At the end of the third day of fleet racing at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, three Italian Women's RS:X sailors occupy spots in the top 15 of the overall leader board.
The Italians have a mixture of experience and youth amongst their ranks with veteran Alessandra Sensini
at the forefront of the team having competed at five Olympic Sailing Competitions picking up medals in four of those. But there is a new wave of Italian RS:X racers coming up through the ranks with World #3 Laura Linares
, World #15 Flavia Tartaglini
and the young Veronica Fanciulli
all finishing the third day in a strong position.
After five races Linares and Tartaglini lead the Italians in Perth with 19 points each. The former is in sixth place having won Race 2 and Tartaglini's best finish of second puts her in eighth. Sensini is down in 15th on 31 points and Fanciulli, who won gold at the 2011 ISAF Youth Worlds and silver at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games is 56th on 95 points.
On the strength of their team in Perth, Linares said, "The secret is to work out. In Italy we all live in different areas but all have really good conditions so we can train throughout the year.
"I live in Southern Italy, Alessandra lives in the north and Flavia and Veronica live in Rome. We live in pretty different places so we don't always train together. We work hard as individuals where we live and work hard together when we are at the training camps."
Linares is a five time ISAF Youth Worlds medallist, winning bronze at just 14-years-old in Gdynia, Poland and a bronze a year later in Busan, Korea. In 2006 she picked up her first Youth Worlds gold medal in Weymouth, Great Britain and defended her title in Kingston, Canada in 2007 and Aarhus, Denmark in 2008.
And despite the great strength and competition amongst the Italian team for an Olympic spot there is respect amongst the team, "We have Alessandra, who is not only the best Italian windsurfer but the best windsurfer in the world. Thanks to her we see what she has achieved which makes us push harder and want to achieve more.
"There is respect between us even though we are competitive."
At 26, Tartaglini has recorded some impressive results in the build up to Perth 2011, she recently finished third at the first regatta of the 2011-2012 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Sail Melbourne. But with such strength in depth she has her work cut out to be considered ahead of Sensini and Linares.
For the 17-year-old Fanciulli, she is the fourth youngest sailor in the 68-boat Women's RS:X fleet. And with a Youth Olympic silver medal gained at Singapore 2010 and a gold medal at the 2011 ISAF Youth Worlds in Zadar, Croatia, she has a great future ahead of her.
But for Linares, Tartaglini and Fanciulli, Sensini does not plan on packing away her windsurfer just yet, "Of course it's hard to stay for so long, but I think I can still give something,"
she said. "It's not my time to stop yet.
"It's my life and I don't think I can give it up yet. When I am full of it I will stop."
Racing resumes tomorrow at Perth 2011 with the continuation of Women's Match Racing at 10:00 local time. The four fleets are split into gold and silver with the Women's RS:X and Laser Radial scheduled to sail Races 6,7 and 8 with a start time of 12:00. The Men's 470 and Finn sailors commence at 14:00. They will be sailing Race 6 only.
The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships website will bring you results, tracking, live updates and all the latest news both on and off the water.