Zac Littlewood (Australia) is the new World Champion in the Laser Radial. [Photo: Sascha Klahn/Kieler Woche]
Young, wild and successful
Australia against Poland, young and wild vs experience: In the last two races of the Laser Radial Worlds, training partners again became competitors.
Caelin Winchcombe (Australia) left the previous rough day behind. He was fully concentrating on the current races and demonstrated that he could contend for a medal position. He managed to do so in both races and won one after the other. “It was okay”, he commented with some understatement about his achievement. He simply had tried to win each race, and succeeded in doing so both times. “Today it was easier, because we had consistent winds.” With his two victories on the day he managed to secure “bronze” as third overall in the Radial Men’s World Championship.
His training partner Zac Littlewood (Australia) defended his leading position in the overall ranking coming into the final day and is the new World Champion in the Men’s Laser Radial! He was relaxed for the last races of the series. “I am here to learn and win races”, he said. In the second race he realized: “I am the World Champion. That is crazy!” He cannot really believe it yet.
Aleksander Arian (Poland) managed to squeeze in between the two Australians for the silver. “I knew, that I had to sail among the best five to win a medal.” While he managed to do so in the first race, he crossed the finish line as the 15th boat in the second race. He had not given way when he was on port tack and had to do a 360. “I had won the start, but then there was the rule violation. That happens”, he commented. Because he could discard that result he still made it rank two of the World Championship. “I am very happy,” especially since he could not train that much, having to recover from an operation on his ankle.
His training partner and title defender Marcin Rudawski, who had a promising start into the day, had to cope with a disqualification and thus was no longer in contention for a position on the podium. “He got his second yellow flag. I am very sorry for him”, said Aleksander Arian. His fifth place finish came on the heels of an incredible run for Rudawski as has certainly had an enviable record spanning the past decade with six World Championship titles and twice finishing 2nd.
Norway’s Uffe Tomasgaard also had a fine regatta, sailing consistently in the top 10, with only one finish outside that at 11th and dropping that score to finish one point ahead of Rudawski for fourth place overall.
But the day and the series belonged to the young Australian. Congratulations to the new Men’s Radial World Champion Zac Littlewood!