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Fireball World Championship - Gillard and Potts victorious

by Jakica Jesih (As Amended by ISAF) on 26 Sep 2013
Fireball World Championship 2013 © Jakica Jesih
A lot could have changed on the last day of the 2013 Fireball World Championship in Portoroz, Slovenia as Tom Gillard and Simon Potts ventured into the final day with a slender lead.

The wind conditions didn't look too promising in the morning and start was postponed until early afternoon, when the seabreeze was expected. It was around noon when AP went down and fleet was called on water, although the wind didn't properly settle.

Shifty conditions forced the sailors to wait a while before the first start, but the prestart procedure was cancelled after three minutes. The racing course was then moved in search for some better conditions, but 40 degrees difference in the wind direction between the starting line and the upwind mark was obviously much too much.

Finally, after more than two hours of waiting, the conditions were regular again and starting procedure was on, but cancelled with the AP up just 30 seconds before the start of race nine, due to another major wind shift and a huge drop of wind to less than five knots.

It was at 14:40 after which no warning signal could be given on this last day of racing and further waiting didn't offer any prospects of a fair start of the last race, and the race officer sent the fleet back.

Whilst the leader board could have changed it was not to be as Gillard and Potts took the gold medal on 25 points followed by Christian Birrell and Sam Brearey on 27 points and 2013 European champions Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff, who finished third with 34 points.

Gillard and Potts said, 'We're just relieved after today. We didn't have any sailing, although we'd like to. Big thanks to the P&B and everyone else. It's been a long series, we're certain the whole fleet would appreciate the last two races, there're a lot of boats behind us that would be fighting for third, fourth, fifth and sixth, so to get another sailing would've been good. It's a shame that the breeze filled in just when he cancelled the race, so - thank you Event website

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