Saturday, 9 July 2011

F18 Worlds : The Lords of the Wind are Darren Bundock and Jeroen Van Leeuwen

Darren Bundock and Jeroen Van Leeuwen won the Gold medal. Image copyright Pierrick Contin

Ladies and gentlemen, the gold medal of the Groupama Garancia F18 Catamaran World Championship goes to...
Darren Bundock (AUS) and Jeroen Van Leeuwen (NED) sailing a C2
Mixed crew World Champions are Carolijn Brouwer and Wouter Samama, also sailing a C2

The podium: Gold - Darren Bundock and Jeroen Van Leeuwen, Silver - Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij, Bronze - Vittorio Bissaro – Lamberto Cesari. Image copyright Pierrick Contin

by Gabi Biar

Those who visited the Balaton or followed the GPS tracking on the internet could witness four very exciting races today, thanks to the perfect wind.

“It was worth to be early, because we could manage to start four races. All of them were full of serious battles,” Attila R. Nagy, the president of the BYC said. There were huge fights for the first place.

The podium. Image copyright Pierrick Contin

Here are the champions:

1. (AUS) Darren Bundock – Jeroen van Leeuwen
2. (NED) Mischa Heemskerk – Bastiaan Tentij
3. (ITA) Vittorio Bissaro – Lamberto Cesari
4. (BEL) Carolijn Brouwer – Wouter Samama
5. (NED) Pim Nieuwenhuis – Ferdinand von West
6. (NED) Coen de Koning – Thye Visser
7. (FRA) Pierre Le Clainche – Antoine Joubert
8. (FRA) Moana Vaireaux – Romain Petit
9. (FRA) Jean Cristophe Mourniac – Arnaud Jarlegan
10. (FRA) Charles Hainneville – David Faonnuillére

The winners: Darren Bundock and Jeroen Van Leeuwen. Image copyright Pierrick Contin

The F18 catamaran racing is usually called the F1 of sailing, and in Balatonfüred the prize giving ceremony was similar to the Formula One’s because the champions got great goblets at the Kisfaludy stage. The winners thanked the organizers' work and shared their impressions about the beauty of the Lake Balaton.

The winners. Image copyright Pierrick Contin

“It was a very exciting championship, because the direction of the wind changed all the time,” - Darren Bundock, the 13 times world champions said. “For that moment we crossed the finish line, we were not sure about our victory,” Jeroen van Leeuwen added. “So many things happened; we counted our points because there was just 2 points difference between us and Mischa. We didn’t start well, and Mischa defended his position, but it made the race so much fun.”

Silver medal winners. Image copyright Pierrick Contin

“We did everything for the victory but in the end Darren was a bit faster,” Bastiaan Tentij said. „We are so happy with the silver medal. It’s always fun to race with Darren, we can fight great battles. The hard thing was the wind, what changed all the time unexpectedly, but today it was all right.”

Mischa Heemskerk goes for a swim. Image copyright Pierrick Contin

Among the Hungarian contestants Váradi Szabó János and Petheö Tamás finished on the 37th place and the Diószegi Zoltán – Jankovics Gábor duo finished 49th. Bianka Róka a fresh debut on the side of Fréderique Pfeiffer achieved the 23rd place of the silver fleet, which is very good among the women.

Image copyright Pierrick Contin

“There was a southwestern wind and the organizers situated a very good but challenging course. We had some technical difficulties that’s why we couldn’t sail as fast as earlier, and we tailed away 9 places but we are so happy with our result,” János Váradi Szabó said.

Image copyright Pierrick Contin

Image copyright Pierrick Contin

“The weather was beautiful today, nice sunshine and stable wind, that’s why it was not so tricky today. It’s so different to race in the gold fleet, especially the tempo of the start what was amazing. It was good to race with world-class contestants; we have to evolve a lot, but now we can see the right direction,” Zoltán Diószegi said.

Image copyright Pierrick Contin

Image copyright Pierrick Contin

The participants – came all over the world – could spend meaningful days in Hungary. They can preserve nice memories of the regatta, and come back again, maybe for another world championship.

Groupama Garancia F18 Worlds