The 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships (SSL 2500), took place at The Hague in the Netherlands between the 10th and 20th August. The massive event delivered, offering sailors a range of conditions, and crowning a host of new champions.
Here’s our run-down of the stand-out performances over the past ten days…
ILCA 6 Women’s Dinghy
Hungary’s Maria Erdi (SSL Skipper #26) did it! Going into the Medal Race, she was four points behind Switzerland’s Maud Jayet (SSL Skipper #17). A penalty for the Swiss sailor opened the door for Erdi, which she grabbed with both hands to seal the win.
On the win she said: ”I’m a world champion, which sounds pretty amazing. I’m very happy for my family, my friends and for my small support staff that I have back in Hungary. I’m just very proud of the work we have been doing with my coach. I was hoping and believing that I will get here one day. The day has finally arrived and I’m just over the moon.
ILCA 7 Men’s Dinghy
Australia’s Matt Wearn (SSL Skipper #10) used all his experience to take down Micky Beckett (SSL Skipper #19) and secure his maiden world title. Micky’s (BFD) Black Flag Disqualification in race five came back to haunt him, with Matt Wearn sailing him down the fleet in race ten, meaning he went into the Medal Race with a near insurmountable lead.
Wearn, who’d had finished as runner-up on three previous occasions, was understandably ecstatic about the win: ”It feels great. It feels like it’s been a long time coming. Not that I started to doubt that the performance was there but it’s always a shame to just miss out on the top step.”
There’s no doubt Beckett will learn from this experience, and the battle between these two incredibly talented sailors will be exciting to watch in future events.
470 Mixed Dinghy
In a superb discipline for Japane, Keiju Okada (SSL Skipper #32) and Miho Yoshioka (SSL Crew #36) sealed the win ahead of the Medal Race. Remarkably the country filled two spots on the podium with compatriots Tetsuya Isozaki and Yurie Seki sealing bronze.
Okada said on the win: ”We have had a really good time this week. We have won the 470 Nations Cup and are world champions, so we are very happy. I think our boat speed has been very good. Downwind today it was a bit shifty and a little bit light but that was good for us.”
49er FX Women’s Skiff
There was serious doubt as to whether Sweden’s Vilma Bobeck (SSL Skipper #20) and Rebecca Netzler (SSL Crew #26) would even be competing at the 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships with Bobeck injuring her knee at the Paris 2024 Test Event, so to come away with the win felt like a double win for the pair.
Netzler said: ”We are so extremely proud of the week we managed to put together. After a very tough season with a lot of injuries, we are just so happy. With Vilma’s knee accident at the Test Event, we weren’t sure we were going to be able to sail this event at all, so to be here with the gold medal is just amazing.”
49er Men’s Skiff
In our mid-regatta update, The Netherlands’ Bart Lambriex (SSL Skipper #1) and Floris van der Werken (SSL Crew #2) were just 0.2 points off the lead. In the end they won by a massive 28 points, sealing the win ahead of the Medal Race, and as a result moving Lambriex to the top of the SSL Global Skipper Ranking.
Lambriex said on the win and the event: ”It’s great to sail at home with the crowds coming out to cheer us on. It was a big surprise on the last day of gold fleet racing when we suddenly had it sealed, we weren’t expecting that. Overall, we are very happy with our performance across the whole week.”
Nacra 17 Mixed Multihull
While mathematically Italy’s Ruggero Tita (SSL Skipper #3) and Caterina Banti (SSL Crew #3) hadn’t quite sealed the win ahead of the Medal Race, they did so in emphatic style by winning that as well, to take the title by a huge 26 points.
Tita said about the event: ”We had good speed this week. That meant we didn’t have to take too much risk on the starts and it made our job easy. The level of the fleet is really high and everyone played really hard in these championships.”
Full results can be found at https://thehague2023.sailing.org/results-centre/.