Rain and cold weather did not deter the racers in the Volvo World Youth Sailing Championship in Lunenburg today. Starts were on schedule, with easterly winds of 10 knots building to 15 knots and moving to the northeast throughout the day.
The shifting winds, as well as ocean waves on the 29er course, challenged the sailors.
Each class completed two races. The unofficial standings after two races today are as follows:
In the Boys Mistral class, Switzerland's Jan Schenck is in the lead, with New Zealand's Thomas Ashley and Byron Kokkalanis from Greece sitting in second and third spots respectively.
"This is my third championship, and the first time I've ever won a race," said Schenck.
Canadian Mike Hayes finished seventh in both races, improving from his 20th overall finish in France last year.
"It was good to get the jitters out and see the competition," said the 17-year-old Torontonian. "I didn't do as well as I wanted but that's okay, it's the first day and there are more races."
Zofia Klepacka of Poland, who finished first in France last year, won both races in the Girls Mistral class. Wai Man Chan of Hong Kong is second and Blanca Manchon of Spain is third in the standings. Lisa McKenzie of Canada finished fourth in the first race, significantly improving from her 2001 performance.
Sixteen-year-old Klepacka, who was unable to practice because her board was delayed in Toronto, is philosophical about the shaky start.
"No stress, no problem," said the laidback Klepacka, who sports blonde dreadlocks. "I like light wind better because I'm strong and good at pumping."
The Laser Boys class saw Andrew Campbell of the United States finishing first, winning the first race by a large margin, with Michael Bullot of New Zealand and Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic of Croatia in second and third spot. Canadian Mike Leigh finished 4th in the second race, but unfortunately was disqualified from the first race due to an early start.
Canadian coach Brian Todd is pleased with the team's performance and optimistic about the coming races.
"I saw some very good heads-up sailing today," said Todd. "We have a strong team this year, we haven't shown it internationally but the team has worked very hard."
Sarah Steyaert of France finished first in the Girls Byte class. Karin Soderstrom of Sweden came second and Colette Blair of Great Britain took the third spot. Canadian Jennifer Spalding showed great form and improved throughout the day finishing 4th overall. Paige Railey won the first race by an impressive margin but was disqualified from the second race due to an early start.
The 29er Boys class had a very close competition during the first day of racing. Geoff Woolley/Mark Overington of New Zealand are currently leading, while Nathan Outteridge/Ayden Menzies of Australia are second and Guillavme Vigna/Thibault Gatti of France are third. Trevor McEwen/Chris Hewson of Canada finished third in the first race, the Canadian team raced to an impressive second place finish but were later disqualified due to an early start.
Elise Rechichi/Rashele Martin of Australia, Rachel O'Brien/Kelly Riechelmann of New Zealand, Franziska Hellmuth/Antje Struckat of Germany are in the top three spots respectively in the 29er Girls class. Maddy Purves-Smith/ Cassidy Richardson of Canada finished 7th in the first race and 9th in the second race.