News

In the News: Robertson, Wilson claim M32 World titles

Excessive weather today granted Phil Robertson and the crew of ChinaOne Ningbo the win in the inaugural M32 World Championship. With rain squalls gusting up to 40 knots, principal race officer Mattias Dahlstrom was unable to hold any racing on the final day, and Robertson’s nine-point advantage on the leaderboard meant the New Zealander becomes the winner of the first ever world championship for this lightweight 32-foot catamaran class.

Robertson said he’d rather have raced but added: “It’s part of sailing, you’re dictated to by nature, and I think that’s the beauty of the sport. You’ve got to take whatever comes and unfortunately it’s ended like this. Too windy to race, it would have been nice to go out there and seal the deal on the race course, but I guess Mother Nature did it for us.”

The driving rain today came in stark contrast to the previous three days of glorious, sunny days in Marstrand. “The racing here has been incredible,” said Robertson, who competes across a number of Grand Prix circuits in the sailing world. “A fleet of 15 M32s racing on one course is spectacular and it’s also very challenging. Reaching starts are very tough to get into the right position with that many boats. It’s very easy to be swallowed up by the pack. You’re fighting for every inch you can grab and every boat you can pass.”

The battle for second, third and fourth place was very close but it was Jonas Warrer who came out on top of that fight. The 2008 49er Olympic gold medallist enjoyed the frenetic reaching starts in these carbon-fibre speed machines. “It’s definitely something different to what I’m used to, a new experience for everyone. The adrenalin is really pumping for those first 500 metres. It’s really close racing but because everyone’s on starboard tack, I think it’s maybe less dangerous than a traditional upwind start.”

New Zealander Chris Steele steered CFA Sport Racing to third overall, just two points ahead of top Corinthian skipper Don Wilson at the helm of Convexity.

Read more at Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Photo courtesy of Scuttlebutt Sailing News