Ilhabela – Henrique Haddad and Gustavo Nascimento (BRA) are the 2019 Snipe World Champions after a very long and challenging nine race series, during which the leaders at the end of each of the five days of racing would always be a different team.
Even this morning, going onto the racecourse, the top teams were all very tight and at least five boats could win the 2019 Snipe World Championships. The first race was sailed in an Easterly breeze of 10 knots, that the forecast didn’t predict lasting as th Southerly would fill, and it did for the final thrilling race.
During race 8, the provisional leaders, Damian Borras and Jordi Triay, went to the wrong side of the course and finished 46th, jeopardizing their final result. Alexandre Paradeda with Gabriel Kieling (BRA), Juninho de Jesus with Gabriel Borges (BRA) and Luis Soubie with Diego Lipszyc (ARG) didn’t miss the chance to improve their ranking positions, and finished respectively first, second and third; but even Haddad/Nascimento did well with a sixth place.
Race 9 got underway after the Committee repositioned the course way south, towards the Escola de Vela Lars Grael, home to the event.
At the first windward mark, the Spanish team rounded second behind Nick Grael with Fabio Horta, trying to make up for the previous race. Paradeda/Kieling and Haddad/Nascimento were not among the leading pack, leaving some room for hope to the Spanish. Borras then was first at the downwind gate, with Grael following and Haddad getting closer. The order didn’t change until the finish, when Grael/Horta passed Borras/Triay and won the last race. The Spanish finished second and had to wait for the Brazilian teams chasing behind.
Ralph Rosa with Alfredo Rovere (BRA) were third and Haddad/Nascimento fourth, erasing the Spanish hope for victory. But it was now their turn in waiting for the final position of Paradeda/Kieling, who could still claim the overall leadership. They finished 13th, and by just one point, handed the 2019 Snipe Worlds to Haddad/Nascimento.
“We couldn’t believe we won, we just tried to get less points that we could today, fighting on every tack. We just can’t believe it, it’s an incredible feeling!” said Henrique Haddad back ashore. “Today was a very long day, we started with an East wind and then waited a lot for the South to come in, we didn’t know if it would be better to have a race or not, but then we just enjoyed the moment, and we are loving this day, we’re not going to have another day like this one!”
“A very long championship, long upwinds as well, but in the end everything is worth it. Today we just had to do our race and forget the math and we did it, it’s a great moment right now!” confirmed Gustavo Nascimento. “It is even better to win it here in Brazil with our families following the races!”
With them on the podium another Brazilian flag will be hoisted, the one for Alexandre Paradeda and Gabriel Kieling who claim the silver medal, and on the third step, the Spanish Damian Borras and Jordi Triay.
The prize for the best mixed team will be awarded to Mateus Tavares with Kathleen Tocke (BRA/USA), sixth overall. This is a new award named after legendary female Brazilian sailor Bibi Juetz, who always sailed as a mixed team and is the only female to win the Snipe World Masters.
The curtains of the 2019 Snipe World Championship will close tonight after the official prize giving ceremony, but the party won’t be over so soon, the Brazilians know how to celebrate a World title win!