It was a case of ladies first at the 2003 ISAF World Championship, as the second event to get underway was the keelboat women in the Yngling.
With 41 entries from 18 nations, the fleet saw some of the most renowned keelboat sailors, with experience ranging from America's Cup campaigns, Whitbreads, Match Racing, past Olympians and many past Olympic medallists.
The new event on the Olympic Regatta programme, the keelboat has attracted sailors from a wide range of classes, with the start line including 2000 Olympic Gold Medallist in the Europe, Shirley ROBERSTON (GBR), three times Women's World Match Racing Champion Dorte JENSEN (DEN), America's Cup sailors Hannah SWETT (USA) and Betsy ALISON (USA) on opposing boats, Ruslana TARAN (UKR) double Silver medallist from the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Regattas, to name a few.
For the Yngling sailors, the series provided superb racing conditions, albeit a bit windy on some days, with the fleet sailing as a single group, so a straight series of races with no split was the order of the Championship.
Jody SWANSON (USA), Cory SERTL and Elizabeth KRATZIG had the best opening day, pleasing for them over their four fellow American crews, with a 3, 1. The defending World Champion, Monica AZON didn't find her form, posting a 24 in the opening race, which was then followed by more double-digit results than single.
The second day of racing, saw the fleet starting late after a three and a half hour delay due to lack of wind. Frustration at the postponement converted over to their results for some, with Jody SWANSON obliterating her opening sequence to post a 12, 16 leaving absolutely no margin for error later on in the series. For Hannah SWETT, Joan TOUCHETTE and Melissa PURDY, after a poor opening day, races 3 and 4 saw them gain some ground with a 2, 7 - the first taste of what was to come. But it was the German boat helmed by Ulrike SCHUEMANN who took a superb double-bullet with two consecutive wins to throw them up into first overall.
Day Three Action © Event Media
Meanwhile, another German crew of Kristin WAGNER, Anna HOELL and Veronika LOCHBRUNNER were also making their ascent through the fleet, moving up to fourth, which was further improved on by the end of race 8, when they found themselves in Bronze medal position over Dorte JENSEN. Elsewhere, Jody SWANSON and crew dropped down after some mid-teen results.
Going into the penultimate day, Hannah SWETT had a fairly clean lead that would be safe if she played safe, and with a 1, 12 she almost did. But Ulrike's 4, 1 outclassed her and the final was set to be a sail-off with 1 point between the leading two boats, Ulli sitting one point ahead.
Going into the final race, Hannah and Ulrike knew that they were guaranteed either a bronze, silver or gold medal, and it was the American's who took the initiative to secure the yellow one. After a general recall, it was world ranking leader and recent winner of the Yngling Open World Championships who took the lead, and eventually the gun to post her best result of the series. In very shifty conditions, it was the crews that made the best tactical choices that made the gains, especially as the wind starting to drop. Hannah kept her cool to post a fourth, and with it claim the 2003 Yngling World Championship. Ulrike SCHUEMANN came in to take the Silver, and Dorte JENSEN the bronze.
The 2003 ISAF World Championship offered six Olympic Qualification slots, which go to Great Britain, Russia, Italy, France, Australia and the Ukraine.
To view the day by day reports for the Yngling Class follow the links below:
Races 1 and 2, 14 September 2003
Races 3 and 4, 15 September 2003
Races 5 and 6, 16 September 2003
Ynligng Lay Day, 1 September 2003
Races 7 and 8, 18 September 2003
Races 9 and 10, 19 September 2003
Race 11 and Medal Ceremony, 20 September
Nations Qualified for the 2004 Olympic Regatta