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Team GB report from the Hansa World Championships 2018, Hiroshima

by David Durston 28 Oct 2018 12:13 GMT 12-18 October 2018
David Durston focused on 1st & 2nd on day 3 of the Hansa Worlds in Japan © Adamo Aono

Following the Team's success in the European Championships last October in Meze, France, nine sailors and fourteen volunteers ventured to Japan for the Hansa World Championships.

In July they packed up and said goodbye to 6 Libertys and a RIB in a 40ft container, the other 3 sailors chartered boats at the event. The event was held 12th-18th October in Hiroshima - 2018hansaworlds.com. 180 competitors from 24 countries met for the competition: 19 2.3s; 43 303 singles; 52 303 2-person; and 33 Libertys. The regatta had a target of 10 races per fleet over 5 days, with 1 discard if 5-7 races were completed, and 2 discards over 8.

Day 1 was a great day for GBR, with both Lindsay Burns (Frensham Ponds) and David Durston (Whitefriars) winning their first races; the celebrations were made even better because it was David's birthday. There was only 1 race for the single-handed classes because of light winds.

Day 2 the racing was in the afternoon for GBR sailors, in slightly stronger winds and more chop. Val Milward (Rutland) put in a good performance in the 1st Liberty race of the day, finishing 4th, closely followed by David in 6th place. The courses were short with a target finish time of 30 minutes, making a good start essential. Val and David pushed too hard in the 2nd race, both being marked as OCS. Lindsay continued to deliver in the 2.3 fleet, putting in a credible 4th and 6th.

Day 3 was back to the morning, and proved very successful for GB. The winds were light and dropping when racing started. Bob Schahinger from Australia and David Durston shared the honours over the two races, both getting a 1st and a 2nd. Val also put in 2 good results with a 3rd and a 4th. The 5th race saw 4 GBR Libertys in the top 10, with Diane Faulks (Rutland) finishing 5th, and Paul Phillips (Frensham) 7th. After the first 5 races Bob was in 1st place overall, with David in 2nd in the Liberty fleet. Lindsay also had another credible 2nd, and was in 1st place in the 2.3s second race when it was abandoned due to light winds. The GB 303 girls also did well in race 5; Jessica Campbell (SW Scotland Sailability) finished 5th, and Margaret Foreman (Frensham) 8th.

Day 4 proved more challenging, with very light shifty winds from the NW-NE for the first Liberty race. Val read the conditions well and finished 6th in the Liberty fleet, as did Margaret in the 303 singles. Lindsay had her worst result of the regatta, a 9th place. The wind had shifted round to SW for the 2nd race of the day, but remained light. Val had another good result, coming 4th; this put her up into a podium position going into the last day. David's results had dropped him to 6th overall after 7 races, so he needed a good result on the final day to benefit from another discard. Frustratingly the 2nd 2.3 race was abandoned again after a fantastic start by Lindsay, however after her discard she also sat in 3rd place overall.

Day 5 was delayed because of light winds; for several hours it looked like there would be no racing, and the day 4 results would be final. The wind filled in from the SW, enough to start the 2.3 fleet first to make their series up to 6 races. Lindsay put in another great performance, finishing with another 1st. In the Liberty race, Pat Crowley (Rutland and representing Ireland) finished 1st, his first top 10 result of the regatta. Val and David had a bad race, finishing 12th and 10th respectively, dropping Val out of the top 3, and David to 7th. Because of the start being delayed it looked likely that this would be the final result. It was announced that the 303 doubles would not sail in the afternoon, and David and Val were given another chance. Lindsay had to perform well to hold off the pressure from Neil Rowsthorn, an Australian in 3rd. Although he finished 1st in their final race, Lindsay's 2nd was enough to secure her runner-up position. To keep to schedule the Race Committee used the U Flag, meaning disqualification for any boat over the line in the last minute. David won the race which would have elevated him to 3rd overall, but was disqualified and remained 7th. Val was also disappointed with her 11th place in the last race, which dropped her down to 5th. Jessica pulled off her best result of the regatta in race 8, 4th, giving her an overall finish of 10th place in the larger 43 boat 303 fleet.

Overall GB and Ireland performed very well. The European Championships will be in Portugal next October, and the next Worlds will be in Newport California 2020. The team plan to keep working for greater successes. Well done Lindsay for finishing 2nd!

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