Argentinians win the 29er World Championship

A day of snakes and ladders for the leaders of the Gold fleet led to an incredibly tight finish with only one point between the final positions overall at the 29er Worlds in Spain, but in the end the title went to Maximo Videla and Tadeo Fanes De Rioja from Argentina.

Positions in the top five switched around throughout the day as the racing was unbelievably close in the choppy waters of El Balis, with three solid races held in 7 to 8 knots of wind.

Italians Alex Demurtas and Giovanni Santi were leading the Championship overall going into the last race by two points, but only three points to third so everything rested on the final race of the series.

None of the top three were positioned well in the first lap of the race, with the mixed Swedish team of siblings Hedvig and Hugo Liljegren looking good in second place, but reliant on big scores for the boats ahead of them.

Argentina, Italy and France clawed away a few positions each to finish the race in seventh, 11th and 13th respectively. They therefore finished in that order overall in the final results and within 5 points of each other over the six-day series. The Swedes came in just behind in fourth overall and top mixed team.

It is a testament to the strength of the 29er fleet that all the teams finished so close on points after 242 boats competed over 16 races in El Balis. Those from the International 29er Class are ecstatic to have held such fantastic close and fair racing under the Spanish sun.

The Women’s category was won by the Spanish team, sisters Paula and Isabel Laiseca who also finished sixth overall and were still in with the chance to win overall entering the final race.

Japanese sailors, Manase Ichihashi and Rinko Goto also sailed a consistent last day, to jump to second overall in the Women’s category. In third is the Irish team Lucia Cullen and Alana Twomey, who also take top Women’s under 17 title. Top Under 17 Men were Hungarians Soma Kis-Szolgyemi and Samuel Juhasz who finished tenth overall.

Club Nautico El Balis, Spain has showed incredible organisation and hospitality, welcoming the largest 29er event in the history of the class.

The International 29er Class is happy and proud to have finished the 2022 World Championships with so many happy sailors, coaches and volunteers as we pass the World’s flag to the 2023 venue of WPNSA, Portland, Weymouth (home of the 2012 Olympic sailing) and look forward to watching the fleet grow over the next 12 months.

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