'This championship is a gateway to the Olympic Games and also the Volvo Ocean Race and I congratulate all the competitors for their skill and determination and look forward to watching their progress in the years to come.'
Australia's team leader, Kristen KOSMALA, said, 'It was a full team effort and we all worked together as a strong unit. It's pretty amazing and all the kids are really excited.'
Awarded by Volvo to the best performing nation taking part in the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, the Volvo Trophy was first offered by Volvo in 1999 and has been presented every year since, with the exception of Madeira 2003. Australia last won the event in 2003.
In the girls 29er fleet it was the American duo of Emily DELLENBAUGH (17) and Briana PROVANCHA (18) who claimed the gold medal with a race to spare in a fleet of 18 boats. 'It hasn't really sunk in yet,' exclaimed helm DELLENBAUGH, the daughter of top America's Cup sailor David DELLENBAUGH. Both Emily and crew Briana were thrown into the dock in traditional fashion once they realized they had won. 'We didn't expect to do this well,' said an elated DELLENBAUGH, but PROVANCHA, who claimed the silver in Korea two years ago with Megan MAGILL says they were always aiming for a top five finishing position.
Sophie WEGUELIN and Sophie AINSWORTH from Lymington in Great Britain won the last race and took the silver medals, ahead of the pre-race favourites, Australia's Hannah NATTRASS and Michelle MULLER who were only two points behind the British girls.
Henrik SOLGAARD (17) and Soren KRISTENSEN (17) from Denmark emerged the eventual victors and the winners of the gold medal after a showdown that has lasted throughout the entire regatta. In exciting final race on the lake today, capsizes were commonplace in the strong northerly breeze, and there were a couple of spectacular wipeouts which held up the Danes. The British team of James ELLIS (16) and Robert PARTRIDGE (18), from Plymouth in Great Britain, sailed a great race to take the bronze medal and New Zealand's Paul SNOW-HANSEN and Blair TUKE hung on to the silver.
KING, who started sailing at the age of 10 only began racing only four years ago. She was fifth at the 2006 Volvo Youth Sailing World Championship in Weymouth last year and is currently 89th in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings for the women's one person dinghy.
?I'm really excited,? said KING. ?It is really surreal. I came here hoping to medal and it is great to see that it happened. I now have to go home and study for a little while and then start training for selection for both youth worlds next year and the open Laser Radial worlds. The team is great, a lot of fun, everyone gets on very well and they have all been very supportive.?
In a nail-biting final race, Denmark's Sarah GUNNI put in a stunning performance to finish third which was enough to take her ahead of Tuula TENKANEN (FIN) and to snatch the bronze medal by just two points.
After already qualifying for the Olympic Games in Beijing, Pavlos KONTIDES (17) from Cyprus added the gold medal in the boys Laser class to his collection of accolades.
'I'm on top of the world,'said a smiling KONTIDES. 'I'm really excited right now. It was my aim to win and when things go well and the results come, it feels very nice.'
Apart from finishing 24th in race 7, KONTIDES was consistency itself, never finishing out of the top six in the fleet of 38. With three wins to his credit he went into the final race with an unassailable lead and the knowledge that he was this year's gold medallist. KONTIDES, who started sailing with his father when he was nine years old, was also competing at the youth worlds in Weymouth last year where he finished seventh.
Laura LINARES from Italy has claimed her second gold medal in the 15-board fleet, adding to the gold medal she won in Weymouth last year and the bronze she collected two years ago in Korea.
LINARES has never finished out of the top three in this year's series and only three points separated the Italian from her nearest rival, Moana DELLE (GER). DELLE had to count an expensive 16 point penalty in race 1, but from then on her regatta improved with a win in race 7 and a clutch of second places to add to her score and culminating in the silver medal.
Bronze was claimed by Poland's Nina SZYMCZYK who was consistently in the top six throughout the series.
Pierre LE COQ (FRA) finally won his first gold medal in the boys' windsurfer class after finishing in bronze position in 2006 and silver in Korea (2005). Discarding his worst scores of three points in race one and five points in race four, LE COQ posted three wins, a second and four third places.
The silver and bronze medal positions went down to the wire in the last race of the series sailed in a strong northerly breeze in which Israel's Ron ASULIN, sailing in this event for the first time, finished second, pushing Dimitris VLACHAKIS from Greece back into bronze by two points.
Britain's GLOVER brothers, Richard (18) and Andrew (15), from Weymouth, Dorset, led the multihull open division from start to finish. But it wasn't all plain sailing; they were always being pressed by Danish team of Emil LANDRY and Jacob DANNEFER who were nipping at their heels throughout the series and eventually took the silver medal, four marks behind.
The Australian duo of Jason WATERHOUSE and Michael MCCORMICK were always in contention, finally taking the bronze medal with 29 points.
The ISAF Youth World Championship is ISAF's longest running event, having taken place every year since the first Youth Worlds hosted by Sweden in 1971. The 37th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship takes place from 12-21 July, sailed out of the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
2007 will be the eighth ISAF Youth Worlds to be sponsored by Volvo. Italy are the current holders of the Volvo Trophy, awarded annually to the top performing nation at the Youth Worlds.
Past notable winners include American's Cup skippers, Chris DICKSON (NZL) and Russell COUTTS (NZL), Volvo Ocean Race sailor Stuart BANNATYNE (NZL) and many Olympic Champions including Robert SCHEIDT (BRA), Ben AINSLIE (GBR) and Siren SUNDBY (NOR).
For the fifth year in a row the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme (APP) will assist young athletes from developing sailing nations attend the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship. Since its launch the APP has helped over 100 sailors attend the Championships, further spreading the appeal of youth sailing's premier event.