The ISAF RS:X Mens Worlds came to a dramatic close over the weekend as the top spot was shuffled around in last of the medal races but it was Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) who shone through to take the top spot. Read on for more…
Just 16 days ago, Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) was ranked 10th in the world in Men’s RS:X windsurfing.
By late Sunday afternoon (18 December), he was the new world champion, having wrestled the crown from defending champion, Poland’s Piotr Myszka, by winning the gold medal at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.
“It means satisfaction for the last three years,” van Rjisselberghe said when he returned to Bathers Bay beach from the Centre Course.
But it was by no means an easy race for any of the Men’s RS:X medal winners.
Myszka stayed close to his rival for the entire race, hoping van Rijsselberghe would falter.
“I was with Dorian all the time but he was a little bit faster on the first upwind so I lost him there,” Myszka said.
“I was waiting for some mistake, but he made none.
“He’s a world champion, he knows what to do and he protected himself really well. I couldn’t do anything.”
Just one point separated the two sailors before they set sail Sunday, guaranteeing fierce competition.
Van Rijsselberghe said he was greatly impressed by Myszka’s performances during this week’s races: “He’s a great racer. It’s just unbelievable, you didn’t really see him at the beginning of the week and then all of a sudden he comes out [on Saturday] on top. He’s an amazing sailor and windsurfer. I have a lot of respect for the guy.”
Myszka even risked injury to claim a medal: “I was pumping so hard that my hand opened on the boom and I fell down to the water! So I ended up racing with one hand. It was a dangerous moment.”
But while the battle for gold prevailed, so too did the fight for the bronze, with Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) losing his third overall place to Israel’s Nimrod Mashich.
Mashich and Miarczynski were extremely close on the downwind leg before the slalom finish. Both sailors ended with 52 points overall, but on a count-back Mashich took the bronze.
“Miarczynski is a really experienced sailor. I don’t know how many medals this guy has won in his life so it was very hard racing him today,” Mashich said.
Mashich, the world number two, said he was “really, really happy” to be taking a medal home.
“I really wanted to win but they [van Rijsselberghe and Myszka] are really incredible sailors so I did the maximum I could do and that’s it,” Mashich said.
Sunday’s final race saw three outsiders take the first three places – Byron Kokkalanis (GRE), Julien Bontemps (FRA) and Ivan Pastor (ESP) – but they were not contenders for a medal.