ILCA Masters World Championships
Published on February 10th, 2024
Nine new ILCA World Champions have been crowned at the 2024 ILCA Masters Worlds held February 4-10 in Adelaide, Australia. There were 221 competitors racing in either the ILCA 6 or 7 with USA taking wins in the ILCA 6 – Grand Masters Fleet (Andrew Holdsworth) and ILCA 6 – Legends Fleet (William Symes).
Coming from 20 countries, the fleet was divided into age categories. The Apprentices category is for those aged 30-44, then there is the Masters, Grand Masters, Great Grand Masters for those aged 65-74, and then the Legends category for sailors 75 and over.
There were 20 Legends competing – 19 in the ILCA 6 division and one competing with the ILCA 7 fleet, with the two oldest sailors – Peter Seidenberg of the United States and Peter Craig from Australia, both 86 years old – as in love with sailing as ever.
Seidenberg has been sailing ILCAs for more than half his life and has been to the last 40 ILCA Masters World Championships.
“I sailed my first Masters World Championship in 1981 and I’ve sailed them consecutively ever since,” recalled Seidenberg. “This is now my 41st regatta. I got hooked. It’s the camaraderie. We don’t give an inch on the water, but when we’re on shore we hug each other and have a good time. It’s a wonderful sport. To do well in these regattas you have to be in good shape and that’s what I do at home. I cycle, I work out, and it helps me to do well out on the water.
“I just love the Masters World Championships, it has taken me around the world, to different places that I would probably have never gone to before. I love sailing and I love the camaraderie, I like to meet people again, over and over again, so it’s a great sport.”
Craig, from Brisbane, took a break from sailing but has rediscovered the sport in recent years. A Masters World Championship in his home country was a great opportunity to return to high level racing.
“I hadn’t sailed for 30 years and decided to take it up again,” he said. “I live in Brisbane, and I sail in the river, which is really flat water and not conducive to what we’re seeing here in Adelaide, but we’re up to the challenge.”
There is great respect between the two, with Craig describing Seidenberg as probably one of the best Masters sailors ever.
“I think he’s won 13 Worlds and he’s right up there; he got a second in the first race – I know my capabilities, I’m here for the good fellas to have somebody to beat, so I’m where I should be and enjoying it,” Craig says of Seidenberg.
Seidenberg proved his prowess once again, finishing 9th, while Craig came in 19th.
But for both, the event was more than medals – it was a chance to keep doing what they love with the friends they’ve made throughout a long career.
Event details: 2024ilcamasters.ilca-worlds.org
Source: World Sailing