Sunfish Youth World Championships have been decided with Jean-Paul de Trazegnies (PER) grabbing the title in the final race by a margin of one point over Kevin van Otterdijk (AHO) in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles.
There were only two races to go with a lead of only two points for the last day’s favourite, van Otterdijk . The 18-year Trazegnies showed some strong sailing during the penultimate race to take the bullet. Just van Aanholt (AHO) was second and van Otterdijk finished third. Van Otterdijk's third place finish put himself and the Peruvian on equal points heading into the final race.
In the deciding race Van Otterdijk started well and went right past the Peruvian to round the first buoy first. But in the second upwind leg Trazegnies passed van Otterdijk again, and went on sailing defensively to make sure he stayed in front to earn the gold medal. For a moment it looked like van Otterdijk might lose his second place as Ivan Aponte (PUR), ranked fourth, protested against him.
The protest committee consisting of judges from Mexico, St. Maarten, Antigua, Curaçao and the Netherlands ruled against the protest. No less than six sailors from Curacao finished in the top ten. Eugene Hendrikx claimed the bronze medal, Just van Aanholt came sixth, Louis Hendrikx finished once place behind in seventh and Deion van Rooijen was ninth.
Alexandra Siebels finished in tenth place and was therefore also the best girl. The top ten also included Ivan Aponte (PUR) finishing fourth, Youth Olympic gold medalist Ian Barrows of the U.S. Virgin Islands finished fifth and in seventh place was David Hernandez Guzman from Guatemala.
Jean-Paul de Trazegnies is no stranger to the sailing world. For years he was part of the Peruvian team successful at the Optimist team racing. This year for the third time he will participate in most prestigious youth event in the world, the ISAF Youth Worlds in Croatia, where incidentally Just van Aanholt will be representing Netherlands Antilles. Event website
* Amended by ISAF