France wins ILCA 7 World Championship

Published on May 28th, 2022

Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) won the 2022 ILCA 7 Men’s World Championship, topping the 126 sailors from 45 countries on May 23-28 in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.

A six race qualifying series advanced the top 63 boats to the Gold fleet, with Bernaz and defending World Champion Tom Saunders (NZL) trading blows in the early stage of the six-race finals before the Frenchman separated himself. Pavlos Kontides (CYP) finished 17 points off the lead in second, followed by Filip Jurišic (CRO), Saunders, and Tonci Stipanovic (CRO).

Top North American was Fillah Karim (CAN) in 43rd place. Karim won the second race and finished in the top 10 in three of the six qualification races, allowing him to start the final stage in 16th place overall where he struggled,

However, the 43rd-place finish represents a personal best for him at the World Championship, as he improved his ranking by three places from last year’s competition held in Barcelona, Spain.

“It was a super challenging regatta,” pointed out the 24-year-old sailor from the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. “Although technically this is my best Worlds result, it was overall an extremely disappointing performance.

“I sailed a clean qualifying series, but once we started the Gold Fleet racing, I just couldn’t seem to put any good races together and the higher-caliber fleet really punished me for my weaknesses. At the end of the day, it’s not the result we were looking for coming here, but it’s another step in the process. As always, we will take the lessons learned here and come back stronger next year.”

Of the nine Canadians, Karim and two-time Olympian Tom Ramshaw (Toronto, ON), who finished 52nd, were the only to qualify for the Gold Flight. Seven sailors represented the USA with Leo Boucher as the best in 79th position. Mexico have five entrants led by Yanic Gentry in 77th.

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