An exciting final day in Palermo, Italy saw medals awarded in all four categories at the 2021 Hansa World Championships.
More than 180 sailors from 25 nations displayed exceptional technique and determination in the extremely changing conditions throughout the week.
Sailors from seven countries made their international competitive debuts in Sicily as the parasail continues to grow stronger.
The race was cut short by rain on the first day, but the weather improved throughout the week, leading to an intense racing weekend.
In the Hansa 303 Single class, Piotr Cichocki (POL) led to the end to seal the victory of Cecile Venuat (FRA) and Rory McKinna (GBR) in the general classification. Violeta Del Reino (ESP) finished first among women – eighth overall – ahead of Olga Górnaś-Grudzień (POL) second, 13th overall, and Miray Ulas (TUR) third, 17th overall.
The Symonds-Klinger (AUS) team took the win in the final race, finishing ahead of Górnaś-Grudzień-Cichocki (POL) by one point in the Hansa 303 Double category. Guyon-Ducruix (FRA) team finished third.
In the Hansa Liberty class, Vera Voorbach (NED) won by three points ahead of Gerard Eychenne (FRA), who finished the races ahead of Paul Phillips (GBR) by one point. The Netherlands have made a clean sweep of the Netherlands in the Hansa Liberty Servo class. Vera Voorbach finished first ahead of her teammate Hanneke Deenen in second and Wilma Van Den Broek in third.
Jan Sefke Holtrop (NED) finished ahead of Cedric Castaldi (FRA) in the Liberty Servo Men classification.
The star of the week was Piotr Cichocki (POL) who won four of the five races to finish 10 points ahead of second place in the Hansa 303 Single class and 18 points ahead of third.
“I am very happy with the results obtained by my sailors. Piotr Cichocki won the world championship in the 303 singles category, Olga Górnaś-Grudzień took second place in the women’s section in the 303 singles category and, finally, the team of Piotr Cichocki and Olga Górnaś-Grudzień took the second place in the 303 doubles category, “said Grzegorz Protopowicz, Para Sailing coach at the Polish Yachting Association.
“We will bring back three medals for Poland! We also had a great week of training before the competition and now we are going home happy. We are already waiting for the next challenge, ”said Protopowicz.
Liberty Class winner Vera Voorbach said: “At the last Worlds in 2018 in Hiroshima, I was third, so I was hoping to be in the top three again. But I won gold and I am very happy with the result. Although we had to be patient this week with the difficult weather conditions. For me, it was perfect circumstances, about three on the Beaufort scale.
“Due to my spinal cord injury, I don’t have enough power in my arms to steer and pull the sheets manually. Therefore, I have servo equipment in my boat, so I can adjust my rudder and sheets electronically with a joystick. Handling my boat in this way is more difficult than doing everything manually. I don’t feel the pressure on my rudder or my sheets that way. But I did! It is the first time that a sailor who handles the boat with servomotors has won the world championship!
Massimo Dighe, Director of Para World Sailing, said: “It was a great show of Parasailing in single and double competition. We congratulate the Hansa class for creating a boat for all sailors and for promoting inclusion within the class. The growth of the parasailing around the world is great for the future of the sport.
Congratulations to the winners and everyone for being able to participate in the Championships, especially those making their debut. We look forward to seeing more sailors competing in tournaments around the world in the coming months. “
Ahead of the 2021 Hansa World Championships, World Sailing supported sailors from Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania and the Philippines with travel costs, accommodation and the supply of boats under the Para-Sail Development Program (PDP). The teams have also received coaching support as World Sailing aims to increase global participation and expand competition.
More than 32 nations participate internationally each year in various world championships. By 2023, World Sailing aims to have 45 nations from six continents participate in all levels of parasailing and inclusive events.
By World Sailing