The Fleets are now back ashore after the decision was made on both the Laser and 420 courses to postpone racing after gust of up to 30 knots threatened to decimate the fleet. And in one class, the World Champion is decided.
The Mistral course, slightly more sheltered than the other two western courses, saw less wind and hence the fleet were able to get two further races in on the penultimate day.
This fact, coupled with a series of seven first places, including a bullet in the final race of the day today, has crowned Zofia KLEPACKA (POL) as the 2003 ISAF Youth Sailing World Champion in the girls' boardsailing event.
Talking of her win when she came ashore, Zofia said,"I have prepared very well for this event and I have come in and fought harder than the others",
although she did acknowledge that it was by no means easy. She went on to say,"After the first seven races, when I realised I had a good chance of winning, I settled down, relaxed and just sailed for fun."
No one can deny that her results show a mature and prepared approach to the Championship, and of the future? "I am very happy to have won and look forward to winning the next World Championship."
Our other focus this afternoon is Estonian Sailor Argo VOREMAA, who is one of the sailors being part funded by the ISAF Athlete Participation programme. The 18 year old, who started sailing in Optimists, has been sailing the Laser for a couple of years, although this is his first Youth World's. "It's very difficult, the competition is very good and it's the first time I've been to the World's
," Argo noted about the level of the racing.
A previous Optimist sailor, Argo's other passion in Estonia is Ice sailing. He finished 24 in a 130 "sled" fleet at the European Championship in his home country earlier this year and compares Ice sailing to Laser sailing. "It's a lot faster, and it hurts more when you fall, apart from that it's quite similar"
. We wonder if he will follow in the footsteps of the well known Karol JABLONSKI (POL), who is ranked first in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, and a two time World Ice Yacht Champion.
Although struggling in the conditions, Argo is philosophical about being here in Madeira and noted, "I like the conditions here, they're quite good, and the whole event is a great experience for me."
Another first time participant at the event is 15 year old Jan Micheal SIJP from the Cook Islands. Having not sailed the Laser much, and having only just moved up from the Optimist he is finding the conditions heavy, but enjoyable. "I am learning a huge amount, from all the coaches and especially Jim Saltonstall."
A full race report will be on the ISAF Website this evening.