10th of October 2003

Christine Johnston Wins Formula Windsurfing World Championship

Dramatic Finish Gives Christine the Win
On 5th of October Johnston of Brighton, Great Britain, was crowned the Scandlines Formula Windsurfing World Champion for 2003. Christine had an outstanding start to the regatta winning the first two races on day one. Christine won the second race remarkably by nearly 5 minutes from the second competitor, much to the bemusement of the many spectators lining the beach at Dranske, on the island of Rugen, in Germany! Indeed Christine even doubted how she had won by such a margin:

“I thought perhaps I had sailed the wrong course, or the wrong number of laps, because I couldn’t understand where the other racers were on the last lap. I saw my coach Adrian Jones on the beach and he gave me the thumbs up, so I knew it was alright!”

Christine had a high pressure couple of days to end the regatta, both waiting for the wind and for the outcome of a protest involving two other competitors, the outcome of which could have robbed her of the title. Had Dorota Staszewska been disqualified from race 5, as was the original decision of the International Jury, then Lucy Horwood would have been leading, with Dorota Staszewska pushed off the podium into fourth position. On the final day of the event the decision was overturned by the International Jury, and there was no wind for any further racing. This gave an ecstatic Christine Johnston the World title, her first World Championship title in 12 years of windsurfing racing competition.



Dorota Staszewska previously won the Formula Windsurfing titles in 2000, 2001, and 2002. This result could be significant for women’s Formula Windsurfing as it is only the second time Dorota Staszewska has been beaten ever, so dominant a force has she been. Christine is hopeful it will herald a new era for women in the sport:

“Lucy (Horwood) and I have shown here that Dorota is not invincible. I felt like I put her under a lot of pressure after day 1. With a fourth place in race three on day two, and another discard coming into play after a fourth race, race number four was the crunch race for me. I knew it was make or break, and I had to beat Dorota to stay in the lead. It was a very short race. Dorota had a bad start and could only manage tenth position. Lucy won the race, and I had a third position. This put me a strong position to beat Dorota overall, and I managed to hold on to that lead. With myself winning and Lucy in second, this is a great result for British windsurfing.”

Christine raced throughout on the championship on a Starboard 147, Gaastra Kpro 11.0m Nitro 4, rigged on a 550 Ignition mast, with a 70cm R13 Deboichet fin. She was wearing Neil Pryde Jenna de Rosnay wetsuits, and a Gaastra race harness.

Christine is sponsored by: Starboard, Gaastra, Deboichet, Neil Pryde wetsuits, www.executivesonline.co.uk and Dragons Gymnasium in Hove, East Sussex.



Results:

1 GBR-93 Christine Johnston 8,4 points (0,7 0,7 4,0 3,0 7,0x)
2 GBR-95 Lucy Horwood 9,7 points (4,0x 4,0 3,0 0,7 2,0)
3 POL-1 Dorota Staszewska 10,4 points (2,0 7,0 0,7 10,0x 0,7)