July 30 - Crews from Spain and Great Britain emerged victorious on the final day of racing at the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) 420 World and Ladies World Championships in Valencia.
On a tense day, unsuitable conditions saw racing eventually get underway at 3.00pm with a breeze reaching around 12 knots.
In the Open fleet class, Spain's Xavier Antich and Pedro Terrones battled it out with recent ISAF Youth World Champions Tiago Britto and Kneipp Andrei from Brazil, and French pair Sebastien Simon and Pierre Rhimbault.
Britto and Kneipp looked the favourites to claim gold after impressive performances saw them lead the standings early on but mixed results on the penultimate day meant that the pair were in a tight battle to secure the top prize.
However, in the final two races, the Spanish crew scored 15, 5 compared to the Brazilians' 12, 28 to claim a famous home win and secure the World Championship crown.
"We are very proud to be champions of the world because we have spent many years working to get it," said a delighted Antich.
"The consistency has helped us to be ahead always."
Teammate Terrones added: "It was a pretty tough race but we worked all the way and now we get the result."
Simon and Rhembault were also in the reckoning for gold going into the final day but disappointing performances meant they had to settle for bronze.
Italy's Matteo Pilati and Michele Cecchin won the William Sanchez Trophy for the best under 16 crew, while the Huck Scott Memorial Trophy, awarded to the youngest crew at the 420 Worlds, was presented to the Austrian team of George Steinhaler and Patrick Christa.
In the 420 Ladies events, consistency was the order of the day for British pair Annabel Cattermole and Bryony Bennett- Lloyd as only two finishes outside the top ten saw the pair claim their first World Championship title, and they were also awarded the John Merricks Trophy for the best under-18 crew.
"It feels incredible, I don't think it has quite sunk in yet but I think it will get there eventually - it just doesn't feel quite real that we have actually won and are World Champions," said 17-year-old Cattermole.
"Going into the final race of the regatta we knew we needed a top ten to win and a top 20 to finish on the podium, so we entered the race like we have done all the other races, try to sail like we have been doing and do what we have been doing.
"We got a clear start which was good and had a good run up the first beat with lots of clean air with options to do what we wanted and to sail as quick as we wanted."
Singapore's Kimberly Lim and Savannah Siew bettered their fourth at last year's Championships in Austria, finishing second ahead of Italian pair Sara Scotto di Vettimo and Vittoria Barbiero.
There was further success for hosts Spain as the William Sanchez Trophy for the best under 16 crew went to Manuela Huidobro and Lucia Bustrillo, while Silvia Mas and Nuria Miró, Spain's reigning National 420 Champions, won the 420 Ladies silver fleet.
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