Bermuda, USA medal at 2021 Youth Sailing Worlds
Published on December 17th, 2021
Mussanah, Oman (December 17, 2021) – The final day of the 2021 Youth Sailing World Championship had blue skies and winds of 8 to 10 knots to finalize the results in 11 events in which the winning nations were Bermuda, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Peru, Singapore and Spain.
Of particular note was the first ever gold medals for Bermuda and Peru in the 50 year history of the Youth Worlds, and the domination of France (3 gold, 3 bronze) which earned the Nations Trophy for the best team performance, followed by Spain (1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze) and USA (3 silver, 1 bronze).
Male One Person Dinghy ILCA 6
This went right down to the wire. José Gomes Saraiva Mendes (POR) started the day with a bit of a points gap but the Portuguese sailor was back in 27th and unable to fight his way through. Meanwhile Luka Zabukovec (SLO) hit the speed button on his Ziegelmeyer boat to take the lead of the race and move into a slender overall lead.
However, down the final run Sebastian Kempe (BER) used his downwind pace to overtake enough boats to cross the line in sixth place. Not that he knew at the time, but Kempe (above) had done just enough to take a historic gold for Bermuda, his small island nation’s first ever medal of any color at a Youth Worlds. Zabukovec finished tied on points with Mendes, the silver going on tiebreak to Slovenia, with Portugal in bronze.
The new gold medallist’s father, Somers Kempe, competed for Bermuda in the Youth Worlds almost 30 years earlier and was there to greet his son as he landed on the shore. Sebastian paid tribute to his dad for getting him into the sport.
“I want to thank my dad and everyone back home who has supported me,” said Sebastian. “I’ve been working hard for this the past two years, extremely stressful trying to do the math. A four way fight between me, Slovenia, Poland and Portugal. I had just had to get to sixth.
“I’m really, really happy that this day has finally come. It’s been fun to race against these great competitors. It’s been the best fun I’ve had in sailing, ever. I want to do it again in six months at The Hague. And in a few years I want to do an Olympic campaign.”
Gold: Sebastian Kempe (BER)
Silver: Luka Zabukovec (SLO)
Bronze: José Gomes Saraiva Mendes (POR)
Female One Person Dinghy ILCA 6
Florencia Chiarella (PER) has made Peruvian sailing history by becoming the first to win a Youth Worlds gold medal for her country. Anja von Allmen (SUI) won silver and Théa Lubac’s (FRA) victory in the final race lifted the French sailor to bronze.
“I’m so happy,” said Chiarella, proud to have won gold for an Emerging Nation. “I have trained hard for this. It is great that someone from Peru, from a third world country, has a chance to succeed in the sport of sailing.”
Gold: Florencia Chiarella (PER)
Silver: Anja von Allmen (SUI)
Bronze: Théa Lubac (FRA)
Mixed Two Person Multihull Nacra 15
Thomas Proust and Eloïse Clabon (FRA) won catamaran gold after coming out on top of a match race against Kay Brunsvold and Cooper Delbridge (USA) who had to settle for silver. Axel Grandjean and Noémie Fehlmann (SUI) sailed a good final day to take bronze for Switzerland.
“Today we needed to keep a cool head and do what we could to avoid any risk or dangers on the race course,” said Clabon, aged 17. Proust, 15 years old, added: “We are so happy to win here. Next year we want to race again [in the Youth Worlds] and we want to win it again.”
Gold: Thomas Proust and Eloïse Clabon (FRA)
Silver: Kay Brunsvold and Cooper Delbridge (USA)
Bronze: Axel Grandjean and Noémie Fehlmann (SUI)
Male Skiff 29er
Hugo Revil & Karl Devaux (FRA) did enough to protect their yellow jersey and win gold. In the battle of the brothers, a second place in the final race was good enough for Mateo and Simon Codoñer Alemany (ESP) to seize silver from Ian and Noah Nyenhuis (USA) who finished in bronze.
“We never give up, we fight to the very end,” said Devaux. “It was a close battle so to come through and win this, win the Youth World Championships! It is an amazing feeling.”
Gold: Hugo Revil & Karl Devaux (FRA)
Silver: Mateo and Simon Codoñer Alemany (ESP)
Bronze: Ian and Noah Nyenhuis (USA)
Female Skiff 29er
Although Emily Mueller and Florence Brellisford (GBR) had narrowly taken gold with a race to spare after beating the Americans on tiebreak countback, the British went out sailing for fun in the final race. And they won! So GBR won skiff gold, followed by Charlie Leigh and Sophie Fisher (USA) in silver and Alja Petric and Katja Filipic (SLO) in bronze.
“We didn’t really know what to expect coming into the event,” said Mueller. “Winning is just something we couldn’t have imagined because there are so many amazing sailors here. So to have won is really surprising. But it’s just an amazing way to win our last event in the 29er.”
Brellisford added: “Today was our last race in the 29er, so quite sad, but great that we’ve ended on a high. The racing’s been really close between us and the USA. Can’t quite believe we’ve won the Youth Worlds, it’s amazing. We really didn’t imagine this when we started out in the 29er.”
Gold: Emily Mueller and Florence Brellisford (GBR)
Silver: Charlie Leigh and Sophie Fisher (USA)
Bronze: Alja Petric and Katja Filipic (SLO)
Male/Mixed Two Person Dinghy 420
In today’s final race, Spain and Israel found themselves struggling in the teens and heading towards their worst results of the week. Meanwhile Florian Krauss and Jannis Summchen (GER) put the hammer down to take the lead and move into gold medal position. Late risers in the regatta, Thomas Sitzmann and Luke Woodworth (USA), overtook Germany on the final run but it didn’t matter to Krauss and Summchen. They had won gold. Leaders all week, Ian Clive Walker March with Finn Dicke (ESP) had to satisfy themselves with silver and bronze went to Roi Levy and Ariel Gal (ISR).
“It’s unbelievable,” said Krauss. “We worked so long for this. This was our last 420 regatta, now we look at what comes next, maybe 470, maybe 49er. This year has been incredible for us. We won the German Championship. Unfortunately, the European Championship didn’t go so well and so now it’s incredible to win here.”
Gold: Florian Krauss and Jannis Summchen (GER)
Silver: Ian Clive Walker March and Finn Dicke (ESP)
Bronze: Roi Levy and Ariel Gal (ISR)
Female Two Person Dinghy 420
Neus Ballester Bover and Andrea Perello Mora (ESP) had already won the gold medal with a race to spare but finished off their competition in fine style, crossing the line in second place. Winners of the final race, Vanessa Lahrkamp and Katherine McNamara (USA), took silver with Manon Pennaneac’h and Victoire Lerat (FRA) in bronze.
“We have been sailing together for three years and now to win here is a great feeling,” said Perello. “The sailing in Oman is perfect,” added Ballester. “I love the light wind and the wind is warm and the sea is warm. Great sailing conditions.”
The 18 year olds have reached the end of their three years together as a partnership in the best possible way. Now they go their separate ways, but both aiming at the Olympics. Ballester moves into the 470 while Perello is going to start 49erFX training.
Gold: Neus Ballester Bover and Andrea Perello Mora (ESP)
Silver: Vanessa Lahrkamp and Katherine McNamara (USA)
Bronze: Manon Pennaneac’h and Victoire Lerat (FRA)
Female Windsurfer Bic Techno 293+
Manon Pianazza (FRA) had already won windsurfing gold the day before but went out and won today’s heats too, making it a perfect 13 victories. Zoe Fernandez de Bobadilla Ramos (ESP) closed the gap to second placed Kristyna Chalupnikova (CZE) but not enough to change the order. Silver to Czech Republic and bronze to Spain.
“My team gave me the challenge of trying to win every race and I’m happy I managed to do that,” said Pianazza who now moves her focus completely towards the iQFoiL foiling windsurfer which has been nominated as the equipment for the Paris 2024 Olympics. “This is my second world title this year. I won the iQFoiL Youth World Championships and now I want to work hard to do well at senior level for the Olympic Games.”
Gold: Manon Pianazza (FRA)
Silver: Kristyna Chalupnikova (CZE)
Bronze: Zoe Fernandez de Bobadilla Ramos (ESP)
Male Windsurfer Bic Techno 293+
Ozan Turker (TUR) took a race win in the first of two final heats. But Federico Alan Pilloni (ITA) won the last, confirming his winner’s credentials in a regatta he had won with a day to spare. Gold to Italy, a clear silver to Boris Shaw (GBR) and bronze to Turkey.
“I have dreamed of winning this title,” said Pilloni. “It’s been so nice here but I can’t wait to go home to celebrate with my friends and family. I’ve met loads of new people from all the sailing classes. It’s a pleasure to race with really good guys out there, and really nice to have won it.
“Alessandra Sensini [four-time Olympic medalist from Italy] has been a great team leader, she’s the perfect person to have by my side. And the people here in Oman are really friendly. So helpful, and the place is brilliant, warm wind, warm water, just perfect. Now my dream is the Olympics, to work towards the Games.”
Gold: Federico Alan Pilloni (ITA)
Silver: Boris Shaw (GBR)
Bronze: Ozan Turker (TUR)
Male Kiteboarding Formula Kite
Although the week had started inauspiciously for Max Maeder (SGP), once he’d revved his engines there was no stopping the Flying Fifteen Year Old from Singapore. Maeder won 14 of the 18 races. As the winner of a brand new event in the Youth Worlds, and having hit speeds over 30 knots in just 10 knots of wind, Maeder can consider himself the fastest Youth Worlds gold medalist of all time.
Singapore is rightly considering Maeder as a serious medal prospect at the Paris 2024 Olympics less than three years from now. Winner of the Open European Championships at senior level, the teenager is improving his speed at a frightening rate. As he grows bigger he will only get faster.
The same is true of Riccardo Pianosi (ITA), third in the senior World Championships earlier this year and now silver medallist at the Youth Worlds. Mikhail Novikov (RUS) pushed Pianosi hard all the way but ended up with bronze.
“Oman is such an interesting place, the people are so nice and the culture is beautiful,” said Maeder. “Winning a world title would be special anywhere but I’m very happy to have won it here. My future ambition is to become world champion [at senior level] and to be one of the best in this amazing sport.”
Gold: Max Maeder (SGP)
Silver: Riccardo Pianosi (ITA)
Bronze: Mikhail Novikov (RUS)
Female Kiteboarding Formula Kite
Another flawless day on the race course gave the already golden Gal Zukerman (ISR) 18 straight race wins. Not bad for someone who only started kitefoiling little more than a year ago. Julia Damasiewicz (POL) was almost as dominant with her run of second places behind the Israeli. So it’s silver for Poland and bronze for French rider Héloïse Pégourié (FRA).
“I have loved every moment of this week,” said Zukerman. “Kitefoiling is so much fun. I can’t remember when I started sailing, I’m too young to remember that moment. But I have always been sailing boats and now I am loving the kitefoiling.”
Gold: Gal Zukerman (ISR)
Silver: Julia Damasiewicz (POL)
Bronze: Héloïse Pégourié (FRA)
A total of 433 sailors from 59 nations competed in the 11 events on December 13-17.
(Event – Number of Entries – Equipment – Top North American)
Female Skiff (18) – 29er: 2nd Sophie Fisher/ Charlie Leigh (USA)
Male Skiff (24) – 29er: 3rd Ian Nyenhuis/ Noah Nyenhuis (USA)
Female Two Person Dinghy (19) – 420: 2nd Vanessa Lahrkamp/ Katherine McNamara (USA)
Male/Mixed Two Person Dinghy (22) – 420: 7th Thomas Sitzmann/ Luke Woodworth (USA)
Mixed Two Person Multihull (11) – Nacra 15: 2nd Kay Brunsvold/ Cooper Delbridge (USA)
Female One Person Dinghy (46) – ILCA 6: 10th Katharine Doble (USA)
Male One Person Dinghy (50) – ILCA 6: 1st Sebastian Kempe (BER)
Female Windsurfer (17) – Bic Techno 293+: 16th Danicka Sailer (USA)
Male Windsurfer (18) – Bic Techno 293+: 8th JP Lattanzi (USA)
Female Kiteboarding (10) – Formula Kite: 9th Caroline Locke (USA)
Male Kiteboarding (16) – Formula Kite: 9th Noah Zittrer (USA)
First held in Sweden in 1971, the Youth Sailing World Championships are World Sailing’s flagship event for youth sailors. The 2019 event attracted 409 sailors from 66 nations for the nine events held in Gdynia, Poland. Spain won the Nations Trophy that year, awarded annually to the top-performing nation at the Youth Worlds, followed by France in second and USA in third. The 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic.