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Ireland’s Rocco Wright Finishes with a Win in Final Race as Brazilian Becomes Optimist World Champion 2021

9th July 2021
Ireland's Rocco Wright (IRL 1631) flips on to port tack in the last race of the Optimist Worlds on Lake Garda
Ireland's Rocco Wright (IRL 1631) flips on to port tack in the last race of the Optimist Worlds on Lake Garda Credit: Matias Capizzano

While Brazil’s Alex Di Francesco Kuhl continued his improving performance today on Lake Garda to topple the USA’s Gil Hackel from the overall lead to become the new Optimist World Champion, Ireland’s top helm Rocco Wright of Howth concluded with a roller-coaster performance in the final two days which saw him record three placing in the 50s in the 259-strong fleet before he exited the gruelling competition in style by winning the concluding race this evening (Friday).

By so doing he hauled himself up from being in the 30s to finish on 20th overall, a placing which would have been much improved had a second discard been allocated - see full results here. But scorings of 51, 55, and 52 in Races 7F, 8F, and 9F proved too punishing to offset his otherwise consistent scoreline, which had started as it was to finish - with a race win.

Ireland’s best scorings in the Optimist Worlds go back to 1981 when Denise Lyttle (National YC) was 13th and top girl. In 1992, Nicky Smyth (Howth & Clontarf) was 12th, and then in 2019 Rocco Wright recorded the best placing to date, 10th overall won in Antigua.

Published in Optimist
WM Nixon

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WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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