Brits And Spanish Lead Penultimate Day Medal Rush
Though there is still one final day of racing scheduled at the 2012 Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship on Dublin Bay in Ireland, two class titles have already been decided.
First to start their celebrations were the visibly delighted Spanish 29er duo of Carlos Robles and Florian Trittel.
They came ashore having retained the overall title that they won last year in Croatia by winning the first of their two races today and then sailing conservatively in the second to take the fifth place that they needed to ensure they cannot be beaten.
“For me this has been the toughest championship I have ever sailed, especially fighting with the French,” Robles smiled. “It has been so hard, every day out fighting against them so closely every day. So I am so relieved. It was much more difficult than last year. These guys in particular sailed perfectly and did not make any bad results at all. This means so much to us and we both dedicate our win to the support of our parents.”
Two comfortable race wins in the SL16 Catamaran fleet gave the British pair Rupert White and Tom Britz an unassailable 17 points margin.
The pair add ISAF Youth Worlds gold to the SL16 class world title that they won recently, while White – grandson of 1976 Tornado gold medallist and double world champion – complements the Youth Worlds bronze he won last year as helm in the class in Zadar, Croatia.
“We are completely overwhelmed,” said White, “We hoped to get a medal, but did not want to expect anything. I think knowing the place has helped a lot, especially getting good starts in a small fleet is really important. We did some training with three boats about four weeks ago; we got to know the place, especially in the westerly conditions.
“We hope this is just the start of a lot of gold medals, the next thing is to go into an Olympic class, the Nacra 17. The family name is important. It’s a name to live up to but I’d rather have it than not. And they will be all be very proud now.”
Although the light to moderate breeze was marginally more settled in direction, offering more rhythmical shifts to those who could use them best, there was still a randomness factor which stressed those who were already feeling the pressure.
If the forecast is to be believed Dublin Bay should see much lighter winds, and appropriately elevated temperatures for the series of exciting title showdowns which are now on the cards.
Tightest is the RS:X Boys fleet where Italy’s Mattia Camboni has taken the challenge to the defending champion, Korea’s Cho Wonwoo with his first and second today, drawing them level on equal points, with a clear gap of 29 points to third
“So it will be a match race for the title,” Camboni exclaimed. “I can’t wait. We will see what happens on the start line but I am ready for anything.”
Britain’s RS:X class leader Saskia Sills had her first Youth Worlds gold within her grasp going into Race 11 of the series, but she faltered when she found herself close to the back of the fleet, finishing 15th. She is assured of silver at least. “I made another mistake when I got caught on the wrong side of a shift,” Sills recalled, “I thought the wind was going to go right. I am not so worried about the result. I was a bit lost at the back. I am just disappointed that my goal of getting a top ten in every race is gone now, but it’s alright. I have just made it more difficult for myself. I will just go out and sail and try not to take such massive risks as I took.”
The 420 girl’s class is almost as tightly poised after Camboni’s compatriots Haria Paternoster and Benedetta Disalle sailed to a cool, composed first and fourth to draw juts one point ahead of the fancied Australians Carrie Smith and Ella Cark, who finished fourth overall in Croatia last year. Britain’s Annabel Vose and Kirstie Urwin hold bronze with a ten points deficit to second.
“We were pleased with the way we sailed today, now we just have to see if we can do the same tomorrow,” said helm Paternoster. “We just need to beat the Australians to win.”
Gold medals are very much within touching distance for both of the class leaders in the Laser Radial fleets, where a simple, solid final race result should be enough for Sweden’s Julia Carlsson and USA’s Mitchell Kiss to secure their overall titles.
Carlsson has herself 19 points in hand after a 1-2-2 from her last three races, holding a 20th place discard, she is assured of Sweden’s first youth worlds medal since 2006.
Kiss who finished third in the Laser Radial Boys Worlds in 2010 and was 16th last year in Zadar, has more to do. He has 13 points over Australia’s second placed Mark Spearman, but his position is slightly vulnerable with a BFD as his discard.
“I just have to focus on that one race now, I feel like I am almost there but not quite,” Kiss said. “I am pretty confident in my sailing now or I would not be where I am. I think I just need one good result. I should be able to do it. I am kind of nervous, but I just need to go out and take care of business.”
The leading Laser Radial Boys are more than 20 points clear of Ireland’s 16 year old Finn Lynch who promoted himself to a medal position, third, with an 8-4 today and is now on the cusp of the host nation’s first Youth Worlds medal since 1996 in Newport.
“It is so unpredictable I can go out there and get a 40th tomorrow, so I will just concentrate on the same things and try and get a result,” Dublin’s Lynch explained.
“It has been a great event. I have not felt so on top of the weather because it has been so changeable, but it feels really good now today. Now there is so much support for me it is really nice and it all helps. I feel like I have a bit of momentum going into tomorrow. There has been no extra pressure and I feel like I have peaked at the right time, towards the end of the regatta.”
The 420 boys class is highly charged going into the last race but the French crew who have lead through most of the regatta, Guillaume Pirouelle and Valentin Sipan, re-established their overall lead today when they held consistent while their two closest rivals did not.
“It was not such a great for us, but compared to our rivals it was not so bad. We are back on top. With just one race we will just stick to the same ideas, we have a little margin but it is not finished yet,” said Pirouelle.
A 20th in the second heat today proved costly for the Dutch duo Pieter Goedhart and Lars Van Steklenborg who now find themselves with a ten point deficit to overturn the Le Havre based class leaders.
The overall Nations Cup sees Britain holding a 14 points lead over holders France who have won the team award three times in the last five years. Britain last won it in 2008 in Aarhus, Denmark.
Racing resumes tomorrow at 12:00 local time where six further Youth World Champions will be crowned.