The Yngling, as the newest Olympic Class, is still settling into a routine and this World Championship will certainly give athletes and spectators alike a good view of those who will be at the top of the class by the time Athens comes around next year.
The current World Champions are Monica AZON (ESP), Sandra AZON,
and Laia TUTZO. Not the exact same crew are returning to the Bay of Cadiz for this year's World Championship as Sandra is currently in her own campaign at the front of the 470 fleet. Monica will be there though, representing Spain and hoping to retain the title.
Current leader of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings is the crew led by Betsy ALISON (USA), who, as well as being dominant on the World Match Race Circuit, is also making her mark on the Yngling Olympic scene. This will be from where Monica's main challenge will come, as well as the resurgent Shirley ROBERTSON (GBR), who following her Gold medal in the Europe in Sydney, is now beginning to become a force in the Yngling.
Another past Olympic medallist, this time from the women's double-handed event (470), is Ruslana TARAN (UKR). Ruslana, with her then crew Olena PAKHOLCHYCK, claimed the bronze medal in both 1996 and 2000. Interestingly, it was only in 1996 that the Ukraine participated in the Olympic Games as an independent nation.
Hoping to make a return to the Olympic Regatta, after a break of 12 years, is Paula LEWIN (BER). 1992 saw her competing in the Europe Class in Barcelona, Spain, where she placed 21 overall. Assured of representing Bermuda in Athens 2004, Paula who is currently ranked 5 in the world will be looking forward to Cadiz.
Dorte JENSEN (DEN) finds herself in a similar position, have previously represented Denmark at the 1992 Olympic Games on the same start line as Paula, although Dorte finished several places higher at fifth, and the following year claimed the 1993 Europe Class World Championship title. Currently ranked 3 in the World, and with some solid results so far this year, including a win at the ISAF Grade 1 Kiel Week, Dorte will be using both her small boat and match racing skills in the Yngling fleet. As a match racer, Dorte won the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and will be looking for another World title to add to her belt in 2003.
However, with many of the sailors still in tune-up mode and getting to grips with newly delivered boats, this class holds a lot in store. It would be wrong to lay any cards on the table for likely winners, but with six slots up for grabs, the competition will be fierce.
Nations Already Qualified for the 2004 Olympic Regatta from results at the 2002 Yngling Class World Championship:
Spain (ESP), Germany (GER), United States of America (USA), Bermuda (BER), Denmark (DEN).
To see details of all the Olympic sailors, or to upload your own profile, be sure to visit ISAF Sailor by following the link above.
Runners and Riders - previously published articles
Single-handed Dinghy Women - Europe
Double-handed Dinghy Open - 49er
Windsurfer Men and Women - Mistral
Single-handed Dinghy Men - Finn
Single-handed Multihull Open - Tornado
Single-handed Dinghy Open - Laser
Double-handed Dinghy Men and Women - 470
Online Information Resources
ISAF World Sailing Rankings - http://www.sailing.org/rankings/
Historic Olympic Results 1900-2000 - http://www.sailing.org/olympics
Overall Medal Tally 1099-2000 - http://www.sailing.org/olympics/medal_tally.asp
Olympic Medallist by Country 1900-2000 - http://www.sailing.org/olympics/medallists_by_country.asp
Olympic Medallists by Class 1900-2000 - http://www.sailing.org/olympics/medallists_by_class.asp
Olympic Qualification System for the 2004 Olympic Games - http://www.sailing.org/olympics2004/ISAF%20OQ%20system.pdf
2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece - http://www.athens2004.com
Results of ISAF Graded events for the classes sailed at the Olympics are available via the ISAF Calendar - http://www.sailing.org/isafcal/calsearch.asp