Strong breezes providing an exciting first day of racing to the 2008 RS:X Youth World Championship in Pattaya, Thailand.
For a collection of the world's top young windsurfers, the New Year kicks off with the postponed 2008 RS:X Youth World Championship. The Championship was postponed because of the sit in at the main international airport in Bangkok last December and whilst only about half the number of competitors have made it back, those who have represent the quality end of the fleet.
Side offshore winds of 12-14 knots for arrived for the competitors this morning. A very unusual wind direction in these parts! Both fleets went out on schedule and popped two races in back-to-back on a windward-leeward course.
The girls started first and it was Hong Kong's Victoria CHAN (HKG) who was the fastest out of the blocks. She won both races by a margin. Behind her, her compatriot Sonia LO (HKG) was also consistent, putting in a third and second to finish the day in second place overall. Two points back in third overall is Maja DZIARNOWSKA
(ITA), three-time winner of the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship
, was pushed down to fourth overall. When, having locked horns with Paulina RADWANSKA
(POL), in the second race of the day she sailed an extra lap and therefore finished ninth. It is extremely difficult to keep count of the number of laps you have done whilst in a close fought battle for the lead. Heart rates can be as high as 180 beats per minute!
The wind is forecast to stay in for the next two days so the planing specialists should take the opportunity to build a points' cushion whilst they can. The final three days are likely to be raced in displacement conditions.
Amongst the boys, Oliver-Tom SCHLIEMANN
(GER) blew the first race completely finishing 20th. However, he made up for it in the second by taking the gun and so sits in ninth overall. More consistency would be good! That comment might also be applied to Leung Ho TSUN (HKG) who won the first race and dropped to 14th in the second.
These two have got to strike a rich vein of form in the next two days before the forecast light winds kick in.
A new young racer more used to sailing a short board with a 3.3 metre sail in 40-50 knots of wind in Penghu is Hao CHANG
(TPE). In the 12-14 knots of wind out on the course today he at least was the most consistent, finishing fifth and third to stand second overall on equal points with Thiseas KAMPAS
, silver medallist at the 2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship.
In the third and fourth the strong Polish contingent are making their presence felt. Piotr MYSZKOWSKI
(POL) and Jacek PIASECKI
(POL) have both established a base from which to build. But it is Liran MACHLEV
(ISR) who could be the dark horse. He won the 2008 RS:X Youth European Championships in Mondello in light winds so if he can just hang onto HAO and KAMPAS at the front of the fleet during the next two breezey days, he will be able to demonstrate his light wind prowess towards the end of the regatta.
Sidebar… the RS:X Class would like to thank everyone involved in getting these young sailors here for this postponed RS:X Youth World Championships. It has taken a not insignificant amount of grit and determination to re-organise school schedules to make it happen. Your support is much appreciated!
Race results at: www.rsxclass.com/document