The new world champions in Formula 16 have been crowned. With a very consistent performance, the only 15-year-old Thomas Proust from France and his coxswain Clement Martineau secured the title ahead of his compatriots Emmanuel le Chapelier and Eric le Bouedec. Bronze went to the brothers Robin and Sander Mineur from the Netherlands. The range of sailing conditions at the World Championships was extremely wide, from calm to light wind to strong wind. There was a lot of praise for the organisation of the World Championships from the active participants.
"A perfect sailing area, the best and most professional organisation in a long time and a good race committee." The President of the Formula 16 International Class Association, Stéphane Etienne, was full of praise. There was absolutely nothing to complain about. The location on the green beach would also be ideal for the Formula 16 class, with well-protected boat moorings and quick access to the beach. Only the hope for moderate wind on the final day of the regatta was disappointed due to calm. "We were in Travemünde with the class in 2013 and now in 2022, so the chances are good that we will be back in 2031," said the international class boss with a laugh.
Class spokesman Thomas König also praises the perfect conditions on site, the proximity of the festival and regattas and the good cohesion within the class: "The sailors are really offered a lot here. The successful combination of festival and sailing is unique. The organisation and the green beach as a starting point for us are perfect." The range of wind conditions at the World Championships in Travemünde would have been fascinating, but would also have shown a bit of the limits of what the boats are capable of. König himself had refrained from starting on the second and third day in the stronger wind with his wife Katrin Santiago in order not to take any unnecessary risks. "On the first day we had great conditions, but on the two following days the wind was too strong for us. Nevertheless, it was a great World Cup. I wouldn't want to miss the spirit of the international F16 community. It's always great to see how everyone immediately helps each other out when something breaks," sums up König, who competed in the World Championships during the Travemünde Week for the second time after 2013. For the class spokesman, the F16 catamarans are the perfect boat for everyone: they can also be sailed solo and are easy to handle for different age groups.
The fact that age does not matter in the class was once again proven by the newly crowned world champion Thomas Proust from France. He is the youngest sailor to win a World Championship (2018) and a European Championship (2019) in a Nacra catamaran at the age of eleven. The list of his regatta successes is long. Among others, the victory at the Youth Worlds in Oman in 2021 as well as the title as French Champion count among them. And in Travemünde, too, he and his coxswain Clement Martineau had their noses in front from the very beginning of the World Championships. He finished eight of the twelve completed races in first place, complemented by two second places. A fifth and a sixth place were the strikers. "The World Cup went great and was fun. The terrain and conditions were good. I competed to win, and that worked out," said a delighted young sailor from the western French city of La Rochelle, who began his sailing career in the Opti but quickly switched to the catamaran class. Travemünde is the first time Proust has sailed. "I've only been to Kiel once before at the YES (Young Europeans Sailing) regatta, where I won in the Nacra 15 in 2019."