UAE-based women’s team Kidzink lead DDF SB20 World Championships - GulfToday

UAE-based women’s team Kidzink lead DDF SB20 World Championships


Participating teams in action at the Dubai Duty Free SB20 World Championships.

Gulf Today, Sports Reporter

Dubai's eagerly awaited Dubai Duty Free SB20 World Championships got off to a roaring start after a one-day postponement due to weather.

Despite initial challenges, 48 teams representing over 12 nations battled it out in four thrilling races, showcasing their skills and setting the stage for an unforgettable competition at the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club.

The winners of lead-up events, the SB20 Middle East Championships late 2023 and SB20 Asia Pacific Championships earlier this month, have already showcased exceptional skill and determination, setting the stage for a fiercely competitive World Championship.

John Pollard, Skipper of Xcellent and winner of last week's Dubai Duty Free Asia Pacific championship, expressed his enthusiasm: “It's wonderful to be back on our beloved boat. Our team has remained consistent throughout the week, putting in extensive training sessions. We're optimistic about the championship and hoping for favourable sailing conditions. The weather feels reminiscent of home in the summer—pleasantly shifty with a strong fleet. I anticipate it will be a fantastic day on the water.”

Amidst the excitement of the World Championships, the day commenced with two general recalls due to unstable wind and significant shifts. Despite the challenges, the race management team and mark layers persevered, successfully organising four races. By the fourth race, conditions had stabilised, offering the classic Dubai experience with 14-15 knots and ideal sailing conditions. Team Xcellent secured victory in Race 1, while Race 2 was claimed by the French youth team of Jeunes FF Voile 1. The Bulgarian team of Ivana and Alex clinched the win in Race 3, showcasing their potential as newcomers to the International SB20 circuit. Meanwhile, Desert Eagle emerged victorious in Race 4. Currently, the French Youth team Jeunes FF Voile 1 holds third place overall, followed by the Singaporean Team Rental Car in second. Leading the standings are the women’s team from the UAE, Kidzink.

Charlotte Borghesi, Skipper of Kidzink, commented, “It's been a really tricky day—every weather condition, wind condition, every wind angle. So we just focused on working as a team, trying to stay ahead of what's happening. We simply sailed as best as we could.”

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