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F16 World Championship - Bundock and Van Dooren claim the crown
F16 World Championship 2011, raced on Lac de Carcans in Maubuisson, France started on 23rd July and concluded today, 29th July.
Darren Bundock and Celine Van Dooren have struck a major blow for mixed sailing with the new sailing combination claiming the world Formula 16 crown in their first ever regatta together on a Viper catamaran.
Dutchwoman Van Dooren and Australian Bundock, sailing for The Netherlands, were the stand-out team in the regatta, and in which Vipers filled the top eight places.
It was the first time Van Dooren has raced off with a world crown with she and Bundock only teaming up for the event in France at the last minute.
Van Dooren and Bundock, an old hand at winning world titles, won seven of their 13 races in the regatta to beat the young Australian all-male pairing of Jason Waterhouse and Brett Goodall. Third was the youth American Team of Taylor Reiss and Mathew Whitehead narrowly ahead of another mixed crew _ Carolijn Brouwer and Klaas Victor _ finishing fourth.
So convincing were the victors they had the regatta won prior to the final day of racing.
'I'm so excited. It just hasn't sunk in yet,' said an elated Van Dooren.
'To know that mixed sailing will be at the Rio Olympics is just incredible. It gives me something to really aim for'.
'And winning this world title with Darren shows that mixed crews can excel and win major events.'
Bundock, who has now won 14 world titles in a range of different catamarans, and Van Dooren never finished outside the top two in the regatta.
Mixed sailing will make its debut at the Rio Olympics in 2016 with the highly-successful Viper pushing to gain selection as the high-performance craft to be sailed by male and female teams in Brazil.
'Celine has shown today that women are strong enough to crew these boats and Carolijn, who finished fourth, showed they are also strong and skilled enough to helm these boats. They can do it all on a Viper,' Bundock said
'To my mind its perfect for the Olympics because you get to choose what you want to do - be a skipper or a crew. You are not told how it has to be by the boat itself.
'The results today also showed that its not only lightweights who can excel on a Viper. Celine and I were about 138 kilos together, the Aussie boys were over 140kg and Taylor and Mathew right on 140kgs. And that's your top three.'
For further information about the Viper visit the 2B Sailing website.