Defending Champ, Elliott Wislar (LIS) wins Worlds -- Burnham, Van Voorhis, Widnall follow.

posted Jun 17, 2011, 10:51 PM by Danielle Lawson   [ updated Jun 20, 2011, 7:24 AM by Danielle Lawson ]

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Three sunny days with comparatively lighter air than in the early racing, concluded the week's IOD Worlds competition on Friday.  After one practice race on a cloudy and quite breezy Sunday the 12th, two races were held on each of Monday-Thursday.  Wednesday's "spare" day was used to make up for the failure to start two "real" races in Sunday's blustery breeze and confused sea conditions that made Race Committee anchoring and support boat between-race swaps a safety concern, after several harbor postponements.  The balance of the week's racing was less dramatic, weather- and gear-wise, with but one swap-in of the spare boat on Monday (repaired and returned over night), and only trivial damage to gear and fittings the rest of the week, as conditions gradually mellowed.

After Monday's two races, defending champion Elliott Wislar took and first and third to establish a lead position that was threatened, but never bested, in the seven ensuing races.  His Long Island Sound team repelled heavy assaults from -- first -- Charlie Van Voorhis and -- secondly -- John Burnham's Fishers Island teams, to take overall honors in Friday evening's awards ceremony, proving his close win in 2010's Worlds in Northeast Harbor, Maine was no fluke.  He joins 11 other multi-Worlds winners in the 50 Worlds held since the first such international "play-offs" held in 1959, in this class that began sailing competitively in 1936. 

As the week progressed, Charlie Van Voorhis improved from 8th and 6th in the first two races, notching firsts in races 3, 5 and 6, to creep within one point of Wislar going into race 7.  But he closed out the week with 8-10 & 10, falling to third in the final standings, to John Burnham's 3-4-1 finish that lifted him into second.  Marblehead's Bill Widnall produced three second-place finishes for fourth, and Norway's Martin Rygh was the only other twin-bullet finisher, taking fifth.

These 2011 top four trophy winners -- between them -- have garnered 16 World Championship, with Widnall leading the World Class, all-time, with nine, dating back to his first taken in Norway in 1967! 

This year's 75th anniversary Jubilee series included eight vintage wooden IODs that held up well in the competitive outcomes, demonstrating that IODs remain a truly classic one-design racing class for the ages.  Indeed, the eight "woodies" (42% of the 19-boats racing) collected 16 top three finishes in the 27 available in the nine races, a remarkable 60% of the "money" slots!  The Marblehead IOD fleet was augmented by the loan of four IODs each from the Fishers Island and Nantucket fleets, which were transported to the North Shore for the two-week "Jubilee" regattas, consisting of the New England Challenge, finished on the 12th, followed by last week's Worlds.

--Steve Barrett

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