Europeans Junior 420 e 470 DAY 3

Mon, 13/08/2012

All change at the top of the leaderboard in the 470 Men/Mixed event on the concluding day of the six race qualification series.
Kevin Peponnet/Baptiste Berthier (FRA) have dropped from first to third on the leaderboard and passed the leader’s baton across to Simon Sivitz Kosuta/Jas Farneti (ITA), but only just. Day 3 ends on another tiebreak situation, with the Italians on equal points with Alex and George Kavas (GRE) and carrying the tiebreak advantage.

In the 470 Women fleet, two race wins from Maëlenn Lemaître/Aloïse Retornaz (FRA) pushes them up into third overall and closing the points gap to the leaders, Poland’s Ewa Szczesna/Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska.
Lake Garda's thermal wind delivered another perfect race day of 18-20 knots. The discard came into play after race 5, so lots of subsequent shuffling up and down the leaderboard.

470 Men/Mixed
The 470 Men yellow fleet took to the track first with series leaders going into the day, Kevin Peponnet/Baptiste Berthier (FRA), facing some stiff competition as the fleets were again re-seeded based on their leaderboard position from yesterday.
One of the teams giving the French a run for their money were Antonios Tsimboukelis/Alexandros Triantafyllos Bakatsias (GRE), who paced the French on the first downwind leg, with Matthew Crawford/Robert Crawford (AUS) just behind. But ultimately, none of these three could hold their line or pace and the yellow fleet race 5 win went to Clément Ikhlef/Clément Pequin (FRA).
Disappointment for Australia’s Crawford brothers, Matthew and Robert, who finished the race in 17th, which will not help their target of a podium finish here and gives the pair some big hoops to jump through to climb back up. “It was a tough first race, we went the wrong way and then just went backwards from there,” said Robert. “We were second at one point, but then went the wrong way in the second upwind and made a few mistakes downwind and then you are at the back door in this fleet.”
In the blue fleet, Simon Sivitz Kosuta/Jas Farneti (ITA), the top-ranked team competing, and Alex and George Kavas (GRE) came head to head. The two teams were leading up the first upwind and attacking each other. Downwind and Italians rounded the gate ahead, with the Greeks choosing the left mark, and the Italians going right to hit the favoured side and take control upwind. Into the second loop and the Italians extended and just kept on going to take the win.

“Yeh, we did two very good starts and we were first in the first part of the race and then we just covered. In Garda, in the upwind the wind comes to the first and then the others, so the distance to the second boat was big,” said Sivitz Kosuta. Farneti added, “On the lake if you have a good start that is half the race.”

Commenting on the Greek challenge, Sivitz Kosuta continued, “It is going to be exciting in the gold fleet, they are very fast.” The Italians have been competing together for seven years and are good friends, not just sailing partners. When not racing, Sivitz Kosuta is studying architecture and has just completed the first year of his degree.
Onto race 6, the final race of the qualification series which would determine the gold and silver fleet cut, and the breeze increased to around 20 knots.
In the yellow fleet, Great Britain’s Mike Wood/Hugh Brayshaw were the team to catch, with Kevin Peponnet/Baptiste Berthier (FRA) in pursuit. These two continued to the finish in the same order.
Spurred on by their earlier win, the Italians Sivitz Kosuta/Farneti were entirely focussed on reeling in the Greek team’s advantage from the discard in race 5 which put the Kavas brothers first on the leaderboard. The Italians pulled some inspiring sailing, led to the first mark and generated more than a 500 metre lead at the finish – ensuring the Greeks had no chance to catch up.

Looking ahead to a possible Olympic campaign, Sivitz Kosuta said, “After the Junior Europeans we will see what we do for the next four years. There are a lot of good guys from Italy and I don’t know what they will do. I don’t know, we will see.”

A taste of front of the fleet 470 racing was experienced by Spain’s Jordi Xammar/Joan Herp today, with a third in race five. The pair have been at the top of their game in the 420 Class, winning the 420 boys’ event at the ISAF Youth Worlds in 2010 and Xammar won again in 2011 with a different crew. They finished 9th at last year’s 420 Junior Europeans and fourth at the 2011 420 Worlds, and the pair are now making what is Xammar’s second appearance at a major 470 Championship, so they are the new kids on the block.
Expectations are realistic, as Xammar explained, “It was good racing today. It is not really too tactical a course. Here in Garda it is speed and manoeuvring. I have found the level to be much higher than I thought. We weren’t too sure how we were going to do. We are happy because we have only sailed a 470 together for 15 days together here.”

The seventy-nine boat 470 Men/Mixed teams have now been allocated to gold and silver fleets of 35 and 34 boats respectively for the six race final series which gets underway on Wednesday 15 August 2012.
Classifica 470 M:

After an overnight repair to the mast gate which almost knocked them out of race 4 yesterday and Annika Bochmann/Elisabeth Panushcka (GER) were raring to go again today, but so were the rest of the fleet.

Stylish and clean racing from the 2012 420 World Champions, Roberta Caputo/Giulia Paolillo (ITA), gave them the upwind advantage as they raced the outer loop, but Maëlenn Lemaître/Aloïse Retornaz (FRA) had faster pace and took the win, with the Italians behind. Onto race 6 and it was a repeat performance from the French, which moved them up to third overall.

“We had good starts and so it was easier for the rest of the race. Our speed was great to it was easier to control the fleet,” commented Retornaz.
Their worst so far, but a great day by anyone’s standards for Ewa Szczesna/Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska (POL), who posted a 3, 5 and continue to lead overall. “There were a lot of shifts today and we couldn’t feel the wind so well as yesterday. It wasn’t so great a day but we are still first so it is OK,” smiled Szczesna.
The secret to their leap in performance since last year has been the 2012 Olympics. “Since September we have trained really hard, because we thought maybe we could go to the Olympic Games,” said Szczesna, smiling, “Maybe!” The pair are coached by Tomasz Jakubiak, who represented Poland in the 470 Men at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.
As it turned out, another Polish team secured Poland’s Olympic berth at the 2021 470 Worlds, with Szczesna/ Gliszczynska winning the 470 Women silver fleet. “I think we will continue for Rio 2016,” concluded Szczesna.

Moving on up after today’s 4, 6 scorecard are Anna Burnet/Flora Stewart (GBR), but the pair are oblivious to their overall placing. Disappointment with their first day of racing left them avoiding the results noticeboard. “We messed up our first day and we didn’t think there was any point looking at it as we already knew we had to do a lot better. We decided there was no point looking until you get to the stage where you need to start looking at the people around you. We just need to sail our own race,” said Stewart. The pair finished in sixth at the 470 Europeans in Scotland last month, so have capacity to up their game in the final three days.


An exciting final day of the qualification series established the cut for the gold, silver and bronze fleets.
Defending Junior European Champions Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) flawlessly executed two race wins in the yellow fleet today to oust the Italian pairing of Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro off the top of the leaderboard, and position themselves perfectly going into the final series. With the discard coming into place after race 5, Pirouelle/Sipan were able to throw out their disastrous 27th finish from race 1 and accelerate up the leaderboard from 7th at the start of the day to first at the end.

Lake Garda’s Ora wind threw up another 18-20 knot race day – hard to predict from the mill pond that greeted teams as they arrived at Fraglia Vela Riva this morning. It was a slow start for the 420 fleet, with general recalls leading to black flag starts and the ultimately penalties for some teams.

With the final series cut now made, of the 19 nations competing at the Junior Europeans, 16 nations have qualified through to the thirty-eight boat gold fleet – a perfect example of the spread of talent in the 420 class.
Annabel Vose/Kirstie Urwin (GBR) achieved the top finish of the day from a ladies team, coming second in race 6 in the blue fleet. Just reward for them to go into the final series well inside the gold fleet pack at #23 and as the second overall ladies team.
Vose is a big fan of Lake Garda, commenting, “Sailing here is ideal, it is so nice,” before adding her view on the challenge of an open fleet. “Sailing with the boys is really different, but that is what we train with in the UK, so we are kind of used to it. It is a lot harder, especially when it is windy and to be able to hold your lane is quite difficult. But it adds a new element and is quite exciting.“
On their performance through the qualifiers, Urwin continued, “We have had a solid start. It could have been better, but we haven’t completely thrown ourselves out of the regatta so that is good.”

The only ladies team ahead of the British are Lena Stückl/Franziska Máege (GER) in #16 overall.

Aside from Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) who dominated the yellow fleet, the two races in each of the blue and red fleets were won by different teams. Deniz Bagci/Kaan Tuna (TUR) won race 5 in the blue fleet, with Greece’s Fratzeskos Mpakatsias/Evaggelos Christopoulos taking the race 6 win. The Turkish pair were thrilled to move up to second overall on the leaderboard from their victory, despite dropping back down to fourth after race 6. A delighted Bagci said, “For now it is great yeh. We never really imagined getting such good scores. Our aim was top 15 or top 10, but it has been a really good regatta for now for us.”

Ahead of the Championship training has been intense, as Bagci continued, “We have been in Kiel Week training and then one month in between we were back in Turkey. We were on the water every day.” The pair have been racing together for two years as this is their first major Championship.

“It is not so hard to predict what is going to happen. It is about boat speed, not taking risks, having good starts and being able to tack to the right. We are comfortable with the higher breeze,” concluded Bagci.
In the red fleet, Francesco Rebaudi/Pietro Canepa (ITA) won race 5 and Reiner Eenkema van Dijk/Spencer McDonough (USA) took the race 6 gun.

The day ended in disappointment for the recently crowned gold medallists in the 420 girls’ event at the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Worlds, Ilaria Paternoster/Benedetta Di Salle (ITA) who have plummeted out of the gold fleet and into silver after an early start in race 6. Track back two days to race day 1 and this team were leading the entire Championship.
After such a great start, the pair are naturally disappointed with their placing from the qualifying series. “It was very hard yesterday. We are not heavy, so it is difficult,” said Di Salle. “Today we wanted to get a good result, so we tried to start at the pin end on starboard, but we were over. We did the race, but realized during the race that we were OCS.”

Points are close going into the final series, and with Pirouelle/Sipan carrying a discard score, they cannot afford to make another mistake and give an opening to their opponents.
There are five ladies teams qualified to the gold fleet, so it will be these teams now contesting their positions on the overall leaderboard and for the ladies podium places.

420 Ladies – Top 5 Overall after 6 Races
1. Lena Stückl/Franziska Máege (GER) - overall position in gold fleet #16
2. Annabel Vose/Kirstie Urwin (GBR) - overall position in gold fleet #23
3. Noya Bar-Am/Rimon Shoshan (ISR) - overall position in gold fleet #32
4. Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick/Abigail Rohman (USA) - overall position in gold fleet #36
5. Tsuf Zamet/Stav Brokman (ISR) - overall position in gold fleet #37

Tuesday 14 August 2012 is a lay day for all fleets. Racing resumes on Wednesday 15 August 2012 at 1300 hours for the first two races of the 6 race final series. The 420 Junior European Championships will move to a very different pace, with all the top teams coming face to face for the first time in the gold fleet, which is certain to rock the leaderboard around.

Report by Luissa Smith