420 - 470 Junior European Championship - DAY 2
The renowned Lake Garda ‘Ora’ wind came through today, knocking up a superb 20-25 knot breeze to deliver a great challenge to the 113 teams competing at the 2012 420 Junior European Championship. To ensure a fair allocation of team performance across the fleets, the teams were reseeded across the three fleets based on their position on the leader board from race day 1. The Junior European Championships pitches all the teams, open and ladies against each other in the same fleets.
Ilaria Paternoster/Benedetta Di Salle (ITA) and David Charles/Alex Charles (ESP), the two 420 champions of this year’s ISAF Youth Worlds, were neck and neck on equal points going into today, and again were seeded to different fleets. But today’s breeze proved too tough for the young Italian pair who dropped back down the leaderboard from first to 30th after 21st and 25th place race finishes.
Not so for the Spanish brothers who thrived in the conditions to post a 5,7 in the blue fleet, as it proved to be a day for the heavier crews and big breeze sailors. Despite what most teams would consider an excellent day’s sailing, Alex was reflective, saying, “Today we had hard conditions and it was not our best. I don’t think we were sailing as fast as the others, but we were still sailing really fast. We took the shifts because here it is quite simply that you have to take the shifts on the right to be at the front. “
The Spanish are keeping an eye on the French pair of Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan, who claimed the bronze medal behind them at the recently concluded 420 Worlds. Alex continued, “The French had a bad race yesterday, but today they got two firsts and I think they will be back up soon.” Pirouelle/Sipan won their two races in the yellow fleet.
From one tiebreak to the next, as again Spain ends the day in second overall on the leaderboard to Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro (ITA), with both teams on 15 points each, and both racing in the blue fleet today. The Italians also posted two first places.
In the red fleet, it was two different winners in the day’s races, with Craig Dibb/Charlie Cox (GBR) taking race 3 and Taylor Burn/Oscar Rorvik (NZL) race 4.
Dibb/Cox are one of the top British pairings, and were crowned British Youth National Champions earlier this year.
“The breeze was up and we were raring to go in the morning, so we just went out and gave it our all and it came off good," Dibb said. “We worked hard and had a start which enabled us to do what we wanted, and then we really focussed on boat speed.” Cox took over, saying, “We were second at the first mark and then had to reel the Israelis in. We almost lost it at the gate mark, as we went round the left when the right was paying but we tacked back and we were then a bit quicker than the Israel boat and passed them on the last run.”
Fresh from bronze medal success at the ISAF Youth Worlds, Annabel Vose/Kirstie Urwin (GBR) didn’t contest the 420 Worlds to give themselves time for some recuperation before heading to the 420 Junior Europeans. With a different crew Vose secured the 2011 420 World Championship title and bronze medal at the 2011 Junior Europeans and is one of the main challengers again this year, with the pair ending day 2 in 29th overall.
Vose said, “We have been doing a bit of training in the UK. We have had a 10 day break since the Youth Worlds, but definitely we preferred to have a break and refocus on this Championship.”
Of the top three finishers at last year’s Junior European Championships, it is only Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) who have made a return to defend or improve on their title. They were second in the last year’s open nation leaderboard and top European team competing. However, as we have already seen there is more than enough talent to challenge the French for podium 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.
Championship titles will be awarded to 420 Junior European Champions and to the top Ladies teams.
Up first on the race course were the 470 Men yellow fleet, with Kevin Peponnet/Baptiste Berthier (FRA) scoring their second race win of the series, which was matched by Italy’s Simon Sivitz Kosuta/Jas Farneti in the blue fleet. It was advantage to the Italians at this stage, by one point, with the French in second overall.
“The day started really well when we won the first race,” said Sivitz Kosuta, “and then in the second the French guys did a very good race and we didn’t have a good start. After the start we were last in the fleet, but managed to get up to ninth position in the race. It was very hard and we just did our maximum.”
“I think that in the Junior European Championships, there are some great teams. Peponnet with his new crew is very good and so are the Greek guys. I have known the Greeks since I was young and they are very, very good.”
Leaders from day 1, Floris van de Werken/Laurens van de Werken (NED) were not so fast around the track, posting a 15th in the opening race of the yellow, which dropped them back down to eighth on the leaderboard. They followed up with a 17th in race 4.
Floris put their race performance down to one thing, the start, saying, “We had bad starts and we couldn’t go to the right because there were boats above us, so that was a problem. We had to tack to the left to get free wind. It is not going to work when you get bad starts, and it was then the same for race four. We were not focussed enough today. I hope tomorrow will be better.”
Onto race 4 in the yellow fleet and Magnus Masilge/Moritz Klingenberg (GER) took the race win, with Peponnet/Berthier finishing second, more than enough to push the French team into the overall lead.
In the blue fleet, Clément Ikhlef/Clément Pequin (FRA) delivered a steady improvement compared to yesterday which gave them a race 4 win to wrap up their day, closely chased by the Greek brothers, Alex and George Kavas in second, with the Italians back in ninth.
At the end of day 2, Kevin Peponnet/Baptiste Berthier move up to claim the leader’s yellow jersey, Simon Sivitz Kosuta/Jas Farneti are in second and the Kavas brothers in third.
The Kavas brothers won the gold medal at the 420 Worlds in Austria a week ago, drove overnight to Italy and were on the water the next day training for their assault on the 470 Junior Europeans podium places. Younger brother Alex is pleased with their performance so far, but recognizes they need to pack on some kilos, saying, “For us it is very good. Our weight is a little bit low for the 470, next year will be easier.”
Annika Bochmann/Elisabeth Panuschka (GER) won race 3 today by the entire final reaching leg to the finish. France’s Maëlenn Lemaître/Aloïse Retornaz were next, with the overnight leaders Ewa Szczesna/Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska (POL) in third.
“We were third after the start and at the top mark were first, but literally boat behind boat. We then had a very good manoeuvre setting the spinnaker and then had a significant distance. For us today’s conditions were great,” said Panuschka.
All was not quite so happy in their camp for race 4, with a closely averted disaster in the first downwind leg. The block which supports the mast gate ripped off the boat, and it was only when crew Panuschka asked Bochmann to put on more kicker, that they looked up at the mainsail and realized what had happened. A hasty temporary repair kept the mast up for the rest of the race, but not without pushing the pair out of first place to end race 4 in third.
Relieved to have made it through the race, Bochmann said, “It was in the first upwind leg. We were near to the first mark and we saw it and in the downwind we had to think about what we were going to do. We had an idea how to fix it and it was good enough for the next two upwinds, but not perfect. We were not happy.” Panuschka added, “Lucky for us, it happened in the second race and not the first one because this really impacted the shape of the sail.”
The German’s setback gave the opening for Ewa Szczesna/Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska to again dominate the pack and claim their third race win. The British pair of Anna Burnet/Flora Stewart crossed the line in second.
Day 2 ends with no change in the top three overall, just a swap in positions as Bochmann/Panuschka move up to second, Freeman/Tomsett go down to third and Szczesna/Mrozek Gliszczynska remain in first overall.
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Report by Luissa Smith