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X-35 World Championships at Malmo, Sweden

by David Pinner 3 Sep 2013 20:48 BST 28 August - 1 September 2013

The X-35 worlds where held in Malmo, Sweden hosted by the Swedish class association and run by the Whyshore, an organization dedicated to promoting yachting in Sweden. 20 boats entered representing 6 countries to sail a 10 race series.

Following the rigorous measurement and weighing day the racing started with a practice race set just off the sea wall to allow viewing by the sponsors and local sailors.

As with all X-35 events the course was windward leeward with a spreader mark at the windward end and gate to leeward.

After a couple of general recalls the fleet got to grips with racing and the early leaders included the two Audi sponsored from boats Finland Audi powered by Samsung Ultra and Audi powered by Samsung E-tron sailed by Samuli Leisti and Teemu Kekkonen respectively, Firefly a local Swedish boat sailed by Johan Lindell and the visiting British boat Kiss sailed by David Pinner.

After a hard fought race the practice race superstitions got the better of the Audi boats leaving Kiss to take the first blood.

Day 1 of the real racing began in 10 knot of wind. The majority of the fleet chose to sail inshore to try hook into the stronger shore based breeze. Team North Sails sportswear (sailed by Mikeal Linqvist) took full advantage of their local knowledge and recorded the first victory of the championship followed in by Team Swegon (Soren Junker) and Audi Ultra in third. As with almost every race the next 15 boats finished within 150m of the winners giving amazingly competitive and exciting racing to all the crews.

The remaining 2 races of the day gave North sales their second victory of the championship with Audi Ultra scoring a first and a second and their team mate Audi E-tron squeezing in a second alongside two other mediocre results.

Day 2 brought similar conditions with sunshine and perhaps a little more breeze.

The first race was dominated from start to finish by Kiss. After leading around the first mark they continued to pull away eventually winning by over 100m from the Swedish Volkswagen sailing team (Klabbe Nylof) and Firelfy.

Races 4 and 5 where won by Northsails sportswear and Firefly leaving Northsails sportswear first overall after 6 races with Audi Ultra second, Firefly 3rd and Kiss 4th.

Day 3 brought a forecast of changeable winds as a new front approached. Racing commenced in a steady 12 knots and was well won by the Swedish boat Nautiska Racing (Douglas Eklund) from Swegon and Northsails.

The second race of the day was unfortunately abandoned on the second lap with Kiss leading to the gate when the wind died and re-appeared 180 deg from it original direction. The forecast of dramatic wind shifts lead to the racing being abandoned for the rest of the day.

The final days racing was table to give 2 races in a fresh 23 knot breeze with regular showers. The stronger winds brought a new mix of boats to the front of the fleet as some crews struggled to find top gear.

Overall Northsails sportswear early dominance could knock her off top spot and Mikael Lindqvist and his crew were crowned worthy World champions for 2013.

Next year its back to Italy for the World championships in San Remo, followed by the Copa del Rey in Palma later in the year.

Overall Results: (top three)

1st Northsails Sportswear, Mikael Lindqvest, 24pts
2nd Audi X Sail Racing Ultra, Teemu Kekkonen, 30pts
3rd Firefly, Johan Lindell, 41pts

Top British boat
6th Kiss, David Pinner, 49 Pts

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