The 2021 ILCA 7 World Championship concluded today in Barcelona, Spain.
With two days lost to light winds early on in the regatta, only eight races were completed over the six-day event.
New Zealand’s Thomas Saunders NZL –recently 6th at the Senior’s Open European Trophy in Varna– secured the World champion title, escorted on podium by Ireland’s Finn Lynch IRL –9th at the European Trophy– and Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic CRO –Silver medal in Tokyo 2020–.
The new world champion, visibly happy about his achievement, said it was the “result of good harmony, communication, and trust with my coach throughout the championship.”
Sergey Komissarov RYF, Zac Littlewood AUS, Philip Buhl GER, Hermann Tomasgaard NOR, Daniel Whiteley GBR, Giovanni Coccoluto ITA and Luke Elliot AUS completed the Top 10.
Tokyo 2020 British representative Elliot Hanson GBR led the regatta at the halfway stage when teammate and recently crowned Senior European champion Micky Beckett GBR picked up the mantle.
However the pair’s medals hopes were ended when a collision between them on the startline of the final race of day five resulted in Beckett pulling out with a minor injury and Hanson retiring in accordance with the rules. Beckett finished 13th while Hanson was 17th.
“It’s been good to be back racing after a prolonged break since Tokyo,” Hanson said. “It’s obviously a real shame to end the way it did having led most of the week. An unfortunate freak accident that ultimately took both myself and Micky out of the standings wasn’t in the script.”
“I’m happy he’s ok though and look forward to training hard together this winter. Special mention to both Sam and Dan who have been working hard and sailed a fantastic week to both score personal bests.”
Beckett added: “This week will teach me some lessons about staying out of trouble. It’s been tough, but really I’m just grateful to have been looked after by Matt and Penny and the lads have kept a smile on my face. It’s awesome to see Dan and Sam with absolutely incredible results, they’ve been one half of an awesome training group and I’m so pleased for them. For Elliot and I it’s a bit like both Williams drivers beating the Mercedes drivers, we’re all laughing about it and looking forward to doing more sailing together.”
Last 2020 World champion Philipp Buhl GER wrapped the championship on the sixth place. “I’m a little proud that I could work my way to place six in the end. But like all the other top people, I would have loved to sail on the final day.”
The championship was held at the Barcelona International Sailing Center (BISC) facilities. The regatta was organized by the Catalan Sailing Federation, the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona, and the Real Club Marítimo de Barcelona, with the collaboration of World Sailing, ILCA, the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation, the Government of Catalunya, the Barcelona City Council, and the Barcelona Provincial Council.
After concluding this championship, BISC is preparing to host the ILCA Masters World Championships November 13–20, which will bring together nearly 300 sailors from 29 countries around the world.