Extremely close results in two of three classes made for an dramatic finish to the High Liner Foods IFDS Worlds 2014 at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Twenty five countries were represented at the combined world championships for disabled sailors.
In the SKUD-18 class, AUS Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch were tied in points with 2013 World Champions Niki Birrell and Alexandra Rickham at the end of eleven races. The Australians are 2014 World Champions based on four first place finishes compared to three by the British team. Both teams are seasoned competitors. The Australians won the gold medal at the 2012 London Paralympics.
2.4 mR World Champion Heiko Kroeger (GER) - Tim Wilkes
In 2.4 mR racing, there were seven different first place finishers over nine races. Heiko Kroeger of Germany was the only competitor to win two bullets. Kroeger is the 2014 World Championship by the closest of margins. In the overall results, one point separates Kroeger, second place finisher, Helena Lucas of Great Britain and third place, Damien Seguin of France.
The French Sonar team has repeated its victory from last year in Kinsale Ireland. Bruno Jourdren, Nicolas Vimont-Vicary and Eric Flageul won first place based on results from seven races over the Canadian team of Paul Tingley, Scott Lutes and Logan Campbell who won silver.
The winners were honoured at a spirited medal ceremony at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. The talented Australian team is the 2014 winner of the Nations Cup for best overall results. They head home with the Cup and look forward to hosting the next IFDS Combined Worlds which are scheduled to take place at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria in Melbourne Nov. 26 - Dec. 3, 2015.
Regatta chair Heather Robertson commented on the high quality of race management under challenging conditions, referring to several days when the breeze in Halifax harbour was very light. And she also gave a heartfelt thank you to the 150+ volunteers who worked to make the event possible at the RNSYS. 'It could only be accomplished with a massive display of generosity from those who loaned their boats and equipment and hundreds of hours of their time.'
Racing areas were spread throughout Halifax harbour, including one near the city's container port. - Tim Wilkes
Weather conditions played a big role in the number of races in each fleet - Tim Wilkes
Canadian SKUD-18 sailors John McRoberts and Jackie Gay (CAN 058) won the last race of the week. - Tim Wilkes
SKUD-18 World Champions Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS 044) - Tim Wilkes
There were 49 competitors in the big 2.4 mR class. - Tim Wilkes
NOR 1 won two of seven races on the Sonar course - Tim Wilkes