The Access Class Combined World Championships have concluded in the UK
One final race for each of the five divisions was sailed today in a moderate breeze to conclude the Bruce Wake 2010 Access Class Worlds and SKUD18 International Championships at Rutland Sailing Club.
The winners of the two-person divisions sailed this morning had already been decided before the start. Zoltan Pegan / Eva Mircsev (HUN) had posted 4 wins from 7 heats in the Access 303 and Alexandra Rickham / Niki Birrell won every race over the past 4 days in the SKUD 18s.
Placings for the SKUD 18 podium were also fairly certain as the Michael Cogswell / Liz Foreman (GBR) and Jean Claude Mirc / Gerard Eychenne (FRA) had finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in 3 of the week’s races and had established positions on the leader-board. Rickham & Birrell relaxed a little today, enabling Cogswell & Foreman to post a race win. The French team finished back in 5th place this morning but it was enough for them to hold on to the final podium spot.
The 303 two-person competition for 2nd and 3rd was still open going in to the last race. Kenji Sasahara / Yumiko Suzuki (JPN) had maintained their 2nd position since day two but their 8th today dropped them back to 3rd overall, while Andy Garcia/Ian McNair (GBR) moved up a place. Eiko Takashita / Reiko Kato (JPN), another of the 4 Japanese teams contesting this division, won the final heat.
The breeze lightened off a little for the afternoon session in the single-person classes.
While Angus MacGregor (AUS) secured his Access 2.3 World Championship yesterday by taking another two wins and building a massive 13 point lead, Monique Foster (GBR) and Bruno Pereira (POR) were one point apart last night but a protest hearing went against Pereira and his 6th today was only enough for the Bronze medal.
Two other Portugese sailors finished in the top ten, a great result for a country that only conducted its first National Access Class Championships this year. The APCA selected their top 5 competitors from the event to travel to Rutland to contest the Worlds.
In the Access 303, Zoltan Pegan (HUN) overnight held a single point margin over Chris Ruston (AUS) who was 4 points clear of Gerard Eychenne (FRA). Ruston finished two places adrift of the Frenchman, but it was enough.
“I was not prepared to take on Zoltan today and risk it all”, said the Australian. “I was happy to stay close to Gerard and make sure I held my overall position”.
Magali Moraines (FRA) led the Liberty fleet into the final day from two Australians, Chris Cook and Barry Coates. Cook took the race win, but with Moraines following him across the line, the Championship went to France, with Australians in 2 and 3.
In the Servo divisions, Melvin Kinnear (GBR) had dropped back to third in the Liberty last night but his win today elevated him to equal points with Wilma van den Broek (NED. The tie break went in favour of Kinnear, with one more win during the week. Vera Voorbach (NED) was third. Martin Waller (AUS) won in the Access 2.3 servo.
Rutland Sailing Club and the volunteers of Rutland Sailability have made competitors welcome and comfortable ashore, and the race management team led by PRO Ralph Tingle has done an excellent job in at times difficult conditions. Along with the UK Access Class Association volunteers, they were thanked by IACA President Terry Peek at the presentations ceremony where the major prizes were awarded by Penny Wake for the major event sponsor, the Bruce Wake Trust.
It was also announced that the next Access Class Combined World Championships will be held at Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney, Australia in April 2012.