Venezia, Italy (July 20, 2017) – Marco Gradoni, the team leader of Italian National team, and Team USA won the Optimist World Championship (respectively fleet and team racing champions). We had the chance to meet them last May in Venice for the Trofeo Marco Rizzotti and today, in Pattaya, Thailand, they have won the world’s highest title in the youngest (up to 15 years) and most numerous (over 150,000 boats) sailing class in the world .
10 days of sailing between fleet and team racing, competing with 281 sailors from 62 countries, Marco Gradoni has taken the lead since the very first day, ending this World Championship at 13 points from the 2nd place. A huge achievement if compared with second and third place, Muhammad Fauzi Bin Kaman Shah (Malaysia) and Mic Sig Kos Mohr (Costa Rica) ended with 42 and 45 points respectively. Marco during these intese days of racing has never lowered the guard and ended only once in 13th position (that result has been discarded). Now he will return to Italy to celebrate with his family and friends. What a great comeback for this 13-year-old boy after losing the Trofeo Marco Rizzotti by only one point.
In the team racing, however, the Americans once again imposed their lead. The team, formed mostly by sailors form Lauderdale Yacht Club (Stephan Baker and Justin and Mitchell Callahan), crowned this victory after a long track of records in team racing this year. A course started in mid-January winning the American qualifier for the Trofeo Marco Rizzotti, who they won in May, and brought them to the top of the podium of two other international regattas: the St. Thomas International Optimist Regatta (US Virgin Islands) and the North American Optimist Championship (Toronto, Canada).