Croatia rules IOM World Championship
Published on November 23rd, 2019
The International One Metre (IOM) World Championship attracted the class maximum of 76 competitors to vie for the 2019 title on November 17-23 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. As the biggest radio controlled racing yacht class in the world, Croatia took the top two positions in the biennial event with Zvonko Jelacic claiming his third win and defending his 2017 title. North Americans in the top twenty all represented USA: Steve Landeau (11th), Mark Golison (15th), and Gary Goell (20th).
Report from Lisa Blackwood:
At the start of the Worlds all competitors are seeded into A,B,C,D,E evenly ranked fleets for the seeding races. The first four in each heat then form A fleet, 5th to 9th are B fleet and so on. This then counts as the first race. These scores count so in effect you have five 1st in the first race.
Then we start with E fleet with the first six moving up to the next heat D fleet. In the D Fleet heat the first six move to C fleet while the last six drop back to E fleet for the next round. This keeps going until A fleet is complete. These five hearts now make a race with the 1st in A fleet scoring 1 point and the last in E fleet scoring 76. Drops occur at 4, 8, 16 etc.
Boats and designs are all professionally made with the main four being Britpop (UK),Kantun (Croatia), V10 (NZ), and Sedici (Italy).
Now 3-time world champion Jelacic started his sailing in One Metre Class at an early age before moving to be become an Optimist Champion in teenage years. This is the current pattern for many Croatian sailors. Ian Vickers, who finished third, is an ex America’s Cup designer also dominates the class with his skill in design of the V 11.
Although the sport is dominated by Croatia, Britain, Spain, Australia, NZ, France, and the US to a lesser extent, Asian countries like China are attracting an increasing number of competitors.