The 470 Class Junior World Championships, open to crews aged under 22 years, concluded on Saturday with the final Medal Races in the men's and women's event and the titles going to France and Spain respectively.
and Jeremie MION
(FRA) are the new Junior World Champions in the Men's 470, and Tara PACHECO
and Berta BETANZOS
(ESP) in the Women's.
The elite top 10 women were the first to line up for the final Medal Race in sunny conditions and moderate sea breeze in front of the Nautical Club of Thessaloniki.
The Medal Race ended with a gold medal for PACHECO and BETANZOS, and a drama for German ladies Victoria JURCZOK
and Josephine BACH
The German ladies, who were praised many times for their excellent performance during the whole event, took a major lead in the Medal Race and rounded the downwind mark at the wrong side, and lost their silver medal position.
"We really don't know what happened and why, but it just happened in a moment of excitement,"
a disappointed BACH commented.
and Dana MAMRIEV
(ISR) finished in third place, enough for a silver medal, and a 14-point lead on bronze medallists Annika BOCHMANN
and Anika LORENZ
(GER), who took the advantage of the drama of JURCZOK and BACH. The silver medallists from Israel had a nerve racking moment shortly before the start of the Medal Race when their forestay broke while preparing on the boat park. Fortunately for them they were able to make the repair in time.
PACHECO and BETANZOS are becoming quiet experienced competing in Medal Races. Although they have won one major event so far, the 2008 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, today they have their first experience to win a 470 Championship title.
"Our strategy was to stay focussed on Victoria JURCZOK and Josephine BACH and Gil COHEN and Dana MAMREIV. After the start Israel went to the left, and Germany to the right, so we could play our own game. We rounded the first mark in fifth position I think, and finally crossed the finish in fourth,"
the Spanish winners commented.
"Of course I am happy but we are too busy now to pack our boat for transport to be happy and celebrate. Tonight the feeling will come and we'll have a party. I just called my father. He had tears in his eyes because he was so extremely happy,"
The Men's 470 Medal Race started right after the women's. The title could not be taken away from BOUVET and MION, who secured the gold medal in yesterday's races. They started the Medal Race with a lead of 39 points on the number two, a higher number than the maximum number of 20 points one can get in a Medal Race.
and Tobias BOLDUAN
(GER) had ups and downs during the event, but in yesterday's races they score an eighth and third position which compensated their losses, to start the Medal Race in second position. In today's race they make no mistakes, ending fourth, and climbing the podium for a silver medal.
Efforts had to be doubled by Luca DUBBINI
and Roberto DUBBINI
(ITA) to pick up a medal, after their far under-average scores in yesterday's races. By following Ben SAXTON
and David KOHLER
(GBR) over the finish line in second position, they succeeded and won the bronze medal. For the men from Great Britain, their bullet in the Medal Race was not sufficient for a medal.
GERZ and BOLDUAN set a new milestone in their sailing career with Olympic aspirations. Their best result until today was a fourth position at the 420 Europeans of 2007.
"After one year in 47's it feels great to win a silver medal in a 470 Championship. We are really satisfied,"
"It wasn't easy to secure our second overall position. We had two boats who could attack on us. One started too early and had to go back. Luca DUBBINI and Roberto DUBBINI tacked to the other side of the course which made it hard for us to control them,"
Not only the German men themselves, friends and family celebrate their silver medal. Their Yacht Club received the good news with cheers, as the Club was just celebrating it's 100th anniversary.
Results - click here