Photo credits: Pepe Hartmann
The Inclusion World Championship hosted in Rostock, Germany, remained exciting until the very end. In the two final races, some of the teams did not realize they had won until they were ashore because the victory was calculated from the results of the preliminary rounds and the placement in the finals. Both finals were close.
The final race of the overall ranking was sailed by the eight best teams in S\V14 class boats from the preliminary rounds, and they had also raced daily in the RS Venture Connect.
Up to the leeward mark, the team from Australia had a commanding lead, but they decided to sail on the less favorable side of the wind, so defending champions Silke Basedow and Nadine Löschke caught up, taking the gold medal. Silver went to the youngest team of the World Championships: Annelie Kraatz and Leo Paul Nüske from Rostock, who were greeted with applause and cheers as local heroes ashore. Bronze went to Australia.
“We are happy that we were able to defend the title, even though it was much tighter than in 2022. In the final race we had perfect wind conditions, the best of the whole World Championships,” said Silke Basedow from Team Hamburger Deerns. “We wanted to get on the podium and are very happy about the victory,” added her teammate Nadine Löschke.
Fourteen-year-olds Annelie Kraatz and Leo Paul Nüske could hardly believe that they were suddenly runners-up. Although they had done well throughout and crossed the finish line first in most of the heats, neither of them had expected a medal. “I can’t quite believe it yet, we were just hoping to finish in the top half beforehand. It really went well,” said Annelie Kraatz.
The second final race was for the world championship title in the RS Venture Connect class. British teammates Jazz Turner and Adam Billany crossed the finish line in front. Turner, who had to take a break the day before due to health problems, crossed the finish line with an astonished look on her face and tears in her eyes.
Her comeback was extremely positive, with a World Championship silver medal in the RS Venture Connect. Teammate Billany was speechless with joy. Things went particularly well for the Australian team in the second final. Again, they had chosen a different direction than most of the other teams on the way to the windward mark, and in this case, it was the course to the gold medal.
“It couldn’t have been closer. We knew we had to give it our all, and it worked out. We are incredibly happy to go home with two medals in our luggage – unbelievable,” Alderson said after the award ceremony.
All attendees were thrilled by the family atmosphere at the Inclusion World Championships and praised the good organization and hospitality. “We really enjoyed our stay in Rostock and the great atmosphere at the event,” said Alderson. The bronze medal in the RS Venture Connect went to Silke Basedow and Nadine Löschke.
The title in the Para classification was won by the Norwegians Henriette Smith and Solfrid Lindhjem Kvinnesland.
The event ended with a prize-giving ceremony. The medals were presented by Stefanie Drese, Minister for Social Affairs, Health and Sport in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the President of the Rostock City Parliament Regine Lück and Hannah Stodel from World Sailing. Drese once again emphasized the charisma of the inclusive World Championship and said that she was very pleased to once again be able to take on the patronage for it.