Ronstan

2013 Laser Radial Youth World Championships get underway

Published on December 29th, 2013

Mussanah, Oman (December 29, 2013) – An opening day of tight and intense competition offered a glimpse of things to come this week as 79 of the world’s best young sailors took to the race course at Mussanah in Oman for the start of the 2013 Laser Radial Youth World Championships.

Four races produced four different winners in conditions that were predominantly light airs and shifty, favouring the featherweight sailors and both Karyna Manuel from Britain who tops the girls leaderboard and Italy’s Gianfranco Planchestainer who is heading the boys group used their slight frames to best advantage to gain an edge.

Manuel, who has travelled to Oman independently of the RYA after she failed to qualify for the Worlds, has been training in Mussanah for two weeks and grown accustomed to the breeze, earning her a second place in the first race followed by an outright win in the second.

Also training to be a professional footballer with Cambridge United FC and used to doing battle with Arsenal and Aston Villa, the 16 year old Manuel formed a plan at the start of racing and stuck rigidly to it.

“I decided to use what I’d learned since I’ve been here which was firstly to be patient – and that proved to be important – and also to keep it simple,” she explained.

“I didn’t get a good start in the first race but tacked immediately and stuck to my plan as if I’d had a good start and then in the second race I didn’t really make a mistake.”

“I am as well prepared as I can be and all I can do is carry on doing what I’m doing but there are a lot of really good sailors here so there is a long way to go.”

Manuel was pipped to the post by Celine Therese Herud of Norway in the first race with German sailor Julia Kuehn coming third while Croatia’s Anja Hammerlitz and Finnish sailor Monika Mikkola shared the first day podium with the pint sized Brit who had a three point lead overnight.

Gianfranco Planchestainer found himself snapping at the heels of front runners in both the Boys races today but with Belgium’s William de Smet winning the first race then dropping to 7th in the second and Sebastien Schneiter from Switzerland posting a 4th in Race 1 and a win in the second, his consistency earned him a one point advantage over the Swiss sailor.

All the sailors, plus coaches and families, were given a warm welcome to Mussanah Sports City on Saturday night with a launch party to give a flavor of Oman’s food and traditions. To fend off the Omani winter chill, they were given mussar scarves and instructions on how to wrap them around their heads while the girls had their hands and feet decorated in traditional henna dye.

Traditional Omani music and dancing accompanied camel rides and a sumptuous buffet followed a welcoming speech from Rashid Al Kindi, chairman of the Oman Sailing Committee, National team manager and deputy head of the organizing committee who pointed out that a future Olympic star could be sitting in their midst.

“This championship plays a significant role in adding to the high calibre events that Sultanate has hosted,” he said.

“This championship will encourage and help the next generation of sailing champions to develop their skills and expertise so they can fulfil their ambitions and aspirations and win medals at future Olympic Games. We welcome you all to Oman and wish you all the best in your races.”

Racing at the 2013 Laser Radial Youth World Championships continues through to Friday with two races scheduled each day.

For Overall Results: http://omanlaserworlds2013.com/eng/championship.php?id=25

Background:
The Laser Radial Youth World Championship, currently held in Oman (29 Dec 2013 – 3 Jan 2014), is regarded among Olympic sailors as one of the most valuable platforms for success in sailing. British sailor Sir Ben Ainslie started in the Laser Radials as did Olympic gold medalist Tom Slingsby. Many of the current fleet of Laser sailors, competing in the World Championship in Oman, claim they owe their success to their Laser Radial campaigns as teenagers.

Daphne Morgan Barnicoat | Global PR Manager

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