USA girls shine at Youth Sailing Worlds
Published on July 16th, 2019
Gdynia, Poland (July 16, 2019) – After light winds yesterday hampered progress at the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships, better conditions today helped to get all nine fleets on the scoreboard.
American sailors have had a stranglehold on the Girl’s 420 for the last two editions of the Youth Worlds as Carmen and Emma Cowles won gold in Sanya, China and in Corpus Christi. As the Cowles sisters aged out of youth competition and moved into the Women’s 470, the weight of the USA has been put onto Madeline Hawkins and Yumi Yoshiyasu.
The Cowles sisters passed on words of wisdom to Hawkins and Yoshiyasu and those words paid off as they took two wins from three races and lead overall.
“They [Carmen and Emma] talked to us and the boys team and gave us a bunch of tips on how to set up the boat and how to come in with the right mindset,” commented Hawkins. “We’re sharing the same boat with the boys so we’re not used to that and they gave us tips on how to deal with that.”
It’s the early stages of the competition but the Americans are five points clear of Kana Kobayashi and Natsumi Shirasu (JPN) and Therease Stenlein and Lina Plettner (GER) and have a strong mental attitude which could take them all the way. Yoshiyasu concluded, “We want to stay as consistent as possible and have a positive mindset. There’s a lot of races and people will make mistakes.”
After an opening day that saw minimal separation in the Boy’s 420 fleet, gaps have widened after two further races. New Zealand’s Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan moved up to first overall after a second and a fourth. Spain’s Martin Wizner and Pedro Ameneiro (ESP) sit second, two points off, and the overnight leaders, Achille Casco and Elliot Schick (SUI) dropped to third.
Maltese sisters Antonia and Victoria Schultheis found the right note as the Girl’s 29er fleet commenced their competition amid the nine events.
Having sat ashore waiting to race and subsequently unable to because of minimal breeze yesterday, the Girl’s 29er and 420 fleets as well as the Boy’s and Girl’s RS:X finally hit the water for racing, and the Maltese duo shone in the 29er.
The Schultheis sisters, racing at their second Hempel Youth Worlds together, were models of consistency in the Girl’s 29er. Four races were completed today and the pair recorded a (5)-2-3-3 scoreline which positions them at the top of the leaderboard, a point clear of Berta Puig and Isabella Casaretto (USA).
“It was super shifty today but the wind increased,” the sisters commented. “It was quite choppy. It was difficult to keep the speed up because sometimes the boat just stopped. We are quite light so it’s a bit easier for us to get over the waves. We’re satisfied with our performance. We were consistent.”
At the 2018 edition of the Youth Worlds in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA, the pair finished a credible tenth and have understanding of the event and its prestige. They concluded, “We’re really happy but we’re not getting over excited. We’re just going to keep our cool. Our aim was a top five and we’d be happy with that. We just want to have fun.”
Great Britain’s Freya Black and Millie Aldridge are also racing at their second Championships and occupy third place after the opening day. After racing, Black commented, “There’s a lot of good girls here. The Americans, Maltese, and Swedish are going to be the ones to watch. There’s more variety here and it’s all to play for. We’re really happy with today.”
The Boy’s 29er added another three races to their overall total. The defending champions Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty (NOR) moved up to first overall after a consistent day. They notched up a 3-1-3 scoreline and have moved ten points clear of overnight Ville Korhonen and Edvard Bremer (FIN) who had a mixed day. British racers, Ewan Wilson and Finley Armstrong, occupy third overall.
Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) silver medallist Nicolo Renna (ITA) came out of the traps flying in the Boy’s RS:X. He won the first two races of the series to set the early benchmark. Fabien Pianazza (FRA), 2018 Youth Worlds bronze medallist, is second and Liam Segev (ISR) is third. Buenos Aires YOG bronze medallist Finn Hawkins (GBR) sits fourth.
In the Girl’s RS:X, Israel’s Linoy Geva put a disastrous start behind her to win back to back races. In the first race of the series, the Israeli racer received a scoring penalty and counted maximum points from the race but she bounced back to claim two bullets. She holds the lead, having discarded her 21st, but will have to tread carefully throughout the remained of the event.
Belarus’ Julia Matveenko is second and Russia’s Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Yana Reznikova is third.
The Boy’s and Girl’s Laser Radial fleets only completed one race on the opening day and sailed three today to catch up on their schedule of races.
Poland’s Tytus Butowski has come to the forefront for the home nation and grabbed the lead in the boy’s division. His 3-5-7-(10) scoreline positions him one point clear of Wonn Kye Lee (SGP) and a further two ahead of Juan Cardozo (ARG), silver medallist from 2018.
In the Girl’s Laser Radial, overnight leader Chiara Benini Floriani (ITA) had a mixed day with a 3-7-(22) scoreline but that was enough to hold onto the lead. Laser Radial Youth Girl European Champion Ana Moncada Sanchez (ESP) sailed beautifully, recording a 4-4-5 which positions her in second. Shai Kakon (ISR) is third.
In the Mixed Nacra 15, Will Cooley and Rebecca Hancock (AUS) are standalone leaders after another day fighting it out at the front of the 21-boat fleet. Two fifths and a fourth puts them a point clear of France’s Titouan Petard and Marion Declef who claimed the second race win of the day. Further race wins went the way of Germany’s Silas Mühle and Levke Möller and Switzerland’s Arnaud Grange and Marie van der Kling (SUI).
Racing is scheduled to commence at 11:00 local time tomorrow as the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships reaches its mid-point.
Racing is planned from July 15 to 19.
North America Leaders
420 Boys (4 races): 6. Oliver Hurwitz/ Ethan Froelich (USA)
420 Girls (3 races): 1. Madeline Hawkins/ Yumi Yoshiyasu (USA)
29er Boys (3 races): 9. Stephan Baker/ Oliver Duncan (USA)
29er Girls (4 races): 2. Berta Puig/ Isabella Casaretto (USA)
Nacra 15 Mixed (6 races): 8. Jack Sutter/ Charlotte Versavel (USA)
Laser Radial Boys (4 races): 4. Ryan Anderson (CAN)
Laser Radial Girls (4 races): 20. Grace Austin (USA)
RS:X Boys (3 races): 11. Alex Torres Rinaldelli (MEX)
RS:X Girls (3 races): 14. Dominique Stater (USA)
About the Youth Worlds:
The Youth Worlds was first held in Sweden in 1971. The 2019 Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships will be the 48th edition of the championship.
More than 400 sailors from 66 nations are racing on boats supplied by Ovington Boats (Boy’s and Girl’s 29er), Nautivela (Boy’s and Girl’s 420), Laser Performance / Maclaren (Boy’s and Girl’s Laser Radial) and Nacra Sailing (Mixed Nacra 15). The RS:X racers are sailing on their own equipment for 2019.
The championship attracts only the best youth sailors from around the world and competition is notoriously tough as competitors are selected by their Member National Authority (MNA) from a host of eligible sailors within each nation.
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