Rollercoaster ride was the best description of the two final races of the RS:X World Championships in Kerteminde, Denmark with victory going to Poland's Piotr Myszka in the Men's class and to Blancha Manchon from Spain in the Women.
Despite the short medal race courses for the top 10 competitors, there were dramatic place changes in both fleets with the final podium positions fluctuating by the minute as each race progressed. Ultimately the winner in each class ended up claiming their title, just a point ahead of second.
The Women's race was held in brilliant sunshine and light to moderate conditions with the wind coming more from the east than it has all week. This led straight into the Men's race by which time the wind had lightened yet more and there were substantial gains and losses with the 10 sailors running into wind holes across the course. For both fleets there was a further challenge as they found themselves negotiating a minefield of weed that had washed into the Bay of Kerteminde after Friday night's torrential rain.
Poland went into the medal race holding the top two positions in the Men's class, their three time Olympic representative Przemyslaw Miarczynski
trailing Piotr Myszka
. But at one point on the first beat eventual winner, Myszka, was last and set to return home without a medal of any colour.
"We started planing, but there was so much weed we couldn't go up because all the time we'd get caught, so I had to put the daggerboard up and then it was 'go, go go'!"
Myszka said of his terrible opening leg. While the right side of the course died on the first upwind leg it came alive on the second and Myszka was fortunate to pull back on this and the final downwind before the slalom home to the finish.
"I had to go maximum and I did it, I won the race and I won everything,"
said Myszka. "I am so excited. I couldn't believe this, but it happened. In the middle of the race I was off the podium but then I came back from nowhere and won the race. I am really happy with my first RS:X Worlds win - hopefully it will not be the last."
This is Poland's first World Championship win in the RS:X, although Przemyslaw Miarczynski won in the Mistral class in 2003.
In the Womens fleet Spains Blanca Manchon
had to dig deep to come from behind and once again the weed seemed to play a part. While she held the lead around the top mark, she lost it on the run and Manchon says it wasn't until the final downwind that she got ahead with only France's Charline Picon
"I trained so hard and I think this may be luck and whether it is or not it is really emotional because my family is here and all the people in Spain are with me....and I'm World Champion!"
In fact the only person more worked up about Manchon's win was her mother Maria Antonia Dominguez, who was competing at this World Championship in the silver fleet.
Rory Ramsden, Chief Operating Officer of the RS:X Class was satisfied with this week of racing in Denmark. "It was difficult to start with, but it has turned out good and who could ask for more? We had some great racing, good wind and the sailors have really enjoyed the racing. Today two good medal races and a dramatic end to a dramatic event. I am chuffed to bits."
For full results and photos visit the event website