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9 December 2009, 10:42 am
Thirteen Nations Secure Youth Olympic Games Qualification At Imperia Winter Regatta
The Byte fleet competing in Imperia
The Byte fleet competing for YOG places in Imperia

Imperia Winter Regatta 2009
Imperia, Italy

The Imperia Winter Regatta came to a close in Italy on Tuesday with 13 nations securing a place at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in the Byte CII qualifier, whilst France, Germany and Italy shared the spoils in the Olympic events.
The Byte CII European Championship, second continental qualifier for the Boy's and Girl's One Person Dinghy events at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games, concluded on Monday with three final races were held in wet conditions with a northeasterly wind up to 8 knots.

The winner of the main series was Hungary's Peter Batho put in a dominant performance all week long. Batho was followed by Finland's Kaarle Tapper in second position and then Italian Marco Benini in third. Amongst the female entries Poland's Sara Piasecka took the top spot head of Austria's Lara Vadlau, with Daphne van Der Vaart from The Netherlands in third.

In both boy's and girl's divisions the top seven nations secured qualification for Singapore next year. In the boy's event, joining Hungary, Finland and Italy were Germany, Norway, Russia and Spain. For the Girl's as well as the top three finishers from Poland, Austria and The Netherlands, Finland, Portugal, Ireland and Turkey also all secured their qualification. In total 76 competitors presenting 30 nations took part in the YOG qualifier and with Finland the only nation to secure a top-seven spot in both boy's and girl's events, a total of 13 different nations qualified.

Following on from the final day of racing for the Btyes, the 20th edition of Imperia Winter Regatta wrapped up yesterday with the last 470 and Laser races.

About a hundred boats - male and female crews - left the Harbour in the morning bound to the race area in order to sail the final races.

The day was sunny and an easterly wind was blowing over the sea in front of Oneglia up to 10-12 knots until the early afternoon when it dropped off, preventing the Race Committee from starting the third race of the day.

The competition for medals in the 470 class was delicately balanced: in the male division Italian team Giulio Desiderato and Enrico Fonda finished top of the overall results after eight races in front of the two German crews Jan-Jasper Wagner and Lennart Scheufler (first to cross the finishing line in the final race) and Morten Bogacki and Jens Steinborn, respectively in second and third position.

In female division, German Annika Bochmann and Anika Lorenz maintained their overall lead to take the title as they won the first race of the day. They were followed by Slovenia's Tina Mrak and Teja Cerne in second position and by the Croatians Enia Nin?evi? and Romana ?upan, winners of the final race of the series.

By discarding his last race score (eighth) in an almost perfect series Frenchman Jean Baptiste Bernaz won in the Laser class. Another French sailor, Rodrigue Cabaz, took second, while the Belgian Wannes Van Laer in third.

In the Laser Radial class the winners both came from Italy: Giuditta Di Laghi took the women's title with the men's title going to Mario Benini elder brother of Marco Benini, the Byte CII sailor who qualified Italy for next year Youth Olympic Games.

Three-hundred and fifty teams from 28 different countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Monaco, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the Ukraine) competed in this year's IWR, an ISAF Grade 3 event.

Results, photos and more can be found at the event website http://i-w-r.com.

Find out more about the Youth Olympic Games, the qualification system and events at www.sailing.org/yog.

Laura Jelmini (As Amended By ISAF)
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