Late entries have seen the competition swell with 48 nations from all five continents and well over 200 sailors now represented on the entry list. Not surprisingly, Asia is well represented with China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia and Myanmar all sending sailors along with full strength line ups of ten sailors coming from Singapore and the hosts, Korea. A full quota of ten sailors are also coming from Brazil, Germany and Italy as well as from the established powers of Youth Sailing: Australia, France, Great Britain and New Zealand.
These four nations are the only ones to have lifted the ISAF Nations Cup for the best overall nation at the Youth Worlds. France won the Cup for the eighth time in Gdynia, Poland last year, and will be fighting to retain it this time round.
Oddly French victories at the Youth Worlds have not really translated themselves into Olympic success, bucking the trend of Youth Worlds' winners going on to even greater things in the senior circuit. Just take the example of the biggest sailing event ever held here in Busan, the 1988 Olympic Sailing Competition. Jose Luis DORESTE BLANCO (ESP), in his fourth Olympic Games, claimed a gold medal in the Finn. Back before his Olympic career began DORESTE had had success in the Youth Worlds finishing third in the Laser in 1973.
Perhaps an even better example is DORESTE's brother, Luis. He took the Youth Worlds title in the Europe in Livorno, Italy in 1979 before going on to win two Olympic gold medals, in the 470 in 1984 and the Flying Dutchman in 1992. Who did he beat into second place in 1979? New Zealand's, Olympic gold medallist and three times winning skipper in the America's Cup, Russell COUTTS, who came back to the Youth Worlds two years later to claim victory in the Laser. COUTTS was not the only Kiwi to announce his presence to the World back in 1979. The winning in the 470 competition in Livorno was led by Chris DICKSON (NZL), who amongst many sailing achievements went on to win multiple ISAF Match Racing World Championships.
|Paige RAILEY followed her 2003
Youth Worlds win with victory
in the Miami OCR
© Daniel Forster/Rolex
Of course the Youth Worlds is not just about spotting the stars of the future but also the development of youth sailing worldwide. In this area the 2005 Championship in Busan for the first time welcomes sailors from El Salvador and the Bahamas as well as the return of the US Virgin Islands, who have not competed at a Youth Worlds since 1985. Both Cyprus and Chile are sending two sailors each for only their third ever appearance at the Youth Worlds, whilst China, in only their second ever Championship, have an almost full quota of eight sailors. Sailors from the Bahamas, Cyprus, El Salvador, Guatemala, the US Virgin Islands, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa and the Seychelles will be in Korea thanks in part to ISAF's Athlete Participation Programme (APP) which provides funding to help sailors from developing sailing nations compete.