Pavlos Kontides Wins Laser World Championship 2017!

Total Croatia News

Split’s waters saw a top-class battle this past week with the Laser World Championship 2017 but it was Pavlos Kontides who won gold!

There was trying weather for the Laser World Championship in Split but that is all part of the drama and challenge of sailing at the highest level. Every day produced its own challenges, from low and changeable winds of around 5-knots, champagne sailing with an open course to strong 20-knot winds and breakages.

On the third day of qualifying, plenty of the favourites suffered dramas at sea, including ripped sails for JK Mornar’s Stipanović and Kontides (Cyprus). Stipanović remained optimistic, a true athlete’s attitude – simply looking ahead to the next day’s racing.

Jurišić had a good day racing on day 4, the first day of the final round, even managing to get ahead of Stipanović in the leaderboard.

“I finished the first race of the finals in the second position and I am really satisfied with this result. Now I have to keep my focus on the next races because everything is possible and I hope for my best sailing… there are 50 of the best sailors in one group (Gold Group) so there is not much space left for mistakes and everyone has to give their best constantly.” – Filip Jurišić

Kontides held a firm position on the leaderboard the entire week, while the reigning World Champion Tom Burton (AUS) was hot on his heels. It was Burton who came away with Gold in the Rio Olympics last year in a come-from-behind win over Stipanović. Matthew Wearn, another Australian was also sitting at the top of the leaderboard with only 1 point separating him from Burton.

It is always going to be a close battle for the World Championship while Kontides was 15 points ahead of Burton in 2nd place, anything could have happened on the last day of racing, however… it was mother nature who won. On Tuesday 19th September which was meant to be the final day of racing, a fast-moving frontal system moved over Split for the final day, producing red-alert rain and storm warnings. So, the results stayed the same as the day before:

  1. Pavlos Kontides CYP 15pts 
    2. Tom Burton AUS 30pts 
    3. Matthew Wearn AUS 31pts
    4. Philipp Buhl GER 37pts
    5. Jesper Stalheim SWE 45pts 
    6. Nick Thompson GBR 48pts
    7. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz FRA 50pts
    8. Thomas Saunders NZL 51pts
    9. Francesco Marrai ITA 60pts
    10. Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini GBR 65pts

Kontides very clearly dominated the World Championship and won deservingly. In 2012 he became the first Olympic Sailing medallist from Cyprus and now he is the first to hold the title World Champion from Cyprus! Huge congratulations to Kontides, in regards to winning he shared this on his official page:

“Unparalleled emotions for a unique achievement I‘ve been training for…for a long time. Thank you all for your great words and touching comments.” – Kontides. See the award ceremony below.

Jurišić came in at 18th with 85-points while Stipanović came in 29th place with 115-points. Definitely not the results that either Stipanović or Jurišić were after; Jurišić told us he was not very happy with his sailing overall but was still happy and proud of Kontides for winning the Championship. Kontides also trains here in Split at JK Mornar; while there is a strong rivalry between the JK Mornar sailors there is also strong comradery and support, Stipanović and Jurišić have both said in the past how much like a brother Kontides is.

Regardless of the weather and not having any of our boys in the top 10, Split put on a great show, it was an absolute honour to host the World Championship in Split, once again, showcasing Split on the world map for sailing.

And, it is not over just yet, there will be plenty more action on the waters as the Laser World Masters are set to kick-off from September 21st – September 30th which will bring 300 sailors from 30 countries.

The boys from the World Champs are now taking a much-needed week-long break before the Europeans in Barcelona. Bravo to all who competed and we look forward to this week’s action with the Masters.


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