Monday, July 8, 2013

Aussie Lightening Strikes As F18 Worlds Get Underway

Only one race was held on the first day of racing at the Formula 18 World Championships at Marina di Grosseto in Italy.
Photo: © cdvg/ / FabrizioGandini
It was a spectacular scene at Marina di Grosseto when the colourful sails of over 161 boats representing 27 nations lit up the waters off the Compagnia della vela Grosseto.
Photo: © cdvg/ / FabrizioGandini
With a north-west wind of around 12-15 knots and stable conditions throughout the race and an exciting challenge in the final leg of the first heat (yellow fleet and blue fleet), victory went to Australian Olympian Mitch Booth (ESP 1910) in his first major event with his 16-year-old son Jordi. Mischa Heemskerk (NED 1796) finished second ahead of Britain's Hugh Styles (GBR 7).
Photo: © cdvg/ / FabrizioGandini
It was an all-French finish in the second heat (green fleet and red fleet), with Billy Besson and Jeremie Lagarrique on FRA 1796, ahead of FRA 301 with Francois Gabart and Matthieu Vandame. Third place went to Jorden Veenman and Franck De Waard (NED 2010).
Photo: © cdvg/ / FabrizioGandini
After the first race across all fleets was over heavy rain appeared forcing the committee to call the crews ashore where they waited for the wind to reappear. But is wasn't meant to be. Three races are scheduled for tomorrow with the first one slated for midday.

For full results see>>>


Mitch Booth (ESP 1910): "We're very pleased, it's three years since I last raced Formula 18s, and this is the first big event I've competed in with my son. He's only 16, so he still has a lot to learn. But we were lucky, we were in eighth position, we decided to split from the group and we found a gust that pushed us into the lead and enabled us to finish first."

Mischa Heemskerk (NED 1796): "It was a fantastic example of the level of these World Championships. It's great fun racing here, for competitors and spectators alike. We're happy we led throughout the race. The conditions were very tough, and that made it all the more fun. Unfortunately, the storm made it impossible to hold another race, but we'll fight it out tomorrow. The committee has done a great job."

Vittorio Bissaro (ITA 13): "We're happy, that's fine for a first race, it was a good start to the championships. It's a very interesting course, in the first windward leg it favoured those keeping to starboard, then a big turn to port meant everything was back in play again. We missed out, and that's left a slightly bitter taste in our mouth. Now we're ready to fight back."

Gianni Fantasia (ITA 969 and president of the Italian Formula 18 Catamaran Association): "We were a bit unlucky with the weather, but the race was wonderful. Given the level, we're very happy with our result. With such a high-quality field, finishing among the first 10-15 is an excellent result. Demanding course, made even tougher by the number of professionals who are taking part."

Lulu Roseman

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