PRESS RELEASE – 19 AUGUST 2012
ITALY AND GERMANY CLAIM JUNIOR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES
Simon Sivitz Kosuta/Jas Farneti (ITA) trumped the fleet to claim the gold medal in the men/mixed event and Annika Bochmann/Elisabeth Panuschka (GER) won the gold in the women’s fleet – both holding onto their leading positions from the start of the Medal Race.
Teams enjoyed six days of racing on the challenging Lake Garda, in what were mainly breeze conditions, apart from Tuesday and Friday’s lighter days. Seventy nine 470 Men/Mixed teams and 29 470 Women teams from thirty nations contested the Championship titles, which also welcomed teams outside of Europe from Argentina, Australia, Chile and USA.
A great outcome for Great Britain and France, with both nations having teams on the podium in the 470 men/mixed and women events.
Simon Sivitz Kosuta/Jas Farneti were absolutely thrilled with their success on home waters and achieving “the double” of gold medals at both the 470 Junior European Championships and the 470 Junior Worlds, held in New Zealand in January, in the same year.
“After the World title, this is very important for us. Here there were a lot of teams who were not in New Zealand, so we confirmed our first position. I think it was harder than the 470 Junior Worlds, just because we were on the lake. If it was on the sea I think it could have been a different story. We are very fast downwind, and here there is lots of reaching.”
Understandably it was an added bonus to win in Italy, “It was very good and the Italian team are all very happy about the win,” said Sivitz Kosuta.
Mike Wood/Hugh Brayshaw (GBR) had been steadily climbing up the leaderboard through the week, positioning themselves in fourth overall going into the medal race, and with just 6 points separating the boats in third to fifth. A race win in the medal race was superb timing for their third race win of the series.
Wood said, “We just wanted to go out and do our own race and achieve a good result, and it made everything else quite simple.”
Brayshaw added, “I was trying not to look around and downwind I was concentrating on the kite and did not see. And it was only at the finish that I realized we had won the silver and then there was sudden excitement, it was brilliant. This is the hardest fleet we have sailed in and the best we have done. We sailed in 420s for a few years together, but never got onto the podium and to have it now is really good.”
It could have all turned out so differently for Kevin Peponnet/Baptiste Berthier who were forced out of race 10 due to a mainsheet block breakage, and the subsequent DNF penalty score dropped them to second, with an increased points margin to Sivitz Kosuta/Farneti. An 11 point deficit to the Italians going into the Medal Race made it a tough call to get back to the top, but there was still a chance of seizing the gold, until another bout of equipment failure blocked any hope.
The French and Italians were boat on boat heading up to the windward mark for the second time, when disaster struck as Peponnet/Berthier’s jib luffwire broke. The pair kept racing minus the jib, but dropped back to cross the line in tenth place.
A still smiling, but slightly dejected Peponnet explained what happened, “We broke it in the second upwind, where we were fifth. We did our best to finish the race and hoped to still finish third or maybe second.”
Two lots of equipment failure, without which the outcome could have been very different, as Berthier said, “It is really difficult to accept, but I think for the two failures we couldn’t do anything as each time it was unforeseen and out of our control”
Peponnet added, “We said to the Italian team that we are sorry not have been able to fight more in the last race with them. We were just behind them when it happened, they were fourth and we were fifth.”
Peponnet and Berthier only teamed up a few weeks ago, as their usual partners were too old to compete at the Junior Europeans. Peponnet was the 2011 470 Junior European Champion. An impressive result for a one-off partnership.
There were many new teams making an appearance at the 470 Junior Europeans, including Greece’s Alex and George Kavas. The Greek brothers have dominated the 420 fleet, and arrived in Italy clutching gold medals from their victory at the 420 World Championships which finished a few days earlier in Austria. Racing against teams with many more years of 470 experience, they won their opening race and put in an impressive scoreline to finish in fourth overall. They can be justly proud of what they have achieved and no doubt next year will be back fighting even harder to claim their place on the podium.
470 Men – Final Top 10
1. Simon SIVITZ KOSUTA/Jas FARNETI (ITA) – 33 pts
2. Mike WOOD/Hugh BRAYSHAW (GBR) – 47 pts
3. Kevin PEPONNET/Baptiste BERTHIER (FRA) – 56 pts
4. Alexander KAVVAS/George KAVVAS (GRE) – 60 pts
5. Clément IKHLEF/Clément PEQUIN (FRA) – 61 pts
6. Magnus MASILGE/Moritz KLINGENBERG (GER) – 62 pts
7. Sacha PELISSON/Nicolas ROSSI (FRA) – 85 pts
8. Benjamin BILDSTEIN/David HUSSL (AUT) – 85 pts
9. Antonios TSIMBOUKELIS/Alexandros Triantafyllos BAKAT (GRE) – 89 pts
10. Max DECKERS/Duko BOS (NED) – 104 pts
Guaranteed a medal going into the medal race, with only the colour to be determined, Annika Bochmann/Elisabeth Panuschka (GER) were on familiar territory to have secured themselves such a strong position at yet another Championship. They looked a little unsettled at the start of the Championship, as Poland’s Ewa Szczesna/Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska set the early pace and had everything going their way to hold the lead from race 1 until race 8. But as always consistency and steady sailing pays, and Bochmann/Panuschka wrapped up their campaign with a win in the medal race to safely deliver them the gold medal.
Bochmann/Panuschka he team have only been sailing together since last year and the gold medal concludes a stunning junior career for Bochmann. Bochmann raced with her previous crew for five years, and has competed at four past Junior European Championships with Anika Lorenz, securing silver in 2011, gold in 2010, bronze in 2009, gold in 2008. At the 470 Junior Worlds, Bochmann secured silver in 2012 with Panuschka, and previously with Lorenz the gold in 2011, silver in 2010, bronze in 2009 and fifth in 2008.
The new pairing is so far delivering a matching medal winning performance. “Before we sailed together, we were aware of each other, but didn’t know each other,” commented Bochmann about Panuschka. “But now since we have been racing together, we discover we have the same character and we talk a lot on the boat about tactics and technical things. Our partnership really works on that.”
Maëlenn Lemaître/Aloïse Retornaz raced a perfectly executed series, never finishing outside of the top 10 and with 9 of their 11 races results inside the top 5, to claim the silver medal. The Germans and French last faced each other at the 470 European Championships in July, where it was again advantage Germany who secured the bronze, with the French tenth overall. Lemaître/Retornaz secured the bronze medal at the 2011 420 Ladies World Championships and have superbly demonstrated their skills in the 470 this week.
The Polish pair, Ewa Szczesna/Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska , were tripped up after their disqualification in race 9 for an incident at a mark, which helped to push them down into third overall going into the Medal Race. With only three points between them and the fourth placed British team of Joanna Freeman/Katie Tomsett going into the medal race, the pressure was all on the Polish to defend their position, with the British having everything to attack. Freeman/Tomsett’s third place finish, with the Polish in 5th, pushed them up into bronze medal position on a 1 point advantage.
Freeman said, “This is our performance of the year. We were aiming to get a medal and we managed it, so we are really happy. This is our best result so far since we have been sailing together.”
Tomset added, “It is something that you always dream of doing when you are making your way up and you see that gold at the Olympics. But you have to take steps at a time, and this is just one step in the right direction for us. I am very, very happy. It was really tough to get this. The Germans are really up there in the senior fleet, and have shown in top 10 medal races at several events and were big contenders and the French are just lightning quick, so we had to push it hard.”
At the Championship party that evening, Freeman was touched by the sportsmanship of the Polish team, as Mrozek Gliszczynska congratulated them, saying they deserved to win and had sailed better.
470 Women – Final Top 10
1. Annika Bochmann/Elisabeth Panuschka (GER) – 25 pts
2. Maëlenn Lemaître/Aloïse Retornaz (FRA) – 34 pts
3. Joanna Freeman/Katie Tomsett (GER) – 39 pts
4. Ewa Szczesna/Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska (POL) – 40 pts
5. Amy Seabright/Eilidh Mcintyre (GBR) – 53 pts
6. Anna Burnet/Flora Stewart (GBR) – 67 pts
7. Linda Fahrni/Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) – 95 pts
8. Roberta Caputo/Giulia PAOLILLO (ITA) – 99 pts
9. Nadine Böhm/Karoline Göltzer (GER) – 106 pts
10. Sasha Ryan/Jaime Ryan (AUS) – 111 pts
The 2012 470 Junior European Championship medals were presented by Stanislav Kassarov, President of the International 470 Class Association, and the Championship Trophies presented by Mauro Stanga, President of Fraglia Vela Riva.
Sets of used sails were awarded to Joao Vilas-Boas/Tomas Camelo from Portugal and Kaloyan Ivanov/Yasen Obretenov from Bulgaria. As part of the 470 “You Can Help” programme, used sails donated by Canada’s Hannah Meers and Erin Flanagan were presented to the Lithuanian 470 teams.
Entry Fee awards, to cover the cost of entering the 470 Junior European Championship, were made to Matthew Crawford/Robert Crawford from Australia, Jordi Xammar/Joan Herp from Spain, Alex Kavas/George Kavas from Greece, Ignas Balciunas/Justas Balciunas and Andrius Ramonaitis/Emilis Valentinaitis from Lithuania.
The 2013 International 470 Class Junior European Championships will take place in Pwllheli, Wales, Great Britain, with provisional dates of 14-22 August 2013 (to be confirmed).
The 2012 420 Junior European Championships was hosted by Fraglia Vela Riva in partnership with the Federazione Italiana Vela, the Italian 420 National Class Association and the International 420 Class Assocation.