series with all his scored finishes being in the top ten and a huge 'final' lead of 46 points. The second Croatian winner in three years, he and silver medallist Stjepan Cesic represent the remarkable success in terms of both numbers of Optimist sailors and results achieved since Croatia became independent.

Bronze medallist Eduardo Zalvide (ESP) held on to his position when Jesse Kirkland (BER), product of another rapidly growing Optimist fleet, sailed a discard in the final race.

Nerves were affecting the top girls too. Both Xu Lijia (CHN) and Hannah Mills (GBR) had OCSs in the course of the day but in her other two races the Chinese, top girl at last year's Worlds, scored 1 and 3 to give her a comfortable final margin.

In general the results showed that the emergence last year of Asian sailors at the top end of the fleet was not just due to home-water advantage. Four sailors in the top 20 (two Chinese, a Malaysian and a Singaporean) reflected again the improvement in Optimist sailing on that continent. Another great result from the East (or is it the far west?!) came from Teiki Hacheche of Tahiti in 11th place.

Corpus Christi has not in general produed the strong winds expected (and experienced during the practice period and, ironically, on the team-racing day). But the regatta has offered fair winds to the young sailors of the world and an unforgettable experience of competition in a truly international environment which will remain in their memories for the rest of their lives.

Results

Position Sail No. Name Sg Total Points 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
1 CRO819 Filip Matika Boy 35 4 3 4 1 1 10 1 4 1 -16 1 1 1 3 -20
2 CRO831 Stjepan Cesic Boy 81 3 5 3 1 -30 1 20 13 -50 4 8 4 1 1 17
3 ESP630 Eduardo Zalvide Boy 85 1 2 9 2 13 4 6 3 -39 1 7 -29 3 15 19
4 BER1183 Jesse Kirkland Boy 91 5 9 6 2 13 3 4 26 1 2 (71\OCS) 3 8 9 -44
5 NED2447 Steven leFevre Boy 92 6 1 1 8 6 1 1 1 4 4 -29 -29 29 20 10
6 CHN106 Xu Lijia Girl 103 6 11 1 -24 3 18 5 2 16 13 18 6 (70\OCS) 1 3
7 ITA5984 Luca Dubbini Boy 103 9 14 10 -18 5 8 4 1 7 -37 9 9 16 6 5
8 ITA5961 Fabio Zeni Boy 115 7 9 11 12 12 5 8 6 6 -21 -30 8 4 18 9
9 GBR5047 Hannah Mills Girl 121 12 2 8 12 2 7 3 -30 14 29 14 1 13 (70\OCS) 4
10 MAS80 Chew Xian Jian Boy 129 14 24 11 1 2 2 -48 -37 6 2 29 4 30 3 1

Robert Wilkes/News Editor
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