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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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