Laser Radial Worlds titles decided as racing abandoned

Medemblik, Netherlands: No races were sailed today, due to lack of wind, so yesterday’s results stand and new Laser Radial World Championship titles were decided with ten races completed in six days.

The morning brought postponement on shore until about noon. Eager to complete the Final Series and hopeful of more breeze all three fleets sailed out on the IJsselmeer in about 5-6 knots.

Unfortunately, the wind gradually died and the AP flag was hoisted. Everyone waited on the water until 15:00, after which no race could start on the final day. At 14:30, the Silver fleet was sent to shore, at 14:45 the Men’s fleet followed, and finally at 14:55, the Gold fleet headed in.

That done, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Marcin Rudawski (POL) were named the 2017 Laser Radial world champions.

“It’s amazing,” described Bouwmeester. “I so badly wanted to prove that I was worth my Olympic title, and to do it in my home country, to show our sport, to show myself, for the nation…it’s just an incredible feeling.”

With no races completed, the leaderboard remains unchanged and gold goes to familiar champions. Bouwmeester took home her third title of Laser Radial world champion, and Rudawski claimed his sixth Laser Radial World Championship.

In the Women’s, Evi Van Acker (BEL) took silver, and Manami Doi (JPN) rounded out the podium with bronze. Behind Rudawski in the Men’s fleet, Eliot Merceron (SUI) won silver, and Zac Littlwood (AUS) placed third with bronze.

Women’s results after 10 races:
1. Marit Bouwmeester NED 22pts
2. Evi Van Acker BEL 31pts
3. Manami Doi JPN 40pts
4. Mathilde de Kerangat FRA 60pts
5. Brenda Bowskill CAN 64pts
6. Maxime Jonker NED 68pts
7. Daphne van der Vaart NED 74pts
8. Viktorija Andrulyte LTU 81pts
9. Pauline Liebig GER 82pts
10. Agata Barwinska POL 84pts

Men’s results after 10 races:
1. Marcin Rudawski POL 30pts
2. Eliot Merceron SUI 41pts
3. Zac Littlewood AUS 50pts
4. Maxime Mazard FRA 56pts
5. Daniil Krutskikh 66pts
6. Alfonso Fernández ESP 68pts
7. Nicolò Elena ITA 83pts
8. Nik Pletikos SLO 88pts
9. Scott Sydney SGP 92pts
10. Yoshihiro Suzuki JPN 95pts

More information including full results:

From the Australian Sailing Team:

Zac Littlewood is maintaining a measured approach after announcing himself on the international stage by becoming one of the youngest Australians to secure a podium finish at a major regatta.

The 16-year-old from Perth sailed beyond his years at the Laser Radial World Championships in Medemblik, the Netherlands, surprising the world’s best with a stunning third place overall.

Just two days before the open event started, Littlewood finished 10th from 280 entrants at the Youth World Championships and came second in the U17 Division.

“Being the youngest person competing in the event made it even more exciting when I started having some good races, especially two race wins by a reasonable distance,” Littlewood said of the senior regatta, which was won by five-time World Champion Marcin Rudawski of Poland.

“After a tough first day I had to remain consistent and focused as I couldn't afford any more bad races. Even though the fleet at the men's worlds was smaller (than the youth fleet), the competition was just as hard as the sailors were more experienced and strategic.

“Going into this event it was more about learning and gaining international experience, so I'm really stoked with my result.”

Littlewood, who sails out of Fremantle Sailing Club and Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club – and was accepted into the Western Australian Institute of Sport earlier this year – said his goal was now to qualify for the Australian Sailing Youth Team at the Australian Youth Championships in Queensland next January.

In the women’s Laser Radial World Championship, young Queenslander Mara Stransky showed her potential with a second and a bullet in Races 3 and 4 and eventually finished 43rd, while Rio Olympian Ashley Stoddart struggled early but worked her way up to 46th. Zoe Thomson finished fifth in the Silver Fleet, Elyse Ainsworth came ninth and Marlena Berzins 40th.

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