After a final day of no racing at the Formula Windsurfing World Championship yesterday, there have been crowned new Men and Women's World Champions.
Following a promising start on the final day in Dranske, racing was eventually cancelled after the breeze failed to materialise to the required strength in which to race and at just after 13:17 the new World Champions; Christine JOHNSTON (GBR) and Steve ALLEN (AUS) were assured of their place in history.
Generally a light wind regatta, things on the Island of Rugen were generally characterised by overcast skies and a wait for wind in the morning, with generally enough building in the Afternoon to achieve some racing.
In the Women's fleet, Johnston showed early promise with a string of first place finishes. Only on the penultimate day was she overtaken by fellow British Windsurfer Lucy HORWOOD after a complicated situation with a protest involving Former World Champions Dorota STASZEWKA (POL), saw her disqualified.
This decision Staszewka's disqualifiction was later reversed and on the final day Johnston claimed victory from Horwood, with Staszewka in third place.
Johnson commented on her victory." I had a strong kick off for the event but then I was struggling to keep Lucy and Dorota behind me. Karin was also very strong. We had the biggest FW women fleet ever here in Dranske on Ruegen and it is good for the sport that we have proven that Dorota is not unbeatable."
In the men's fleet things were a little more cut and dry. A string of top four finishes for Allen, whose only bad result was a 20 place in the penultimate race, which he discarded.
On winning the World Championship, Allen commented on the result. " I have raced a lot in these conditions and I feel good in shifty winds. It wasn't so cold as I thought it would be and we had good wind. We had three days with good racing and two days with not so much wind. We had enough time to rest and the organization was just perfect. It has been my focus the whole year to win this title and the Windsurfing Euro-Cup."
Second placed Antoine ALBEAU was disappointed yet philosophical bout his result. " Again I missed the main goal to win the title. But the level is incredible high and I am very satisfied with my 2nd place. I hoped for some stronger wind. In the lighter winds I cannot present my best performance."
All in all it was a fantastic event for the Formula fleet, especially given the short lead up time for the organisers and all competitors commented on the high level of organisation. The Formula fleet are sure to return to what is being hailed as a fantastic venue over the next 12 months.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.