Youth Olympic Games reach midpoint

Published on August 20th, 2014

Nanjing, China (August 20, 2014) – The discard came into play at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games with the leader boards taking shape at the midway point of the event.

Three races were completed in the Boy’s and Girl’s Byte CII and Techno 293 fleets with the best breeze of the week saving itself for the third day of competition. A north easterly breeze in between 6-8 knots ensured all of the days scheduled races were completed.

The Boy’s and Girl’s Byte CII fleets raced on Race Area B whilst another packed crowd of 2,000 spectators watched the Techno 293 races play out on Area A.

Girl’s Techno 293
The home crowd had something to cheer about on a packed spectator stand as China’s Linli Wu swooped into the lead in the Girl’s Techno 293 with an exceptional day of racing.

Wu was in fine form and read the conditions on Jinniu Lake to perfection as she won the first race by a convincing margin. A second and a bullet then followed and she sits seven points ahead of Russia’s Mariam Sekhposyan, who took the day’s other race win, and Lucia Pianazza (FRA). The Russian and French racers are tied on 16 points apiece.

Dutch sailor Aimee Van’t Hoff had a solid day on the water taking a fourth, a third and a discarded eighth. “It’s pretty hard work,” said Van’t Hoff on the conditions. “I was pumping in all the races but my races were okay. It’s really hot out here and I just pumped the whole race so it was really hard and now I need some ice.”

Like so many sailors competing in Nanjing Van’t Hoff is on top of the world, “It’s really nice to see my surf friends and to make new friends from all the other sports and learn about new people. It’s really big and a great life experience.”

Four years ago Singapore’s Audrey Yong claimed a bronze medal for her nation at the 2010 edition of the Youth Olympic Games. Onwards to 2014 and Sue Ying Lim is flying the windsurfing flag for her nation and has taken in some knowledge from the 2010 medallist, “I spoke to her before I came and she told me to just do my best and give my all and not think so much about medal chances. As long as I do well there’s always that chance to win.”

Lim had a steady day on the water, posting a 6-7-6 score line, improving on her opening three races. With sailing an experience like no other combined, Lim is loving the YOG life, “It’s a stepping stone up to the Olympic class for every windsurfer. The Youth Olympics is awesome to make new friends and come together as one and have friendly match as well. It’s a different atmosphere compared to other regattas. I’m just focusing on the racing and I did pretty well today.”

Boy’s Techno 293
Very little separates the Boy’s Techno 293 fleet with 11 points splitting Maxim Tokarev (RUS) in top spot and Kensei Ikeda (JPN) in eighth.

The fleet is tight and Argentina’s Francisco Saubidet Birkner loves the competition, “I did very good today, I finished eighth, first but the last race was very bad but I am happy. The competitors are all very good; they’re the top guys in the world in the Techno so it is very difficult.” Saubidet Birkner is second overall, a point off Tokarev and from the six race series he has taken three bullets.

With the fleet tight and competition tough Israel’s Yoav Omer, who is fourth overall, is thriving in it, “I’m enjoying the competition. The competition is so good. The judges and the race committee are really good and I am happy.

“In the first race I was fourth, my start was not so good but after that my decisions were good and I finished fourth. In the second race my start was good but my decisions were really bad, I didn’t surf good and I was very slow so finished sixth and in the last one I finished fifth. The race was good and my start was perfect.”

Omer is aiming to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Mayan Rafic who won gold at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games and Rafic offered a small piece of advice to his younger countryman, “He didn’t tell me much he just said that it’s a very good experience and said it’s a very big competition.”

Girl’s Byte CII

Odile Van Aanholt (NED) has a slender lead over Singapore’s Samantha Yom following three Byte CII races. Van Aanholt posted an 8-8-2 scoreline to Yom’s 2-2-11 and is four points clear. Carolina Albano (ITA) is third overall, 23 points off Van Aanholt.

Improvement and personal gain has been the aim of the game for many of the sailors competing in Nanjing with individual goals and targets set ahead of racing.

Great Britain’s Hanna Brant had an up and down day as she took a bullet and a seventh with a 31DNF marring her day. Nonetheless the Briton was pretty happy with how things went, “The beginning was pretty good, I had a first and an eighth so that was good but the last race went a bit wrong but it was pretty hard conditions so I’m happy.”

Brant read the conditions better than anyone else in the first race to take the victory and she explained what went down on Race Area B, “I had an okay start, I was at the pin end and I tacked off straight away so the whole fleet was going up on port. I played the shifts up the first beat and I was at the front of it. I was second or first at the first mark but then I went downwind and lost a couple of places.

“I was going round the bottom mark and I saw there was a massive left hand shift and the whole fleet and the people in front of me kept going off left and I was like ‘I’m going to tack’ so I just tacked and I was making the mark and then it came out from the right and I tacked and crossed everyone so it worked out quite well.”

The British sailor has pushed up the leader board and is 16th overall and concluded by saying, “I haven’t had a great regatta so far but it was really nice to see that my work over the winter and summer has paid off a bit.”

Further race victories on the day went the way of Celeste Lugtmeijer (DOM), who is eighth overall, and Ukraine’s Kateryna Gumenko, who is fifth.

Boy’s Byte CII
Singapore’s Bernie Chin had an exceptional day of racing to take the Boy’s Byte CII lead. The Singaporean recorded a 1-5-3 score line to overthrown Brazil’s Pedro Correa and lead him by four points. Portugal’s Rodolfo Pires remains in contention and is seven points off Chin.

Cayman Islands racer Pablo Bertran picked up his first top finish of the competition as he took second in the final race of the day and he was happy with how the race played out, “I’m pretty happy. I wasn’t doing too well coming into the top mark, I was about tenth but coming into the downwind I split from everybody at the gate and when I came back I was second. I’m very happy for the last one but not for the first two races.”

In the first two races of the day Bertran finished 23rd and 15th and is positioned 20th overall. With a single race scheduled on 21 August his plan is to, “Just go for it and try my hardest.”

Antigua’s Rhone Kirby also had his best race result of the competition in the third and final race of the day as he sealed a seventh and he was pleased with his performance, “It was quite good. In the first two races I wasn’t doing too good but I came back strong in the last one.”

Sailing on Jinniu Lake is a new experience for the Antiguan who is used to the Caribbean Sea, “I’ve sailed Lasers back home and I’ve been to the Cayman Islands for two weeks training and that was my only training. It’s completely different because I sail in the sea back home with a lot of current and more wind. Here there’s no current and light wind.”

Kirby has improved as the week has gone on and currently sits 23rd overall and the Youth Olympic experience is like no other, “This event, I think it’s a bit more tense because it’s the Olympics and everybody wants a gold and wants to be at the top. There are a lot of tough sailors and if you want to be tough you’ve got to train very hard for it.

“You learn from your mistakes, you gain from a lot of things and improve as you go along.”

Having lost races due to light breeze the race committee will look to catch up on Thursday, August 21. There will be one Byte CII Boy’s and Girl’s race on Area A and the Techno 293 fleets will follow with two further races.

ISAF WebsiteResultsNanjing 2014 Website

YOG VENUE 14_YOG_Day2_FRACrowd_600_rdax_80

About The Youth Olympic Games
The Youth Olympic Games brings 28 sports together in a unique multi-sport event for young athletes aged 15-16, with sailing on Nanjing’s Jinniu Lake from August 18 to 23. This is the second edition of the Games, with the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore.

Report by ISAF media.

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