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Hansa World Championship at Medemblik, Holland - Overall

by 2016 Hansa Worlds 10 Jun 2016 12:12 BST 3-9 June 2016

It's the end of a great week of serious sailing. The weather was perfect with a nice wind, a lot of sun and no rain. Although some sailors had difficulties with the short bumpy waves, due to the North and Easterly winds all week. But all races have been sailed as planned.

With two spectator boats, the Hagenees and the Wepro Boat, a clog sailing event, Midweek barbecue and even Abel Tasman visiting the opening ceremony, the organisation looks back on a great week of sailing.

Malaysia wins Hansa 2.3

The Hansa 2.3 International Championship has been dominated by the Malaysian Al Mustakin Matrim, he was undefeated all week. "I'm going for that gold medal" he said early in the week. So he did. The second and third place were taken by Portugal: Fernando Pinto and Luisa Graca.

Exciting racing in Hansa 303 single

Christopher Symonds has done some really good sailing this week, leading 19 points in front of, Willi Lutz; Symonds he is crowned World Champion in the Hansa 303 single: "I've had an amazing week. We've worked really hard to get to this result."

Willi Lutz came in second: "Happily, it's been a good week. In April we've trained in Medemblik for a week, there was a lot of wind and cold weather. But it was a good experience for this week, and the weather was perfect now so I'm really happy."

For Pedro Reis it has been a difficult week, he sailed in both the single and double 303 classes and ends up with a sprained hand. Still, he is going home with a Bronze medal. "It was a great week and I didn't even expect a prize anymore!"

Double prize for Symonds

In the Hansa 303 double the Australian Symonds is coming up again, in a second place this time. He sailed with Michael Darby: "Normally we compete against each other; here we sailed together for the first time, which was great. Today we had a good day with a first and second place." It wasn't enough to gain the overall first place. The Swiss team with Patrick Maurer and Christian Hiller did a great job and take the gold home. "We've done good with our whole Swiss team, very proud of what we achieved this week."

Sarah Dunckley wins in Liberty

Sarah Dunckley wins the World Championship in the Liberty. "Didn't expect it, my practice race was really bad and the first day my nervousness got to me. The Dutch Gerard has been my main rival since he was in first position the first days." It was Dunckleys first big event, she has sailed some national championships in New-Zealand in the Hansa 303 double. Azmi Ani, from Malaysia, ended up in a second place after a week of strong sailing.

The third place is for a local sailor, Gerard Beens. He started really 'well and was leading the Liberty class for the first days. "Before the event started, I didn't expect to end up with this bronze medal. But after the first days I realized there was something to win here. Overall I've had a fantastic week, big compliments for the organization."

Gold for local sailor in Servo division

The Liberty Servo is a special division in the Liberty. These sailboats have electric controls for steering and controlling the sheets, which delays the response to windshifts, waves and gusts. But today we saw the Dutch Vera Voorbach leading the Liberty fleet in the last race! "I'm really happy with my results, I really improved steadily all week. Today I even sailed in the lead after a good start and some good tacks, ended up on a third place this race. A fourth place overall in the Liberty class is fantastic, and even gold in the Servo class!"

Close racing in SKUD18

The SKUD18 class had a really exciting championship. The British, Polish, Dutch and Italian team were competing close to each other all week. Eventually it was the Polish who took the lead. Piotr Cickocki: "We've done some sailing this year in Medemblik already, but this was a real great week with good wind. This is a good preparation for the Paralympics in Rio." Great Brittakes ends second taking home Silver medal and the Dutch go home with a bronze medal.

Encouragement and Nation price

President of the International Hansa Class, Russell Phillips: "Every year we give an encouragement price, it's not only to do with the sailing. This year we award it to Greece, they have made a great effort to come here without much of support." The International Hansa Class also introduced a new prize this event, the Nation Prize. This year Australia won this special prize. Not only did Australia field a large team, but they also sailed really well. The International Hansa Class hopes this prize will encourage other nations to build bigger fleets in every class.

First ever 'Chris Mitchell award' to Switzerland

Mitchell gave a presentation on Tuesday where he spoke of his dream where disabled and able bodied all sail together and compete with each other. The organisation of this week's Championships honoured him with his very own award: 'The Chris Mitchell Gold Hansa Award, For Excellence in Inclusive Sailing'. Mitchell: "People with a disability are generally just like everyone else, they operate in the community just like everyone else. So why do we presume that the best way is to segregate our friends off to disabled sailing programs instead of going the other way, which is to broaden our programs to include the family and friends of disabled people, and everyone else who may show an interest in sailing our boats." What the Chris Mitchell award is looking for is a group or programme with a philosophy which promotes Inclusion. Sailability Switzerland not only run extensive disability service programmes, but also introduce sailing for mainstream schools using their 16 boats. Chris Mitchell felt that Sailability Switzerland were a great example of the spirit he was fostering.

Great supporters

With all these new champions, a great event was organised in Medemblik. A big thanks to all the supporters and helpers that flew in this week to help the sailors compete in the World Championship. For the organisation there were also a couple of big supporters like the Johanna Kinderfonds: a Dutch organisation for children and teenagers with a physical disability. "We have supported the Hansa Class Worlds because it contributes to the sport and to an healthy lifestyle which improves the quality of life. We hope children see this and get enthusiastic with the sailing sport and maybe join a sailing club as well." Then there is Fonds Gehandicaptensport, director Nike Boor: "It's great to see such a big fleet on the water. For us, it's important that everyone can practice sports wherever they want." The event couldn't be organised without the help of the International Hansa Class Organisation, Sailability, UB Sails, Kuiper Verzekeringen and many more.

Next World Championships in Japan

Overall we can look back at a fantastic week with a lot of happy sailors. A new award introduced in honour of and awarded by Chris Mitchell himself. In 2018 Mitchell is awarding this special prize again in Hiroshima, Japan, during the next World Championships. Japan is the next organising country for this event and are really excited to welcome all sailors to Japan.

More information at 2016hansaworlds.com

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