Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemysław Gacek and Ed Wright are winners of the 2023 5.5 Metre World Championship.
Sailing Aspire POL17 they started the final day with a four point advantage, and finished with just a one point advantage after a tense final day on the water in light winds with just one race possible.
They overcame a massive challenge from Artemis NOR57 of Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne and Trond Solli-Saether who finished the final race in second with Aspire in fifth, enough to claim the 2023 Title.
Final race winners were Ku-Ring-Gai III AUS66 of John Bacon, James Mayjor and Terry Wetton who protected their third overall.
For Aspire, this was their first attempt at the world title and also marks the first ever 5.5 Metre title won by a Polish team.
Winning major titles, and Olympic medals, is no stranger to Kusznierewicz but he was genuinely delighted, and relieved, to have taken home this title this week.
Mateusz Kusznierewicz, “It’s an amazing feeling to be the world champions in the 5.5 Metre class. We delivered. Just one point ahead of Artemis. Congratulations to them. Also, a shoutout to the Australian team led by John Bacon. The entire fleet was fantastic, and we truly enjoyed Porto Cervo and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Thank you very much.”
Middleman, Przemysław Gacek, added, “We really enjoyed our time here. It is my first title ever, so I’m super excited. vWe pretty much, let’s say, defended the championship in the last two, three hundred meters. An amazing time.”
Current Finn world champion, and bowman, Ed Wright, was overjoyed to win a second title this year, “It was an awesome regatta, really. Being a member of Aspire was fantastic, and I’m happy to have won the world championship. It was stressful along the way with our ups and downs, but in the end, we came out on top.”
In the Evolution fleet, Criollo (GER) of Andreas Christiansen, Felix Christiansen and Moritz Christiansen maintained her lead to finish in 24th place.
While the first Classic boat also remained Cibele (ITA) of Fabrizio Cavazza, Vittorio Zaoli and Duccio Colombi in 25th place.
Next year, in a change to the schedule, the world championship returns to Benodet in France.
Given the current level of interest in the class, it would not be a surprise to see in excess of 40 boats turning up, something that has only happened twice in the last 30 years.
5.5 Metre World Championship – Final leaders after 9 races (34 entries)
1st Aspire POL 17, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemysław Gacek, Edward Wright – – 24 pts
2nd Artemis NOR 57, Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne, Trond Solli-Saether – – 25 pts
3rd Ku-Ring-Gai III AUS 66, John Bacon, James Mayjor, Terry Wetton – – 42 pts
4th John B BAH 26, Gavin McKinney, Mathias Dahlman, Lars Horn Johannessen – – 47 pts
5th New Moon III BAH 25, Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov – – 49 pts
6th Girls on Film GBR 41, Louise Morton, Andrew Mills, Sam Haines – – 55 pts
7th The Jean Genie GBR 43, Peter Morton, Andrew Palfrey, Ruairadh Scott – – 57 pts
8th Ali Baba SUI 224, Flavio Marazzi, Julie Marazzi, Eline Marazzi – – 62 pts
9th Caracole SUI 214, Bernard Haissly, Daniel Stampfli, Nicolas Berthoud – – 64 pts
10th Shaolin SUI 226, Philippe Dürr, Andreas Kindlimann, Hans Von Werdt – – 66 pts