Olivier Backes and Laurent Voiron beat Mitch Booth and Herbert Dercksen to take the European title
Fresh from success at the Hyeres Olympic Classes Regatta last month, Olivier Backes/Laurent Voiron of France continued their winning streak, taking the Gold medal at the Tornado Europeans, Vilamoura, Portugal, from Dutch sailors Mitch Booth/Herbert Dercksen. RYA team GBR sailors Hugh Styles/Adam May finished in eighth place overall, with team mates Rob Wilson/Will Howden in tenth.
Two races were sailed on the final day of the Tornado Europeans, in light conditions of 8-11 knots, sunshine and calm seas. Santiago Lange/Carlos Espinola of Argentina crossed the finish line first in race one of the day, in front of Fernando Echavarry/Antón Blanco of Spain. Styles/May crossed the finish line in ninth place, with Wilson/Howden in 13th. Leigh McMillan/Mark Bulkeley were penalised for starting prematurely, along with a number of other sailors, scoring a black flag disqualification, and with it putting an end to their successful championship, as they would have to count these high points in their overall score.
Race two was won by Olympic Gold Medallists Roman Hagara/Hans Steinacher of Austria, who finished just in front of Lange/Espinola with Backes/Voiron of France in third place. For Hagara/Steinacher it was not enough to see them feature at this event, although it guaranteed them an overall result inside the top ten. Lange/Espinola had the best day of the fleet, adding a first and a second to their already impressive score line, it was enough to see them take Gold in the Open Championship. Backes/Voiron also finished the Championship on a good note, scoring two results inside the top five, which was enough to see themselves crowned as the new Tornado European Champions with Booth/Dercksen taking silver and Dutch team mates Karsenbarg/Heemskerk finishing in bronze medal position.
Styles/May had their worst race result of the Championship in the final race, the race committee called them over the line at the start and therefore they were given maximum points, although this was their discard, it meant that they would have to count one of their 20th places from the beginning of the week, resulting in them finishing in eighth place overall, one place behind the Sydney Olympic Gold Medallists Hagara/Steinacher. Team mates Wilson/Howden also sailed well to finish inside the top ten, in tenth place in the European Championships. McMillan/Bulkeley finished the championship in 19th place with Steven Lovegrove/Martin Sellars in 20th.
Overall results (nine races, one discard)
1, Olivier Backes/Laurent Voiron, FRA (1,4,(8),3,4,2,3,4,2) 23 pts
2, Mitch Booth/Herbert Dercksen, NED (2,5,4,(BFD),1,1,4,5,16) 38 pts
3,Sven Karsenbarg/Mischa Heemskerk, NED (19,1,17,1,2,3,2, (BFD),19) 64 pts
RYA team GBR
8, Hugh Styles/Adam May (20,19,20,4,5,8,6,8,(OCS)) 90 pts
10, Rob Wilson/Will Howden (16,3,16,(18),9,17,18,11,8) 98 pts
19, Leigh McMillan/Mark Bulkeley (5,9,5,13,(DNF),13,12, BFD,26) 138 pts
20, Steven Lovegrove/Martin Sellars (13,(25),12,21,19,20,16,20,21) 142 pts
31, Matthew Eeles/Marcus Lynch (35,24,26,25,28,25,27,34,(OCS)) 224 pts
1, Santiago Lange/Carlos Espinola, ARG (2,2,(16),4,4,13,3,1,2) 31 pts
2, Olivier Backes/Laurent Voiron, FRA (1,7,(10),3,5,4,6,5,3) 34 pts
3, Mitch Booth/Herbert Dercksen, NED (4,9,5,(BFD),1,3,7,6,18) 53 pts