British duo McMillan and Bulkeley go out with a bang on final day of Tornado world championship

RYA Team GBR sailors Leigh McMillan and Mark Bulkeley put in a convincing win on the last day of the Tornado world championship in Palma yesterday to finish the event in fifth place overall.

The final day of racing and the ninth race of the championship finally got underway after four attempts to start the fleet in 20kts of wind. McMillan and Bulkeley got a great start and led the fleet to the top mark as the wind increased to 25kts. The young pair sailed well to keep the boat upright downwind and were still in the lead by the bottom mark from Dutch sailors Mitch Booth and Herbert Dercksen.

The British pair managed to maintain their lead winning the race whilst behind them Booth and Dercksen capsized and dropped to sixth place overall, allowing Olivier Backes and Laurent Voiron of France to take second place.

A ninth place was enough to see Santiago Lange and Carlos Espinola of Argentina crowned the new world champions, with John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree of America taking the silver medal and the 2003 world champions, Australians Darren Bundock and John Forbes, winning the bronze.

McMillan and Bulkeley finished in fifth place, two points behind Fernando Echavarri and Anton Paz of Spain.

The British team summed up their thoughts on the event: “It has been a hard week and the Argentineans have sailed a very consistent series. It is the first time in four years that Bundock has not won and the championship was much closer than in previous years.

“For us it was a case of too much gear failure, a ripped mainsail caused us to retire from a race which became our discard and a broken mainsheet shackle caused our 24th place yesterday. However, there are a lot of positives from the championship and it was certainly nice to finish with a bullet.”

Overall Results

1, Santiago Lange/Carlos Espinola, ARG (1,8,1,(14),4,11,3,2,9) 39 pts

2, John Lovell/Charlie Ogletree, USA (5,1,8,(16),6,16,1,3,10) 50 pts

3, Darren Bundock/John Forbes, AUS (8,7,(30),5,14,2,5,1,8) 50 pts

GBR 5, Leigh McMillan/Mark Bulkeley (12,4,3,3,2,(DNF),8,24,1) 58 pts

51, Jonathan Hutchcroft/Marcus Lynch (51,40,48,(52),44,40,52,46,32) 353 pts

52, Andrew Walsh/Ed Barney (46,48,44,(54),38,41,51,47,40) 355 pts

55, Leo Farrow/Tristan Lamb (40,46,50,45,47,51,58,44,(DNC)) 381 pts

61, John Bernard Ready/Angus Roberts (54,54,(DNC),DNC,DNC,DNF,57,58,DNC) 475 pts