An insufficient breeze of around 4 knots following by a transitioning wind forced racing into postponement for about 90 minutes out on the water on day 2 at the 470 Junior World Championships in Cervia, Italy.
The light wind added to the heat and humidity, so relief when the breeze stabilized and race 3 for the 470 Women got underway in around 12 knots for some stunning racing.
Maëlenn Lemaitre/Aloïse Retornaz (FRA) maintained their perfect scorecard and wrapped up another two race wins to make it four in a row and secure themselves a useful 18 point advantage in the 470 Women. All change in the 470 Men/Mixed as defending 470 Junior World Champions, Jordi Xammar/Joan Herp (ESP) eased into the lead from their 1,2 score line.
Added pressure for teams as they waited out on the race track for the wind to kick in. Staying calm, focused and ready to race can be a challenge. Spain's Jordi Xammar/Joan Herp had it sorted. "It is a bit difficult because you are waiting and it is important to drink water,"
said Xammar. "We were waiting to see what was happening with the wind, but we were quite calm and we had a good day."
The Spanish clawed their way back from a poor start, finding themselves around 12th in the first upwind and converting to a win. It was neck and neck with the series leaders Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan throughout, with the French finishing close behind in second. Race 4 and the Spanish stayed consistent, whilst the French floundered back in 14th and with it lost their leaders' yellow jerseys to the Spanish.
Germany's Malte Winkel/Matti Cipra started today in 9th overall and ended it placed 3rd on the leaderboard to post the best results combination of the day after the Spanish. Just two points behind are Greece's Antonis Tsimpoukelis/Vasileios Kontakis.
There are numerous young teams making their first appearance at a 470 Junior Championship. Many have partnered in other classes, so their teamwork is established with just boat experience now required. A two-year partnership in the 420 Class for Argentina's Agustin Romero/Fermin Jacobs is so far serving them well. At the end of 2013 the pair won the Argentinean 420 National Championships, and although the 470 is still a new beast for them to tame they have managed to secure a relatively steady scorecard of 8, 15, 3, 25 to end day 2 in 9th overall.
"Just recently we started training and we came to this Championship with low expectations,"
said Romero. "We have been sailing the 470 for about 2 months. But we have raced so many of these sailors in the 420, so it is really good to be racing against each other in the 470."
The pair are quite lightweight, so the low breeze has played to their advantage. Argentina will host the2016 470 World Championships, so will be interesting to watch how this young pair evolves between now and then.
Taking a perspective from a team at their first ever 470 event, interesting to catch up with Great Britain's Ben Hazeldine/Rhos Hawes. Hawes noted, "You notice the step up definitely. We had a bit at the front and a bit at the back of the fleet today and there are similar levels throughout the fleet. It was hard to gain boats wherever you were."
Hazeldine continued, "The speed throughout the fleet doesn't really change from top to back. The difference is all about tactics. At the moment we are trying to get our heads out of the boat, but as we have just joined the class we are focused on boat speed and keeping up with the fleet, so the hard thing is trying to look around."
"This is a really great event. It is a laid back atmosphere and the Opening Ceremony was just amazing,"
Want to catch up on the Opening Ceremony, then take a look at: http://juniorworlds.470.org/en/default/races/race-video
Top 10 leaderboard and teams from nine different nations up there - world class youth racing at its best.
470 Men/Mixed - Top 10 Overall
1. Jordi Xammar/Joan Herp (ESP 44) - 16 pts
2. Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA 76) - 27 pts
3. Malte Winkel/Matti Cipra (GER 13) - 35 pts
4. Antonis Tsimpoukelis/Vasileios Kontakis (GRE 4) - 37 pts
5. Matteo Pilati/Francesco Rubagotti (ITA 27) - 38 pts
6. Kristian Chekh/Maxim Cherenkov (RUS 10) - 38 pts
7. Fabrice Rigot/Guillaume Rigot (SUI 2) - 44 pts
8. Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro (ITA-757) - 50 pts
9. Augustin Romero/Fermin Jacobs (ARG 9) - 51 pts
10. Balder Tobiasen/Magnus Jung Johansen (DEN-164) - 65 pts
Three races were planned for the women today, although just two got completed due to the postponement. No worries for the defending Women's Junior World Champions Maëlenn Lemaitre/Aloïse Retornaz (FRA) who claimed their third win in race 3, and then converted a second place over the line in race 4 to a 1st, when race winners Anna Kyselova/Anastasiya Krasko (UKR) were scored OCS for being over the start line. In a repeat of yesterday, the sparring match between the French and Ukraine adversaries continued today.
Despite their perfect score, the French pair give themselves no let up. "We could be better because in the first race today we finished second behind the Ukrainian team,"
said Lemaitre. "We were close but they were better in tactics than us and they stayed ahead of us."
"We made mistakes in our tactics and we can do better,"
added Retornaz. "In the second race we were not very fast. We don't know why and we tried different things to find a solution but didn't succeed. Although we won the race, it was not perfect for us. It is a positive start, but we have to keep going. It is only two days and it is not finished."
So further disappointment for Kyselova/Krasko after their second penalty score of the series. They know they can beat Lemaitre/ Retornaz, because they have at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma and Hyeres. Definitely not a day they will want to repeat as they plummet further down the leaderboard to 17th. They weren't the only OCS culprits though and were joined by six other teams who suffered the same fate.
Just three teams are managing to maintain consistent score lines of all top 10 results and are rewarded with a points margin over the fleet. Sail safe on the opening days and you can afford to push it further down the line was what Great Britain's Jess Lavery/Megan Brickwood had in mind yesterday and today. They are amongst the most experienced teams racing and have a couple of years of 470 racing under their belts.
The pair have previously faced many of the teams. "This is a good chance to race against the junior teams and see how you are in your age group,"
said Lavery. "It also gives you a chance to race at the front of the fleet again, because the World Cup circuit is different and everyone has been racing for years there. It is quite nice to see how you are doing compared to people who have been sailing the boat as long as you. It is a good chance to see how you are improving."
"We both raced against the French girls back at the 2011 420 Worlds in Argentina,"
added Brickwood. Back then Brickwood won 420 gold, with a different helm, and the French sealed silver. Lavery and Brickwood were rivals in their 420 days, before partnering up together.
A championship of two very different days for Poland's Julia Rokosz/Zofia Szabat. They went into today in 3rd overall and walked away from it in 12th overall, after a 15th and OCS in complete contrast to yesterday. Down go the Polish to make way for the upcoming German team of Fabienne Oster/Alexandra Lauber who scored a 6,4 and move into third overall.
Take note of Israel's three 470 Women's teams who are all up in the top 10. Why so successful? Tsuf Zamet, helm of the 4th placed Israeli team, explains. "We are training hard for the past year and we have all been training together and it works. The fleet is pretty tough here. My crew was a windsurfer and has been sailing the 470 for just half a year. This is her first Championship out of Israel and we are doing OK."
470 Women - Top 10 Overall
1. Maelenn Lemaitre/Aloise Retornaz (FRA 39) - 4 pts
2. Jess Lavery/Megan Brickwood (GBR 838) - 22 pts
3. Fabienne Oster/Alexandra Lauber (GER 95) - 25 pts
4. Tsuf Zamet/Saar Tamir (ISR-77) - 35 pts
5. Greta Markfort/Anna Markfort (GER-26) - 38 pts
6. Benedetta di Salle/Alessandra Dubbini (ITA-74) - 41 pts
7. Cecilia Zorzi/Bianca Caruso (ITA-20) - 42 pts
8. Yahel Wallach/Stav Brokman (ISR 12) - 47 pts
9. Eva Peternelj/Valentina Baruca (SLO 700) - 47 pts
10. Noya Bar-Am/Rimon Shoshan (ISR-11) - 49 pts