420 - 470 Junior European Championship - DAY 1

Sat, 11/08/2012

One hundred and thirteen 420 teams from 19 nations are gathered in Riva, Italy for the 2012 420 Junior European Championships.
Six different race winners across today’s six races, and it is the 420 Ladies teams who are dominating on the leaderboard, holding three of the top 5 places.

The Championship is being raced over a 12 race qualification and final series from Saturday 11 August though to Friday 17 August, with one reserve day scheduled. The Junior Europeans is restricted to teams who are aged 18 or under in the year of the Championship. The initial qualifying series of a scheduled 6 races over three days sees teams split into three fleets – yellow, blue, red – and re-seeded after each day of racing. Based on their finishing position in the qualification series, teams will then be allocated to gold, silver and bronze fleets for the 6 race final series.

Lake Garda is a stunningly attractive location, but not the easiest to read from a sailing perspective. Today, the breeze went from flat calm at the launching time of 1200 to a breeze of around 8-10 knots for the two races.
Wins in race 1 went to David Charles/Alex Charles (ESP) in the yellow fleet, Sebastiano Baranzini/Matteo Colombo (SUI) in the blue fleet and Jess Lavery/Georgie Mothersele (GBR) in the red fleet.
Onto race 2 and another three different teams took the gun, with Ilaria Paternoster/Benedetta Di Salle (ITA) in the yellow fleet, Oliver Oczycz/Daniel Hoffmann (GER) in the blue fleet and Deniz Bagci/Kaan Tuan (TUR) in the red.

Early days, but important days, as teams jostle to secure their positions in the qualification series.
Day 1 glory to Paternoster/Benedetta Di Salle who have regained the form that won them the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth World Championship crown last month, and end the opening day on top of the leaderboard with a 2,1 scoreline. The pair seemed to struggle with the conditions at the 420 Worlds in Austria, finishing fifth overall, and no doubt have added motivation as they race on home waters here at the Junior Europeans.
Brothers David and Alex Charles, who picked up the 420 boys’ gold medal at the ISAF Youth Worlds and the silver medal at the recent 420 Worlds, are tied on points with the Italians from their 1,2 posting.

Jess Lavery/Georgie Mothersele (GBR) were the other ladies team to secure a race win, which places them in fifth overall. Lavery said, “It was a great start to our regatta. We couldn’t really ask for better. The wind was hard to know. It didn’t look like the normal Garda right hand side track and we went out left and got a really big left hand shift about a third of the way up. That took us the whole way to the mark and we kind of went from there.”

A few years of Optimist events on Lake Garda has given Lavery some knowledge of the localized Garda breeze, “I had an Opi Europeans here about four years ago now and I think I did two Gardas here but it is quite different in Opis to 420s, because you can hit the cliffs better in 420s.”

“I quite enjoy it. It means you can give them a run for their money,” added Lavery on the challenge of racing in one Open fleet, rather than the separate Open and Ladies fleets at the 420 Worlds. “It means you can initially for the qualifying series sail your own race, sail quick and get results. And then hopefully if you qualify for the gold fleet you race from there and also race against the girls. I enjoy it.”

Photo gallery 420:

Classifiche 420:

Teams from twenty-nine nations have gathered in Riva, Italy for the 2012 470 Junior European Championships.
After the excitement of seeing their 470 heroes securing Olympic glory in yesterday’s 470 medal races at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, the teams were today totally focussed on their own Championship.

The first day of racing for the teams, all of whom have to be aged 21 or under in the year of the Championship, showcased some of the 470 Class’ youngest talent in what is set to be a closely fought Championship.

The 79 boat 470 Men teams have been split into yellow and blue fleets for the six race qualification series, with the 29 boat 470 Women teams sailing as one fleet for the entire Championship. After the six race qualification series, the 470 Men fleet will be allocated to gold and silver fleets.

Racing took place in a variable 10-15 knot breeze.

470 Men/Mixed
Greece’s Alex and George Kavas have dominated the 420 fleet, are fresh from claiming the gold medal at the 420 World Championships which finished last week in Austria, and could possibly to do the same here in Italy if their opening race is anything to go by. They led off the start and just held on and extended their lead to take a win in the opening race of the 470 Men blue fleet.
Chasing hard, but a fair distant behind were Italy’s Francesco Falcatelli/Gabrielle Francioli and Simone Spina/Matteo Bernard. Greece extended their lead on the final downwind leg even further as they went on to the finish. The brothers literally fly in the lighter breeze, which they will be hoping continues for the duration of the Championship. Introduce the challenge of a stronger breeze, combined with their lighter weight, and it is likely to be a struggle for them to match the performance of the heavier and stronger 470 teams

France’s Kevin Peponnet is the defending 470 Junior European Champion and is here competing with new crew Baptiste Berthier. The pair were up in the mix of the top three in the early stages of race 1 in the blue fleet, going onto finish in seventh. Despite only having trained together for one week, the pair set the pace in race 2 and delivered a posted a win.

“Yes, it is a good day for us. It was very shifty, not so wind, 10 knots and no more,” said Peponnet. “We were very good in the first race. We finished seventh, having lost two places in the last downwind. In the second race we were in the first three boats and won the race in the last upwind.”
Dirk Bennen/Rogier Weijers (NED) had the advantage in the first upwind leg of blue fleet race 2, with Jordi Xammar Hernandez/Joan Herp (ESP) in pursuit and Peponnet/Berthier in third. Downwind the pressure was to the right of the track and the top three gybed off with Peponnet/Berthier securing the best track and taking the lead, with the Dutch in second and Israel’s Dan Froyliche/Yoav Levi up into third. The same three teams went on to cross the finish line in the same order.

In the 470 Men yellow fleet, Croatia’s Lovro Ivanov/Marko Caric (CRO) were the stars of race 1, literally leading from start to finish. A touch of nervousness going round the last mark to the finish as the Netherland’s Floris van de Werken/Laurens van de Werken tried to get the inside edge, but it was not to be with the Dutch finishing second and Austria’s Benjamin Bildstein/David Hussl in third.

Ivanov/Caric were delighted with their opening race win, which marked their first ever race victory at this level of Championship. Ivanov explained, “It was a very easy race, because the start was very good and the only thing we had to do was tack on the right side and just to drive our boat fast. After the first mark everything was pretty easy and we were 15 metres ahead of the next boat, although in the last downwind we made a mistake and they passed us, but we fixed it up pretty fast.” The fix up was possible as the Dutch put in a gybe which enabled the Croatians to take over again.

A bad start in race 2 and decision to take the wrong side of the track in the downwind pushed the Croatians to an 11th in race 2.

The Race 2 win in the yellow fleet went to Mike Wood/Hugh Brayshaw (GBR) with Floris van de Werken/Laurens van de Werken (NED) in second and the hot favourites Simon Sivitz Kosuta/Jas Farneti (ITA) in third.

Kosuta/ Farneti are one of the most experienced junior teams competing. Carrying a world ranking of #40, a 28th at the 2012 470 World Championships, gold medal at the 2012 470 Junior World Championships and bronze medal at the 2011 470 Junior European Championships, on paper they are the favoured team competing in Riva.

470 Women
A great pin end start in race 1 for Annika Bochmann/Elisabeth Panuschka (GER) saw them cross the fleet on port and it appeared they had the race in their pocket from the first upwind. But the race win went to Poland’s Ewa Szczesna/Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska, with Joanna Freeman/Katie Tomsett (GBR) in second and Bochmann/Panuschka in third.

Szczesna credited a wind shift for their success, saying, “We went to the right side where there was a big shift and we were able to just tack for the mark.” That was effectively it and the Polish pair led from that point with a significant lead.

“In the second race it was the same. We went to the right side, made three tacks and were then straight to the mark and were first again,” said Szczesna.
Sasha Ryan/Jaime Ryan (AUS) finished in second with Bochmann/Panuschka posting another third place.
Post-race Szczesna admitted they had even surprised themselves, laughing, “Yes. I thought we would do good, but not so good. We are happy.” The pair have been sailing together for two years and finished 11th at last year’s 470 Junior Europeans.
At the end of day 1, the Polish lead overall, Freeman/Tomsett in second and Bochmann/Panuschka in third. Bochmann/Panuschka and Freeman/Tomsett last faced each other at the 2012 470 European Championships in Largs, Scotland last month. There it was advantage to the Germans who picked up the bronze medal with the British finishing in fifth overall.
Fresh from a bronze medal at the 2012 420 World Championships which ended on 5 August in Austria, Chile’s Nadja Horwitz/Sofia Middleton have had only a short time in their 470, but potted a solid 15th in race 1 and followed up with a 16th in race 2 to end day one in 15th.

The 2012 470 Junior European Championship is taking place at the same time as the 2012 420 Junior European Championship, a strategic approach by the two classes to support the natural transition from 420 to 470.
Several of the 420 teams who competed at 2012 420 World Championships which ended on Sunday 5 August in Austria have descended on Riva and made the step to the 470 Class.
Brothers Alex and George Kavas concluded their 420 career with the gold medal at the 2012 420 Worlds, and are now forging their next move in the 470. Josh Franklin/Alex Gough of Australia finished fifth at the 420 Worlds and are also trying their prowess in the 470 Men fleet. In the 470 Women, Chile’s Nadja Horiwitz/Sofia Middleton are also giving the bigger class a go. The Chilean team won silver at the 420 Worlds, narrowly missing the gold to Singapore.

The 2012 420 Junior European Championships is being hosted by Fraglia Vela Riva in partnership with the Federazione Italiana Vela, the Italian 420 National Class Association and the International 420 Class Assocation.

Photo gallery 470:

Classifiche UOMINI 470:

Classifiche DONNE 470:

VIDEO Cerimonia apertura:


Report by Luissa Smith