Tough times at International Canoe Worlds

Published on September 7th, 2014

Richmond, CA (September 7, 2014) – The first day of the International Canoe World Championship saw defending world champion Chris Maas running a clinic, with a 1/3 of leg lead heading into the last reach leg before an escalating catastrophe changed the score.

After rounding the weather mark with only one lap to go, he crashed with a mainsheet problem. While straightening things out, the flood tide pushed his mast head back onto the weather mark. The halyard somehow got clipped inside a ballast hook on the mark. He heard a loud bang that was the halyard snapping. It was game over. He headed in.

Earlier his competition, two time world champion (& 3 time runnerup) Steve Clark, capsized on the first weather leg. In case you didn’t know in the US the Clark family is synonymous with International Canoes. So surprise, surprise who pulls off the win: the relatively unheralded Mikey Radziejowski from Santa Cruz. How’d he get there? Practice, a good boat and great sails.

Another local boy – if you call Nevada based member of the host yacht- Stephen Gay, probably found the conditions slightly less challenging than landing his jet at night on Navy carriers. Not that these two can’t feel the hot breath of Brit Alistair Warren or Germany’s Peter Ullmann. In the last worlds they were second and third respectively. Also in the mix two other members of the Clark Clan.

Pretty normal short chop and a not nuking breeze in the slot on the Berkeley circle. The RC was eyeing the anemometer for magic cancellation number – 21 knots – but hardly ever got it. Ten boats were Hors de combat. After racing carbon fiber, epoxy and peel ply were in great demand in the dinghy yard.

Racing continues through next Monday.

Event website:

Report by John Dukat

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