426 sailors from 30 countries are gathering on Lake Garda for the 420 World Championships and Ladies' World Championships.
New and developing 420 Classes
Among them are contestants from Denmark, Peru, Thailand and the US Virgin Islands where new 420 Classes have recently been established. The Championships follow closely on the recent Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships, where contestants from the new 420 Classes in Ecuador, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Africa and Uruguay also competed.
Over the last three years, the International 420 Class has held Coaches' Seminars, led by former ISAF Youth Trust Coach, Jim SALTONSTALL, in Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, California and Denmark to develop and sustain coaching capacity and to facilitate the emergence of 420 youth sailing in countries previously less well represented in international competition.
Close competition anticipated
The high standard of 420 sailing was in evidence at the recent Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Buzios, Brazil. Most of the leading teams there will be racing here on Lake Garda. But they will also be competing against some seasoned teams who have aged-out of eligibility for the Youth Championships, or narrowly missed out on their country's selection for one of the two (girls and boys) tickets to Brazil.
International indicators of form at the top of the Class for many of the sailors, especially from Europe, are the leader boards from CIMA (the French international event on the Mediterranean in April), Kieler Woche in June and, this year especially, the Intervela held here at Riva in early July, when many of the leading teams were here to train for the World Championships.
The Ladies' Championship
The ISAF Ladies' Champions are Brazil's Martine GRAEL and Kahena KUNZE
(BRA) both with previous ISAF Youths' experience. For the 420 World Championship, Martine is reunited with her 420 crew, Daniela ADLER, who was out-of-age for the Youths. Brazil's National Champions, GRAEL and ADLER (BRA) were fourth at last year's World Championships in Athens and will certainly be the one's to beat this year on Garda. But Italy's, Camilla MORINO and claudia SORICELLI
(ITA) the reigning 420 Junior European Champions and Silver Medallists at the recent ISAF Youths, will be focussed on achieving a home win and taking the trophy to the CV Italia in Napoli. Other strong contenders for the World Ladies Championship recently arrived here from Buzios will be Alexandra MALONEY
and Bianca BARBARICH-BACHER
(NZL) who were 4th at the ISAFs and in the top fifteen at Athens last year, Morgan KISS
and Laura MCKENNA
(USA) 5th at the ISAFs, lead a full team from the USA, Elia BORREGO
and Nora BRUGMAN
(ESP) 6th at the ISAFs, and Rebecca KALDERON
and Rosie SIBTHORP
(GBR), 7th in Brazil (and first women at Kiel this year, in 6th overall) will be setting their sights on the podium..
But these leading "youth" sailors from each country will not have it all their own way. Long term rivals of MORINO and SORICELLI, are federica WETZL
and Marta PARLADORI (ITA) who took 8th at last year's Worlds. Ana ROCHA
and Ana Sofia OLIVEIRA (POR) veterans of the 2007 Europeans in Istanbul and 12th last year in Athens and Spanish National Women's Champions for two years, Carlota MASSANA TEICHMAN
and Ana Lobo RAMIREZ (ESP), (9th in Athens) will be up for the challenge. Others to watch will be Martyna WA?CZYK
and Monika KONDLEWSKA
(POL), (just outside the top ten in Brazil), Lisa SCHWEIGERT
and Lisa FRISCH
(GER), 14th at Athens and 2nd women at this year's Kieler Woche (8th overall) and Imogen STANLEY
and Hermione STANLEY (GBR), newly paired team (Imogen was 2007 Bronze Junior European medallist helm, and took 7th at Athens last year), were third women, in 9th overall, at Kiel in June.
Following their win at Kiel in June, Philip SPARKS
and Ben GRATTON
(GBR) had a resounding victory in Brazil to take Gold at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships. But the Silver and Bronze medallists fought a close battle with each other, as well as SPARKS and GRATTON, Gabriel SKOCZEK
and Thibaut SOLER
(FRA) and Benjamin GREZ
and Carlos VERGARA
(CHI), 20th and 23rd respectively at the 2008 Worlds, will be looking for a rematch here on Garda!
On the other hand, SKOCZEK and SOLER will have to watch their backs, because the French team is strong, with Kevin PEPONNET
and Julien LEBRUN (FRA) experienced Worlds contenders in different partnerships last year, won both Maubuisson and CIMA, with Sebastien SIMON
and Aymeric PARUIT (FRA) and Louis POREZ and Achille NEBOUT
(FRA) also posting higher results than the ISAF Silver medallists.
and matteo RAMIAN
(ITA) were 5th at the ISAFs, but they will be put under pressure by Italy's top-ranked, Giovanni MELONI
and alessandro GEMINI
(ITA) 8th at both last year's Worlds and Junior Europeans, and Federico MACCARI
and Rocco VITALI (ITA) who were 7th at Athens.
and Joan HERP
(ESP) were 8th at the ISAFs, and clocked a 7th at CIMA, the top non-French boat there. But Spanish National Champions, Nicolas RODRIGUEZ
and Sergio CRESPO (ESP) as well as Jorge Martinez DORESTE and Tomás Ugalde PEREZ (ESP) and Santi and David MAS (ESP) who had top-10 placings at the Intervela, and David Omedes REQUENA and Carles Gallart BARGALLO are also to be taken seriously.
and Agustín Matias Cunill MARTINEZ (ARG) and Fabian KASKE
and Alexander SCHAETZ
(GER) were both in the top-ten in Brazil. But Julian AUTENRIETH
and Philipp AUTENRIETH
(GER) led the German Class ranking table and were 2nd at Kiel only to SPARKS and GRATTON. João Villas BOAS and Tomas CAMELO
(POR) 13th at the ISAFs and Ruben SEMEDO and FRANCISCO TEIXEIRA
(POR) will be ones to watch from the large Portuguese team.
New Junior Worlds titles
For the first time this year, the Class, following approval from ISAF, will award, In addition to World Champion and World Ladies Champion, new titles of 420 Class Junior World Champion and International 420 Class Junior Ladies World Champion to the highest ranked junior teams (defined as both sailors born after 31st. December 1990).
Class President welcomes growth in 420 youth sailing
President of the 420 Class, Nino SHMUELI
, welcomed the high entry at this year's Worlds: "I am happy to say that our Development Plan over the last three years is beginning to come to fruition and we are reaching levels of participation we have not previously experienced. I think that in future, with more new countries growing their youth sailing, we may reach toward 300 boats, making the 420 Worlds one of the largest sailing events"
Measurement completes on Wednesday 29 July, when a Practice Race will be held. The Qualifying Series will be held on 30 and 31, with a lay day on 1 August. Then any remaining qualifying races and the Final Series will be held from 2 to 5 August, with the Prizegiving and Closing Ceremony on Wednesday 5 August.
Class website: www.420sailing.org
Fraglia Vela Riva website: www.fragliavelariva.it