Januari 11, 2010 @ 21:45:53   Foto FRIED ELLIOTT

2010 49er World Champions, Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez

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Spanish sailors Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez won their third world title in the 49er class after six days of competition in the Bahamas.

The Olympic champions (Athens 2004) and silver medallists (Beijing 2008), team-mates on Telefonica Blue during the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race, added to the world titles they had won in Hawaii in 2002 and Athens in 2004

Their crowning moment came with victory in the medal race held in a shifty, 8-10 knots. Two-time defending champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen from Australia made a strong push by winning both the morning races moving them into second overall which they held through the final results. Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello of Italy won the bronze.

Commenting on their third world title, Martinez said: "This win means a lot. Not every day you win a world title. We had spent the last 12 years sailing together and after the titles won in 2002 and 2004 we had to wait until 2010 to repeat, so this is huge."

See full results at www.49erworlds.org.

Grael's home comforts

Torben Grael, the winning skipper on Ericsson 4 in the 2008-09 race, will have home advantage when he contests the Star class world championships on Guanabara Bay next week.

Grael will team up with long-term partner Marcelo Ferreira. The pair face tough opposition from fellow-Brazilians Robert Scheidt/Bruno Prada, Lars Grael/Ronald Seifert and Alan Adler/Guilherme de Almeida.

A record 81 teams, representing 20 countries will compete on the waters near Guanabara, site of the 2008-09 Rio port stopover and in-port race series. The event is hosted by the Yacht Club of Rio de Janeiro.

Holt's transatlantic mission complete

Geoff Holt has arrived in Tortola to become the first quadriplegic to sail across the Atlantic. Holt completed the 2,700-mile journey unassisted on a 60ft purpose built catamaran Impossible Dream.

It has taken 28 days from his departure in Lanzarote to Cane Garden Bay where he will revisit the place of his accident that paralysed him 25 years ago.

This is the fourth time Geoff has sailed the Atlantic, but the first since his life changing accident in 1984 which left him paralysed from the chest down. Diving into shallow water broke his neck causing a complete spinal cord injury.

In 2007, Holt sailed his way into the record books when he became the first disabled yachtsman to sail single-handed around Great Britain. He hopes his latest feat will raise awareness of the accomplishment of other disabled sportsmen and women and inspire others to push their own personal boundaries.



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