470 Junior Worlds - Men
An all French top three after the five race qualification series ended on Tuesday. The 59 boat fleet will now advance to the final series, with 30 boats in the gold fleet and 29 in silver.
Luckily for Pierre Quiroga and Clement Pequin (FRA) the discard kicked in after race 4, so their setback 22nd place in race 3 is now out of their scoreline. Teams will carry points equivalent to their position on the leaderboard into final series, which will see seven races scheduled to determine the top eight boats advancing to the medal race on Saturday 3 August.
Quiroga and Pequin were in La Rochelle training all last week and learning some of the peculiarities of the venue, "Last week we learnt to monitor water level and signs that allow us to gain speed around the track," said Pequin.
Guillaume Pirouelle and Valentin Sipan (FRA) sit just two points behind in second on the leaderboard, with Hugo Feydit and Charlie Ageneau (FRA) in third.
On equal points with the third placed team are South Africa's Asenathi Jim and Sibu Sizatu, who have accelerated to fourth on the leaderboard, counting a 1,2 from today's races, and discarding a 10th in race 3.
One of the younger teams competing are brothers Alex and George Kavvas from Greece. Last year the 420 World Championship title was in their hands, so far in La Rochelle they are safely inside the top 10 at their second 470 Junior Worlds appearance.
470 Junior Worlds - Men Top 5
1. Pierre Quiroga/Clement Pequin (FRA) - 7 pts
2. Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) - 9 pts
3. Hugo Feydit/Charlie Ageneau (FRA) - 10 pts
4. Asenathi Jim/Sibu Sizatu (RSA) - 10 pts
5. Julian Autenrieth/Matti Cipra (GER) - 14 pts
470 Junior Worlds - Women
France's Maelenn Lemaitre and Aloise Retornaz put in three more solid race results, with a 4,2,2 to give themselves a helpful nine point margin with five races completed. The twenty-five teams competing in the women's event are sailing a single series and discard kicked in after race 5, so some shuffling on the leader board puts some new faces in the top ten.
Pushing on up to second are the Ukraine's Anna Kyselova and Anastaysia Krasko who won races 4 and 5 to move up into second overall. The pair finished third at the 470 Spring Cup in April this year, and their best result at a Junior Worlds was back in 2010 in Doha, Qatar when they finished in 6th.
"We thought that there would be much more wind, so we ate a lot in the morning and then when we got to the racing area there was nothing, so we were a bit upset! We didn't really understand the first race and we just failed so much," said Kyselova. "We started in the wrong place and then all the upwinds we were in the wrong area - we just did everything wrong."
A handy gap after the first race as the Race Committee re-set the start line to adjust for the current, gave the pair time to review their performance as Kyselova explained, "We analysed our problems and understood the race and so for the next two races it was different. We started and had good speed, so moved ahead of the fleet and then just kept close but were in the lead." Two first places ranks as the team's best ever performance in a day's racing!
They are in La Rochelle for the entire 50th Anniversary Celebrations, so relief to find they are enjoying the experience so far, "It is great here and there are so many people. It is very relaxed and it is a really friendly atmosphere, we are enjoying it," concluded Kyselova.
Moving up to third overall are Australia's sisters Sasha and Jamie Ryan who are world ranked #15.
Many new faces have made the transition to the 470 junior fleet, including the 2012 420 Junior European Champions Annabel Vose and Kirstie Urwin. Before the 470 Junior Europeans, they also sealed silver at the 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds and made the transition to the 470 soon after. Rock back a year earlier to 2011 and Vose, with then crew Megan Brickwood, won the 2011 420 Ladies Worlds in Argentina.
Many of the teams have been racing each other for years and along with Vose in Argentina was Germany's Nadine Bohm, who claimed the 420 Worlds silver medal. Bohm is sailing with Karoline Gottzer in La Rochelle and so far has the leaderboard advantage in 11th overall, with Vose in 15th. The bronze medal in 2011 went to the current series leaders Lemaitre and Retornaz.
470 Junior Worlds - Women Top 5
1. Maelenn Lemaitre/Aloise Retornaz (FRA) - 4 pts
2. Anna Kyselova/Anastasiya Krasko (UKR) - 13 pts
3. Sasha Ryan/Jaime Ryan (AUS) - 26 pts
4. Amy Seabright/Anna Carpenter (GBR) - 27 pts
5. Greta Markfort/Anna Markfort (GER) - 28 pts
Racing continues on Wednesday 31 July with two races scheduled.
179 teams are competing in three events in La Rochelle, which on Monday opened the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the International 470 Class. Alongside the 470 Junior Worlds racing is underway in the 470 Masters' Cup and 470 Open Classic events.