The Laser Radial Women’s World Championship, organised by Oman Sail, concluded today with Anne-Marie Rindom from Denmark securing the overall world championship title.
The 24-year-old Scandinavian representing Horsens Sejlklub in Jutland, managed to stay cool on a somewhat frustrating day dominated by general recalls, and clinch the event from Marit Bouwmeester (NED). They both finished the day on equal points, but two first places in the overall rankings was enough to break the tie in Rindom’s favour.
Fresh from victory at Semaine Olympique Francaise La Rochelle in October, and a win at the Laser Europa Cup in Denmark in the summer, Rindom was on top form right from the start at this event. This former Optimist sailor who won the first race, and sailed a generally consistent series had to discard a 19th place from today.
“It is an amazing feeling to be confirmed world champion. I can hardly believe it. Thankfully I was able to discard today’s poor result!” she said as she stepped ashore.
There is little rest for the new world champion though. “I have one week at home then I am off to Rio for training, followed by Miami for the next World Cup so it is full on for me from now on.”
Rindom was enthusiastic about Al Mussanah as a world championship venue: “It is a perfect place for a championship, great launching and plenty of room for everybody and, most importantly, the conditions are great for sailing.”
Light, shifty conditions and fleets eager to start resulted in a succession of general recalls in both Gold and Silver fleets. The Gold fleet managed just one race before the 15:00 time limit and Silver was unable to start at all.
Bouwmeester (NED), 2014 World Champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist was naturally disappointed about losing her title but a fourth place in today’s race was enough to retain silver.
Evi Van Acker (BEL) representing the Royal Belgian Sailing Club, and ranked world number one, also had a less than satisfactory day.
“It was a frustrating day, I think I was on the wrong side on the first upwind and, although I caught up a lot on the first downwind, I then went up the right side of the beat, and the wind came completely from the left so I lost out there too.
“Overall though, it’s been a great week of sailing with a real mix of conditions which is perfect for this sort of regatta.”
As well as Rindom’s success of being crowned world champion, the star of the show in today’s sole race was reigning Olympic champion – Lijia Xu (CHN). This 28-year-old sailor from Shanghai, who has been off the racing scene for two years with back and knee injury, demonstrated her light wind skills by winning the final race.
From a pin-end of the line start, Xu read the shifts well and had a good first beat. She pulled up the fleet from 3rd on the final round and led fellow Chinese sailor and closest rival, Dongshuang Zhang, across the line.
“Today’s conditions were perfect for me because that is what I am most into. I am glad that most of my feeling is still there. One month ago I wouldn’t even have been able to finish one race in strong winds. The best I could manage was a club race in Weymouth with amateur sailors so I am glad to be where I am now,” said Xu.
“The fitness is just a matter of time and with eight months I am quite confident I can compete for a place at the Rio Olympics.”
The prize giving and closing ceremony, took place at Al Mussanah Sports City in the presence of Her Highness Dr. Muna bint Fahad Al Said – Assistant Vice Chancellor of International Cooperation at Sultan Qaboos University – and Her Excellency Maitha Al Mahrouqi – Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Chairwoman of Oman Sail.
Also present was David Graham, Oman Sail CEO, who, in his closing speech said that hosting major international events in the Sultanate helps to build the country’s profile and the effects of this championship will be visible in Oman for many years to come. “The quality of sailing on show has been incredible, with fierce competition every single day. It is an honour to have welcomed Olympic Champions, medallists, World Champions, the current world number one and many of the sailors who will be lining up in Rio next summer.”
Overall Results (top 10)
Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) 40pts
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) 40pts
Evi Van Acker (BEL) 44pts
Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) 49pts
Josefin Olsson (SWE) 53pts
Lijia Xu (CHN) 84pts
Alison Young (GBR) 101pts
Manami Doi (JPN) 104pts
Maxime Jonker (NED) 110pts
Erika Reineke (USA) 110pts
Line Flem Høst (NOR) 81pts
Isabella Bertold (CAN) 108pts
Andrea Aldana (GUA) 109pts
Susannah Pyatt (NZL) 115pts
Annalise Murphy (IRL) 125pts
Odile Ginaid (BRA) 125pts
Lena Haverland (GER) 137pts
Anna Pohlak (EST) 141pts
Elena Vorobeva (RUS) 151pts
Kanako Hiruta (JPN) 154pts
As well as producing a new world champion, the Laser Radial Women’s World Championships at Millennium Resort in Mussanah acted as a country Olympic qualification event for the Laser Radial class.
After today’s racing, a total of four countries have had their Olympic qualification confirmed.
Countries qualified for the Olympics are as follows:
For results from the Laser Radial Women’s World Championships, please go to: Laser Class Association International Results