An Exciting Finale at the 2010 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championships

An exciting final day of the 2010 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship saw champions crowned in the three Paralympic classes, 2.4mR, Sonar and Skud.

The final day brought fantastic weather with good wind varying from 20 - 30 knots. In all classes the podium positions were still very much up for grabs after seven races.

One Person Keelboat - 2.4mR
Thierry Schmitter (NED) was at his best with this wind. He sailed two fabulous races and crossed the finish line as first in both races. Heiko Kröger (GER) fought back like a tiger and after the first race was still one point ahead of Thierry. A rocket start of Schmitterin the second race made an end to the German dream. Nothing could stop Schmitter as he claimed his second consecutive world title.

Kröger had to settle for silver wtih Megan Pascoe's (GBR) consistent series paying off to give her the bronze medal. 2008 Paralympic gold medallist Paul Tingley (CAN) finished fourth with 2004 Paralympic gold medallists Damien Seguin (FRA) in fifth.

Two Person Keelboat - SKUD
Great Britain's Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrel proved that they could also play the game in stronger wind to claim the Two Person Keelboat title. It wasn't easy for the British team and the first race was neck and neck between New Zealand, Australia, USA and Great Britain. They all gave Rickham and Birrell a hard time and the finished fifth, their lowest score so far at the regatta.

In the final race of the championship, Rickham and Birrel finished fourth which was enough to secure the title. Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett (USA) sailed an extremely strong championship and won the silver medal with Daniel Fitzgibbon and Rachael Cox (AUS) winning bronze.

Three Person Keelboat - Sonar
With seven races completed it looked like the fight for the gold medal was down to the teams from Germany and the Netherlands. Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flaguel and Nicolas Vimont Vicary (FRA) shot off the start line to take line honours in both races and neither of the gold medal contenders could catch them. Jens Kroker and his team from Germany sailed to sixth and eleventh whilst the Dutch team helmed by Udo Hessels finished eighth and third. They both ended the championship with 31 points.

An excellent double second place finish for the British team of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas placed them on equal points wtih the German and Dutch teams. A protest from Hessels against the USA and everyone was holding their breath while the jury deliberated. The outcome was in favour of the Dutch team and their overall points dropped to 30 and the title was theirs. Both the German and British teams had scored two bullets but the excellent final day for the Brits gave them the silver medal on countback.