Please select your home edition
Edition
Ovington Boats - VX One

Para Sailing Worlds: Cool start for four fleets in Sheboygan - Day 1

by Daniel Smith, World Sailing 19 Sep 03:17 BST 18-22 September 2018

The 98 sailors from 39 nations racing at the 2019 Para World Sailing Championships in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA had a cool introduction to Lake Michigan as racing across the four fleets got underway.

Unseasonably warm temperatures had blessed Sheboygan in the days leading up to the Championships, but a shift in conditions meant that the opening day was held under cloudy skies, cool temperatures and a variable 5-10 knot north-easterly breeze.

Although it was cool in the air, the action was hot on the water as 27 races were completed across the 2.4 Norlin OD, Women's Hansa 303, Men's Hansa 303 and the RS Venture Connect.

Damien Seguin (FRA) snapped up a race win and a second in the 38-boat 2.4 Norlin OD fleet. His first victory was a commanding one, as he explained, "I was second at the first upwind but then I took the lead and got a big advantage. It was a good race for me."

However, things could have been different in the second race, "Oof – it was amazing," he said laughing, "Five boats were leading and after the downwind mark, one group chose the left and the others chose the right. There was no wind but it filled in on the right where I was so it was crazy. Anyone could have won."

Seguin has been in fine form in 2018 in the 2.4 Norlin OD, winning the World Cup in Hyéres, France and the European Para Sailing Championship but recently, he's been sailing a boat 52 feet more than the 2.4.

"I'm happy to be sailing in the 2.4 again after sailing in the IMOCA 60. It's not the 2.4," he laughed.

"I got the boat in March and I've done many races. I have my qualification for the next Route du Rhum in November. I have a lot to learn but I feel good in the boat. I'm really happy sailing this boat and after the Route du Rhum I'll sail in the Vendée Globe in 2020. I've found a sponsor so it's on the way – I'm happy."

Heiko Kroger (GER) won the second race and a second in the opening race means he's tied with Seguin. Dee Smith (USA) is third, four points off the leaders.

The RS Venture Connect made its debut in the Para World Sailing Championships and Alexandra Rickham and Hannah Stodel (GBR) had the best of the day. Rickham, a London 2012 bronze medallist, and Stodel, a multiple world champion in the Sonar, are two of the most experienced competitors in the fleet and it showed as they won four of six races in Group A.

"All in all it seemed to go alright," said a modest Rickham. "I can't be unhappy about today. It was quite varied and the wind was really up and down. The sea state was all over the shop as well.

"There was quite a bit of swell at the beginning but that flattened off, so lots of big wind shifts in the second half. It was quite difficult and a lot of us haven't sailed the boat that much so it was quite a big learning curve."

Gianluca Raggi and Davide di Maria (ITA) snapped up three victories in Group B.

Racing in groups continues on Wednesday and the winner of each group will automatically advance to the winner-take-all race on Saturday.

The Men's Hansa 303 are split into six groups of six sailors. On the opening day, the competitors sailed two groups at the time and completed 12 races.

After the first day of qualifying, the leaderboard is in its early stages but Jens Kroker (GER), Piotr Cichocki (POL), Ange Margaron (FRA) and Christopher Symonds (AUS) showed great form and will be medal contenders.

Just one race was possible in the Women's Hansa 303.

Racing resumes at 10:00 local time on Wednesday 19 September.

Quick Links:

Related Articles

British pair win Gold at the Para Sailing Worlds
After five days of stiff competition in Sheboygan After five days of stiff competition at the Para Sailing World Championships at Sail Sheboygan, USA, British duo Will Street and Jonny Currell were victorious in bringing home the Gold medal in the RS Venture Connect Final. Posted on 25 Sep
Three nations win Gold on Final Day of Para Worlds
Australian, British and Brazilian competitors win gold at the Para World Sailing Championships After five days of competition in variable breeze, Matt Bugg (AUS) wins gold after the first ever 2.4 Norlin OD Medal Race, Will Street and Jonathan Currell (GBR) won a close RS Venture final and Chris Symonds (AUS) and Paula Marque (BRA) win the Hansas Posted on 22 Sep
Storm ashore and afloat - Day 4 at Para Worlds
Womens fleet leader DSQ'd and out of Saturday's Final as storm keeps fleet ashore Lake Michigan showed a different side on Day 4 as strong winds whipped up just off of Sheboygan at the Para World Sailing Championships. Ashore the Leader of the Womens Hansa fleet was DSQ'd from multiple races and is out of Saturday's Final. Posted on 21 Sep
Testing conditions at Para Sailing Worlds - Day 3
Light breeze coupled with a choppy Lake Michigan resulted in a tough Day 3 Light breeze coupled with a choppy Lake Michigan resulted in a tough day for the competitors racing at the Para World Sailing Championships in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA. After six 2.4 Norlin OD races, three top sailors are separated by just two points. Posted on 21 Sep
Brits and Canadians book finals place
In the RS Venture Connect at Para World Sailing Championships British and Canadian teams booked their spot in Saturday's RS Venture Connect winner-takes-all final as the Para World Sailing Championships continued in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA. Posted on 19 Sep
Lake Michigan hosts record Para Sailing Worlds
A record 98 sailors from 39 nations will race Despite the International Paralympic Committee's decision last week to not include Para Sailing in the 2024 Paralympics, a record 98 sailors from 39 nations will race at the Para World Sailing Championships in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA Posted on 18 Sep
The IPC makes key decisions for future Games
Sailing goes forward to Phase 2 for Paris 2024 Paralympic Games inclusion The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board concluded two days of meetings in Bonn, Germany, on Saturday (27 January) having made a number of key decisions regarding the PyeongChang 2018, Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. Posted on 30 Jan
Fantasy Sailing League at Paralympics
49 'managers' enter fun competition Whilst some were preparing to sail at the Paralympics in Rio, Megan Pascoe and Will Street started talking about whether you could create the ideal sailing team. This developed into creating a Fantasy Sailing Competition. Posted on 20 Sep 2016
A great honour for a seasoned Paralympic sailor
Ireland's John Twomey enters his 11th Games Some people just keep going and going. Ireland's Sonar helm, John Twomey, can safely be put in to that bracket as he enters his 11th Paralympic Games at Rio 2016. Posted on 8 Sep 2016
What next for Paralympic sailing?
Betsy Alison of Para World Sailing Committee interviewed Since the decision to drop sailing at the 2020 Paralympic Games was taken, a lot of work has been done to increase the sport's chances of reselection for the 2024 Paralympics, the decision for which should be taken in 2018. Posted on 27 May 2016