At the opening ceremony of the Junior 470 World Championships in Gdynia, Poland, the International 470 Class Association and the participating youth sailors celebrated new successes within the development of the International 470 Class.
The 470 class welcomed the winners of the 2006 and 2007 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in the boys' two person dinghy event. In the frame of the André Cornu Grant, they were awarded with a cheque of 1000 euros in cash per team, to support them continuing a successful two person dinghy career.
The André Cornu Grant is one of the 470 Class Sailors Support Programmes, aiming to support sailors that have proven to be talented and dedicated, to continue sailing and maybe get caught by Olympic dreams.
The André Cornu Grant is awarded annually to the winners of the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship
in the boys' and girls' two person dinghy events, if they participate in a Junior 470 World Championship or 470 World Championship. André Cornu (1912-2003) designed the 470, with a special passion to create a dinghy for the fun of youngsters. Today, the Programme is funded on an equal 50/50 base by André Cornu's son and 470 Internationale.
At the opening ceremony, also three cheques of 900 euros in cash were awarded to the two youngest girls' crews, and the youngest boys' crew in the frame of the Junior Support Programme, aiming at the support of young sailors to start sailing 470s at an early age. The programme was initially set up to stimulate girls to join the 470 class scene and increase the number of women's crews participating in 470 Class Championships.
At this event, the International 470 class also proudly presents the debut of a Junior 470 Championship for Men/Mixed and Women crews, meaning that for the first time the Junior Worlds will be separated into two events; Men/Mixed and Women.
"The International 470 Class Association strongly wants to stimulate women to participate in our International Championships, and of course the sport in general. We are very happy that ISAF has approved our submission, and I feel like we have taken a good step together to call more women's crews onto the water,"
said 470 Class President, Alberto PREDIERI.
"Men and women have different natural characteristics that influence their performance and way of racing. It's a given fact, otherwise men and women wouldn't compete in separate events, at least in every Olympic sport.
"By separating the Junior 470 World Championships into Men/Mixed and Women's events, we want to allow the "under 22 years young women" to have their own competition on equal bases. The participation of girls' teams have increased that much already the last few years that a basic limit of forming their own Championship fleet has been secured.
"Another reason is that we have noticed during the last few years that many youth sailors start to perform on higher levels at earlier age. With our decision, we also hope that by providing separate event result lists instead of one general, talented women's crews may profile themselves better in their own women's fleet, and MNAs may be provided with better instruments to decide on their support accordingly,"
Racing at the Junior 470 World Championships for Men/Mixed and Women crews starts on Wednesday, and will end on 29 July with Medal races in both the men/mixed and women's 470s.
Entries were received from 65 teams from 25 nations from five continents in the 470 men/mixed and 27 teams from 17 nations from three continents in the Women's 470.
Some teams that have been leading the 470 Juniors the last few years have reached the age limit of 22 and seek for the battle at the seniors, or will even participate at a young age in the Olympic Sailing Regatta next month. Examples are Sime FANTELA
and Igor MARENIC
from Croatia, who won the Junior Worlds title in 2005 and 2007. Maxim SHEREMETYEV
from Russia who won gold at the 470 Junior Europeans last year and silver at the Junior Worlds with his crew Artem BASALKIN
, will now start in the Olympic Sailing Competition with Mikhail SHEREMETYEV
. Also Yam AMIR
and Eyal LEVINE
from Israel, who fought exciting battles with the Croats and Russians, and won the Junior Worlds Title in 2006, have left the Junior scene because of their age. They will however not participate in the Olympic Sailing Competition.
This may be an excellent opportunity for Georgios VASILAS
and Evagelos MITAKIS
from Greece, who have been after fishing for the Junior's Title for years in the shadow of those who left the Junior scene. Also eyes may fall on Steven LE FEVRE
and Steven KROL
. The boys from the Netherlands made their debut in 470 Junior Championships last year at the Junior Europeans and took a fifth place overall. They have gained a lot of experience the last few months by participating in almost every major senior event.
It will be quite exciting to see how the first Junior 470 Worlds event for women will unfold. There are quite some ladies with high potential and impressive records among them, such as Hannah MILLS
(GBR), leading the 420 ladies world wide for quite some time. Last year, she has teamed up with Katrina HUGHES
in the 470s and fetched their first gold medal as "first ladies" at the 470 Junior Europeans last year.
Also Tina LUTZ
(GER), the only girl besides ex 470 Olympian Lisa WESTERHOF
, that ever ruled the mixed fleet of boys and girls at an Optimist World Championship, has decided to sail a 470 and participates in this Championship with Susann BEUCKE
470 Class Sailors Support Programmes
André Cornu Grant
The following two boys' crews received a cheque of 1000 euros:
Sebastian PERI BRUSA
and Santiago MASSERONI
Winners of the 2006 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships - Boy's Two Person Dinghy event
and Soren KRISTENSEN
Winners of the 2007 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships - Boy's Two Person Dinghy event
Junior Support Programme
The following three crews received a cheque of 900 euros:
The two youngest girl's crews:
Lebel TAL (18) and Mia GEVA (16) from Israel
Irmina GLISZCYNSKA (16) and Judyta GLISZCYNSKA (18) from Poland
The youngest boy's crew:
Kacper OLSZEWSKI (15) and Patryk RUSZCZYK (16) from Poland
470 Junior World Championship - www.470.sails.pl/jwc2008/