At the end of five days of a great championship with 15 competition races, Janis Preiss (LAT-23) is declared the 2014 Formula Windsurfing Masters World Champion and also the 2014 Gallipoli Formula European Cup Champion. Karl-Erik Saarm (EST-228) is 2014 Formula Windsurfing Youth World Champion.
In third place overall in the Masters fleet, Marco Begalli (ITA-415) is 2014 Formula Windsurfing Grandmasters Champion and Lars van Someren (NED-800)is 2014 Formula Windsurfing Junior Champion with a very creditable fourth place overall in the youth fleet.
On the final championship day, the Race Committee took up their customary position on the water, AP flying while they waited for the wind to settle after it changed direction from NE to SE. On the beach Janis Preiss and Miguel Martinho prepared themselves for the final battle ahead with just the one point separating them, both eager to claim the title.
This final championship day provided quite different conditions - some took it in their stride, particularly those more experienced in the Masters fleet, others relished the stronger winds whilst others fell by the wayside.
Janis Preiss was on fire, taking three of the four bullets, whilst for Miguel Martinho, two of his races today ended up being two of his three series discards. Thus they ended the day, and the championship, with Janis 5 points clear ahead. First Grandmaster Marco Begalli clung on to his third place on the podium by a mere two points as Latvian Maris Birzulis rounded off a good day, taking the last bullet of the championship.
In the Youth Fleet, it wasn't Karl-Erik Saarm's best day either. He started off well with a win but then was OCS in the next race. However, he finished the championship top of the leaderboard with a healthy five point lead over Brazilian Leonardo Venturini who took two bullets on this final day. Jan Orsatti (SUI-27) claimed the third podium spot.
First Junior Lars Van Someren moved up to fourth place overall, faring better than Artur Kaikull who had entered the final day with equal points but ended up discarding three of his final four races. He finished on equal points with fellow Estonian Tristen Erik Kivi who enjoyed his best day of the championship.
Conditions have been tricky during the week, shifting winds making it "interesting" for both the on-water crew and competitors alike. Nevertheless, thanks to the Race Committee, officials and jury, 15 races were provided for a full series.
In addition to the racing, the Sail Section of the Istituto Nautico "A. Vespucci" in Gallipoli, together with the sponsors and all their helpers and supporters provided a well organised event and an excellent social programme at a great venue. Many thanks to all involved.
Final Results after 15 races
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