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11 May 2007, 10:28 am
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420 and 470 Youth European Championship 2007
Medemblik, Netherlands

From 8-16 August 2007, the combined Youth European Championships 420 & 470 will be sailed in Medemblik / Netherlands. Worldwide, the 420 is one of the most popular youth training boats and the 470 has an Olympic status. Many of today's 470 top sailors learned the tricks of double handed boats in a 420. Both classes are represented in various countries and therefore the organization expects a strong fleet.
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Valk Welding, supplier of products and services in the field of industrial robotics and welding techniques, is the official Event Partner.

Valk Welding draws a parallel between competitive sailing for youth and the company's opinion about internal training of young employees. 'To be successful in sports, you need a mix of perseverance, passion and ambition', says Remco H. Valk, General Director of Valk Welding and enthusiastic sailor himself. 'Of course in combination with technique, which is continually subject to innovations. Those elements, together with the aspect of racing strategy, fit perfectly with the philosophy and working method of the Valk Welding organization.'

After last year's inaugural combined Youth Europeans 420 & 470 in Portugal, the Netherlands are the second country that may organize the event. For the national 420 and 470 class organizations, it is a new milestone in joining forces. According to Hessel EVERTSE, Top Sailing Co-ordinator of the Royal Netherlands Sailing Federation, the championships are also a crucial link within their total approach: 'It fits our triptych: education of Top talents, delivery of Top performances and organizing Top events in the Netherlands.' Dutch and foreign young potentials will have the chance to compete on an international level on the IJsselmeer in the Netherlands. Some of them might participate in the 470 Worlds in 2010, hosted by the Netherlands as well. EVERTSE: 'We work on continuity and these Youth Europeans form an excellent beginning of the whole line.'

Participation is open to countries from all over the World. It is limited to the age of 18 for the 420, with a maximum number of entries per country. For the 470 the age limit is 21 and the number of teams per country is unlimited. The event will be held off the International Sailing Center Medemblik (ISCM) at the Regatta Center complex.

A good start

Both national class organizations and the Royal Netherlands Sailing Federation consider the Youth Europeans 420 & 470 as an important step in the process of developing double handed dinghy sailing towards an Olympic level. Many of today's 470 top sailors started their career in the 420, like double 470 World Champion Lobke BERKHOUT (NED). She also won silver in the 420 at the ISAF Youth Worlds Championships in 1997 and 1998. The current generation of youth teams may move on to the Olympic stage of 2012 or later.

About Valk Welding

With over forty-five years of experience, Valk Welding is one of the most experienced players on the welding technical market. Based on its extensive assortment, and its unique know-how and experience in the field of both robot and welding techniques, ValkWelding is able to supply overall solutions that will increase productivity and performance of companies. Valk Handling, a new division that has been operational for more than four years, has realized a series of robot handling applications within and outside Europe. Due to last years' growth with settlements in among others Belgium, France, Denmark and the Czech Republic, Valk Welding had the chance to operate as a full-service system integrator throughout Europe. At the moment, Valk Welding has 75 employees and makes an annual turnover of about 25 million Euro (2006).

In addition to Event Partner Valk Welding, the 2007 Youth European Championships 420 & 470 are also sponsored by Renault, Holmatro, Magic Marine, PWN and supported by Department of Health, Welfare and Sports, NOC*NSF and the Royal Netherlands Sailing Federation.

Diana Bogaards (As Amended By ISAF), Image, 2006 420 Champions Carl EVANS and Peter BURLING:© Christine Hansen
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