Published: Tuesday, 09 January 2018

New Zealand’s Francesco Kayrouz and Jackson Keon took the title of the 2018 Zhik 29er World Champions with top four results in all races and a nine-point cushion separating them from their closest competition.

New Zealand Takes Top Places For Zhik 29er Worlds 1 

(Photo: RHKYC / Isaac Lawrence)

New Zealand got the edge in the last two races with an early gybe allowing them to take advantage of a big right-hand shift. Kayrouz and Keon commented on their win: “How did we do it? Consistency. Making sure we sail to our best and to our full potential, sailing every leg like a new race and keeping your head out of the boat. Bow down and send it.”

On winning the title, Kayrouz said: “It sounds kind of cheesy but it hasn’t sunk in yet, but it feels good. The event’s been good; it’s been challenging and a bit nerve-racking at times, but it’s been a good send.”

The second overall went to Australia’s Lachie Brewer and Max Paul on 20 points. France’s Benjamin Jaffrezic and Leo Chauvel followed in third on 25 points with countrymen Theo Revil and Gautier Guevel also on 25 points in fourth.

New Zealanders Crystal Sun and Olivia Hobbs took the top female team title as well as 21st overall.

Sun and Hobbs were interviewed after their win: “We feel pretty good, pretty excited, such a good feeling!  We have been very excited the last few days to be the only girls to make the cut into the gold fleet.

“It feels good to know that all our training and hard work has paid off. The event was pretty tricky with the wind and all that, but it was a great, fun event. The racing was pretty hectic, we had all sorts of competition but it was really fun and enjoyable to race against other people in these tricky conditions.”  

In the final race, which began with no breeze and heavy fog, crossing the line first among the gold fleet was Calum Gregor and Jon Crawford – first Hong Kong team and winners of the 2017 Hong Kong Open – who took sixth overall with 26 points.