With no racing on the final day due to heavy winds, the Skandia Team GBR duo, who had recorded results of 2,3,4,5 for their opening regattas of 2008, were left to rue what might have been had they not endured a catastrophic incident at the start of race four which saw their port rudder snap clean off leaving their boat sinking.
Despite an all-night repair session, headed by coach Derek Clark, racing the following day was canned due to lack of wind. But combined with a couple of poor results at the start of the week, Howden and McMillan – who are the RYA’s nominated duo for the Olympics – were never really able to claw their way back up the leaderboard.
Howden said: “The Worlds concluded our ‘Down Under’ tour during which we have picked up a second, third, fourth, fifth and an 18th. Although disappointed with the 18th, this was the first regatta since May last year we have been outside the top five.
“We were hoping and believed we could round the series off with a first, it was not to be this week, but we have learned a lot with our sails and can once again move our sail racing program forward towards the Olympics.”
He added: “It was a great effort by all to get the hulls fixed especially Derek who did a great job. It was a real shame there was no racing the next day after the huge effort to get back on the water.”
Skandia Team GBR pair Andrew Walsh and Ed Barney recorded the top British result at Takapuna, finishing 15th overall with Rob Wilson and Mark Bulkeley 20th.
Reigning champions Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby retained the crown they won in Portugal last year.
2008 Tornado World Championship overall results:
1 Darren Bundock & Glen Ashby (AUS) 34 points
2 Oskar Johansson & Kevin Stittle (CAN) 39 points
3 Yann Guichard & Alexandre Guyader (FRA) 39 points
Skandia Team GBR results:
15 Andrew Walsh / Ed Barney 90 points
18 Leigh McMillan / Will Howden 108 points
20 Rob Wilson / Mark Bulkeley 118 points
25 John Gimson / Stuart Bithell 155 points
31 Tom Phipps / Marcus Lynch 189 points