Jordi Xammar and Joan Herp (ESP) win gold in the 470 men and Maelenn Lemaitre and Aloise Retornaz (FRA) seal gold in the 470 women's event at the 2013 470 Junior World Championships in La Rochelle.
The achievements of the 179 teams from 28 nations competing in the 470 Junior Worlds, 470 Masters' Cup and Open Classic events were celebrated at the 470 Class 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner on Saturday evening in La Rochelle, France.
Saturday's racing got underway with the medal races for the 470 Junior Worlds, with the men up on the track first, followed by the women.
Time for some celebrations for the medallists, before the 50 Year Cup, which saw around 200 boats (results will be published today), including the 1964 built 470 carrying #13 sail number, the oldest known 470 still existing, complete a long distance course which ended by the old harbour of La Rochelle. The sight was truly spectacular with hundreds of 470s crewed by legends of 470 sailing through to the newest teams having simply lots of fun. A parade of sail took teams into the old harbour with live commentary and crowds of spectators, along with other 470 teams applauding and cheering.
Jo Aleh from New Zealand, 2012 Olympic Gold medallist, was one of those watching and summed up the experience perfectly, "It was just awesome!
Jordi Xammar and Joan Herp from Spain became the new 2013 470 Junior World Champions with a second place finish in the medal race to seal victory with an eight point advantage.
The pair held the overall lead going into the medal race, but with a narrow points advantage - three points between first and second and then another three points to third - leaving the field wide open for any of the top four teams to get gold. Commenting on their approach to the race, Herp said, "It was all really close and with double points for the Medal Race, so we just didn't know what to do, but just raced as we know. We had quite a good start and really concentrated and prayed a lot!
The pair have enjoyed great success together, including winning the ISAF Youth Worlds in 2010 and the top placed junior team at the 2011 420 Worlds. Cipra continued, "It is amazing. It is the toughest Championship we have won. When we won the ISAF Youths it was maybe a bit easier. Here, the entire Championship we have been coming from behind and until the last day we couldn't imagine this would happen. When we crossed the line, Jordi was crying!
Xammar explained his understandable emotions, "From the last upwind, I was just crying. We started the downwind and it was gusty and difficult and we passed the mark second. And then during the last downwind, we thought we may finish the race in last as it was really hard. When we crossed the line, it was ok now it is done and we have achieved after all the work we have put in this year.
The pair crossed the line and capsized. "When we won the 420 Worlds, we didn't capsize,
" said Xammar."First time Joan tried to capsize us, I was not sure whether we had really crossed the line or not,"
he grinned. "So, I made us wait a moment to be sure. This is just amazing. We couldn't dream about winning this. The first part of the Championship was really hard for us and we went into the finals in thirteenth place and then dropped to 15th after the first day of finals. We just had to concentrate really hard and sail how we know and we did it."
Taking the best start off the line were Spain's David Charles and Alex Charles and the pair held their advantage from start to finish to win the medal race, but it was impossible to achieve the impossible and they finished in fifth overall.
A brilliant outcome for Julien Autenrieth and Matti Cipra, who came together as a new combination for the Junior Worlds. Cipra's usual helm had broken his leg and Autenrieth's brother is too old to compete at the 470 Junior Worlds, so they came together for their first ever assault on a Junior World Championship and walked away with the silver medal.
"I feel perfect,"
said Cipra. "It was a really nice race. Right at the last reach we thought we were third and then we saw that the Israel guy had the OCS, so we were very happy, otherwise we would have been third."
At the 470 Worlds, which start on Monday, Autenrieth will be back sailing with his brother Phillip, whilst Cipra is pairing up with another helm, Tim Fischer, for the 2013 470 Junior European Championships.
"We had about 10 days training before this and managed to do lots of manoeuvres. We had some problems in the downwind, but we managed well.
" Ironic that together these two have achieved better than Julian and Phillip, but Julian explained that having spent the past few years focusing on their education, the brothers have been training really hard this year which has delivered a big improvement in technique.
There was almost a massive disappointment for Israel's Gal Cohen and Dan Froyliche who made the fatal mistake off crossing the line too early to take an OCS penalty and almost miss out on a medal. The pair thought they had started clean, and so continued to race. A brilliant performance in the qualifying and final series was almost destroyed, but fortunately for them, their closest rivals on the race course finished just one place behind them, assuring the Israelis of the bronze medal.
"This was our goal and we did it,"
said Cohen. "When you are sailing on the course, it is always the same you must think about other things, and not feel pressure of what you are trying to do."
At 17 years old, Cohen is one of the youngest helms racing here it was the first medal race for the pair. "It was fun and there were not a lot of fights in the race. We were all sailing and not fighting,
" concluded Cohen.
"It is a really good feeling to be back on the podium after many years,"
said Froyliche. "Because of the 50th Anniversary it is even more special.
In less than two weeks, the Junior World medallists, along with many of the other teams competing in La Rochelle, will all meet again at the 2013 470 Junior European Championships which get underway in Pwllheli, Great Britain on 14 August 2013.
In a touching medal ceremony, reigning 470 Champions awarded medals to the men's teams, with Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) - 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) - 2012 470 World Champions and Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron (FRA) - 2013 470 European Champions, placing medals over the heads of the next generation of 470 sailors.
Men - Final Top 8 Overall
1. Jordi Xammar/Joan Herp (ESP) - 31 pts
2. Julien Autenrieth/Matti Cipra (GER) - 39 pts
3. Gal Cohen/Dan Froyliche (ISR) - 48 pts
4. Pierre Quiroga/Clement Pequin (FRA) - 49 pts
5. David Charles/Alex Charles (ESP) - 52 pts
6. Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) - 59 pts
7. Matteo Capurro/Matteo Puppo (ITA) - 62 pts
8. Mike Wood/Hugh Brayshaw (GBR) - 68 pts
France's Maelenn Lemaitre and Aloise Retornaz and the Ukraine's Anna Kyselova and Anastasiya Krasko had wrapped up their gold and silver medals with a day to spare, but behind these top two all of the teams through to seventh place on the leader board were in the fight for the bronze medal.
A career best achievement for Lemaitre and Retornaz, "It is very exciting, because we also win in La Rochelle and our first gold medal in a World Championship, so it is just very, very exciting for us
," said Retornaz.
"It was very, very hard to win. The Ukraine team are very strong all the week, so it was a physical and mental competition. We win after some really close battles,
" added Lemaitre. "I hope we will win again and we are excited to have another challenge with them.
A career best for the Ukraine team too. "When we were coming here to this Championship, we didn't expect to get second place,
" said Kyselova. "We were dreaming about maybe third, so we are really happy with second. Although we knew we had the silver medal today anyway, we just tried to enjoy the race and do a good start and do what we could.
The pair led the fleet through part of the medal race, as Krasko explained, "We were almost the first. We were first at the windward mark on the second rounding and then lost a bit going downwind, because we couldn't pump.
"In international events, this is our best result,"
added Kyselova. "We are really happy with it. Now we are just thinking we have to do a good 470 Worlds and then do even better at the 470 Junior Europeans."
Nadine Bohm and Karoline Gotzer (GER) sealed the bronze medal with a third place finish in the medal race. The led the race for the first upwind and downwind, slipping back to second as the Ukraine team pushed ahead, and finally crossing the line in third. Had Bohm and Gotzer finished another place further back in the fleet it would all have been very different, as Spain's Barbara Cornudella and Sara Lopez took the race win and would have had the advantage.
Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) - 2012 Olympic gold medallists and three-time time 470 World Champions, Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield (GBR) - who between them carry multiple Olympic and World Championship medals, and Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) - 2013 European Champions, presented the medals to the women's teams.
Women - Final Top 8 Overall
1. Maelenn Lemaitre/Aloise Retornaz - 23 pts
2. Anna Kyselova/Anastasiya Krasko - 35 pts
3. Nadine Bohm/Karoline Gotzer (GER) - 77 pts
4. Barbara Cornudella/Sara Lopez (ESP) - 79 pts
5. Joanna Freeman/Katie Tomsett - 79 pts
6. Amy Searbright/Anna Carpenter (GBR) - 82 pts
7. Tsuf Zamet/Lia Biran (ISR) - 82 pts
8. Elena Berta/Alice Sinno (ESP) - 102 pts