Adelaide, Australia – Nine new ILCA World Champions have been crowned as the 2024 ILCA Masters Worlds came to a close at the Adelaide Sailing Club today.
The event will be remembered for strong winds and big swells, some stunning Adelaide conditions that remained for the entirety of the event, and gave sailors some tough days and some ideal sailing days.
A number of the divisions had clear front-runners, while a handful of them came right down to the wire, with some tense moments out on the course in the last two races today.
In the ILCA 7 Apprentice division, New Zealand’s Luke Deegan held a strong lead for the entire regatta to clinch the win ahead of Ireland’s Colin Leonard, who finished in second place, and Italy’s Lorenzo Cerretelli finished in third place.
In the ILCA 6 Apprentice fleet, a three-person battle quickly became clear early in the event, with Argentina’s Franco Riquelme Antonetti ending in first place after being able to play defense on the final day. At the same time, Tokyo 2020 Olympian Svenja Weger (GER) finished second overall and first female, and Adil Khalid of the United Arab Emirates finished third.
In the ILCA 7 Masters, Brendan Casey (AUS) made a strong return to the ILCA class with a world championship win ahead of David Whait (AUS) in second place and Scott Leith (NZL) in third place.
In the ILCA 6 Masters, a battle ensued between Scott Small (AUS), Phil Wild (NZL), and Jon Emmett (GBR), but it was Small who edged clear and claimed a win after only returning to the sport a few months ago. Wild finished in second place, and Emmett came third.
In the ILCA 7 Grand Masters division, Australian Brett Beyer was only one position off a perfect picket fence scorecard, discarding a second from the opening race and then carrying only bullets for each remaining race. He finished well clear of Andrew Dellabarca (NZL) in second and Mark Lyttle (GBR) in third.
In the ILCA 6 Grand Masters, Australian Mark Tonner-Joyce held a solid lead throughout the entirety of the event, however with an 18th as his discard from Day 1, he could not afford any large scores late in the regatta.
Unfortunately for Tonner-Joyce, a Black Flag starting penalty in Race 11 today forced him to carry the 18 from Day 1, and even after winning the final race, he fell short by just two points.
American Andrew Holdsworth was crowned World Champion, Tonner-Joyce finished second and Australian Bruce Savage was third.
In the ILCA 7 Great Grand Masters, Australian Steve Gunther won nine of the twelve races to clinch the title in emphatic fashion, while rival Tim Law (GBR) finished second and Michael Wilson (AUS) finished third.
In the ILCA 6 Great Grand Masters, a huge fleet assembled for what ended up being a great battle.
James Mitchell, Australian ILCA stalwart and the organizer of the 2020 ILCA Worlds events in Melbourne, ended up clinching a maiden world championship, finishing 10 points clear of Briton Terry Scutcher in second, while Richard Longbottom (AUS) finished third.
Finally, in the ILCA 6 Legends division, American Bill Symes came away with a dominant win, 24 points clear of Tim Alexander (AUS) in second, claiming the title and a further six points to Robert Lowndes (AUS) in third.
The completion of the Masters brings a massive summer of ILCA sailing in Adelaide to a close, with some excellent reviews in and around the boat park of the performance of the host club, Adelaide Sailing Club.
Congratulations to all the volunteers and the competitors for working hand-in-hand to put on an exceptional event.
Text by: Harry Fisher, Down Under Sail / Edited by ILCA
Photos by: Jack Fletcher, Down Under Sail