Thursday, July 16, 2009

Leaders emerge at 470 Junior Worlds

470 Class Junior World Championships Men/Mixed and Women
10-18 July 2009, Thessaloniki, Greece

The 470 Class Junior World Championships for men/mixed and women have reached the start of the final series, where two races in light winds were completed today in each event. With two more days of racing to go until the final medal races in each event will decide on medals, Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) maintain their lead in the men's 470, and so do Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos in the women's.

Many crews hoped for more wind than yesterday, but their whished did not come true. The first start was scheduled at 1300, but due to a lack of wind, racing was postponed until about 1500.

Men's 470
The changing wind conditions, a rather strong breeze on Monday, and light winds during the last two days, seems to start to show effect on the allround ability of sailors. Luca Dubbini and Roberto Dubbini (ITA) profiled themselves as favorites for the title in the early phase of the event, but now move back to a fourth overall position. Also Mitja Mikulin and Sebstian Princic (SLO) and Victor Bergstrom and Marcus Dackhammar (SWE), who did very well during the start of the event, move further away from chances for medals.

Sebastian Perl and Santiago Masseroni from Argentina started in a seventh overall position overnight and scored two second places today, which puts them in a second overall position at the end of the day.

Vladimir Chaus and Denis Goretyy bring back the Russian influence within the 470 class Juniors since the domination of Artem Basalkin and Maxim Sheremetyev in 2007. With a sixth position in today's first race, and a bullet in the last, they climb to a third position overall. A close battle has been established in the men's Gold fleet, with an only six points difference between the number three and nine in the overall rankings. Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) seem to handle the changing conditions the best, and maintain their overall lead in this event.

Women's 470
Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos (ESP) seem to become undefeatable in this event. The talented ladies who teamed up in early 2008, picked up the silver medal at last year's Junior Worlds, and the silver medal at the 470 Europeans last June. They now head for the title with a nine points difference ahead of Gil Cohen and Dana Mamriev from Israel, and the advantage of a worst result discard to use during four races to go until the medal race on Saturday. The Israelis are the surprise among the women in this event. Cohen, silver medalist at the Ladies' 420 Worlds last year, and Mamriev, athlete in the Kayak sport, teamed up eight months ago for a two person dinghy campaign onto the Olympic Sailing Competition of London 2012. A successful combination of a sailing helm and another Olympic sports crew happened before, like Sydney 2000 470 class gold medalists Belinda Stowell and Jenny Armstrong (AUS). Armstrong was a swimming athlete before teaming up with Stowell.

Cohen and Mamreiv started today's racing by crossing the finish in tenth position. In the second race they chose the right side of the course and were forced to maintain their course to tack close to lay line. After rounding the upper mark back in the top ten, they demonstrated excellent performance on the reach and downwind leg to finally score the bullet at the finish. They maintain their second overall position after eight races.

Victoria Jurczok and Josephine Bach take the lead within the “golden German three” in a third overall position, still closely followed by the 2008 470 Women's Junior European Championship gold medalists Annika Bochman and Anika Lorenz in fourth. Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke had another bad day and had to allow Nina Keijzer en Anneloes van Veen (NED) to break into the Germain chain, taking fifth overall.

Two races are scheduled for today and for tomorrow.
The final medal race will take place on Saturday.