256 helmsmen and crew from 29 nations, all junior sailing talents not older than 21 years, will determine their champs from 21-30 July. This is not only by far the biggest fleet of this year's Travemuender Week, but also the biggest the 470 class has ever seen for a Junior World Championship.
'128 boats from four continents - that's more than we've ever seen so far in a Junior World Championship.. It is a new record overall, and so is the number of female crews entered: 34,' says Yalcin GURKAN from Istanbul, Turkey, MC Secretary of the International 470 Class Association. He is very pleased with the high number of entries. It shows how much the sailors like Travemuender and proves that the right choice was made.
With these World Championships, the competitors will be entering new ground in a number of ways. 'The regatta will be something very special for the young sailors, as it is the first time that their championships are part of an event this size,' explained Ruediger SCHUCHARDT from Essen, President of the German 470 Class Association and Chairman of the jury for the Travemuender Week. 'It will be very exciting for them, as the youngsters are not yet familiar with mixing with top class sailors and the colourful social events programme.'
Highlights will be the opening ceremony, a reception by the City of Luebeck on the four mast barque Passat on Monday 24 July, the first racing day, a special 470 barbecue on Wednesday and the final prizegiving on Sunday.
The Worlds will be attributed special attention at the official opening ceremony of Travemuender Week on Friday 21 July by the Schleswig-Holstein Prime Minister Peter Harry CARSTENSEN. 'We will have a parade of flags for all nations represented and two sailors will take an oath. It will be a very festive occasion,' reported Karin BÖGE, who is happy to have found Tanja JACOBSOHN-STEMMLER from Luebeck as a patron for the championship - she was crowned 470 World Champion in back 1990.
Another novelty will be the final Medal Race for the top ten crews at the end of the ten race series. 'Providing the wind is in our favour, the Medal Race will take place right off the beach and close to the spectators with live commentary,' explains BÖGE, 'Mrs. Chairman' of the Travemuender Week.
Sailing up close will even be a daily feature of the event, because the 128 boats will be berthed next to the media tent and start their race preparations at the Trave pier where thousand of visitors will pass by.
'The Worlds will be a logistic challenge,' say Travemuender Week race director Walter MIELKE and the Junior World Championship race chairman Brian SCHWEDER. The 470 class will not only be allocated their own course on race area 'Golf' close to the shore off Brodten coast north of the harbour entrance. They will get their own area on shore and their extra jury. Due to the size of the fleet, they will sail in groups to which the sailors will be assigned on a day to day basis according to their performance.
The favourites for the male Junior title are Sime FANTELA and Igor MARENIC. The two 20 year olds from Zadar, Croatia, won all the junior titles last year, including a first at the Universiade. They will be challenged by the silver medallists from the 2005 Junior Worlds, Georiogs VASILAS and Evangelos MITAKIS from Athens, Greece, Eyal LEVIN and Yam AMIR from Tel Aviv, Israel, who had came fourth at the previous Junior Worlds, and the 21 year old Germans Christopher LORENZ and Friedrich GEBERT, bronze medallists of the 2005 Junior European Championships in Tallinn, Estonia.
'The German team will be in Travemuender with 24 boats, including some very promising crews which may well win a medal,' says class chief SCHUCHARDT. On the female side, four German boats will be at the starting line. The favourites for the three extra women's medals are France's Camille LECOINTRE and Gwendolin LEMAITRE, second at the previous Junior Worlds, Israel's Noa BOTZER and Laia TRAJTENBERG and Australia's Anna PATTERSON and Sarah CLARK.
'I am sure that we will see a great championship here in Travemuender,' predicted Alberto PREDIERI, President of the International 470 Class Association. The organizing Luebeck Yacht Club has done an excellent job in only four months of preparation time left after taking over the Junior Worlds. 'This is a clear sign of passion and love of the sailing sport and proof of the organizational know how.' And it is an effort that will be rewarded in any case, 'As it is being made for our youth. And they are the future of our sport.'