Girls carry USA at Youth Sailing Worlds
Published on July 19th, 2019
Gdynia, Poland (July 19, 2019) – Nine World Champions were crowned on Gdansk Bay as a week of racing came to a close at the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships.
The Girl’s and Boy’s 420 titles were confirmed the day prior with Madeline Hawkins and Yumi Yoshiyasu (USA) and Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan (NZL) claiming the titles.
America’s Hawkins and Yumi Yoshiyasu will take the Girl’s 420 title back to their home nation for the third consecutive year, following in the footsteps of Emma and Carmen Cowles who won the title in 2017 and 2018.
In the Girl’s and Boy’s 29er, Berta Puig and Isabella Casaretto (USA) and Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty (NOR) were well placed to seal gold with two races planned. Two race wins for the Americans and an 8-4 for the Norwegians confirmed their titles.
On their victory, the Americans said, “It’s pretty amazing. Having got silver last year, we came back and brought that experience here to get gold. We worked hard all year to get here and it feels really nice to get what we wanted to accomplished.
“It was a lot of work last year. We did a great job of improving throughout but this year we got on top early on. We got a better hold of our tactics and we worked really hard on our tracks and we studied the rest of the fleet and it was very helpful for us.”
“It’s not sunk in yet,” commented the Norwegians. “I’m pretty sure when we’re up on the stage we’ll be pretty thrilled.
“We had consistent racing in all types of conditions – light, medium and heavy winds and waves. It was perfect for us. We’re really satisfied with our week.”
The Nacra 15 gold had also been decided yesterday Will Cooley and Rebecca Hancock (AUS) sealing the deal after a consistent performance.
Competition in the remaining fleets today saw gold medals go to Turkey’s Citak and Italy’s Chiara Benini Floriani in the Laser Radial fleets, and Fabien Pianazza (FRA) and Linoy Geva (ISR) in the RS:X.
A dramatic final race in the Boy’s Laser Radial turned the podium inside out as Poland’s Tytus Butowski and Australia’s Zac Littlewood were fighting for gold but got stuck in the middle of the fleet and their match racing opened the door for others to steal gold. Turkey’s Yigit Yalcin Citak saw an opportunity and claimed a gold from almost nowhere.
Littlewood and Butowski ended up locked on 63 points and the Australian claimed silver having won two races across the nine race series. Butowski, a resident of Gdynia, settled for bronze but it could have easily been gold.
Ahead of the final Boy’s Laser Radial race, Littlewood and Butowski were split by one point with a good points advantage but not enough for them to get embroiled in close quarters as their discards were high scores.
But that didn’t stop them as they locked horns which positioned them in the middle of the pack. Those racing without pressure subsequently attacked to hit the front of the fleet.
Turkey’s Citak, who had to rely on his rivals slipping up, focused on finishing at the front of the fleet and he did exactly that, claiming a fifth. He crossed the line knowing that his rivals were behind but had to wait and see where they came.
A 22nd for the Polish racer and a 23rd for the Australian ensured the Citak’s 56-points were enough for him to take gold as they were locked on 63-points.
“I’m so happy right now,” said Citak. “I just want to thank everyone who’s supported me – my club, my family my friends. My goal was to always finish in the top three. In the last race I was aiming for the top ten at the first mark but I rounded in 13th. But then I passed the other guys and finished fifth and now I’m here right now. The race didn’t finish for me when I crossed the line. It felt like one month waiting for them to finish.”
Littlewood upgraded his 2018 bronze to silver and the Polish sailor was his nations sole medallist, claiming bronze.
Things were less dramatic in the Girl’s Laser Radial. Italy’s Chiara Benini Floriani had a good lead and confirmed gold with a second. “I’m very happy,” she said giggling. “I’ve had a lot of fun at this event. I started very well in the last race and I was first at the top mark but then I was overtaken so I finished second. It’s a great thing to win here as the other sailors are very good.”
Ana Moncada Sanchez (ESP) confirmed bronze with a seventh and Shai Kakon of Israel takes home bronze.
Ville Korhonen and Edvard Bremer (FIN) and Archie Cropley and Max Paul (AUS) completed the boy’s podium and Antonia and Victoria Schultheis (MLT) and Martina Carlsson and Amanda Ljunggren (SWE) rounded off the girl’s.
Stand out performances in the Boy’s and Girl’s RS:X confirmed gold for France’s Pianazza and Israel’s Geva.
Pianazza won six races in a row to seal the deal having trailed Italy’s Nicolo Renna after the first two days. Renna settled for silver and Israel’s Liam Segev (ISR) overthrew Leonidas Tsortanidis (GRE) for the final podium position.
Israel’s Geva won two races and finished second in the other to clinch the girl’s gold. “I am happy and excited,” expressed the young Israeli. “I liked today’s wind and I won two races but the Russian passed me in the final race. It was a long week with a lot of different conditions and I am happy with my result.”
Russia’s Yana Reznikova’s final race win confirmed silver for her with overnight leader Heloise Macquaert (FRA) dropping to third.
In the Mixed Nacra 15, Australia’s Cooley and Hancock were models of consistency all week long, proving that you don’t have to win races to win regattas. In the final race they bagged their first race win, going out on a high.
“This regatta’s been absolutely amazing,” commented Cooley. “It’s been one of the most fun regattas so far. The competitors were so nice and it was really tight competition. Even though we’ve won, there are always things we could have improved on.”
Hancock commented, “I personally didn’t think we could win. It was mind blowing on the first day when we did as well as we did. It was a big wake up call.”
Silver went to Titouan Petard and Marion Declef with bronze awarded to Silas Mühle and Levke Möller.
Having won gold yesterday, New Zealand’s Menzies and McGlashan also signed off the week with a win in the Boy’s 420. Demetrio Sposato and Gabriele Centrone (ITA) finished third in the final race to confirm silver and Israel’s Tal Sade and Noam Homri took silver by a single point.
Neus Ballester and Andrea Perelló (ESP) and Theresa Stenlein and Lina Plettner (GER) completed the podium.
Spain claimed the Nations Trophy, which is awarded to the best overall nation at each Youth Sailing World Championship. This was Spain’s second time earning this honor, having last achieved it in 2014, and were followed in 2019 by France in second and USA in third.
The 2020 edition of the event will take place December in Salvador, Brazil.
Racing was from July 15 to 19.
Top Finishes – North America
420 Boys (9 races): 6. Oliver Hurwitz/ Ethan Froelich (USA)
420 Girls (9 races): 1. Madeline Hawkins/ Yumi Yoshiyasu (USA)
29er Boys (13 races): 9. Stephan Baker/ Oliver Duncan (USA)
29er Girls (13 races): 1. Berta Puig/ Isabella Casaretto (USA)
Nacra 15 Mixed (13 races): 9. Jack Sutter/ Charlotte Versavel (USA)
Laser Radial Boys (9 races): 4. Connor Nelson (USA)
Laser Radial Girls (9 races): 21. Grace Austin (USA)
RS:X Boys (13 races): 12. Alex Torres Rinaldelli (MEX)
RS:X Girls (13 races): 12. 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 were 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