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30 July 2008, 10:46 am
Dutch and British Winners At 470 Junior Worlds
Steven Le Fevre and Steven Krol
Steven Le Fevre and Steven Krol, Men's 470 Junior World Champions

470 Junior World Championship 2008
Gdynia, Poland

Steven Le Fevre and Steven Krol from the Netherlands are the new 470 Junior World Champions and Hannah Mills and Katrina Hughes from Great Britain, the new 470 Junior Women's World Champions.
Both events were concluded on Tuesday afternoon with the Medal Races, the grand finals of the 2008 470 Junior World Championships for men/mixed and women's crews.

Women's 470

Hannah MILLS and Katrina HUGHES (GBR) secured the gold medal with a second place in Tuesday's medal race. Tina LUTZ and Susann BEUCKE (GER) made a last attempt to go home as first German women's crew. However their chances for medals were over, they achieved their goal by crossing the finish line in first place.

Tara PACHECO and Berta BETANZOS from Spain climbed the podium to receive silver, and Lisa Ericson and Astrid Gabrielsson (SWE) for bronze.

"I feel pretty good, quite relieved" Mills said. The girls from Great Britain are the first women that win the separated 470 Junior Worlds Women's event. The Championship has always taken place in one mixed fleet, but because of the increasing number of participating girls' crews the last few years, and to make "under 22 years young" women's sailing more transparent, it has been decided to separate the Junior Worlds into a Men/Mixed and Women's event.

"Racing against the boys is exciting, but in a separate event you have a better overview who your opponents are; now, and for the future," Mills commented.

The British duo teamed up around Christmas 2006 and started sailing 470s. In 2007, they won the 470 Junior Women's European Championship, just the second International 470 Championship they had competed in. Mills already built a reputation in the 420s.

"We haven't been sailing much the last few months. We just had our exams and we will set our minds to sailing the next few years. 2012, that's the plan. I just finished my second year of University and have one more year to go, but I'll catch up with that later," she said.

Men's 470

It was going to be an exciting battle for Steven LE FEVRE and Steven KROL from the Netherlands to defend their golden position ahead of Lior Lavie and Yam Amir from Israel and Italy's Luca DUBBINI and Roberto DUBBINI. In case the Italian cousins would have been able to stay in front of the Dutch, and hold only one boat in between, their chance for gold would have been strong because the Israeli's of this event's "iron threesome" were in a worse position.

However, the Dutch did not leave anything to calculations and speeded to the upper mark to follow the Israeli's close around the mark in first and third position. The Dutch demonstrated an excellent downwind performance and passed the gate in the lead, which they held during the rest of the Medal Race.

The Dutch boys look back on a successful event, a milestone in their ambition to experience the Olympic dream.

"Of course we were kind of nervous before the start, We motivated each other; let's go for it one more time, cut the crap and be serious. This is our big chance!

"It has been a very good event with strong and fair play battles. Finally, our opponents and ourselves, are happy for each other to be on the podium together. We all know that we will meet again next month at the Junior Europeans. It's not over after that because we will be training with the Israeli's during the winter and form a group of young ambitious sailors to make each other better. We are the 'young ones' with ambitions for 2012."
Le Fevre said

The 470 Junior European Championships will take place from 7 to 15 August in Zadar, Croatia as a combined event with the 420 Junior European Championships.

Results - click here
470 Junior World Championship - www.470.sails.pl/jwc2008/
Rick van Wijngaarden
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