Leigh McMillan and Will Howden finish 19th at Tornado worlds in Argentina 12/12/06

The HSBC Tornado World Championship at San Isidro, Argentina, drew to a close on Sunday (10 December), with British sailors missing out on the medals at the final Olympic classes World Championship of 2006.

Skandia Team GBR’s crews struggled to gain control amidst the shifty conditions and muddy brown waters at the Argentinean venue, with 2005 silver medallists Leigh McMillan from the Isle of Wight and Southampton’s Will Howden finishing in 19th place after the nine race series, and teammates Rob Wilson and Mark Bulkeley, based at Weymouth and Portland, right behind them in 20th position.

An already tough series was made worse for Team McMillan-Howden when, on the penultimate day, they were called OCS and suffered a ripped spinnaker, putting any hopes of a comeback beyond their reach.

Andrew Walsh of Cornwall and Loughborough’s Ed Barney were the third ranked British crew in 23rd overall, with Brits Hugh Styles and Tom Peel, in 32nd and Skandia Team GBR’s youngest crew, development squad sailors, Chris Rashley and Marcus Lynch in 33rd from the 47-boat fleet.

The world title was won by the world number seven-ranked Australians Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby, who beat Argentina’s silver medallists Santiago Lange and Carlos Espinola, the Athens bronze medal winners, by a 14-point margin. European Champions Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher claimed bronze for Austria.

A disappointed Howden commented: “Sometimes in sailing you need a bit of luck and this week we certainly haven’t had any of that.

“You only have to look at the Olympic Silver medallists [USA’s John Lovell-Charlie Ogletree] in 27th to see how hard this has been.”