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Melges 24 World Championship – Swiss Sailing Team dominates

Melges 24 World Championship – The Swiss sailing team received standing ovations at today’s Medal Ceremony after they completely dominated the entire regatta with non-aggressive starts and flawless tactical decisions.

Sailing: When asked, no sailor on the harbour could remember a world championship victory with a massive lead like the one, Christopher Rast and his crew put on the score board at this week’s regatta. 53 points ahead of number two after 12 races is an impressive achievement.

The celebration of the Swiss team during the Medal Ceremony was therefore full of respect of the way Rast sailed the regatta: Patiently and with low risk. His starts all took place away from the crowd, and he took off with clear air in almost every single race, making it easier to sail towards the favored side of the race course.

– We didn’t want to get into those close fights, so we chose a strategy and started somewhere on the line, where we had room to leeward to bear away and accelerate before crossing the line. And we succeeded in almost every race. From then on I just had to do what my tacticians told me, explains Christopher Rast.

Onboard with him was newbie in the Melges class, Pavel Tolonen, who sailed his first Melges regatta at the worlds.

Melges 24 World Championship - Swiss Sailing Team dominates

Christopher Rast wins gold in front of Andrea Racchelli (ITA) and Bora Gulari (USA).Mick Anderson SAILINGPIX.DK

What a great experience to sail with these guys. And to win the world championship in my first Melges regatta is pretty cool. I don’t think many crew guys can say, they have won all the regattas they have sailed – including the worlds, laughs Tolonen, who is stand-in for Rast’s wife who is 23 weeks pregnant.

No races were sailed on Sunday due to lack of wind. Therefore the results from Saturday are final, and Rast can bring home the perpetual trophy to his home in Switzerland.

The organizers of the event in Middelfart have shut down the setup for the regatta, but most tents and gear stays in place, because in only two days another world championship is sailed at Middelfart Marina, when 16 female match-racing teams from around the world start competing on Wednesday.

The races are sailed just off the seawall and spectators can watch and hear the racing taking place just a few metres away. The women’s championship is sailed in the purpose build Match 28’s.

The final races take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Melges 24 – final result af 12 races:

1. Christopher Rast, SUI, 57 point
2. Andrea Racchelli, ITA, 110 point
3. Bora Gulari, USA, 138 point
4. Riccardo Simoneschi, ITA, 150 point
5. Carveth Geoff, GBR, 170 point
8. Michael Hestbæk, DEN, 190 point
13. Kim Christensen, DEN, 223 point
19. Kris Houmann, DEN, 283 point
27. Marc Wain Petersen, DEN, 374 point
28. Peter Warrer, DEN, 376 point
29. Jesper Bendix, DEN, 381 point

by Mick Anderson

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