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Medalists crowned at Youth Sailing World Championship

Published on July 20th, 2018

Corpus Christi, TX (July 20, 2018) – After six classes were clinched yesterday, the racing portion of the 48th Youth Sailing World Championships wrapped up this afternoon with the final three gold medalists determined.

Carmen and Emma Cowles of the U.S.A successfully defended the gold medal they won last year in the 420 Girls Class to wrap up a sweep of the 420 classes for the U.S.A. JC Hermus and Walter Henry won the 420 Boys Class yesterday.

Norway pulled a similar feat in the 29er classes. Pia Andersen and Nora Edland won the Girls Class in dominating fashion, winning the last race going away, while Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty had to sweat out victory. Berthet and Franks-Penty initially thought they had lost the gold medal by one point. As it turns out, they won the gold on a tiebreaker, turning tears to elation.

“This is the happiest day of my life,” said Berthet.

The Cowles twins posted seven first-place finishes and a fourth in their scoreline to win with the low score of 11 points, good for a 13-point margin over silver medalists Vita Heathcote and Emilia Boyle of Great Britain. The bronze medal was won by Spaniards Julia Minana Delhom and Silvia Sebastia Borso di Carminati.

“Basically, we’ve adhered to the KISS principle-keep it simple, stupid,” said Emma Cowles, the crew. “We’ve just kept to our routine; eat similar things, get lots of sleep, drink lots of water. Keeping the same routine keeps us focused.”

It is the first time in 14 years that a 420 Girls crew has won back-to-back gold medals and the Cowles did it in dominating fashion, often finishing well ahead of the chasing pack. In 16 races between the two regattas the Cowles have won 10 races and placed second five times.

They were very matter of fact upon returning to shore, barely showing emotion. But the sisters did relate that their coach, Steve Keen, hopped in the boat and gave them a big hug before they took a celebratory swim in Corpus Christi Bay.

“We’re happy to be known as repeat champions but, to keep getting better, we have to keep an even keel to keep moving forward,” said Carmen Cowles.

In the 29er Girls Class, Pia Andersen and Nora Edland bounced back from second place two days ago to win the gold. They won the final three races of the series and posted the low score of 31 points, 14 points ahead of Americans Berta Puig and Bella Casaretto, who won silver. The bronze medal went to Russians Zoya Novikova and Diana Sabirova.

You might not expect two diminutive, blue-eyed blondes from Norway to possess a killer instinct but that’s Andersen and Edland, lifelong friends who live about 10 minutes away from each other. They’re following in the footsteps of their older sisters who raced the 29er for Norway at last year’s Youth Worlds, but they’ve outdone their older siblings by winning the gold.

“Yes! We did it!” said Andersen. “It feels amazing. Unbelievable. Never believed it would happen.”

In fashion befitting gold medalists, Andersen and Edland blitzed the final race, winning by half a leg.

“We couldn’t believe we were winning the race,” said Edland. “We had a bad start. Then we tacked to the right and found ourselves far in the lead. We couldn’t believe it.”

Their compatriots, Berthet and Franks-Penty, weren’t sure what to believe. They entered the day with a 10-point lead in the 29er Boys Class but then sailed their worst race of the series. After posting all top-eight finishes in the first 11 races, including four first-place finishes, they went out and finished 19th.

Upon reaching shore they thought they had lost by one point, thinking they had placed 20th. But as it turns out three other crews were scored UFD for being over the start line early. One of those crews finished ahead of the Norwegians. That was enough to put them in a tie with Seb Lardies and Scott Mckenzie of New Zealand and the Norwegians won the tiebreaker by virtue of the four race wins. Australians Henry Larkings and Miles Davey won the bronze medal.

“We knew we had to be within 10 places of New Zealand,” said Berthet. “We had that covered but then they came at us on starboard on the final downwind and we weren’t able to jibe. They were to leeward and just behind, holding us out.

“At the finish there were only two boats behind us, but luckily we made it. It was an intense race,” Berthet said.

The six other classes were already decided before today’s final race.

In the 420 Boys Class, Americans Hermus and Henry won the gold medal on the strength of five consecutive race wins. Australians Otto Henry and Rome Featherstone won the silver medal and Poland’s Kacper Paszek and Bartek Reiter the bronze medal.

In the RS:X Boys Class, Geronimo Nores (USA) wrapped up the gold yesterday and then went out and won today’s race. He finished with 17 points from a scoreline that included nine wins in 12 races. Italy’s Nicolo Renna won the silver medal and France’s Fabien Pianazza the bronze.

In the RS:X Girls Class, Islay Watson of Great Britain won the gold on the strength of three wins yesterday. She finished with 23 points and a two-point advantage on silver medalist Veerle ten Have of New Zealand. The bronze medal was won by Italian Giorgia Speciale, who won the silver medal last year.

In the Nacra 15 Class, Argentina’s Teresea Romairone and Dante Cittadini won the gold in dominating fashion. They finished with a 36-point cushion over silver medalists Andrea Spagnolli and Giulia Fava of Italy, who leap-frogged New Zealand’s bronze medalists Greta Stewart and Tom Fyfe in today’s last race.

In the Laser Radial Boys Class, Josh Armit of New Zealand won the gold medal by 12 points over Argentina’s Juan Cardozo. The bronze medal was won by Australian Zac Littlewood, the reigning Men’s Laser Radial World Champion.

For Armit, the victory is good preparation for the Youth Laser Radial World Championship next month in Germany.

“It was great to go out and win this regatta, especially with a race to spare,” said Armit. “I’ve just been trying to improve and do the best I can possibly do. I learned a lot this week. It was good being able to test some different things this week in this fleet.”

Charlotte Rose of the U.S.A. won the Laser Radial Girls yesterday. After placing second in today’s final race, she finished 10 points ahead of silver medalist Emma Savelon of the Netherlands. Valeriya Lomatchenko of Russia won the bronze medal.

Top position from North America
420 Boys (23 entrants): 1. Joseph Hermus/ Walter Henry (USA)
420 Girls (22 entrants): 1. Carmen Cowles/ Emma Cowles (USA)
29er Boys (25 entrants): 14. Taylor Hasson/ Steven Hardee (ISV)
29er Girls (23 entrants): 2. Berta Puig/ Isabella Casaretto (USA)
Nacra 15 (24 entrants): 7. Nicolas Martin/ AnaClare Sole (USA)
Laser Radial Boys (58 entrants): 5. Charles Carraway (USA)
Laser Radial Girls (46 entrants): 1. Charlotte Rose (USA)
RS:X Boys (27 entrants): 1. Geronimo Nores (USA)
RS:X Girls (17 entrants): 13. Dominique Stater (USA)

The 48th annual Youth Sailing World Championships was held from July 16 to 20 with 382 youth sailors, aged 16 to 19, from 66 nations racing on Corpus Christi Bay in Texas, USA.

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About the Youth Worlds:
The Youth Worlds was first held in Sweden in 1971. The 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships will be the 48th edition of the championship.

As the regatta evolved further classes were added to bring the best young sailing talent across the world together in one place and in 1984 the Mistral windsurfer was added to the list of events with Knut Budig (GER) taking the first gold medal in San Diego, California.

Past notable winners include American’s Cup skippers, Chris Dickson (NZL), Russell Coutts (NZL), Dean Barker (NZL); Olympic medallists, Nathan Outteridge (AUS), Iain Jensen (AUS), Robert Scheidt (BRA), Amelie Lux (GER), Ben Ainslie (GBR), Iain Percy (GBR), Alessandra Sensini (ITA), Elise Rechichi (AUS) and Tessa Parkinson (AUS); Volvo Ocean Race sailors like Stuart Bannatyne (NZL) and Richard Clarke (CAN).

Source: World Sailing

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