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18 August 2010, 03:12 pm
An Israeli Windsurfer Masterclass
Youth Olympic Games in Singapore
Naomi Cohen is flying on day two of the Youth Olympic Games

Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games
Singapore

Stormy clouds blew in from the west late in the morning, prompting a category one storm warning to be raised and forcing race officials to postpone the races for a couple of hours.
Unable to launch, the sailors busied themselves with card games and an early lunch on shore. Others spent their time decorating the 'message wall of nations' drawing their country flag, themselves sailing or things that represent them. It was heart warming to see young athletes from other countries bonding with their competitors through their drawings. It is an active platform for sailors of the various countries to interact and strengthen their friendship. Mayan Rafic (ISR) proudly declared his artwork as his masterpiece whilst other sailors looked on impressed. Later in the day he demonstrated a masterful display of windsurfing to go with his artwork.

At 13.30 hrs local time, the AP flags came down and the sailors rushed out to sea... only to be sent back in again, as the wind died to nothing. Racing finally got underway at around 15.00 hrs local time in a light five knot breeze and slowly strengthening current.


Boys Byte Cll
(Tweeters: Dawn LIU & CHAI Xun)

In the first race of the day, an enormous and unexpected left-hand shift during the Byte CII boys' first upwind leg allowed Kaarle Tapper (FIN) to establish a lead, followed closely by Marti Llena (ESP) and series leader Just Van Aanholt(AHO). Llena sailed excellently downwind to take the lead by the end of the leg. Owen Siese (BER) capitalised on a gust to close in on the leaders and managed to edge into second place on the next upwind briefly before Tapper closed back up. However on the final downwind, Siese pipped Tapper to the bottom mark, rounding inside and taking second position. Tapper followed in third.

Race four of the series for the boys began soon after and the fleet, learning from the previous race, took to the left. Harald Faeste (NOR) won the start and led the fleet, along with Pavlo Babych (UKR). These two enjoyed a close fight downwind with the rest of the boats in top ten in hot pursuit.

The second upwind of the race was when most of the changes took place, a gust and starboard lift took Zili Wang (CHN) into the lead by miles, rounding at least 20 boat lengths ahead of the pack.

"I think I sailed well," said Wang modestly. "The key was to just concentrate on my strengths."

The fight for second place was hard fought on the downwind leg between Faeste, Peter Batho (HUN), and Darren Choy (SIN), the latter of whom fought back after a disappointing 24th place finish in race three and a yellow flag on the downwind leg, to pull ahead of Faeste and Batho just before the bottom mark and finish second. Batho squeezed inside Faeste to take third place.


Girls Byte CII
(Tweeters: Daniella NG, KOH Ling Ying and Airiel Ruth HO)

Constanze Stolz (GER) had a good start at the pin end for race three with Lara Vadlau (AUT) and Lamia Feriel Hammiche (ALG) tacking to the right side of the course soon after the start. The fleet were mostly on port tack but Vadlau tacked to starboard and tried to cross the fleet.

Celine Carlsen (DEN) managed to gain the lead when Sofiia Larycheva (UKR) got flagged on the reaching leg. Stolz, who was top ten after the leeward mark, sailed a very good second upwind leg by deciding to tack away for clear wind even though she was very near the left lay line, catching up in the process. The top three finish for race three was Carlsen (DEN) followed by Stolz (GER) and Claudia Mazzaferro (BRA).

In race four, there was line sag due to the strong currents and the pin end was very crowded. Several sailors, including Natasha Michiko Yokoyama (SIN) and Stolz did not manage to get a good start out of the favoured side due to the crowd.

Yokoyama opted to go for the left corner in view of her poor start while Stolz decided to play the shifts in the middle. Yokoyama managed to gain on those who went to the right side of the course, whilst Stolz kept her position.

The positions until the finish remained tight but Vadlau established room over Min Gu (CHN) and though there was a little shouting at the mark, Vadlau rounded the mark clear ahead of Gu to finish with her second bullet of the regatta.


Boys Techno 293
(Tweeters: LO Manyi & Jeddy TAN)

Race one for the Boys Techno 293 started mid afternoon. The wind was slightly stronger at about 7-8 knots and the start was clear with the boys pumping hard off the line. There was a pretty big change in positions throughout the race as Kim Chaneui (KOR) caught up from fifth place at the first rounding at the top mark to eventually win the race with a comfortable lead.

Race two of the day started with a chaotic start as the strong current pushed the boys back behind the line. Mayan Rafic (ISR) attempted a pin end start on port, but was unsuccessful and ended up with a bad start. However, showing good sportsmanship, he did not give up and fought back hard, ending up rounding the upwind mark in first place and eventually extending his lead to the finish line!

The biggest winner of the day goes to Rafic (ISR) who sailed a fantastic consistent second day with a second in race three and a bullet in race four.

When asked how he felt about racing today, Michael Cheng (HKG) said, "The wind is very light, current very strong, very tough racing, but I like it!"


Techno 293 Girls
(Tweeters: Siobhan TAM, KO Jia Yun & Lesley DE CRUZ)

Whilst delayed ashore we managed to speak to Singapore's windsurfing coach, TC Chua, who acknowledged that "the competition is tough and will only get tougher." When asked of Pei Lin, Audrey Yong's (SIN) chances and performance, he said, "She is perfectly poised to give her best."

Finally the wind filled by 15.00 hrs, and the windsurfers quickly launched for the start in six knots. Race three started with Siripon Kaeduang-Ngam (THA) taking the lead with a great start. Neomi Cohen (ISR) was close behind on the upwind leg, along with Audrey Pei Lin Yong and Valentina Serigós (ARG). The light-weight Thai windsurfer had great speed and soon gained a comfortable lead which she maintained all the way to the finish.

Race four was a lot more exciting as the wind was gusty and shifty. After a great start off the port end of the line, Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam tacked in and crossed the fleet. However, her lead did not last long due to a substantial wind shift to the left of the course putting Anastasiua Valkevich (BLR) in the lead with Lara Lagoa (ESP) a couple of metres behind. Early leaders found themselves caught in the middle of the course with little wind. Eventually Valkevich finished first followed by Lagoa and Serigos in third.

The turn of events in the second race of the day saw a drastic change in the leader board. After four races, Naomi Cohen takes a comfortable lead with 11 points. With two good races today, Serigos is currently tied with Yong with 17 points.

There will be no racing tomorrow as it is scheduled as a lay day for the athletes to rest and recover for Friday's races. Two or three races may be carried out depending on the conditions as today's planned three races were not accomplished.

To follow racing sign up to the race Twitter feed, access photos and results on the Sailing competition at the Youth Olympic Games website visit: www.sailing.org/yog

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