In a dramatic medal race for the RS:X Women here at the ISAF Sailing World Championships, Lee Korzits [ISR] hung on to her gold medal positions by just 2 points after a strong challenge form Zofia Noceti Klepacka [POL]
As predicted yesterday Zofia proved too hot for Marina Alabau [ESP] to handle. She burst off the start line just behind Maayan Davidovich [ISR] who was first to the breakwater underneath the grandstands.
Her Polish supporters ashore were having heart palpitations as Zofia hung on until the last nano second to make her tack away from the windless zone close to the boulders.
She came out strong to cross the other 8 racers on port in the building breeze of 9-11 knots. At the top mark, It was Maayan round first. Zofia second, then the chasing pack lead by Marina followed with Lee deep.
On the first downwind, Huang Yue [CHN] muscled herself into contention snatching 3rd place from Marina before the bottom gate. Zofia was now in world championship winning position.
She didn’t put a foot wrong on the extended second upwind.
Attention switched to Lee who was making a last gasp attack to clutch a couple of valuable places back. She knew that if there were only four boards between her and Zofia, her 2011 RS:X World Title was safe.
Coming into the bottom gate for the last time. Maayan had built a substantial lead. Zofia was on the left close the spectators on the breakwater. Oh, NO….
WEEEEED… she had to spin the board round to free her fin. As she came out to the middle of the course, would she still be in front of Huang? She had to be to retain silver. It was tight. Her lead had been whittled away. It was less than 5 meters
Zofia redoubled her effort. She had started this RS:X championships slowly having lost a dear friend. Now she focused on delivering on her promise to race for him. The gold had been snatched from her grasp but she had to make sure of silver.
Taking the left hand gate mark, she gybed with meters to spare. We held our breath. Huang was fighting back. Zofia glanced over her shoulder saw the danger and woomph she pressed her advantage home. Second place in the medal race was hers AND the silver medal
The top two at the 2011 RS:X European Windsurfing Championships just a few short months ago had swapped places. Lee Korzits [ISR] is the World Champion. Zofia Noceti Klepacka [POL] is the vice World Champion and RS:X European Champion.