by Rory Ramsden
The 2011 RS:X World Windsurfing Championship was on the line at Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, Western Australia.
Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) celebrates winning the World Championship - Men’s RS:X World Championship - Perth 2011
Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) went in to the medal race under pressure.
His eighth in the 10th race yesterday had gifted the lead to Pole Piotr Myszka. One point separated them at the start. With medal race points counting double, whoever won this battle would be the World Champion.
The Start boat was moved away from its 'traditional' spot close to the Northern breakwater in Bathers Bay so that the second slalom end gybe mark could be placed right in front of the grandstand.
With the preliminaries dealt with the fleet split in half with the New Zealanders leading the group going right in to the building pressure being delivered by the 'Doctor'. At the top mark for the first time, it was Byron Kokalanis GRE who lead with Ivan Pastor ESP 50 metres back in second and Julien Bontemps FRA third.
These guys were not 'players' in the struggle for supremacy. The battle was further back.
It was the Flying Dutchman who rounded fourth with a clear lead over the two Polish sailors. Przemyslaw Miarczinski was closest. Piotr was effectively out of touch with Dorian and now had to focus on protecting the silver medal position from Pont which he did.
JP Tobin NZL had gone into the medal race trailing Tom Ashley his compatriot and was determined to make it an three. He has beaten Tom in a straight fight twice already this year. Their duel will go on but JP is out to load the deck in his favor by the biggest margin possible.
Tom won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. To displace an established medal winner in the national selection for 2012 will be tough which is why JP has to do more than ever to establish that he is the 'man to pick.
On the other hand spectators are wondering how Przemsylaw can be picked to go to the Games when Piotr beat him to become the 2010 RS:X World Champion and beat him again to take the silver medal at the 2011 RS:X Worlds too.
So Dorian is the 2011 RS:X World Windsurfing Champion, Piotr is second and Nimrod Mashiah ISR take the bronze.
The RS:X Race Committee are to be congratulated for delivering the best possible racing they could. Sometimes in difficult circumstances. A big thank you to them for their hard work and dedication.
Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) celebrates winning the World Championship - Men's RS:X World Championship - Perth 2011
The Perth 2011 organisers are also to congratulated in taking the ISAF Sailing World Championships and moving it forward from 2007 in a big way. There is still more work to be done to bring Olympic sailing into the 21st century in terms of media and technology and perhaps even more fundamentally in defining a clear vision and strategy that will accommodate the sailors desire for great racing, the public's growing appetite for online coverage and the sponsor's desire for TV coverage.
We are moving in the right direction but there's still a long way to go before the sport moves fully into the modern era...
Here are the nations qualified: NED, POL, ISR, NZL, GRE, POR, ESP, FRA, BRA, CAN, GER, CYP, SUI, UKR, ARG, CHN, KOR, JPN, HUN, HKG, CRO, NOR, ITA, LTU, USA, RUS, MEX, AUS
Host Country Qualified by right: GBR
Those to qualify in 2012: COL, BUL, THA, EST, CZE, SVK, TPE, SIN, VEN, DEN, PHI, PAK, LAT, PER, EGY, SLO,
RS:X Men's Top 10
1. NED8 Dorian van Rijsselberghe 33.0
2. POL82 Piotr Myszka 40.0
3. ISR21 Nimrod Mashiah 52.0
4. POL126 Przemyslaw Miarczinski 52.0
5. NZL151 JP Tobin 61.0
6. NZL181 Tom Ashley 64.0
7. GRE8 Byron Kokalanis 66.0
8. FRA6 Julien Bontemps 71.0
9. ESP7 Ivan Pastor 73.0
10. POR75 Joao Rodrigues 86.0
Full results here
RS:X World Windsurfing Championships website