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The fifth and final day capped what was a spectacular 2011 Techno Windsurfing World Championships.
The final day was a full one with 2 course races and a long distance race on the agenda and the tension could be cut with a knife with multiple world titles up in the air. The long distance race is not part of the overall scoring but was a once in a life time opportunity for many, with the infamous island prison of Alcatraz serving as the leeward mark.
The last day of the regatta followed the trend of oscilating fog banks; one day it's in, the next day it's out. Today's recipe was one filled with blue skies and bright sunshine and the usual 20 mph sea breeze filling up San Francisco Bay. And like all the days prior the current was flooding, which in San Francisco means the sailors must fight against it as they go upwind only to enjoy a high speed sleigh ride off the wind.
Event Video for Day 5 (day 6 including the practice race)
Kieran Martin (GBR 926) started off the regatta on a slow note but from there he only got faster quickly dialing in to what it takes to win in San Francisco. Martin swept the final day with back to back wins vaulting him to a world title.
Martin's teammate Adam Purcell (GBR 62) essentially sailed in the opposite direction of Martin. Purcell led the regatta in the early days of competition only to falter as the week went on. Purcell's day 5 performance left the door open to Israel's Bell Baz (ISR 619) to take his best shot at stealing away the second spot and Bell was up to the task putting up a 3-2 scoring line in the day's final two races. With twelve races sailed however the sailors were able to throw out two of their worst scores which for Purcell happened to be the final two of the regatta. When the math was all tallied up Purcell took the second spot from Bell who settled for third in the Boys Under 17 division. Your top 3 left to right Adam Purcell, Kieran Martin, Bell Baz.
Saskia Sills (GBR 956) continued the strong British performance at these worlds bookending the Under 17 Boys title with victory in the Under 17 Girls. The action in this division was absolutely thrilling with the world title coming down to the final race.(pictured below Saskia Sills)
American Marion Lepert (USA 143) stumbled in the day's final race when she had a chance to lock up the world title. With that it was down to Lepert vs. Sills in a winner take all battle. Sills jumped off to a stellar start just behind the surging Emma Labourne (GBR 719) who had decided to put on the afterburners for her final shot at the race course. Labourne was on fire and Sills was riding her coat tails around the course with Lepert just within striking distance. As they came to the finish line Labourne took the win with Sills taking second and the world title that went with it. Lepert had been in third place the entire race but slightly understood the finish line allowing for Imogen Sills (GBR 561)to slip in to third place. As it all wrapped up it was Saskia Sills taking first, Marion Lepert taking second, and Imogen Sills rounding out the top three. Pictured Left to right Marion Lepert, Saskia Sills, Imogen Sills.
France's Julien Bouyer (FRA 192) simply dominated the Open Division only growing his lead on the day's final two races. Teammate Marc Lavaud (FRA 434) showed he had the speed to beat Bouyer from time to time but the outcome was never seriously in question. (Pictured below Julien Bouyer)
Puerto Rico's Alejandro Monllor's (PUR 1) managed to hold on tight to third place but it was by the slimmest of margins as Japan's Jun Ogawa (JPN 116) was doing all he could to dislodge Monllor from the final podium spot. The two sailors were locked up at 30 points each with the tiebreaker going in Monllor's favor. Julien Bouyer, Marc Lavaud, and Alejandro Monllor wrap up the regatta 1-2-3. Pictured below left to right Marc Lavaud, Julien Bouyer, Alejandro Monllor.
Britain's Emma Wilson (GBR 961) had the World Title in the bag before the day even started but that doesn't mean she slowed down any in the days final races. Shai Blank (ISR 951) sailed well all week and had it not been for a subpar, by her own standards, day one performance she would have had a legitimate shot at the title. Emily Hall (GBR 714) gave it her best shot but in the end could not overtake the Blank's consistent sailing. Eugenia Bologna (ITA 10) was in the hunt all week long but had no wiggle room on the throw outs leaving her in fourth place when it was all said and done. Pictured below the Under 15 girl's podium left to right Shai Blank, Emma Wilson, Emily Hall.
Italian Mattia Onali (ITA 134) took the strategically safe route on the day in the Open Division. With the world title already in his back pocket sailing the final two races could only put himself at risk so he played it safe staying on the beach. Onali had been simply dominant in the final days reeling off 6 straight bullets to seal his title. Artiom Javadav (BLR 766) looked to have second place pretty well locked up but that was until Mikita Tsirkun (BLR 714) decided to go for broke and posted a 1-1 scoring line on the day. Javadav was up for the task however and covered Tsirkun at all turns to ensure his second place spot on the podium. Pictured below left to right Artiom Javadav, Mattia Onali, Mikita Tsirkun.
In the Raceboard action Switzerland's Vincent Huegenin (SUI 9) was in control of his own destiny and he nearly cost himself the regatta. Argentine's Fernando Consorte (ARG 155) saved his best performance for the end taking the final two bullets of the regatta. Consorte however needed help from Frenchmen Jean Asia (FRA 171) in order to beat Huegenin but it was not to be. Huegenin took home top honors with Fernando Consorte in second and Jean Asia (FRA 171) in third. Pictured at right Vincent Huegenin.
In the Women's Open division Japan's Makiko Tanaka took top honors. Makiko is pictured at upper left.
The "Round the Rock" race is something of a tradition here in San Francisco with the first race dating 37 years ago to 1974. Now thats some history. And now part of that history is Joris van Essen (NED 1111) who took the overall win. Julien Bouyer did likewise for the Open Men, while Jean Asia took top honors for the Raceboard Class. Sara Wennekes (NED 203) came out on top for the Girls. Pictured below left to right Julien Bouyer, Jean Asia, Sara Wennekes, and Joris van Essen)
The day concluded with a splendid prize giving ceremony where once again a heartfelt thanks was extended to the St Francis Yacht Club and the plethora of volunteers who have done everything from working the boats, to fixing boards, to helping the kids in and out of the water. A major round of applause was bestowed upon Dennis Deisinger, the primary organizer and driving force for pulling off this very successful event.
More thanks to the support of the Events Sponsors, Zico Coconut Water, The International Windsurfing Association, The Windsurfing Task Force, The Sports Basement, The ISAF, Bic Windsurfing, Waterhound.com, GU Energy, and US Windsurfing. (Pictured below more kids being kids action)
Last but not least a big thanks has to be made for the solid performance of an incredibly professional race committee. Recently anointed St Francis Race head Robbie Dean and his team pulled off an exceptional regatta. The linchpin of their success was the on the water performance Principal Race Officer Darren Rogers. Both of these guys will be first in line to tell you they were only as good as the top notch teams they had working for them.