Fridman and Kendall take it

But a strong showing for team GBR at the conclusion of the Mistral Worlds

Sunday December 15th 2002, Author: Sasha Oswald, Location: Australasia
After what has been a tricky week for the competitors at the 2002 Mistral world championships due to light conditions, the championship concluded after two races were sailed in the men's fleet and three in the women's in a perfect 10-14 knots.

RYA Team GBR sailor Dom Tidey pulled his finger out when it was needed and over the course of four races went from lying in eighteenth position overall to finishing in fifth place, one of the best results that Great Britain has ever had in the men's fleet at a world championship.

Tidey explains, "It was looking a bit dodgy going into the final few days, but I decided that I really needed to improve my game if I wanted to finish with a result that I would be pleased with. I made a few adjustments to my equipment which seemed to pay off and I sailed really well over the final four races." He continued, "I found a bit more confidence in the increased breeze that we had in the final stage of the championships and only made a few mistakes, so I am really pleased to finish in fifth place."

Tidey was not the only RYA Team GBR sailor to finish the regatta on a high, team mate Natasha Sturges also finished in fifth place in the women's fleet after scoring a number of promising results inside the top ten. Nick Dempsey came in two places behind Tidey, in seventh place overall and Development Squad sailor Bryony Shaw will be pleased to have finished just outside the top ten in eleventh place overall.

Gal Fridman of Israel received his first world championship gold medal, finishing twelve points in front of Brazilian Ricardo Santos. Previous world champion Nikolas Kaklamanakis of Greece, could not defend his title and on the final day dropped out of the medals, leaving Julien Bontemps of France to collect the bronze.

In the women's fleet, Olympic champion Barbara Kendall led the regatta from start to finish, counting three first places amongst her overall score line to win by eight points from Alessandra Sensini of Italy.

RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park commented, "Having had a successful year with great results at a number of the international regatta's at the beginning of the season, the Team GBR windsurfers went to Thailand determined to show they could pull off results at a world championships when it mattered. Halfway through the event, following light conditions, the results were not that good, so it is pleasing to see that all of the World Class Performance sailors retained their focus and the results steadily
improved as the regatta progressed.

Dom and Natasha will both be happy with fifth places, proving that they are up there with the top windsurfers in the world. Development Squad sailor Bryony Shaw should be pleased with the progress she has made this year, just missing out on the top ten at her second world championships."

Full results on pages 2 and 3...

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