On the last day of the Women’s RS:X ISAF Worlds, hundreds lined the shores to witness the final medal race showdown.
Lee Korzits (ISR) is the golden girl of Women’s RS:X at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.
Poland’s Zofia Noceti-Klepacka won the silver medal and Spain’s Marina Alabau took the bronze.
It was a battle of the three best in the world and it was also a race between three good friends in Sunday’s (11 December) Medal Race on Centre Course at Bathers Bay.
When the athletes returned to shore, Lee Korzits’ name stood for gold.
“When I go onto the water I am like a warrior, even to my friends. On the beach we are like best friends but in the water we are competing,” Korzits said.
“These girls are my team. We all won, all three of us.”
Korzits’ friend and competitor, Zofia Noceti-Klepacka (POL), said the Medal Race had been “the hardest of [her] life” but she was glad Korzits won the championship.
“I’m so happy Lee won. She is my best friend. I am happy for her and Marina. We are really good friends, sisters,” Noceti-Klepacka said.
The race, with light winds and seaweed, tested their strength and balance. The sailors had to pump furiously to get to the windward mark, but found it easier in the downward, with Maayan Davidovich (ISR) sailing ahead of her competitors to take first place.
But the win was not enough to secure her a place in the top three.
The bronze medal went to Marina Alabau (ESP), who said after the race that she knew her hard work during the week would pay off.
“It’s not been my conditions but I’ve had a really good week and I’ve pushed hard all the time to win,” Alabau said.
“I pumped and pumped until my arms were tired, and now I’m very happy to leave in third place today.”
The medal race played before a crowd of hundreds lining the breakwater, eager to catch a glimpse of the red sails.
At the grandstand, Korzits’ supporters brandished an Israeli flag, while Noceti-Klepacka’s supporters chanted her name for the duration of the race.
When the athletes came ashore, Korzits draped her flag around her shoulders and said she was ecstatic to win gold for her country.
“I’m so happy that I can stand behind my country and my flag and hear the national anthem today so far away from my home,” she said.
It was evident that the rivalry between the women was left on the water as they set off to celebrate their medals.
“I’m packing my sail away and going to get ready to party,” said Marina Alabau.