Fresh challenge as breeze drops
After three days of some pretty high wind action at the RYA Volvo Youth National Championships, day four saw a change of pace as the majority of races were postponed until the afternoon before a steady light sea breeze kicked in.
With tensions running high once again at the top of the fleets as the regatta moved into its second half, a cool head proved the key to success on what turned out to be another great day of racing.
Event Director Duncan Truswell said: “We’ve had three pretty full-on days with quite a bit of wind especially earlier in the week so the sailors have enjoyed a bit of a rest this morning with some much more gentle racing this afternoon. It’s been a good all round test of their skill so far with a variety of conditions being thrown up.
“At this stage in the regatta sailors leading their fleets will be feeling the pressure and with the change in conditions today they will have done really well to have kept their cool and hold onto their positions.”
With a change to the race schedule, the RS:Xs kicked off the days racing on course A with the continuation of a battle between Techno World Champion Sam Sill and Connor Bainbridge. Struggling in his first race, Sills posted a 15 seeing Bainbridge take the win. But Sills regained his lead by posting a second then a first in the last race of the day remaining the top placed windsurfer at the event. Defending champion George Bowles lies in third place having posted a 10,1,4.
The RS:X girls competition continues to be dominated by Youth World Champion Izzy Hamilton who posted 9,8,2 today. Sophie Bailey still lies in second with Joanna Evans in third.
It was a test of nerve in the Radial class with points extremely close at the top of the fleet, but it was Cameron Douglas who came out on top today regaining his lead having posted a 12,19,7. Sophie McKeeman continues to dominate the girls competition having posted a 9,28,19 extending her lead over Rheanna Pavey who sits in second, 51 points behind. John Currie sits at second place overall with young Elliot Hanson climbing to third.
Douglas commented: “I’ve been sailing pretty well this week and when I’ve been sailing my best I’ve got quite a few race wins; i can do it when I need to. There’s been quite a bit of pressure on but the plan for tomorrow is to go out there, sail my own race, and don’t worry about how everyone else is doing – hopefully it’ll all come together!”
The 420s saw class leaders Mike Wood and Hugh Brayshaw stay true to form finishing second in race nine of the event. They slipped down to 12th for race ten but managed to pull it back in race 11 posting a fifth, which saw them finish the day still sitting comfortably at the top of the table. The girls took advantage of the light winds with Joanna Freeman and Hannah Mitchell taking first in race nine, placing them first in the female standings followed by Amy Seabright/Hermione Stanley and Anna Burnet/Flora Stewart in third.
As the sea breeze died down the last race of the day was cut for the Spitfires and Laser classes. Laser Standard sailor Stuart Godwin moved up from third to second overall after finishing second in both of the days races. Eifion Mon retains his place at the top of the table posting a third in both races and Alex Mills Barton moves up into third notching up a 1,5 today.
There was no movement in the results table after today’s racing in the Spitfire class. Adam Butler and Nikki Boniface, who had a perfect record up until today, retain their place at the top of the table, but their unbeaten record was broken by Andrew Sinclair and Benedict Harrison who took the win in first race of the day to see Butler/Boniface post a second.
The 29ers got a full series of three races in today despite the light conditions. Henry Lloyd Williams and Sam Batten fought off the competition to keep their place at the top of the class with a 3, 2, 7 and Alex Mothersele/Hamish Ellis jumped into second spot on the table, winning race thirteen. Lilly Carlisle/Ben Gratton also climbed up one place in the table with a sixth in race 12 and 13 and a second in race 14 which leaves them third at the end of day four.
With the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship team selectors revealing their team selections tomorrow, day four gave them a good indication of how sailors may fare at the event.
Guest selector, Skandia Team GBR’s Sarah Webb commented “Light winds have been good today from the point of view of us selectors. Istanbul is a light winds venue so the sailors we take out there will need to perform in those kinds of conditions. It’s been good to see how they have fared today both with keeping focus before racing got underway and the once they got out on the water.”
As a new introduction to this years event GPS tracking has been set up to enable live animation of some of the courses each day. Today saw tracking on the 420, Laser Standard and Laser Radial Gold fleet courses.
Full results here