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5 July 2001, 09:58 pm
Perfect conditions on day two
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Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships

Last years' girl 420 runners-up Melissa Bryant and Martha Leonard marked their intention to go one better this year.
"We were very nearly there last year" said Bryant, adding "the standard is pretty similar this year but we may have improved. Last year we'd only sailed together for three months this time we've had more time sailing as a team."

The Australian pairing were surprised at their results, "We just intended to go out there and see how we got on and ended up doing much better than we expected. We seem to have much better speed than all the other boats." Said Bryant.

Defending champions Victoria and Emma Rawlinson did not fare so well scoring a 17th and a 5th place. "We struggled to get a lane out of the start in the first race. We ducked right down on the gun as we thought we were a bit close to the line. That meant we had to tack a lot up the first beat to get a lane and so we were out of synch with the shifts until about half way up the first beat by which time we'd lost a lot of ground." Being defending champions does not appear to have put added pressure on the sisters who are still confident, "It'll all come right at the end of the day. We're still confident we'll be able to defend the title." Said Victoria.

On the boys 420 course, the French pairing of Guillaume Vigna and Thibaut Gatti scored two-second places to lead at the end of the first day. "We had a very good day, the boat went very fast and we like these conditions." They did however admit that the competition was going to be very tough. "It will be very difficult to win this championship. The Italian is very good, he is better than me, so it will be very difficult to win."

Italians Mattia Pressich and Giacomo De Gavardo scored two first places on the water, but were found to be OCS in the first race dropping them down to 14th overall. "I knew we were over the line while still out on the water. I'm pretty upset, but tomorrow's another day."

On the Mistral course the sailors pumped the whole way around the course in just 6 ‹ 8 knots of breeze. Joeri Van Dijk(NED) leads Byron Kokalanis (GRE) by one point with Kowk Fai Cheng (HKG) one point further back in third place.Van Dijk scored two second places and was happy with his scoreline. "Not a bad day, the lighter guys were going very fast." he said. "I'm better in 15 knots so was pleased to be so consistent today."

In the girls' Mistral fleet Zofia Klepagka(POL) had a great day scoring a second and first place, and lead the second race by a significant margin. At just 15 years of age she is competing in this is her first youth worlds. Her fellow countrywoman Agata Brygola took the gold medal at last years Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Sydney.

New Zealand's Kate O'Brien leads the Laser Radial fleet. This class looks very evenly matched with just three points separating the top five boats. Small was fast today in the Laser boys fleet. Francisco Lobato is one of the smallest and just 16 old. He was very happy with the light winds scoring a fourth and first place. He leads Germany's Tobais Schadewaldt by four points at this early stage.

France were favourites in the Hobie 16 class coming into the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships. The Italian pairing of Matteo Lanzoni and Federico Oliverio who lead overnight with a 2,1 scoreline compared with the French's 3,1. The Hobie has been reintroduced to the youth worlds after a two-year gap since South Africa. All the young crews have Olympic aspirations aimed at the newly souped up Tornado Sport.

Two races are scheduled for tomorrow, Friday 6th July with the first start at 12 noon.
Jo Grindley
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