Racing is underway at the 2012 470 Junior World Championship, hosted at Takapuna Boating Club in Auckland, New Zealand. Two races were sailed on the opening day with the 10 women's crews and 23 men's crews sailing as one fleet, scored separately things are very tight at the top, especially in the Open fleet.
Flat water allowed the fleet to fly around the course in a very shifty and patchy south westerly breeze coming off the shore. During the day a peak of around 18 knots was reached, but generally sailors raced in 12 - 16 knots after leaving the shore in very light winds.
2011 470 Junior Women's Champions Annika Bochmann and Elisabeth Panuschka of Germany said,"Conditions are very shifty and gusty and it will be a challenge for us to handle these conditions, it's like a lake".
Open fleet (all men and mixed gender crew)
In the Open contest, Australian brothers Matthew and Robert Crawford sailed the most consistently to come out on top with a slim margin of one point, which also separates second placed local sailors James Turner and Finn Drummond from Simon Sivitz and Jas Farneti of Italy, who got the gun in race two.
Race two was abandoned due to a drifting mark being noted close to completion. After a restart, Magnus Masilge and Moritz Klingenberger of Germany won the race and are fourth, on count back back from Dirk Bennen and Roger Weijers of the Netherlands.
Dutch sailors also feature well in the women's fleet - Afrodite Kyranakou and Jeske Kisters lead the way after very respectable results within the overall fleet and two first placings in the women's fleet. The Netherland duo have a two point margin over Great Britain's Anna Burnet and Flora Stewart, with German crew Annika Bochmann and Elisabeth Panuschka third.
An international fleet of 33 boats have entered from 13 countries are sailing and if Auckland's Waitemata Harbour keeps serving up fickle offshore conditions, consistency will be what is needed to remain at the top of the leader board.
Event website: http://470sailing.org.nz/470JW's/news.html