Early win for USA at Youth Sailing Worlds
Published on July 18th, 2019
Gdynia, Poland (July 18, 2019) – The penultimate day of the 2019 Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships saw three gold medals decided ahead of tomorrow’s final races.
Among the celebrations are Madeline Hawkins and Yumi Yoshiyasu (USA) who have sealed the gold medal in the Girl’s 420 division with one race remaining tomorrow. The Girl’s 420 perpetual RYA Trophy will head to the USA for the third consecutive year after Hawkins and Yoshiyasu picked up from where Carmen and Emma Cowles left off.
Consistency was king for the Americans and going into tomorrow their lead stands at 22-points. As their highest score is a seventh, they cannot be caught so will walk away as champions.
“We were crying on the way in,” the pair said enthusiastically, “We’re really happy. We’re just going to go out tomorrow and have a solid race but it doesn’t matter because gold is wrapped up.”
They recorded a fourth and a fifth from their two races which was in their game plan. Hawkins commented, “Honestly we were going out there with a mindset to get top seven finishes. That’s all we really needed. We just made sure we could chip off boats and weren’t getting stressed about not being in first or being in 15th. We wanted to be as consistent as possible.”
That steadiness paid off as their rivals had up and down days. The race for silver and bronze will be fierce tomorrow as teams from Spain, Germany, Portugal, and Argentina are all in contention.
Americans Berta Puig and Isabella Casaretto are racing in their second Hempel Youth Worlds in the Girl’s 29er. The pair won silver at the 2018 edition on their home waters and are within touching distance of gold this time round.
They posted a 1-2-1 on today which gives them a 16-point lead over Maltese sisters Antonia and Victoria Schultheis. Two races will follow tomorrow and one top eight result will confirm gold.
When asked if their 2018 experience helped them to be in this position, Puig was quick to acknowledge the benefits of going to two in a row. “We already knew what to expect,” she expressed. “This regatta is pretty different and sailing in an all-girls fleet is a different experience. Especially in the US as there aren’t as many girls as we would like but getting the experience last year was very beneficial.”
Their two race wins and a second today was their most impressive performance of the week and has put them in pole position. “It was pretty light at the beginning with about 8 knots out there,” said Puig. “It was about staying consistent and making sure that we were on the right shift most of the time, especially on the downwinds. We kept it simple as much as possible.”
Just three points separate the Schultheis sisters and Sweden’s Martina Carlsson and Amanda Ljunggren in second and third.
The other two teams that confirmed their early victory are Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan (NZL) in the Boy’s 420 division with just one race remaining. The Mixed Nacra 15 gold medal was also decided as Will Cooley and Rebecca Hancock (AUS) have an unassailable nine point lead.
For the teams gaining victory today, all they have to do tomorrow in their final race is stay out of trouble and avoid a non-discardable disqualification or penalty. The way all three teams have been sailing this week, it’s unlikely any will faulter at the final hurdle and make such a mistake.
As one of the leading returning teams from the 2018 edition of the Championships, Menzies and McGlashan were touted as potential gold medallists in the Boy’s 420 and they lived up to the billing.
Sitting on 26 points, their discard is a ninth which means that Martin Wizner and Pedro Ameneiro (ESP) cannot catch them on the race course. Only a non-discardable scoreline would see gold slip away.
From the day’s two races, the Kiwis sailed their worst day of the event with a 7-4 but those around them also had mixed days. A fight is on for the remaining podium positions. Teams from Spain, Israel, Italy, Great Britain, Portugal, Poland, Switzerland, USA, and Chile all have a chance to claim a medal.
The word consistency is one that is used often in sailing but is an apt word as keeping a consistent scoreline can reap rewards.
Across the week in the Mixed Nacra 15, Australia’s Cooley and Hancock have not won one race but their consistency is unrivalled and they have not finished outside of the top eight once. With one race remaining, they have clinched gold as they hold enough of a points buffer over the French team to confirm the title.
The lead has changed on a daily basis in the Nacra 15 but the Australians prevailed.
Two points separate Titouan Petard and Marion Declef (FRA) and Silas Mühle and Levke Möller (GER) in second and third. It’s not out of the realms of possibility for the chasing teams to overhaul the French and Germans but they would need results to go their way.
Norway’s Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty are well positioned to take Boy’s 29er gold. Two races remain and the Norwegians have an 18-point lead over Ville Korhonen and Edvard Bremer (FIN).
The race for gold will go down to the wire in the Boy’s Laser Radial fleet tomorrow. Zac Littlewood (AUS) claimed two seconds today to remove local hopeful Tytus Butowski (POL) from the top spot but just one point splits the pair.
Their discards aren’t comfortable enough for them to match race on the water but fireworks are expected and Butowski will look to draw upon his experience of his home waters to claim a historic gold for Poland.
Italy’s Chiara Benini Floriani has led the Girl’s Laser Radial fleet from start to finish. However, she has not been a runaway leader and it was only after today’s action that she has put some daylight in-between herself and the chasing pack.
Tied overnight on 17-points with Ana Moncada Sanchez (ESP), the Italian finished 12th and second from two races. The Spanish racer could not find her form and was black flagged in the first race before coming through in 12th.
Benini Floriani leads on 31-points followed by the Spaniard on 46, Shai Kakon (ISR) on 47 and Matilda Nicholls (GBR) on 49.
Three races will be sailed tomorrow in the Boy’s and Girl’s RS:X. As it stands, Linoy Geva (ISR) is on top of the girl’s division on 29-points followed by Holoise Macquaert (FRA) on 33, Yana Reznikova (RUS) on 34, Natasa Lappa (CYP) on 36, and Julia Matveenko (BLR) on 29.
France’s Fabien Pianazza took three straight race wins today and has moved two points clear of Nicolo Renna (ITA). The French and Italian sailors have shared nine of ten race victories and will likely fight it out for gold in Friday’s three races.
Leonidas Tsortanidis (GRE) occupies the final podium spot but has Liam Segev (ISR) and Finn Hawkins (GBR) in close company.
Racing is scheduled to commence at the earlier time of 10:40 tomorrow as the 2019 Youth Sailing World Championships concludes.
Racing extends from July 15 to 19.
North America Leaders
420 Boys (8 races): 9. Oliver Hurwitz/ Ethan Froelich (USA)
420 Girls (8 races): 1. Madeline Hawkins/ Yumi Yoshiyasu (USA)
29er Boys (11 races): 9. Stephan Baker/ Oliver Duncan (USA)
29er Girls (11 races): 1. Berta Puig/ Isabella Casaretto (USA)
Nacra 15 Mixed (12 races): 9. Jack Sutter/ Charlotte Versavel (USA)
Laser Radial Boys (8 races): 5. Connor Nelson (USA)
Laser Radial Girls (8 races): 20. Grace Austin (USA)
RS:X Boys (10 races): 9. Alex Torres Rinaldelli (MEX)
RS:X Girls (10 races): 10. Joanna Diego (MEX)
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