In a terrific boast to the host nation of this year's Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, the 2007 Danish Sailing Achievement was awarded to the National Youth Team.
Danish sailing star Jesper BANK
, a triple Olympic medallist, ISAF Match Racing World Champion and America's Cup skipper, was on hand at the awards ceremony and was clearly impressed by his nation's rising stars. "The young sailors did a fantastic job at last year's Youth Worlds in Canada,"
The award was presented by Jørgen BOISEN-MØLLER, 505 and Flying Dutchman sailor and former winner of the award in 1987. He announced the Danish Youth National Team as the winners of the award and handed them the 20,000 Kroner which come with the award. "The whole team has really fought for and supported each other,"
The sailors were not entirely sure what they wanted to spend the money on. One of the sailors suggested a trip to the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen as a possibility.
The young sailors finished second in the Volvo Trophy standings for the best nation at the 2007 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, just behind the eventually winners Australia. Henrik SOGAARD
and Soren KRISTENSEN
scored the biggest achievement, as they won gold in boys' two-person dinghy 29er. The multihull Hobie 16 sailors Emil LANDRY
and Jacob DANNEFER
, took the silver medal, while Sarah GUNNI
won bronze in girls' one-person dinghy Laser Radial.
Katrine DITMAR ANDERSEN
and Rie LUXHOI
, in girls' 29er, also played a prominent role at the Youth Worlds in Canada, as they came in at fourth place, just missing out on a medal on countback. Other members of the team at the 2007 Championships were Thorbjoern SCHIERUP
, Søren BUHL
and Line WITTRUP
. The coach was Anders KRISTENSEN from the Danish Sailing Association.
GUNNI, aged 17, said it was great to see the team rewarded. "It is really cool that it is a team effort which has been rewarded. We fought for each other and had a lot of fun together as well,"
she explained. GUNNI, who sails for Skovshoved Sailing Club, is now on her way to New Zealand to compete with the senior fleet at the 2008 Laser Radial World Championships.
BANK, who was present at the award ceremony, instantly noticed the fine atmosphere among the young sailors, "They have a great time together, that is obvious. It reminds me of my youth in Fredericia, where we also played football. The social aspect is very important. Here it is also important to mention Finn "Beton" and Anders KRISTENSEN, who have done so much for the team and young sailors at home,"
said BANK to the Danish magazine Bådmagasinet.
For the members of the 2007 team still eligible to compete this year, the next big challenge will be earning their place in the Danish youth team set to compete on their home waters at the 38th edition of the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, taking place in Aarhus, Denmark from 10-19 July.
Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship - www.youthworlds2008.org
ISAF Youth Worlds microsite - www.sailing.org/youthworlds