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13 Jul 2009

Ready For The Challenge At Junior Worlds

Image: © 2009 Junior Worlds


470 Junior World Championship, 10-18 July 2009
Thessaloniki, Greece

The local Vardari wind which forced competitors off the water yesterday, returned today in a more moderate form at the 2009 470 Junior World Championships, with three races completed for each of the fleets.

A fantasic opening day for the defending Silver medallists in the women’s fleet Tara PACHECO and Berta BETANZOS (ESP) who scored a fourth in the opening race, which was solidly backed up with a first and second to lead the fleet overall. For this pairing, who finished fourth at last month’s 470 European Championship, they couldn’t have wished for a better start to their campaign.

Germany’s Tina LUTZ and Susann BEUCKE sit in second overall, with a 2,4,3 posting. Back in 2005, Lutz claimed overall victory at the Optimist World Championships before making the transition to the 420 and then 470 Class. This pairing will be aiming to secure themselves a podium position this year, after finishing just short of the medals in 2008 with a fourth.

Rounding out the top three are Dana GUR and Ravid KANONİCH (ISR) who sailed a consistent 3,5,8.

Their team mates Gil COHEN and Dana MAMRİEV enjoyed the glory of taking victory in the Championships’ opening race and will be pleased with their first day of racing, which saw a second bullet in race 3. However, a DSQ in race two placed them back in eighth overall. Their result in the 2009 470 European Championships, where they finished twentieth in the senior fleet, clearly doesn’t demonstrate their ability in the under 21 fleet.

Split into two fleets, the men’s/mixed entries also completed three races apiece. The defending silver medallists, cousins Luca DUBBİNİ and Roberto DUBBİNİ (ITA) rising to the top in the blue fleet with a 2,7,1 – which also gave them the lead overall – a positive start to their campaign. On equal points, but sitting in second on countback in the blue fleet and second overall are Mitja MİKULİN and Sebastian PRİNCİC (SLO).

A placing of 47 overall at the 2009 470 Europeans was the best MİKULİN and PRİNCİC could secure, and they were placed equally far down the scoreboard at last year’s 470 Junior World Championships with a 22. Last year they lacked consistency, mixing up some top results with some moderate mid-fleet placings. However, so far 2009 has been a marked improvement for this pairing on their campaign trail, with two top 10 placings at ISAF Grade 2 events seeing them make a steady move up the ISAF Sailing World Rankings to a career best of 80 in June 2009, from 140 a year ago.

It seemed, they had the perfect scoreline of 1,3,3 in the white fleet but faced with three ZFP (RRS30.2) penalties, Victor BERGSTROM and Marcus DACKHAMMAR (SWE) took scoring penalties to give them 22 points and be in tenth overall. Taking the lead in the white fleet is Great Britain’s Ben SAXTON and David KOHLER with a scoreline of 9,1,4 which sees them in third overall.

The men’s/mixed fleet will be re-seeded for tomorrow’s racing.

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