The Allianz Sailing World Championships 2023 was a groundbreaking regatta that delivered an exciting spectacle, crowned 14 new champions and provided 107 Olympic qualification places.
The Allianz Sailing World Championships 2023 included the para-sailing discipline on the program for the first time.
Held in the picturesque surroundings of Braassemermeer, Para Sailing saw four world champions crowned in three classes: the 2.4m Norlin OD, the RS Venture Connect and the men's and women's Hansa 303.
Two of the new Olympic classes had the opportunity to show why they are so exciting, and the iQFOiL windsurfing and Formula Kite kitesurfing got it. They were the two fastest races of the regatta.
In iQFOiL, the Israeli duo of Shahar Tibi and Katy Spychakov advanced past the semifinals for a memorable windsurfing double.
Meanwhile, in kitesurfing, 16-year-old Singaporean Max Maeder claimed his first world title.
A sensational performance by Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken at the end of the opening series allowed them to take gold in 49er, while Luuc van Opzeeland won the windsurfing iQFOiL.
That was not the only great performance by the local athletes, the Dutch were also able to celebrate the success of Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz in 49erFX, who took second place, the silver medal.
One of the most memorable moments of the regatta came when Santiago Lange, the great Argentine sailor, ended his career. Lange represented Argentina in seven Olympic Games, winning gold in Nacra 17 in Rio at the age of 54, and was a four-time world champion.
On the other hand, we have witnessed the birth of a future promise, or reality.
Max Maeder, 16, made himself known to the world with his first world title.
Although he had been on the crest of the wave for some time, having won the Junior World Championships and the silver medal in the senior category a year ago, this was a turning point.
After finishing the qualifying heats in second place, Maeder got the two wins he needed in the final to take the gold, potentially the first of many in his career.
This regatta also offered sailors the opportunity to qualify their nations for the Olympic Games in Paris, with 107 places secured throughout the competition. However, there are still places to be confirmed and throughout this year we will see in different competitions who these places are awarded to.
The Netherlands and Great Britain lead the standings with eight each, pending confirmation.
For the second race in a row, Matt Wearn (AUS) beat Mickey Beckett (GBR), following his win at the Paris 2024 Test Event, and claimed his first world title by winning in match racing in the final race of the inaugural series.
Meanwhile, in the Men's Formula Kite, Max Maeder and Toni Vodisek look set to take their duel to Marseille, although Axel Mazella - bronze medalist here and winner of the Test Event - will be hoping to get the French place in 2024 to deny them both.
Add to this the emergence of Sweden's Vilma Bobeck and Rebecca Netzler in 49erFX, who beat defending champions Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz in home waters, and there are battles to be fought over the next 12 months.