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16 March 2011, 10:22 am
ISAF Youth World 420 Champion Wins First Campeonato Ibérico 420 At Tavira
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Campeonato Ibérico 420 At Tavira

Campeonato Ibérico 420
Tavira, Portugal

The first Campeonato Ibérico de 420 was held at Clube Náutico de Tavira from 9 - 12 March with the support of the Federação Portuguesa de Vela and the Real Federación Española de Vela, as well as the Portuguese and Spanish 420 Class Associations.
Eighty-four 420 sailors from across Portugal and Spain, including Andalucía, Catalonia and Gran Canaria, converged on Tavira in the eastern Algarve for the first Iberian 420 Championship.

Sailors from both countries are currently going through their respective team selection processes to represent their countries at the ISAF Youth Worlds In Zadar in July, as well as for the 420 European Championships to be held in Tavira in July and for the 420/470 Junior Europeans in Nieuwpoort, Belgium in August, this international competitive exposure was particularly well timed.

With two races on the first day, Portugal's leading team at the 2010 Junior Europeans in La Rochelle, Joao Villas Boas and João Duarte took the lead. But local sailors from Tavira, Luís Niza and Paulo Baptista, were just a point behind at the end of the day

The Spanish team of Jorge Martinez and Tomas Ugalde, finished third, on equal points with Niza & Baptista, just one ahead of David and Alex Vila and Jordi Hernandez and Alex Lopez. Competition between the women's teams was also in evidence, with Barbara & Sara Ravetllat in sixth overall, just four points ahead of the Portuguese team, Joana Azevedo & Catarina Evangelista.

The second day's racing was held in winds varying from 5 to 12 knots. By the end of Day 2, with three further races in the bag, the situation had changed dramatically, and the leading Spanish teams were evidently finding their way in Tavira's waters. David and Alex Vila had a three-point lead over Hernandez and Lopez, in turn a couple of points ahead of Martinez and Ugalde. The Ravetllat women were up to fourth.

A stormy day on Friday caused the cancellation of racing, but CN Tavira's President, Guilherme Matos Ferreira, reported that Saturday "came-out as a wonderful sailing day. Three races were sailed on the last day of the championship with steady 15 knots South Westerly winds. The races were very competitive, and the more experienced crews took over the race area and led the races".

The Championship was won, by a point, by Jordi Xammer Hernandez, the 2010 ISAF Youth World Champion and 2011 420 Junior World Champion helm, with his new crew, Alex Lopez. Close on their heels were Martinez and Ugalde.

Local boys, Luis Niza and Baptista looked after Portuguese and Tavira honour by taking third place on the podium. João Vilas Boas & João Duarte, Silver medallists at the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds, were fourth.

The Spanish team, Barbara & Sara Ravetllat, were the leading women in fifth overall and Francisca Martins & Maria Westwood came second.

Next month, Tavira will host the Portuguese Youth Championships, and then, at the beginning of July, the IODA Europeans will be held here, followed, toward the end of July, by the 420 European Championship. The Clube Náutico de Tavira, which has successfully hosted both 420 World and Junior European Championships in recent years, continues to grow its profile and seeks to fulfil its claim to be the sailing capital of 2011.
Tony Mapplebeck
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