As it turned out it was another great day for the Australians all round, consolidating where necessary and gaining places where they were needed. Elise RECHICHI, 29er silver medallist last year and currently leading the 420 girls fleet, put it down to, "preparation and team cohesion", when asked why the Aussies seemed so dominant this year. Craig FERRIS, the Australian team leader reiterated, saying that the team were, "an absolute pleasure to coach".
Fiona KIDD (CAN), chairman of the ISAF Youth World Championship Sub-committee said of the event so far; "On the water it's fantastic, tricky, challenging conditions that are the same for everybody, and on the shore the organisation is impeccable. Everyone in Madeira should be incredibly proud of what they have achieved."
Boys Double-Handed - 420
The Australian Pair, who bring their number of firsts up to five and now lead the event by fifteen points over the ever-present French duo of Loic Le BACQUER and Yannick PEDUZZI, today won both races. In third place are Lucas CALABRESE and Damien SAPNARA (ARG), who, ever since their disastrous first day not recording a finishing place in either race, have pulled it back and despite an eleventh in race nine, are now only four points behind second place.
In today's first race an adverse current on the line much of the fleet were pushed well back. A small group of boats, including the ever present Australians, as well as New Zealand, Germany and Portugal, started well at the favoured end an powered off in the short chop up the first beat.
At the first leeward mark, Outteridge and Menzies (AUS) held a firm lead, which they never lost to the finish, showing mature big wind boat handling in the gusty conditions, they were followed by Italy in second, and then a pack of chasing hounds including the New Zealand team of Scott KENNEDY and Alistair THOMPSON. By the second leeward, Calbrese and Saponara (ARG), with a combination of almost faultless tactics and superb boat handling, had pulled back into second place, which they held to the finish.
Race nine had a square start and again the fleet seemed reticent to start on the line, in a gutsy move, which was unfortunately to be their downfall, Team Argentina looked for the port tack start, only to be shut out by the impending starboard tackers, and ended up ducking the entire fleet, a move they will no doubt learn from in future Championships. In a slightly lighter start, it was the Irish pair of John DOWNEY and Geoff TAIT who took full advantage of the line sag and powered off to the best start. They eventually finished third behind the Aussies, and the Korean team of Changju KIM and Sangyoung KIM, recording both of their best finishes of the regatta.
So going into the penultimate day, it's now up to the Australians to consolidate their lead and pull of a famous victory. Interestingly, for Nathan and Ayden, whatever their final result here, their performance will come as a great confidence boost for September, when they will be representing their nation at the ISAF World Championship in Cadiz, which is also the second of three Olympic Qualification regattas for the 2004 Olympic Regatta
Girls Double-handed - 420
Yes the French are second and yes the Australians are leading, but the big story currently unfolding in this fleet is that of the third place team from Singaporeans Liying TOH and Shiu Wun Siobhan TAM. With only three races left to sail, they have every chance of not only keeping their position, but also improving it. Interestingly at the 2001 ISAF Youth Worlds, Singapore claimed a silver in the boys double-handed event, and no doubt this pairing will be aiming for a repeat performance.
Race eight, starting just after the boys again had a 10 degree starboard bias, and as if they were examining their male counterparts, the girls started well back from the line. Denmark, Portugal and Spain, all had good starts at the starboard end, whilst Team GBR, Alison MARTIN and Bethan CARDEN, powered away from the port end.
By the second leeward mark, Australia and France had established a firm control over the front of the fleet, and they were to finish in that order. But behind there was an ensuing battle for third place between the Danish, New Zealand, Singapore and Israel. Eventually, Koch and Sommer (DEN), just squeezed into third, ahead of the pair from Singapore.
Race nine started with the first port bias of the day, which many of the girls failed to spot. That, coupled with the current pushing them off the line, gave Ylenia SANTANA and Marta PADRON (ESP) the confidence to try an Argentina, and although late for the start, succeeded in crossing the entire fleet. Unfortunately, as the race progressed, they lost out in the heavy conditions and finished tenth, still recording their second best result in the regatta.
Boys Single-handed - Laser
"One of those Days", one competitor was heard to remark after coming ashore following another chop and change day in arguably the closest fleet in the championship. Only Norbert WILANDT (POL), in second place, has scored more than one first place finish and the leader, Ricky IRONMONGER (AUS), won his first race in race nine yesterday.
Race eight saw similar conditions as on the 420 course with an adverse startline current and breeze that ranged from 10 to 20 knots over the course, shifting as much as 40 degrees at the top mark. It was Wilandt who took the best advantage of what the Atlantic had to offer and won comfortably from Marko SEKARDI (CRO). Ironmonger finished in third place.
The second race of the day looked like the top two would battle it out. Ironmonger took a commanding lead and with Wilandt in tenth place for much of the race, it looked like the Aussie would at last extend his lead going into the penultimate day at the office. But Wilandt wouldn't lie down and battling through to the end finished second in the race, and now lies just three points behind in second place overall. Pressure is certainly mounting at the top and all eyes will be on these two in the final three races of the Championship.
Girls Single-hander - Laser Radial
Paige RAILEY (USA) has quietly crept into the lead of the girl's fleet, and by reciprocating the now second placed Krystal WIER (AUS), maintains a two-point advantage into Thursday's racing.
ISAF Athlete Participation Programme funded Gea BARBIC (CRO) had a second in race eight, which briefly pushed her into the medal positions in third place, but after finishing sixth in race nine, that last podium spot is now taken by Sarah STEAYERT (FRA).
There is only ten points separating the top five positions and with it all to play for, the racing will be as tight as ever over the coming two days.
Boys Sailboard - Mistral
Both Mistral fleets enjoyed probably their best day's racing so far in the Championship with the shifts still ever present on their most easterly course of the three, right in front of the Quinta do Lorde race venue.
The leader board is once again topped by Mariano BENITEZ (ARG), who, now that the second discard has come in, can throw out his eighth place finish and now sits one point ahead of WING Ho Yu (HKG), whose tenth place in race nine was his worst result yet in the Championship.
Someone really coming into their own after a slow start to the series is Poland's Tomasz FRYDRYCHOWICZ, who has a couple of bullets under his belt going into the last two of days of racing, and at only ten points off the podium, looks like he could finish strongly.
Girls Sailboard - Mistral
Another tale of Polish boardsailing domination, but not quite the perfect scoreline that we were predicting earlier in the week. Zofia KLEPACKA (POL) is still likely to get individual performance of the Championship though as two seconds today prove she is becoming more conservative after a flying start to the regatta.
Only two girls have beaten her over the racecourse, Blanca MANCHON (ESP) and Flavia TARTAGLINI (ITA), both of whom shared a first and a third in yesterday's epic conditions. They lie third and second respectively.
|1||AUS||N. Outteridge & A. Menzies||10||1||1||1||-3||2||3||-11||1||1|
|2||FRA||L. Le Bacquer & Y. Peduzzi||25||3||6||-7||4||3||4||1||-12||4|
|3||ARG||L. Calabrese & D. Saponara||29||(27\DSQ)||(27\DSQ)||8||1||1||1||5||2||11|
|4||NZL||S. Kennedy & A. Thompson||40||4||7||12||2||-16||6||2||7||-17|
|5||DEN||B. Schulein & T. Norbo||45||7||12||3||-22||4||-18||3||3||13|
|6||CRO||M. Longin & I. Barbarossa||47||5||10||4||5||7||2||-24||14||-16|
|7||USA||Z. Brown & G. Biehl||49||(27\OCS)||14||5||(27\OCS)||5||5||6||5||9|
|8||ESP||E. Zalvide & A. Velez||57||(27\OCS)||9||6||7||6||13||8||8||-14|
|9||GBR||C. Macdonald & H. Karlsen||60||12||3||2||9||15||-23||-19||4||15|
|10||ITA||J. Furlani & D. Piculin||61||(27\DNF)||8||11||11||12||-15||4||9||6|
|1||AUS||E. Rechichi & R. Martin||10||2||1||2||1||1||-7||-20||1||2|
|2||FRA||C. Lecointre & G. Lemaitre||20||6||-8||1||2||5||1||-7||2||3|
|3||SIN||L. Toh & S. Tam||26||1||3||5||-7||-13||2||6||4||5|
|4||GBR||A. Martin & B. Carden||32||5||-10||-9||4||2||8||1||5||7|
|5||DEN||H. Koch & L. Sommer||35||-10||2||4||3||6||-9||9||3||8|
|6||GER||G. Genrich & F. Sattlemacher||42||4||-16||8||5||3||-15||15||6||1|
|7||SUI||E. Rol & A. Thilo||47||-13||4||-17||12||12||3||2||8||6|
|8||USA||C. Young & S. Heauster||53||7||7||10||6||(12\ZFP)||4||10||9||-19|
|9||POR||M. Freitas & C. Bustorff||58||-17||9||6||8||8\ZFP||11||-17||12||4|
|10||NZL||O. Powrie & S. Bilkey||59||3||5||7||10||16||-18||-19||7||11|
|10||DEN||Anne Marie Holm||66||8||7||-11||-17||9||10||11||10||11|
|2||HKG||Wing Ho Yu||18||-5||5||2||1||1||2||4||3||-10|
|5||FRA||Anne Sophie LePage||33||-7||6||7||4||5||3||(12\OCS)||4||4|
|10||NED||Nikki Van Riel||56||9||7||5||-10||8||10||(12\OCS)||10||7|