João Rodrigues: the the Portuguese athlete with the most appearances at the Olympic Games | Photo: Pollak/Raceboard

João Rodrigues and Aleksandra Blinnikka have been crowned 2018 Raceboard world champions in Blanes, Spain.

The popular windsurfing class gathered a total 73 sailors from 13 countries in the warm waters of Catalonia. The event was hosted by Club Vela Blanes.

The windsurfer from the Portuguese island of Madeira clinched the world title after winning six of the 10 regatta races.

"Over the years, I have done thousands of regattas, hundreds of championships, with all kinds of equipment. But I never had the opportunity to change it according to what I felt," explains João Rodrigues.

"For this particular event, I was able for the first time in my life to actually work with Monty Spindler's Loft Sails, and make a specific sail for weak and competitive winds."

"In the past year, Monty was modifying the original version according to the feedback that Curro Manchon and I gave him until we came to this version that I used in Blanes. The work resulted in a high performance, stable, balanced, light, well-finished and reliable sail!"

The 46-year-old windsurfer is the Portuguese athlete with the most appearances at the Olympic Games. Rodrigues competed in every Summer Olympics from 1992 to 2016.

João had already won a world title 23 years ago in the Mistral class, when Aleksandra Blinnikka, the new female world champion, was just two years-old.

"It is another dream achieved. It was an incredible event! The past week has been amazing in so many ways. The race was so well organized and we got ten races done!" added the Finish windsurfer.

"Everything worked out super well. The athmosphere with the other competitors and the organizers was amazing. Thank you all making this one of the best weeks of my life."

2018 Raceboard World Championships

Men
1. João Rodrigues (POR)
2. Curro Manchon (ESP)
3. Pedro Pascual Suitt (USA)
4. Borja Carracedo Serra (ESP)
5. Fernando Gonzales de la Madrid (ESP)

Women
1. Aleksandra Blinnikka (FIN)
2. Viviane Ventri (FRA)
3. Jana Slivova (CZE)
4. Ilona Grinberga (LAT)
5. Antonia La Balilla Dominguez (ESP)

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