2006 IFDS Championship - Final Results

Posted by Ralph | 8:39 AM

News from the US Disabled Sailing Team

Well the 2006 Worlds in Perth are over, with the prize giving set for Thursday,Australia Day, here in OZ. With a 12:30 starting time posted by the RC in order to get in 3 races on the final day, lots of energy was buzzing at the club early. Unfortunately, both fleets went out on course to be met by a dying breeze. After a lengthy delay, the Freemantle Doctor decided to show, and 3 good races were held in builing southwesterly winds.

Racing was close, and by late afternoon, the World Champions were decided.On the Sonar course, the British squad led by John Robertson showed their talents, by taking the crown for a second time in a 7 month period. Their consistency around the course all week, topped off by a win in the final race made them undisputedly the best Sonar team at this event.

Second place overall went to the German team skippered by veteran disabled sailor Jens Kroker. Only one point behind the Germans was the Norweigian boat, with helmsman Jostein Stordall. These team were the very same that graced the podium in Sonderborg, Denmark in August of 2005. Rounding out the top 5 were Jamie Dunross a local sailor from RPYC and Dror Cohen and his goldmedal team from Athens.The American team of Jen French, Brad Johnson, and Brad Kendell came 14th overall, but showed steady improvement through the series, and come away from this event with a lot of invaluable experience. This was the first big international event for the team, and their skills were tested by a very strong fleet of sailors.

The depth of talent and experience level of teams at this Worlds Championship was deeper than seen at any other past World Championship.The 2006 IFDS Worlds is being used as a country qualifier for the 2008 Paralympic Games in China. Seven countries qualified out of the Sonar fleet: GBR, GER, NOR, AUS, ISR, IRL and CAN. The next and final qualifier will be in Rochester, NY at the 2007 IFDS Worlds.Our 2.4mR sailors had a very good day on the water - posting some nice finishes.

Nick Scandone had a 1-10-2 in the three races to move him up to 5th overall, and Roger Cleworth had three solid races to finish 8th. The podium finishes were not decided until the final race, and in the end, Heiko Kroeger of Germany edged out Britain's Helena Lucas for the Gold, while Bjornar Erkistad, who had been atop the leaderboard going into the day, struggled during the day but held on for the Bronze. The top 5 were rounded out by Bruce Millar from Canada, and Nick Scandone USA.

The top seven countries in the 2.4mR also have now qualified for China: GER, GBR, NOR, CAN, USA, AUS, NZL.Containers are being packed up today for shipment back to the States in time for the DIsabled Midwinters in St Pete, FL March 23-26. If you haven't yet made plans to attend, get on it! Here is a chance to sail against some great competition, and chat with the sailors about their experiences here in Australia.

So its off to the containers, and then we get a chance to experience Australia Day - said to be much like our 4th of July. I guess we'll have to see how it compares!

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