Competitors ready for 2022 Youth Worlds
Published on July 8th, 2022
With 431 youth sailors from 67 countries, this collection of the world’s best will compete at the 2022 Allianz Youth World Sailing Championships on July 10-14 off the coast of Scheveningen in The Hague, The Netherlands.
For national representatives up to the age of 19, this elite gathering of international sailors will compete across 11 youth events including the Male and Female divisions of the 29er Skiff, 420 Two Person Dinghy, ILCA 6 One Person Dinghy along with the Mixed Two Person Multihull, the Nacra 15.
Last year saw the introduction of Male and Female categories in Kiteboarding (Formula Kite), and this year for the first time will see Male and Female competitors in the Youth iQFOiL windsurfer. The move to these foil-borne events mirrors the developments seen in Olympic competition over the past year since the Tokyo 2020 Games.
The 11 events will test different aspects of the sport. From the highly tactical, boat-on-boat contest in the dinghy classes, through to the ‘apparent wind’ driven multihull and skiffs which test balance and agility, while the foiling windsurfers require balance and aerobic fitness whereas the kitefoilers test skill and decision making at up to 30 knots of speed.
Having already proven themselves at the front of the senior fleet, the battle for supremacy in the brand new kitefoiling contest will be world class by any measure. Singapore’s 15-year-old Max Maeder, winner of the Youth Worlds last year in Oman, has been winning events against all the senior riders on the Kitefoil World Series.
“I’m so happy to have the privilege to compete with all of the best youth riders around the world and wish them the best of luck,” said Maeder. “It feels like a great honor to represent your nation at such a big event, and I think the atmosphere on and off the water will be incredible.”
As last year’s silver medalist in the female kitefoiling division, Julia Damasiewicz (POL) is back to see if she can get to the top of the podium in The Hague. Having won the most recent Kitefoiling World Series event in Austria, the 18-year-old Polish rider broke the incredible winning streak of 32 consecutive international regatta wins over the last six years by five-time Formula Kite World Champion Daniela Moroz (USA).
Damasiewicz will surely be hard to beat in Scheveningen, although last year’s youth bronze medalist from France, Héloise Pegourié, has also displayed world-beating form at times this year.
In just over a year’s time, The Hague will host the Sailing World Championships for the Olympic classes over two weeks in August 2023, also from the port of Scheveningen. The event is expected to see 1,400 sailors from 90 countries compete for the world titles in the 10 Olympic and three Paralympic sailing classes, so the Youth Worlds will serve as a useful build-up to the senior competition for race officials, organisers and the local community of Scheveningen.
Many of this year’s youth competitors will compete at next year’s Olympic class event, including a growing number of sailors who have graduated from World Sailing’s Emerging Nations Program (ENP). World Sailing’s Training and Development Executive Cat Duncan and Training Delivery Manager Rob Holden have been running a clinic for ENP athletes at Scheveningen over a number of days before the regatta begins.
Former Olympic representative for Mexico in the ILCA 6 singlehander, Tania Elias Calles has been leading the coaching and will be working with the ENP sailors throughout the regatta.
“We’re committed to closing the knowledge and skills gap between the top sailing nations and the Emerging Nations,” said Holden. “Last year’s gold medal won by Florencia Chiarella from Peru shows what’s possible if you really dedicate yourself to succeeding at the top level of sailing. It has been great to work with this group of keen ENP sailors this week and I wish them all the best and hope they enjoy the experience of competing at the Youth Worlds.”
The Hague looks set to deliver stunning weather with temperatures forecast for the mid-70s Fahrenheit. A range of wind and wave conditions also look likely for the five days of competition, including the prospect of three-metre swell.
“The Allianz Youth Sailing World Championships is a prestigious event in the World Sailing calendar and we are looking forward to the event in The Hague,” said World Sailing CEO David Graham. “The combination of a natural beach and the North Sea winds will make for an exciting competition, and a true test of sailing skills for the world’s brightest prospects.”
Tournament Director, Dorian van Rijsselberghe, two-time RS:X Windsurfing Olympic champion from the Netherlands, is particularly excited to see the iQFOiL windsurfers competing at youth level. However, for him the most important aspect of the Youth Worlds is enjoying the experience more than whether or not you win for lose.
“I’m not talking about the medals, but the fun, the camaraderie, the road to get there and the enjoyment to be had,” noted van Rijsselberghe. “We will make sure that all participants will not forget The Hague and that the whole sports-loving Netherlands can watch and enjoy the action from close by. Fun and performance go hand in hand, and where better for that to happen than in Scheveningen.”
Sailing Program (Event and Equipment):
Male Windsurfer – Youth iQFOiL (8.0m rig)
Female Windsurfer – Youth iQFOiL (8.0m rig)
Male/Mixed Two Person Dinghy – 420
Female Two Person Dinghy – 420
Male One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
Female One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
Mixed Two Person Multihull – Nacra 15
Male Kiteboarding – Formula Kite
Female Kiteboarding – Formula Kite
Male Skiff – 29er
Female Skiff – 29er
Source: World Sailing