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Hudson and Jim get sought-after berth at World Cup final
- Updated: October 9, 2014
Fresh from their promising performances on the 2014 ISAF World Cup circuit and the European Cup circuit this season, SA Olympians Roger Hudson and Asenathi Jim will once again be packing their bags, this time for Abu Dhabi. That’s after being issued a coveted invitation to the first ever ISAF World Cup final.
Just 20 boats will race in each of the 10 Olympic classes in Abu Dhabi, meaning only the finest sailors in the world will be competing there from 26-30 November for a total prize purse of US$200,000.
The top Asian and the top non-Asian teams at the last qualifying event of the 2014 season, to be raced in China later this month, together with the 18 already invited, will make up the 20-team World Cup final in the men’s 470 event.
The South Africans’ qualification for the World Cup final was based on their ISAF world rankings, which have ranged between 19 and 22 over the past three months. This ranking reflects a number of stand-out performances in major Olympic Class events in Europe this season.
These include their historic gold medal at the 2014 European Cup event in Holland, the gold medal in the inaugural European Sailing Federation Cup raced over three events in Italy, Holland and Germany, and second place in the medal races of four of the events on the 2014 World Cup and European Cup circuits.
Meanwhile, SA’s 49er sailors Graeme Willcox and Andrew Tarboton were thrilled with a breakthrough first-place finish in one of their races at the recent ISAF World Championships in Santander, Spain but recognise they have a way to go to achieve their dream of competing in the Rio Olympics in 2016.
‘We are really happy with our result. We had aimed for a top 10 result in one race, so to manage to get the race win was a highlight of our regatta,’ said Willcox
‘We are over the moon with that race result because we beat the world champion and a number of teams who were in London for the 2012 Olympic Games.
‘This has given us the confidence to know we can do this because at the moment we still work day jobs Monday to Friday, so if we go full time, we have a real chance to achieve our goal of getting to Rio,’ added Willcox.
Finishing 52nd overall out of 80 boats, the 49er pair did not manage to book one of the automatic qualifying spots for Rio 2016 just yet, but their next opportunity to do so will be at another qualifying event in November.