Egå SK, Denmark * July 28 - Aug. 1, 1998
England’s Ian Porter and Kevan Gibb (photo below) overcame a first-race 6th with 5 straight bullets to capture the 1998 Wayfarer Worlds held July 28th to August 1st at Egå in Denmark. Porter entered this, his final Worlds, as the only two-time world champion, and added to his record with a combination of outstanding speed, fine strategy and excellent crew work that resulted from extensive preparations. These included arriving on the site almost a week early! In a memorable and gracious victory speech, Ian indicated that he now plans to retire from competitive sailing. For Kevan, this was a second Worlds victory as he had crewed Julian Redman to victory at Lake Couchiching in ’86.
Ashore, our needs were met beautifully with machine-like, yet extremely personal and friendly precision as 150+ sailors and their guests were processed through delicious daily breakfasts, lunches and dinners by volunteers who worked up to 12 hours per day!!! What a way to have a relaxing holiday! One idea worth copying for our events was the Danes’ way of dealing with the lunches: competitors simply went down a long table and made their own sandwiches, and at the end of the table you could buy any soft drinks/water that you needed!
It speaks volumes about Mike’s character that despite what must have been a terrible disappointment in his results, Mike sought out the likes of Søren Jensen and Nick Seraphinoff on the water and ashore to give "after-sale" service on his sails. Word is that Mike also spent much of his lay day going out to coach various competitors who were experiencing serious boatspeed problems at the back of the fleet. We are indeed fortunate to have Mike Mac as a member of the Wayfarer family!!!!!
The English team of Martin Collen and Terry Palmer showed that they thrive on pressure. After getting their drop early by retiring from race #2, the Collen/Palmer team were repeatedly in bad shape after the first beat but somehow always clawed their way back into contention. In the end, they counted 4-3-3-9-4-4 and took series 4th.
Wayfarer newcomers, Mogens Just and Niels Møller, former Danish Olympians in the Star class, took an excellent 5th in their first Wayfarer Worlds. Although a bit weaker than the top boats on the spi legs, Mogens and Niels showed top-notch upwind ability and their local knowledge came in handy as well!
18-year-old Neil Harrison of Medway YC became the youngest sailor ever to win a Worlds race when he and father, Mike, took race 1. After that fine beginning to the series, the Harrisons performed consistently well and placed 6th overall. Clubmate, Quentin Strauss with Wendy Howland, also sailed consistently as he missed the top 10 only twice in nailing down series 7th.
The Waldringfield crew of Neil Fletcher and Chas Edwards sailed the ’95 World champion boat, #9644, to a solid 8th. This included a 2nd in race 5 where they led Ian Porter until the final beat.
A third Danish top 10 finisher was Joel Bøgh with Jon Kjartansson who showed his light-air prowess with 2-7-8-7 placings in the first two days’ light winds. When the winds picked up a bit for the final three races, Joel tailed off to 16-27-23 but still ended only 2 pts behind Fletcher.
Completing the top 10 were the young English team of Dan Wealthy and Rob Broad. At this point in the fleet, the effects of the shifty, patchy winds begin to really show up on the scoreboard and the benefits of being able to manage consistency become apparent. Dan and Rob, for instance, hit the top 10 only in race 5 (6th), but the 12-19-15-12-13 that they added were easily enough for series 10th.
Bad luck for the English crew of Simon Clayton and Rachel Mockridge who were a virtual certainty for the top 10 after scoring 8-14-6-13-12 in their first 5 races. In the windier race 6 however, the bow tank of their beautifully kept wooden W875 was T-boned by a port-tacker. The offending boat retired but Simon and Rachel had to quit as well. An overnight Red Green repair job (duct tape!!) had 875 on the water for Saturday but a 27th now had to be counted and Simon fell just 3 points short of the top 10.
After 3 light and flukey races, it seemed as though months of tuning against Anders Friis would not pay off for Søren Jensen and Jesper Friis who really needed their Coach’s cold beers after 19-20-26 placings. But when the winds picked up, Søren and Jesper completed the Jekyll-Hyde transformation with 6-7-9 and ended up 12th.
The only U.S. representative to this Worlds, Nick Seraphinoff, brought his wife, Mary, to experience Denmark, but sailed with Søren Gøtzsche, a Dane whom Nick had hosted at the 1980 Worlds in the U.S. In honour of the ethnic and mental make-up of this crew, Nick (below, left) and Søren got permission to name their borrowed Wayfarer MIXED NUTS – a name it will retain. Powered by beautiful new Mike Mac sails but hindered by suspect foils, the Mixed Nuts placed 41st.
Having finished poorly in his first Worlds (Toronto, ’95), Geoff Edwards came over with George Waller to try a borrowed boat and simply have fun. After placing last and DNF in the first two races, Geoff and George improved consistently to place 50th, ahead of 5 boats. And they had to be pleased with their 38th in the breezes of the finale!
Borrowing a boat proved to be less exhilarating for the remaining Canadian crew, Mark and Paul Taylor of the Mississauga SC. Little did they know how aptly YELLOW SUBMARINE had been named! By the end of the light-air first race, were ploughing along to 51st place in a boat that was 1/3 filled with water! In the second race it got so bad that they had to drop out!! A frantic scramble unearthed another boat for the Taylors to use on day 2. But now the crew, Paul, re-discovered the sailor’s version of tennis elbow that had bothered him at the Ontarios and Mark had to do all the sheet pulling. So, with visions of the flesh pots of Hamburg and Amsterdam dancing in their heads, the boys decided to pack it in. But not before Paul had added his magnificent guitar work to the Wayfarer Stompers’ Wednesday night performance. Not surprisingly, Mark and Paul placed 55th after finishing only two races!
Race 1 report
Race 2 report
Race 3 report
Race 4 report
Race 5 report
Race 6 report
Race 7 report
A U.K. View of the 98 Worlds
Uncle Al's 98 Worlds Diary
for photos, click "Back" button above, left