Rio 2016 Men's 470 hopeful Henrique Haddad (BRA), representing the Marinha do Brasil, took the Match Race Brasil victory in Rio de Janeiro. Eight crews competed and Haddad went through the series undefeated to win $23,000 and the Trophy Roger Wright. Samuel Albrecht finished behind Haddad with Marco Grael in third.
Haddad celebrates 2012 Match Race Brasil victory
To avoid delaying the schedule, which was hampered by the absence of winds in the last two days, the race committee changed the formula and gave the title to the crew that totalled the most points in the round robin. All teams clashed in the waters of Rio.
'It's a special time to be champion,' said Henrique Haddad. 'Things were not easy even though we were sailing at home, in the Guanabara Bay. The wind was weak in most of the championship, but our performance was impressive. We had to win almost everything to take the title.' Haddad will now fight for a spot in the Olympic 470, in 2016. 'My focus is to compete in the Games in Brazil in the 470 class and continue to sail on other boats to gain further experience and race pace.'
The event welcomed the first female team in the history of the event with Renata Decnop skippering the team. Decnop took two wins overall to finish in seventh place. 'We are getting closer to the boys,' said Decnop. 'With more training we can improve this further. We won more respect and it was cool not to finish last.' Decnop will campaign in the Women's 470 with Isabel Swan for Rio 2016.
1. Marinha do Brasil (Henrique Haddad) - 7.5 points
2. Veleiros do Sul (Samuel Albrecht) - 6 points
3. Rio Yacht Club (Marco Grael) - 4.5 points
4. Búzios Vela Clube (Alexandre Saldanha) - 4 points
5. Yacht Club Ilhabela (Maurício Santa Cruz) - 3.25 points
6. Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro (Thomas Low-Beer) - 3 points
7. Ciaga (Renata Decnop) - 2 points
8. Clube Naval Charitas (Rafael Pariz) - 1.25 points
Match Race Brasil website