The entries for the inaugural ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship set to be held in Helsinki, Finland from 23-27 July have been confirmed.
Organised by the Nylandska Jaktklubben in conjunction with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the ISAF Grade W event will welcome 15 skippers racing J/80 boats.
In its inaugural year the 2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship is open to competitors under 23 years old on 31 December 2014.
The highest ranked sailor amongst the entrants is 20-year-old Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN). At World #12 in the Open Rankings the Dane has had considerable success on the Open circuit that has enabled him to remain as one of the top 25 match racers for the last two years.
Regatta victories and podium finishes at ISAF Grade 2 and 3 regattas highlights the talent that Aschenbrenner has and he will be one of the favourites to take the honours in Helsinki.
New Zealand's Chris Steele will come into the event buoyed having won his first ISAF Grade 2 regatta, the Chicago Match Cup qualifier, over the weekend of 13-15 June 2014. The 21-year-old has worked his way up the ISAF Open Rankings to World #17 having secured a string of podium finishes at ISAF Grade 2 and 3 regattas since he made his match racing debut at the Musto International Youth Match Racing Championships in November 2011.
With match racing in his family's blood Sam Gilmour (AUS) will be a fierce contender for gold at the inaugural ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds. Gilmour is the son of four-time ISAF Match Racing World Champion, Peter Gilmour, and with older brother David a tour card holder on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour the 20-year-old has plenty of match racing nous to draw experience from in advance of the regatta.
Gilmour made his first match racing appearance in May 2011 and has slowly worked his way up the Open Rankings. Following three regatta victories in a row towards the backend of 2013 Gilmour moved into the world's top 25 and enters Helsinki at World #24.
The next highest ranked racer set to compete in Helsinki is Ireland's Philip Bendon who currently sits at World #35. The Irish racer won gold at the EUROSAF Match Racing, Open Youth European Championship in 2013. With two regatta victories under his belt in 2014 he will be one to watch in Helsinki.
After winning a silver medal at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games Germany's Florian Haufe made the switch over to the match racing circuit and has impressed. His sole regatta victory came at the ISAF Grade 3 2013 EUROSAF University Sailing European Match Race Championship. At World #52 Haufe will be pushing for the podium.
Racing at the ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds commences on Wednesday 23 July and concludes on Sunday 27 July.
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds Entrants
Vladislav Abramov (RUS)
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN)
Philip Bendon (IRL)
Valerio Galati (ITA)
Sam Gilmour (AUS)
Florian Haufe (GER)
Jakob Klitte (SWE)
Mark Lees (GBR)
Nelson Mettraux (SUI)
Pierre Quiroga (FRA)
Slawomir Plichta (POL)
Tyler Rice (ISV)
Markus Ronnberg (FIN)
Nevin Snow (USA)
Chris Steele (NZL)
The ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship joined the ISAF family of events at the 2012 ISAF Annual Conference in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.
The Championship will bring together the best youth match racers from around the world acknowledging their skills and offering a pathway to senior match racing competition.
Helsinki, Finland was selected to host the inaugural event from 23-27 July 2014.
Swinoujscie, Poland will hold the 2015 edition of the event.
ISAF Youth Match Worlds Microsite - http://www.sailing.org/events/youthmatchworlds/index.php
Event Website - http://www.njk.fi/matchrace/isaf-youth-match-racing-wc/