Despite cold temperature and heavy rain, 2023 edition of F18 Worlds has been a very successful and contested one, with no less than 10 teams challenging the Title, attesting to the good health of the Class.
First, qualification round saw the absolute domination of Pablo Völker & Federico Polimeni (ESP), scoring a close to perfect 2-2-1-2-1-1 series, ahead of Gavin Colby & Kai Colman (AUS, 1-5-6-1-4-1).
The serious things then began on the third day, when the fleet was split into Gold and Silver groups.
After Final Day One, where only two races have been completed, Emil Järudd & Rasmus Rosengren, newcomers to the F18 Class but SWE Olympic campaigners, started to assess they were there for good, gaining one bullet and finishing 7th of the second sailed race.
French team Bader/Peters showed they were eager to claim for the title too, scoring 2nd of the first final race, but being then scored BFD, being too greedy on the starting line…
It was tense fight behind the leaders between a group of seven teams, including Hans & Marius van Dam (NED), Gavin Colby/Kai Colman (AUS), Patrick Demesmaeker/Gilles Tas (BEL), Brett Burvill/Max Puttman (AUS), Ravi Parent/Henry Lee (USA), Helge & Christian Sach (GER) and Pablo Völker/Federico/Polimeni (ESP) scoring a “bad” 33th in the first race of the day.
Eveything was still possible on Day Two, which was actually the decisive one, with four sailed races, offering one possible discard to all competitors.
Consistent with the previous days, Järudd/Rosengren scored an excellent series of 3-2-7-2, when Bader/Peters got 2-1-3-7, Colby/Colman 5-7-2-(14), Van Dams 17-(30)-5-1, and Burvill/Puttman 8-27-1-10.
Belgian pair Demesmaeker/Tas, virtual second, got a DSQ in 5th Final race, then stepped back to 5th place overall, when Völker/Polimeni, got a crash with severe damage at the leeward gate in last sailed race, loosing every chance to climb on the podium…
Provisional rankings on Thursday evening became actually the final ones, as no race could be possibly sailed on Friday, AP on A being hoisted ashore at 14:45, after a long waiting period, straining competitors patience.
As a conclusion, a truly international and definitely successful event, with no less than four different designs in the Top Five, a pretty good attendance, 21 Mixed teams, 15 Family teams, and this perfect balance between top teams, former Olympians, rookies emerging from youth classes, and pure amateur sailors, resulting in a very friendly atmosphere on the spot.
By the way, it is to notice the true sportmanship of Brett Burvill, builder of the Windrush Edge, kindly offering to repair the broken hull of the Goodall Akurra sailed by Völker/Polimeni… an example to be spread!
Impossible to close this article without heartily thanking Dirk Bleiker and German F18 Association, together with Juan, Patricia, and the whole Grünstrand Team!