Champion after 35 years

Canadian Bill Abbott takes the Soling Worlds in Marblehead reports Phil Crebbin

Saturday September 28th 2002, Author: Phil Crebbin, Location: United Kingdom
The final day of racing was appropriately dominated by Soling Class world

New champion Bill Abbott continued his complete dominance of the fleet by winning for the fifth time in six races. He was delighted to win his first Soling world title after sailing in the class for 35 years, firstly with his father and then skippering himself from the late 1970s onwards, as well of course as the family being one of the leading builders of the class.

Abbott had his own son, Bill jr, crewing for him to continue the family tradition.

Paul Davis, Soling Association Vice-President and a Canadian who is now based in Norway and was part of the Norwegian Soling team at the Sydney Olympics, was the third member of the team.

Second and third in the race were two former world champions, Dave Curtis and defending champion Gustavo Warburg. Curtis led the race early on and had a close tussle with Abbott for the first part.

There was a better breeze from the NE for the sixth race, up to 15kts but less in the later stages, with the usual chop made more extreme due to a large underlying swell with waves up to 2 metres at times. The alternative course was used which included reaching legs on the third round making for some good surfing.

Dave Franzel in 14th place had his worst race, but he still held off Warburg to take third overall. Don Cohan had another good result in 6th place for a very consistent series and fifth overall ahead of George Wossala.

Britain's Tony Clare, Soling Association President, crewed by Philip Crebbin and Len Delicaet, had an exciting tussle in the middle group and took several places on the reaches to finish 13th and move up a place to 12th overall. This gave him the satisfaction of overtaking Charles Kamps in their friendly private battle.

Kamps had finished one place behind him at both the European Championship, where they were 9th and 10th, and the Masters World Championship, where they were 4th and 5th.

With a valid series completed and it being too late to start another race after the long sixth race, there was no seventh race held as the reserve day was only to be used if five races had not yet been sailed.

Race 6:
1. Bill Abbott, Canada
2. Dave Curtis, USA
3. Gustavo Warburg, Argentina
4. John Gochberg, USA
5. Martin Busch, Argentina
6. Don Cohan, USA
British: 13. Tony Clare

Final Overall (6 races, 5 to count):
1. Bill Abbott 5 pts
2. Dave Curtis 11 pts
3. Dave Franzel, USA 26 pts
4. Gustavo Warburg 29 pts
5. Don Cohan 30 pts
6. George Wossala, Hungary 35 pts
British: 12. Tony Clare 57 pts

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