France dominant at ISAF Youth Sailing Worlds
The medals in the eight fleets at the 41st ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Zadar, Croatia have been decided following a dramatic final day. For the third consecutive year France walk away with the ISAF Nations Trophy with Spain coming in second and Poland taking third place.
Just one point separated Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games silver medallist Veronica Fanciulli (ITA) and YOG gold medallist Siripon Kaewduang–Ngam (THA) at the top of the RS:X Girls leaderboard ahead of the final race. And it was Fanciulli that came ahead of the Kaewduang–Ngam in fifth place compared to the Thai RS:X sailors sixth place to win the gold medal in Zadar. Fanciulli said: “The race was good. I finished fifth and the Thai girl finished sixth and I won the whole competition. At the Youth Olympic Games there was very light wind and the Thai girl was very good in the light wind and today was a windy day and I am really happy.”
Agnieszka Bilska (POL) won the final race today but it wasn’t enough to overhaul Naomi Cohen (ISR) who finished second to clinch the bronze medal.
In the RS:X Boys Korea’s Cho Wonwoo, who won silver at the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds, went one better in 2011 winning the gold medal. Wonwoo, who is on the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme has benefitted from the coaching of Hugh Styles throughout the week and was delighted with his performance. He said: “I am very happy and happy to win. I was very nervous and today I am the winner.”
Mateo Sanz (ESP) came through in second overall followed by France’s Louis Giard who retired after the finish today but had already done enough to clinch the bronze medal.
Maxime Mazard (FRA) came out on top in the Laser Radial Boys following a battle against Giovanni Coccoluto (ITA). The Frenchman finished 13th compared to the Italians 20th place which handed Mazard the gold medal. Mazard said, “It was my first ISAF Youth Worlds and it was fantastic. Everyone was really close and the Italian was eight places behind me and I just did my race as normal. I don’t think I realise what’s happened.”
Žan-Luka Zelko (SLO) recorded two race wins throughout the week and after his 11th place finish today he receives the silver medal for Slovenia. Coccoluto’s 20th place finish saw him slip down to pick up the bronze medal.
Norway’s Tiril Bue brought a six point cushion into the final day and after finishing sixth today she won the gold medal. Bue said: “It was great, especially the three last days. They were the best. I love Zadar. It is sunny and warm and great wind conditions. It is just crazy. I never thought I would win the whole championship.”
The competition for silver and bronze was tense leading up to the final day with two points separating second and fourth place. Manami Doi (JPN) went into the final race second, Paulina Czubachowska (POL) started in third and Erika Reineke (USA) was fourth.
In the end Reineke came through in second after finishing fifth today but a late charge by France’s Sandy Fauthoux, which saw the French girl finish second, meant she picked up the bronze medal by two points after Doi came down in 11th and Czubachowska ended the last race in 15th position.
Martin Lowy and Kim Andrade (BRA) clinched the gold medal in the SL16 after they came seventh in the final race of the championship. The boys from Brazil have had an excellent regatta and won eight races out of the 12 sailed in Zadar. Lowy said, “It was very good. Everything is perfect. I love it.”
Denmark’s Nicolaj Bjornholt Christiansen and Daniel Bjornholt Christiansen finished with a bullet today to pick up the silver medal and Great Britain’s Rupert White and Nicola Boniface came through in second to secure the bronze medal.
Consistent results at the front of the fleet is vital and Spain’s Carlos Robles and Florian Trittel exemplified this point after finishing in the top six in 11 races in the 29er to seal the gold medal. After the race Robles said: “I am really happy. We were celebrating on the course for ages with the Spanish Laser Radial sailor.” Trittel added: “I am very happy. It is a beautiful day today and a perfect championship for us.”
Antoine Screve and Max Agnese (USA) pipped the Netherlands Max Deckers and Annette Duetz to the silver medal following their second place finish today compared to the Dutch duos fourth place.
Like their compatriots Jordi Xammar and Alex Claville (ESP) also showed a level of control and consistency that saw them awarded the gold medal. Xammar receives his second ISAF Youth Worlds gold medal following his success with Joan Herp at the 2010 regatta in Istanbul, Turkey. Xammar said: “It is incredible. Nothing to say apart from thanks to everybody helping me to arrive here. I just want to say thanks to the people that help me everyday with my training. Today is for saying thanks for all the help.”
Daichi Mototsu and Yuki Hino won the silver medal after their bullet today and Australia’s Angus Galloway and Alexander Gough received the bronze medal.
Lara Vadlau and Tanja Frank (AUT) won gold in the 420 Girls following a nervy race against Morgan Kiss and Christina Lewis (USA). The Austrians finished the final race in eighth compared to the Americans third place meaning they were tied on 34 points apiece. Both teams had two race wins but the Austrians came out on top having had three second place finishes. Vadlau said, “We are very proud and it was a hard job to win and finally we did. We had lots of luck but everyone needs luck to win."
Frank added, “We were happy but we didn’t know when we came off the water so we went to the list and asking everyone if we had win. And we were happy when we found out we had won.”
Fiona Kidd (CAN), the Chairman of the ISAF Youth World Championship Sub-committee rounded off the 41st ISAF Youth Worlds: “The organisation has been world class. The organising committee has done an exceptional job both on and off the water. Logistically it is a very difficult event but here we’ve had superb sailing, the race management has been excellent and on shore they’ve done a super job in terms of making every body enjoy the event.
“It’s great to see all the sailors having a good time. We’ve had two fantastic days of racing today and yesterday and I think we got all the races in. At the end of the day the best sailors won and they’ve all had a fantastic time.”