With 129 teams from 17 nations competing in the six-day event, South Africans Benji Daniel and Alex Burger dominated the 2017 Zhik 29er World Championship. They held a 33-point lead in the 11-race series from July 31 to Aug. 5. The championship was hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC).
The 19-year-old champs hail from Point Yacht Club in Durban, South Africa. The 3,200-member club is known for hosting the Mauritius to Durban Ocean Race, expert sailing instruction and Bunny Chow, a local fast food dish consisting of a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curry.
The top U.S. entry, Alie Toppa of Florida, teamed with local Jacob Rosenberg and finished in seventh place in the highly competitive Gold fleet, having won the 29er U.S. National Championship title just prior to the Worlds.
Rosenburg is known for his academic achievement at Stanford, his podium finishes in a variety of boats (including runner up in Sabot Nationals) and the nickname his wind-surfing French-Canadian mom gave him, “little rabbit.”
But it takes more than being quick as a bunny to win national and world titles.
Toppa and Rosenberg have a unique starting approach. As all the boats are huddled along the start line, their strategy is to look for open area with lower density where clean starts are possible. Living locally this summer, may have given them the home-court advantage. Home-cooked meals, a smoothie to start the day and an egg sandwich before going on the water were all part of this disciplined team’s program.
Rosenberg credits his family…
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