Sunfish World Championship Photo: Robert Dunkley http://sunfish2009.nassauyachtclub.org
The USA swept the board at the Sunfish World Championship held at the Nassau Yacht Club in the Bahamas, with David Loring taking the 2009 World title.
The Bahamas has ended up being somewhat of a good luck charm for David Loring. The Charleston, South Carolina native won his third Sunfish World Championships in Nassau on Friday 23 October with a net total of 28.6 points. He got his first championship title in 1995 in Abaco, the last time the event was held in The Bahamas.
The gruelling championship came down to the final moments of the last regatta. 'Physically it was as tough as it got. I’ve never been through a Worlds or any regatta at this level where it’s come down to the last 200 yards,' Loring said, 'I was actually losing the regatta as I rounded the last mark. As I made it into the home stretch, I was sixth and I needed to be fourth in order to win overall. I managed to pass three boats in a fight to the finish and ended up coming third in that race to win overall.'
His last minute rally put fellow Americans Paul-Jon Patin (30 points) in second place and David Mendelblatt (32 points) in third.
Three-time Sunfish World Champion Donnie Martinborough was the Bahamas’ top finisher, coming in 13th overall (156 points). Charles Kelly was the second best Bahamian finisher in 23rd place (224 points) and Bahamian junior nationals champion Christopher Sands finished 27th overall (234 points).
'The wind conditions were tough, it blew in excess of 20 knots all week long and it’s ironic, but those kinds of wind conditions aren’t what Bahamian sailors are used to,' said Martinborough, 'We all trained really hard in the usual conditions experienced here, so it was really disappointing for us to be so prepared, but end up with such different wind conditions.'
'These things happen, you can’t predict the weather, and you have to be able to sail in all conditions in order to be the best and that proved to be more than the case this week,' he said, adding, 'I think another week it could have been a whole different outcome because the level of sailing was that good.'
Seventy-two sailors representing 14 countries competed in the event, which was hosted by the Nassau Yacht Club.
'The level of the competition was really good. The top five competitors were fighting until the very last race, which made the regatta really exciting. The hosts did a wonderful job of putting on this event,' said Andres Santana, President Sunfish Class.
The top 10 finishers as well as the first female overall and top finishers in the master divisions were all presented with one of a kind driftwood with bronze sea life sculpture trophies created by Pete Johnston’s Foundry in Abaco.
The Ministries of Tourism and Youth, Sports and Culture and a number of corporate sponsors including Pictet Bank & Trust, Atlantis and Fun Foods Wholesale (Nestle Ice Cream) lent much needed logistical and financial support.