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Virgin Islander Wins J-24 Worlds

Anthony Kotoun won the J-24 World
Championship, held September 11-16, in Weymouth,
England. Kotoun, sailing Jigalo, ISV2329 claimed first by a single point ahead of
Brazilian sailor Mauricio Santa Cruz.
An international field was represented by the 55 boats entered in the event,
with third place taken by Italians, fourth by Australians, and fifth by a team
from Japan.
According to the event website, "The J-24 is by far the world’s most successful keelboat and a list of former
world champions reads like a yachting Hall of Fame".

The race
results show Kotoun and his crew sailed a
conservative race on the final day, making sure they were in front of the
Brazilians who were the only other team in contention for first. High winds on
the penultimate day of sailing damaged the chances of several strong
contenders. Max Skelly of the
USA suffered a
broken rudder giving him two last place finishes and the leading Italian and
Australian teams were involved in a collision.

The event
website recorded Kotoun’s comments after winning the
championship. "Coming to the J/24 World Championship, you know that you
have to have the best crew possible. I’m lucky to have the best crew with
me," said Kotoun.

"The Race
Committee, the venue and the welcome from the town have been outstanding. How
many regattas can you go to where in three of five days racing, the 24s are
sporting jibs," exclaimed the new World Champion. The
Weymouth area is expected to be the center of the London 2012 Olympic sailing events.

An e-mail from Kotoun praised his crew for work off the water as well. The
boat was only two years old, but measurement of the keel showed it to be wider
than the minimum allowed by the class. Kotoun’s team
of Chuck Norris, Brian Bissel, Chad Atkins and Tim Rippey spent days sanding the foil to the optimum shape and
had to use the last practice day before the regatta to apply epoxy to the
reshaped area.

Kotoun, a graduate of Antilles School in
St. Thomas, was a collegiate All American
sailor. He presently bases his professional sailing career out of
Newport, Rhode
Island.

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