Jonathan and Charlie McKee from the United States won the 49er world championship from Irer Martinez and Xabier Fernandez of Spain

Jonathan and Charlie McKee from the United States won the 49er world championship from Irer Martinez and Xabier Fernandez of Spain. Racing has been very close with the top 25 49er sailors in the world fighting it out over the last three days.

Two races were sailed yesterday (Saturday) morning in the light, shifty breeze that Lake Garda has been known for this week. Racing was then postponed to wait for the wind to fill in and when it looked like it would not materialise racing was cancelled for the day, concluding the world championship and announcing the McKee brothers as the world champions.

Paul Brotherton and Simon Hiscocks were the highest placed British sailors, sailing consistently in the challenging fleet and finishing up in seventh place overall. A slightly disappointing result for fellow RYA Team GBR sailors Alister Richardson and Peter Greenhalgh, who started off the regatta so promising and qualified in second place, then went on to finish 16th overall. Olympic silver medallist Ian Barker sailing with Harvey Hilary finished in 19th position after scoring a number of results in the late teens.

“This Gold fleet has been more competitive than ever before, with any of the 25 sailors capable of winning the championship. It has been a difficult regatta and the RYA Team GBR sailors have not performed as well as they would have liked. On the positive side the sailors have learnt a lot, it has been a regatta where there has been a huge tactical element and also a little bit of luck has been needed in the light, shifty conditions,” commented Olympic Development Squad Manager Stephen Park.

One interesting area for discussion that has come out of the championship is that of sails. From the results the old sails (which will be out of date by 2001) made by North, have proved to be quicker in the lighter conditions. They will be replaced by Neil Pryde sails. Paul Brotherton and Simon Hiscocks were the top boat with this new generation of sail and it will be interesting to see in the future how the developments proceed.

Overall Results

Gold Series (After 9 races, 2 discards (the result in the bracket is the individuals final ranking that is carried over to the Gold fleet series)

1st JONATHAN MC KEE/CHARLIE MC KEE USA 28 pts (9),3,1,14,12,4,4,4,1,2

2nd IRER MARTINEZ/XABIER FERNANDEZ ESP 31 pts (4),5,5,8,1,13,19,2,2,4

3rd LUKA RODION/GEORGE LEONCHUK UKR 41 pts 5),12,2,4,2,5,OCS,14,3,8

Team GBR

7, PAUL BROTHERTON / SIMON HISCOCKS 60 pts (6)13,8,5,10,7,11,10,12,3

16, ALISTER RICHARDSON/ PETER GREENHALGH 101 pts (2),4, BDF,10,17,20,14,16,18, BFD

19, IAN BARKER/ HARVEY HILARY 122 pts (14),21,13,19,21,12,8,15,20,22

20, CHRIS DRAPER/ MARK ASQUITH 123 pts (20),10,20,13,18,16,16,13,17,19