Two practice days are behind the competitors and racing at the 2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship is set to commence on Wednesday 23 July.
Both Monday and Tuesday have been quite ideal conditions, having had nice moderate wind and sun. Only on Tuesday afternoon the wind got lighter. The teams have trained pre-starts, manoeuvres and done some practice races with the J80 boats. Tight races have shown the high level of the teams and promises good action for the rest of the week.
The opening ceremony was held on the terrace of the Blekholmen Island. Claes Tallberg, the commodore of the sailing club NJK, welcomed the competitors, and explained that the NJK Sailing Center is located at Western Helsinki, and that the Blekholmen Island is a base for NJK keel boats. NJK is the oldest sailing club in Finland and has seen several Olympic medallists within its membership from 1910-2012, including Team Silja Lehtinen, London 2012 bronze medallists in Women's Match Racing. Commodore Tallberg was proud that NJK was chosen to host the first ever Youth Match Racing Worlds.
ISAF Vice President Adrienne Greenwood welcomed all participants to the regatta. She explained her delight in Finland's selection to host the inaugural edition of the regatta considering it's an active match racing country, with 34 match racing events in 2014. Greenwood explained that she was happy to see that 15 countries with top skippers have the interest to compete in match racing at this level in a youth competition.
The event was declared open as each team raised their national flag after the canon shot. Racing is scheduled to commence at 09:30 local time on 23 July and concludes on 27 July.
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship Competitors:
Vladislav Abramov (RUS)
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN)
Philip Bendon (IRL)
Valerio Galati (ITA)
Sam Gilmour (AUS)
Florian Haufe (GER)
Jakob Klitte (SWE)
Mark Lees (GBR)
Nelson Mettraux (SUI)
Pierre Quiroga (FRA)
Slawomir Plichta (POL)
Tyler Rice (ISV)
Markus Rönnberg (FIN)
Nevin Snow (USA)
Chris Steele (NZL)
The ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship joined the ISAF family of events at the 2012 ISAF Annual Conference in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.
The Championship will bring together the best youth match racers from around the world acknowledging their skills and offering a pathway to senior match racing competition.
Helsinki, Finland was selected to host the inaugural event from 23-27 July 2014.
Swinoujscie, Poland will hold the 2015 edition of the event.
ISAF Youth Match Worlds Microsite - http://www.sailing.org/events/youthmatchworlds/index.php
Event Website - http://www.njk.fi/matchrace/isaf-youth-match-racing-wc/