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Noble Marine 2012

2002 Optimist Worlds at Corpus Christi Yacht Club Overall

by Jenny Campbell-James 13 Jul 2002 16:03 BST

With little prospect of wind on the morning of the scheduled final day PRO Mike McCutcheon took the courageous decision to finish out the schedule in the light wind of Friday evening. Tiredness or nerves meant that few of the leading sailors scored well in this final race but Filip was in the happy position of being able to discard it (and fears of a DSQ from an outstanding protest).

He has sailed an outstanding series with all his scored finishes being in the top ten and a huge 'final' lead of 46 points. The second Croatian winner in three years, he and silver medallist Stjepan Cesic represent the remarkable success in terms of both numbers of Optimist sailors and results achieved since Croatia became independent.

Bronze medallist Eduardo Zalvide (ESP) held on to his position when Jesse Kirkland (BER), product of another rapidly growing Optimist fleet, sailed a discard in the final race.

Nerves were affecting the top girls too. Both Xu Lijia (CHN) and Hannah Mills (GBR) had OCSs in the course of the day but in her other two races the Chinese, top girl at last year's Worlds, scored 1 and 3 to give her a comfortable final margin. Hannah finshed 9th overall. A magnificent result which might have been even better had she not had the OCS on the last day. This meant that she was disappointed but she should not be because this is the best ever result by a British girl.

Corpus Christi has not in general produed the strong winds expected (and experienced during the practice period and, ironically, on the team-racing day). But the regatta has offered fair winds to the young sailors of the world and an unforgettable experience of competition in a truly international environment which will remain in their memories for the rest of their lives.

Of the British boys Richard Mason ended up 35th, Tom Mallindine 69th, Andrew Conn 119th and Tim Saxton 128th.

More information and full results at the event website.

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