The 2002 49er World Championships have ended in Kaneohe, Hawaii, with fantastic results for team GBR, walking away with Silver and Bronze
The 2002 49er World Championships have ended in Kaneohe, Hawaii, with fantastic results for team GBR, walking away with Silver and Bronze.
The final day was sailed in perfect conditions with 17-22 knots and three very close races. It nearly went all the way-down to the last race, but in the end Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez of Spain took the World Title with a race to spare, but the fight was still on for the Silver and Bronze medal positions.
After the first two races of the final day, RYA team GBR sailors Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks were one point ahead of team mates Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith.
In the final race, it was the Irish who led at mark one with Draper in second place and Brotherton third, but Draper was determined and soon sailed past the Irish and away from the fleet. This bullet in the final race gave him the Silver medal with a 5 point margin.
Draper commented, “I am delighted that we have managed to progress so quickly having only been sailing together for 6 weeks. Our goal was top 15 and we have obviously blown that away, it feels fantastic!”
Brotherton knew he just needed to stay ahead of Santiago Lopez-Vasquez/Javier De La Plaza of Spain in order to take the Bronze medal. Despite having to do a penalty turn shortly after the start for a foul when he attempted a port tack start and misjudged it, Lopez was chasing hard, making places on every leg. Brotherton ended up losing places just by attempting to cover Lopez in the shifty conditions, but did enough to finish 5th and take the Bronze medal.
Brotherton said “I am delighted that it all came together in the end. We achieved and exceeded all our outcome and process goals. I was impressed with my crew Mark’s performance this week, who after only a short time in the boat with me delivered well when it counted.”
Alister Richardson/Peter Greenhalgh finished in seventh place overall, making it three British teams in the top ten. Andy Rice/Harvey Hillary finished 17th overall.
As well as Spain and Great Britain, other competitors qualifying their countries for the 2004 Olympics were; ISAF top world ranked Rodion Luka and George Leonchuk (Ukraine); Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello (Italy); Michael Hestbaek and Rasmus Van Hansen (Denmark); and Pieter Lantermans and Pim Nieuwenhuis (Netherlands).
There are still two more qualifier events prior to the 2004 Games: the 2003 World Championship and the 2004 event.
Gold Fleet Final Series results:
1, Iker MARTINEZ/Xabi FERNANDEZ (ESP) 32 pts
2, Chris DRAPER/Simon HISCOCKS (GBR) 40 pts
3, Paul BROTHERTON/Mark ASQUITH (GBR) 45 pts
4, Santiago LOPEZ-VAZQUEZ/Javier DE LA PLAZA (ESP) 52 pts
5, Rodion LUKA/George LEONCHUK (UKR) 58 pts
6, Pietro SIBELLO/Gianfranco SIBELLO (ITA) 62 pts
7, Alistair RICHARSON/Pete GREENHALGH (GBR) 63
8, Michael HESTBAEK/Rasmus VAN HANSEN (DEN) 69 pts
9, Pieter LANTERMANS/Pim NIEUWENHUIS (NED) 70 pts
10, Morgan LARSON/Ed SMYTH (USA) 73 pts