Final medals decided
Juan Perdomo (PUR), Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros (FRA) and Brazil’s Tiago Brito and Andrei Kneipp added their names to the Sail First ISAF Youth World Championship gold medallists as racing concluded in Limassol, Cyprus.
Perdomo overcame a tense finish to pick up the Laser Radial Boys gold whilst Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros (FRA) ended their regatta in style by recording their sixth race win.
Brazil’s Brito and Kneipp took the 420 Boys title after the RS:X Girls, RS:X Boys, Laser Radial Girls, SL16 and 420 Girls honours had been decided on the penultimate day.
The ISAF Nations Trophy was won by the Italian team who displayed strong results across all eight events throughout the week. They finished nine points clear of Australia with New Zealand in third.
Juan Perdomo (PUR) and Joel Rodriguez (ESP) duelled in the final Laser Radial Boys race as Rodriguez looked to overturn a 16 point deficit. Perdomo held an OCS to his name with Rodriguez discarding a tenth so anything could have happened.
“It was very intense,” said Perdomo. “It was really close at the end because Joel match raced me at the start and then it got really tense and when I crossed the finish line I wasn’t sure if I won. I heard Hugh [Styles, World Youth Sailing Trust Coach] say I was 23rd and then it really kicked in that I had won and it’s a really great feeling.”
Rodriguez’s efforts at the start meant he came down in 40th in the final race resulting in Perdomo finishing three points clear of the Spaniard to claim Puerto Rico’s first ever ISAF Youth Worlds medal.
“I’m ecstatic, there’s so many years of work and then you finally get the results it’s the best feeling ever, it’s great. There’s so many emotions going through my mind – it’s great to be here and I’m so happy it finished this way. I’m really, really excited. This is the first time Puerto Rico have won a medal at the ISAF Youth Worlds which is huge and it’s a gold medal, and it’s me and it’s great. It’s so special and I’m so excited for tonight.”
Sebastien Schneiter (SUI) completes the Radial Boys podium while Finland’s Kaarle Tapper and Peru’s Stefano Peschiera finished just one point behind the Swiss sailor.
Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros (FRA) had a strong lead coming into the final day of 29er racing and needed to get round in 19th or better to secure gold.
They resisted the urge to end the week conservatively and did it in style by taking the final bullet to finish a massive 33 points ahead of Ida Svensson and Rasmus Rosengren (SWE) who took silver. Markus Somerville and Jack Simpson (NZL) were two points behind the Swedes and take bronze.
“This is just amazing,” said the French duo. “It was our main goal and we managed to do it so it cannot be better."
A joyous French contingent waited on shore to greet their team and Amoros added, “The French team is really close and it’s so amazing to see them on the beach waiting for us and it’s really awesome. It’s been a great week.
“We didn’t want to take risks but wanted to give all we had again and we managed to win the last race, we were looking behind us at all the spinnakers for the last time and it was beautiful.”
Representing RYA Volvo Team GBR in the 29er class was Mimi El-Khazindar and her crew Ben Batten. The pair struggled in the Mediterranean conditions which left them 16th overall. Batten represented the team in Dublin last year, and admits that although Great Britain didn’t retain the Nations Trophy from last year, that the team are still In high spirits after finishing fourth in the overall table.
“Of course it would have been great to retain the Nations Trophy – it was fantastic winning it last year in Dublin but I guess it’s only fair to let the other Nations have a go,” laughed the ISAF Youth World veteran from Lymington.
“Mimi and I have only been sailing together for six months so next year will be the first time I enter the regatta having been with a sailing partner for more than a year. It is such a fantastic event, a great experience and we definitely will be back next year to have another go and bring back the Nations Trophy.”
Brazil’s Brito and Kneipp took the final gold medal to be decided in Cyprus in the 420 Boys event and were pleased with their accomplishment, “This is the first time a Brazilian has won a gold medal in the double-handed boys,” said Brito. “We trained really hard before and we are very happy and emotional.”
The pair had a seven point lead coming into the final and despite discarding their 21st they picked up on the last day they won by two points.
Italy’s Matteo Pilati and Michele Cecchin took the final race win and subsequently overtook Portugal’s Diogo Pereira and Pedro Cruz to take silver. The Portuguese took bronze.
Carrie Smith and Ella Clark (AUS) were prepared for a last day fight for the gold after coming off the water on the penultimate day but after Italy’s Ilaria Paternoster and Benedetta di Salle received a non-excludable discard from Race 10 the Aussies had the job done could enjoy the final day on the water.
“We’re pretty excited,” said Smith, “It’s been a long time in the making and this regatta has just been perfect and we’ve really enjoyed it.”
Clark added, “It’s been a really good regatta for us. This was our third and final shot at this regatta and to come out as World Champions, especially with a race to spare, we’re stoked.”
In recent years it has become a tradition for the Australian Youth World team to lift their golden sailors off the water and Smith and Clark were head and shoulders above the rest, “We saw it with Mark [Spearman] last year and didn’t think they could do it with a 420 and with us on it but it was awesome and a great feeling.”
The Italians dropped to fourth overnight so had some work to do on the final day to pick up a podium spot. They worked hard winning the final race and the results went their way as they picked up bronze. Silver went to Chile’s Nadja Horwitz and Carmina Malsh.
RYA Volvo Team GBR’s Annabel Cattermole and Bryony Bennet-Lloyd and the boy pairing of Tim Riley and Luke Burywood had a challenging ISAF Youth Worlds debut. The girls finished 12th while Riley and Burywood closed their week in 17th.
With the 420 class World Championships starting in Valencia next week, Riley admits that even though they didn’t finish where they would have liked this week - they have learnt more than they could have hoped and are confident heading into next week’s regatta.
“With our results this week, we have been really inconsistent but we know we have what it takes to get second places, so, we have the confidence that we do have what it takes to get good results at such competitive regattas. Our aims going forward are just to build on this week, take on-board everything we have learnt and make sure we really understand as much as we can,” said 420 helm Riley from Warsash.
Annabel Cattermole added: “It’s difficult to pinpoint the highlight of the week, it’s just being here, the racing – it’s been so close, really competitive and I think we’ve learnt a lot. Coming to an event as part of a team, representing GB has also been a fantastic experience. The morale has been so high, having that extra support has made a difference too.”
It was a job well done on the penultimate day for New Zealand’s Isaac McHardie and Micah Wilkinson and Australia’s Paul Darmanin and Lucy Copeland who had gold and silver in the bag in the SL16 event but the race was on between James Henson and Oliver Greber (GBR) and Kim Andrade and Antonio Carlos Lopes Neto (BRA) for bronze. The pair stuck to each other like glue around the race course and on the final run the Brits overtook the Brazilians and subsequently the final podium spot went to the Brits.
Henson and Greber retained their overnight position to secure their hard fought bronze medal. Entering today’s final medal race decider, the Brits needed a higher place finish than the Brazilians. Trailing the Brazilian boat around the entire course and hot on their heels at the last windward mark, the GBR boys opted for an alternative route to the Brazilian boat and gave it all they had on the final downwind of the regatta. Relying on pure boat speed in the make or break final run, Henson and Greber took the advantage coming out in front of their Brazilian competitors to cross the finish line in seventh, enough to clinch the bronze medal on their ISAF Youth Worlds debut.
“When we crossed the finish line we were not too sure if we had done it, we sailed over to the committee boat and they said we we’re all ok and we literally went mad – we were both so happy!” enthused Henson.
Greber added: “We entered today’s final race with a slender one point lead over the Brazilian boat and just needed to finish in front of them. We made it tough for ourselves as we didn’t get the start we wanted but the last run was just make or break. We decided to give it everything we had, chose a different lane to them and it all came down to boat speed on the last run of the race – it was so intense!”
Helm Henson admitted to trying their hand at Match Racing the Brazilians off the start line, however ended up forcing them out to the left where the South American duo managed to squeeze out and get ahead of the RYA Volvo Team GBR sailors.
“It was such a tough and intense race, we trailed the Brazilians the whole way round the course. We attempted some tactics off the start line but it didn’t really pay off as they got out in front of us so we had it all to do,” explained the Helm from Spetisbury, Dorset.
With Henson now concluding his Youth Sailing career and moving into the Nacra 17 Olympic class and Greber having one more year in the RYA Youth Racing programme, the duo confess it is the perfect way to sign out of their SL16 partnership.
“Winning the bronze medal here today in such an intense and exciting last race was amazing. We won the under 19 SL16 world title in France a few weeks ago and to now sign off with an ISAF Youth Worlds bronze is just incredible,” concluded Eastbourne’s Greber.
China’s Lu Yunxiu had gold in the bag before the final RS:X Girls race, but taking the final podium spots are Italy’s Marta Maggetti and the Netherlands Sara Wennekes.
Marion Lepert (USA) fought hard to move up into the final spot but was one point shy of Wennekes in fourth.
RYA Volvo Team GBR’s 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds Champion Saskia Sills finished her regatta in sixth.“It’s been a really tough week of racing for me. I haven’t been feeling great and was quite ill at the beginning of the week so have struggled at times,” explained the 16-year-old windsurfer from Launceston, Cornwall.
“I haven’t finished off the podium at a regatta since 2010 - so I’m really disappointed to be honest but everyone needs a knockdown every once in a while. This has definitely made me more hungry and more determined to come back next year and give it another go. I’ve got a lot to go away and work on between now and our class Worlds.”
Like Yunxiu, Kieran Martin (GBR) had an unassailable lead heading into the final day of the RS:X Boys competition. Oleksandr Tugaryev (UKR) sat comfortably in second with the race for third the one to watch on the last day of sailing in Limassol.
Ignacio Berenguer (MEX) needed to put four spots between him and Radoslaw Furmanski (POL) to move into the final podium spot but could ultimately only put one as the Polish sailor took bronze.
Line Flem Host (NOR) finished 43 points clear in the Laser Radial Girls and ended her week with a last race bullet. Agata Barwinska (POL) and Monika Mikkola (FIN) jostled for the silver and bronze medal but they stayed in second and third respectively.
Duncan Truswell, RYA Racing Manager, commented: “It has been a great finale to the week to see James and Olivier win the bronze medal, we knew they had the potential and after a tricky start to the week they showed great resilience and character to deliver a great final set of results to ensure the final spot on the podium. It was a bit of nail biter to be honest and with the revised rules on using your phone, Steve was giving me blow by blow commentary on how it was going and I was delighted to hear that they managed to convert it!
“More broadly it’s been a bit of mixed bag this week with some stand out performances and some real gutsy performances where the week did not start the way they had hoped, but the sailors all remained focussed and worked hard until the end.”
Truswell continued: “The organisers in Cyprus have done a really great job in some challenging circumstances and with limited facilities, we have all enjoyed a great reception here and we’re just disappointed that we have not seen more of the island and met more people. We have also had some great support from the broader British Sailing Team, which has been great for the sailors to know what great support they have had from home, once again our sponsors have been great and we are indebted to them for their continued support and enthusiasm for developing the next generation of British sailors.”
The Closing Ceremony commences at 20:30 local time.