by Kathy Large
2014 IFDS World Championship - Three world championship teams have been named in three Paralympic sailing classes. They won their titles at the High Liner Foods IFDS Worlds 2014 regatta held at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Aug. 19-24th.
2.4 mR medal winners - 2014 IFDS World Championships
Heiko Kroeger of Germany is the 2.4 mR champion, winning the victory by the narrowest of margins over his nearest rivals in the final race of the regatta. Canada’s Bruce Millar placed first in that last race, securing a place for Canada in the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
The SKUD-18 World Champion for 2014 is the team of Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch of Australia. The Sonar class World Champion for 2014 is the French team of Bruno Jourdren, Nicolas Vimont-Vicary and Eric Flaguel. The Canadian team lead by Paul Tingley wins a silver medal.
In addition to the champions, other sailors and teams have won spots for their countries to compete in the 2016 Rio Paralympics. A full list of the qualified countries appears below.
The German winner of the 2.4 mR title, Heiko Kroeger wins his eighth world title and holds a silver medal from the London 2012 Paralympics. The SKUD-18 winners, Liesl Tesch and Daniel Fitzgibbon started their campaign for the Rio 2016 Paralympics here at Halifax. They won the gold medal in the 2012 London Paralympics. The Sonar champions won the world title last summer in Kinsale, Ireland and are now repeat champs.
The president of the International Association of Disabled Sailing (IFDS), John Twomey of Ireland described the regatta as prestigious: 'We now have a number of nations that have qualified here in Halifax, Nova Scotia for the 2016 Rio Paralympics.'
Competition was stiff with 24 countries represented at the event. Forty-nine sailors were vying for the 2.4 mR title. Fourteen teams of two raced in the SKUD-18 fleet and eighteen teams of three were on the Sonar course.
The legacy of the High Liner Foods IFDS Worlds 2014 is a fully-accessible sailing club at RNSYS, with new docks, ramps and other facilities built to accommodate any level of mobility challenge. Government partners, corporate sponsors and club members paid for major infrastructure upgrades of $250,000. A long-time club member has also donated a boat that was re-christened and updated as a barrier free Race Committee vessel now named the 'J MacG.' The Sail Able Association of Nova Scotia is based at the RNSYS.
For full results click here
Nations qualifying country places for the Rio 2016 Paralympics: