The 2018 World Sailing Championships have concluded with medals being awarded in the men’s and women’s RS:X and the mixed Nacra 17 Foiling. Due to poor weather only 12 races plus the medal race were held for the RS:X while the Nacra 17 Foiling had 13 races. In total, 10 men’s RS:X, 11 women’s RS:X and 8 mixed Nacra 17 quotas were up for grabs, with a maximum of one boat per nation per event. Japan is also excluded due to already qualifying as host. The championship was held in Aarhus, Denmark from July 30th to August 12th 2018.
The men’s RS:X was initially a close affair with Poland’s Pawel Tarnowski taking the lead by the end of the second day and sixth race. However, a very consistent performance by the reigning Olympic champion, Dorian van Rijsselberghe of the Netherlands gave him the lead by the end of the third day and ninth race. van Rijsselberghe only failed to reach the top 10 in a race once across the 12 fleet races and that consistency clinched him the gold medal before the medal race began. In the end the Netherlands went 1-2 in the event with van Rijsselberghe (58 points) and Kiran Badloe (85 points) winning gold and silver respectively. Bronze went to France’s Luis Giard (92 points).
Similarly, the women’s RS:X was close with Poland’s Zofia Noceti-Klepacka and China’s Lu Yunxiu holding the lead at the end of the first two days respectively. The Netherlands’ Lilian de Geus would take the lead by the end of the third day and after nine races. With a combination of great performances, including two first place finishes out of three races and poor performances by her nearest competitors de Geus was able to clinch the gold medal before the medal race, with a giant 30 point lead. The medal race did allow the defending Olympic champion, Charline Picon (78 points) of France to leapfrog over Lu (82 points) to win silver as Lu had to settle for bronze. Lilian de Geus won the gold with 48 points.
The mixed Nacra 17 Foiling had quite a few boats battling for position with 2017 World Championship bronze medalist Ruggero Tita and Caterina Marianna Banti of Italy, Australia’s Nathan and Haylee Outteridge and the defending Olympic champions Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli of Argentina all taking a turn with the lead at the end of the first three days of racing. Going into the medal race it was the Italian pair whom held a one point lead over the Australians. Sadly due to poor winds the medal race was not held and the standings were left unchanged. The medalists therefore were Tita and Marianna Banti (69 points), Nathan and Haylee Outteridge (70 points) and Lange and Carranza Saroli (72 points).
Great Britain achieved the impressive feat of qualifying in every single event. The closest another nation came was France whom qualified in seven out of the ten events. The next opportunity for nations to qualify to the Olympics in these events will be the 2019 World Championship.