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4 September 2005, 10:19 am
LUKA and LEONCHUK Win The Gold
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49er World Championship 2005
Moscow, Russia

Rodion LUKA and George LEONCHUK (UKR) have won the 2005 49er World Championship in Moscow. Four more races were sailed on the final day yesterday but the top three did not change from the penultimate day.
Rodion LUKA and George LEONCHUK (UKR), Olympic silver medallists went into the final day with a 14 point lead over Chris DRAPER and Simon HISCOCKS (GBR) and never looked like surrendering their position. This is LUKA and LEONCHUK's first 49er World Championship victory although they have twice finished on the podium, in 2001 and 2003. DRAPER and HISCOCKS dominated the qualification series but did not properly recover from a bad first day of finals and have to settle for their third silver medal at a 49er Worlds, having previously finished second in 2002 and 2004.

Third overall went to Pietro and Gianfranco SIBELLO (ITA), despite them having an awful final day, finishing 24 in races eleven and twelve. The SIBELLO's did manage to hold off the charge of 2004 Olympic gold medallists and defending champions Iker MARTINEZ and Xavier FERNANDEZ (ESP) who have posted erratic results throughout the championship. Going into the final day MARTINEZ and FERNANDEZ were in tenth position overall and it is a clear mark of their incredible talent in this class that they should end the day in fourth overall. They certainly went out with a bang, taking the bullet in the final race.

MARTINEZ and FERNANDEZ did indeed finish on equal points with Steve MORRISON and Ben RHODES (GBR) but their race victory gave them the edge in the final standings. The Spanish and the British illustrated again why they are consistently at the top of the 49er rankings with two Spanish teams and three British teams finishing in the top ten. John PINK and Alex HOPSON were the third British team finishing ninth overall after a fabulous final day brought them into the top ten. A 13, two thirds and a fourth boosted the pair into ninth overall and saw Marcus BAUR and Max GROY (GER) slide out to eleventh overall. The second Spanish team was Alberto PADRON and Javier DE LA PLAZA who had mixed results but finished up seventh overall.

Twelve races were sailed in the finals series with competitors counting their points from the qualification series as well.

Final Results - Top Ten

(R1 = points from qualification series)

Pos Nation Helm Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 Pts
1 UKR Rodion LUKA George LEONCHUK 54 3 1 8 9 1 4 12 3 7 13 13 2 104
2 GBR Chris DRAPER Simon HISCOCKS 31 20 9 21 1 24 1 6 DSQ 9 2 10 7 117
3 ITA Piero SIBELLO Gianfranco SIBELLO 64 2 7 10 5 2 3 10 19 10 24 24 8 140
4 ESP Iker MARTINEZ Xabier FERNANDEZ 85 19 8 5 14 5 16 2 2 4 9 11 1 146
5 GBR Stephen MORRISON Ben RHODES 69 5 21 4 2 8 11 11 7 2 21 6 25 146
6 GER Jan PECKOLT Hannes PECKOLT 39 15 5 13 13 15 14 18 24 16 1 5 12 148
7 ESP Alberto PADRON Javier De La PLAZA 79 8 16 3 4 20 2 15 1 18 5 3 24 154
8 DEN Allan NORREGARD CHRISTENSEN Jonatan PERSSON 79 9 RDG(12) 11 3 17 15 1 4 12 10 8 18 164
9 GBR John PINK Alex HOPSON 97 11 20 2 15 4 6 13 8 13 3 4 3 164
10 AUT Nico DELLE-KARTH Nikolaus RESCH 73 1 2 16 7 7 7 DSQ 14 19 11 16 17 171
ISAF, Image: Rodion LUKA and George LEONCHUK © Event Media
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