The RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Mussanah, Oman, concluded in spectacular style today with the Medal Races producing nail-biting competition and two extremely worthy world champions. Peina Chen, the 26 year-old super-fit Chinese sailor confirmed her overall win of the Women's World Championship, while an eighth place for Frenchman Pierre Le Coq in the Medal Race was enough for him to retain his leading position and secure the Men's title.
The championship couldn't have finished on a better note with winds in the mid teens resulting in planing conditions that made the Medal Races in the afternoon particularly exciting. Peina Chen commenting on her win said, "It feels amazing to be world champion. For me today's race was about trying to keep out of the way of the other girls whose results were important. I just enjoyed the day and the good wind. "This event has taught me to focus more on myself and how to control my mind. I know that downwind I am faster than all the other girls, and upwind I am also good, so I now just need to trust myself because I know I can perform well."
The race for the silver medal was intense but a fourth place for British Olympic bronze medallist, Bryony Shaw (32), in the Medal Race, was enough to lift her up the ranks and secure the title a clear 8 points ahead of Lilian de Geus (NED) who took bronze. Shaw commented, "I had a really fun day today in those conditions and I am very happy to win the silver. I am very impressed with Peina from China and really pleased she won because she is amazingly fast."
Pierre Le Coq, 26, was unstoppable this week and led the men's division from start to finish. In his typical relaxed style, he was delighted with his result. "It is incredible, I am the world champ and I am so happy. The conditions today were perfect. We had good planning conditions and I really enjoyed racing with the top guys. I put my win down to training. I think I lived every day for the last three months for this world championship and it has paid off. Also, the French team are very strong and it is thanks to them, and the way they have pushed me that I am in this position today." Aichen Wang (CHN) who finished today's Medal Race in sixth place, and just one point behind Le Coq overall, took the silver medal, while Olympic gold medallist Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) won the bronze.
Eighteen year-old Stefania Elfutina (RUS) maintained her 10th overall in the world championship and clinched the 2015 Oman RS:X Under 21 Women's Windsurfing Championship title. She sailed well all week and included a 1st place in her overall score line. "My aim was to make the Medal Race and I have achieved my goal. Sailing with Olympic medallists in the Medal Race was fantastic and I feel the experience has made me stronger," she said.
The 2015 Oman RS:X Under 21 Men's Windsurfing Championship title went to 19-year-old Mattia Camboni (ITA) who said he was delighted with his result. "I went into the Medal Race really relaxed today and enjoyed every minute. It was a good feeling to be so young and competing against some of the world's more experienced sailors."
After another tough day on the water, competitors joined friends, family and guests, including Guest of Honour His Excellency Ahmed Al Mahrazi - Minister of Tourism - and Her Excellency Maitha Al Mahrouqi - Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Chairwomen of Oman Sail, for a spectacular Omani send off at the 2015 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships closing ceremony. From this event, many competitors head straight to Abu Dhabi to the ISAF Sailing World Cup, which takes place from 27 October to 1 November.