420 AND 470 JUNIOR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES CLAIMED BY TEAMS FROM ITALY AND ISRAEL
Congratulations to the new 470 Men Junior European Champions and 420 Open, Ladies and U17 Junior European Champions.
Italy’s young 420 and 470 talent proved their dominance on the track on the final day of racing at the 2016 420/470 GROUPAM Junior European Championships by securing a clean sweep of the 470 Men, 470 Women, 420 Ladies and 420 U17 Junior European Championship titles. Israel claimed the 420 Open Junior European Championship title.
A light wind final day, challenged the schedule of two races for the 420 fleets, 470 medal races and 470 final race scheduled. A breeze of around 7-8 knots was enough to complete one race for the 420 fleets and the medal races, before slowly dying away, forcing the Race Committee to initially postpone and then abandon any further racing. Disappointment for some who had hoped to upgrade, but team scorecards reflect performances at what has been an all-round Championship, testing teams from light breeze to winds of well over 20 knots.
The Medal and Closing Ceremony held alongside Lake Balaton, wrapped up a spectacular week of racing, alongside fun and friendships ashore.
Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro (ITA) left no-one in doubt of their dominance on the race track, winning the medal race and wrapping up the gold medal. It has been a testing week as the Italians were neck and neck with Germany’s Malte Winkel/Matti Cipra (GER) throughout the Championship. Silver to Winkel/Cipra and bronze to Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoine Dantes (FRA).
A false start on the first attempt to start the medal race, soon saw the fleet get off clean in the second attempt. There was no room to manouevure between the top four, with just 2 points between each team. Whoever finished ahead and at the front of the fleet would secure a medal or risk being totally unseated from the podium.
Ferrari/Calabro ended their assault on the Junior European Championship in the same style they started, by leading the medal race from start to finish.
“The Championship was very hard for us,” said Ferrari. “We started with three firsts on the first day and ended the Championship with another first in the medal race which was very good. The conditions were a bit crazy on some days, and on others it was good for us.
“We are very good friends with the Germans as sometimes we train together a lot, and for us it is a good battle, and in the training there is the same battle. They are very, very good sailors. Congratulations to them,” Ferrari continued.
“Our preparation was very strong with our coach, Gabrio Zandona and I would like to thank him and Marina Militarie naval academy who have supported us.”
“Next we have some holiday and then we prepare for the Italian Championship and we will be sailing a lot. Our dream is to go to Tokyo, but that is four years away and there is a lot of time and we want to get some good results before then.”
Germany’s Malte Winkel/Matti Cipra were mid-fleet and off the podium at the first mark, making a nail biting fight back to finish in third and hold onto silver.
“We are really, really happy,” said Winkel. “It was a really tough medal race as until the last mark we were in fourth position in the medal race and that meant we were out of the medals. On the last mark we took over the Spanish, as we got the overlap at the mark, but they didn’t give us room so got a protest from the Jury. It meant for us we had third in the medal race and we got the silver medals.”
Racing a virtually faultless medal race, France’s Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoine Dantes fought off the chasing pack to finish second behind the Italians and upgrade from fourth overall to bronze medal position in their first ever 470 Junior European Championship appearance.
“There was very little wind and it was very difficult as the points were so close,” commented Dantes. “We had to win the start and after we did a good race and we are very happy. It has been a big challenge as every day has been very long and every day you have to be very focused.”
Just two years ago, the French won the 420 Junior World Championship title, and Machetti put their performance in the 470 Class down to sheer hard work.
“I think it is because we work a lot, but we have a lot to learn to win next year. Next season we want to be better in the senior fleet and it will be important to win this competition next year and the Junior Worlds if it is possible. That is our goal for next year,” he smiled.
470 Men - Top 5 Overall
1. Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro (ITA 757) - 28 pts
2. Malte Winkel/Matti Cipra (GER 13) - 34 pts
3. Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoine Dantes (FRA 79) - 36 pts
4. David Charles/Alex Charles (ESP 1) - 48 pts
5. Yoav Rooz/Maor Abu (ISR 10) - 62 pts
No surprise that the three-way battle for medals ended in favour of Benedetta di Salle/Alessandra Dubbini (ITA) who sealed gold after a 4th place finish in the medal race.
The only team capable of unseating the Italians were Frederike Loewe/Anna Markfort (GER), but it would take an improbable scenario of a win from the Germans and the Italians back in 9th to reverse the podium.
“We are really excited and last year we won the 470 Junior Worlds, so to again win another Championship is a fantastic experience,” said a very happy Di Salle. “It is very beautiful, as we haven’t had such a good year, and so now to finish with the gold medal is just great.”
“We weren’t afraid we would do something wrong, as we had a good Championship,” added Dubbini on the pressure of the medal race. “We thought only to do our best and stay with the German boat, no-one else. It has been great to race here on the lake and Hungary has been a lovely country."
A brief break for this pair, before they are back on the race track at the Italian 470 National Championship, and then onto winter training. 2017 is then game-on for their Olympic campaign to Tokyo 2020.
The Germans fought hard, taking a third in the medal race compared to the Italian’s fourth place, to defend their silver medal and end their junior career with a best ever result.
“To win the silver medal, we feel really, really happy, it is like a dream come true,” grinned Loewe. “It has been a hard Championship as the wind has been shifty, even when there has been a lot of wind, and it has been a long week.”
Commenting on their race strategy, Markfort explained, “To be honest we just tried to stay clear and we started on the right side of the starting line, whereas the other two boats were on the left, and we tried to do our race. I think we were quite lucky that the Spanish got a flag on the first downwind, so they had to do their turn and we could just go.”
Bronze to Silvia Mas/Paula Barcelo of Spain, to sit alongside their 2016 470 Junior World Championship gold medals, and match their silver medal finish at last year’s Junior Europeans.
470 Women - Top 5 Overall
1. Benedetta di Salle/Alessandra Dubbini (ITA 74) - 27 pts
2. Frederike Loewe/Anna Markfort (GER 26) - 41 pts
3. Silvia Mas/Paulo Barcelo (ESP 18) - 53 pts
4. Antonina Marciniak/Weronika Jane (POL 80) - 64 pts
5. Noya Bar-Am/Stav Brokman (ISR 11) - 74 pts
A 7th place for series leaders Ido Bilik/Ofek Shalgi (ISR) in race 11 brought the points neck and neck with Telis Athanasopoulos Yogo/Dimitris Tassios (GRE). Just one point separated them, and it looked like the battle would be decided in race 12. But the fading breeze meant the final race 12 never came, leaving Israel at the top with gold, silver medals to Greece and bronze to Spanish brothers Carlos Balaguer/Ignacio Balaguer (ESP).
Last year Ido Bilik/Ofek Shalgi won the U17 Junior European Championship title, with a massive 40 point advantage, and happily celebrated their upgrade to claim the 420 Open fleet title.
Racing in the same fleet, the battle for the 420 Ladies Junior European Championship title was between Poland’s Julia Szmit/Hanna Dzik who held a 2 point advantage over Italy’s Veronica Ferraro/Giulia Ierardi. In a change of form, the Italian’s produced one of their best performances of the week, and the Polish their worst, to propel Ferraro/Ierardi to fifth overall and claim the 2016 420 Ladies Junior European Championship title. Silver to Szmit/Dzik in 9th overall and bronze to Italy’s Alexandra Stalder/Silvia Speri in 14th overall.
“It was a difficult day for us, because we were very nervous of the day as the Polish girls are very fast and a great team,” said Ferraro. “But, we tried to do our best, sail fast and do our own race. We are really happy.”
“This morning was very difficult, because we went out and were excited and stressed also, but we did our race, controlling the Polish team, but we didn’t do anything special. We just did our best and we won,” added Ierardi.
A bonus prize for the pair as they beat Veronica’s brother, Edoardo Ferraro/Francesco Orlando, who finished 8th overall in the Open fleet. Last year Ferraro/Orlando had the advantage, year winning the U17 World Championships compared to the girls’ 10th place.
420 Open - Top 5 after 11 races
1. Ido Bilik/Ofek Shalgi (ISR 54148) - 36 pts
2. Telis Athanasopoulos Yogo/Dimitris Tassios (GRE 56071) - 37 pts
3. Carlos Balaguer/Ignacio Balaguer (ESP 55947) - 77 pts
4. Vasilios Gourgiotis/Orestis Batsis (GRE 54484) - 77 pts
5. Veronica Ferraro/Giulia Ierardi (ITA 56042) - 85 pts
The battle for gold was a fight-out between the top two teams who had racked up an unassailable advantage at the front of the fleet. Two races were scheduled, but the fading breeze meant just one was completed in this all or nothing battle between Italy’s Tommaso Cilli/Bruno Mantero and Germany’s Daniel Göttlich/Linus Klasen.
Hunting each other out off the start line, they head up to the first mark some way behind the leading pack. By the second mark, each had chipped their way to the front of the fleet, with Germany immediately ahead of Italy. A perfectly executed race from both teams, gave the win to Germany, second to Italy, which was enough to keep the gold medals in the hands of Cilli/Mantero and award them the Championship title.
Cilli said, “We are really happy and proud to achieve this. We have worked hard.”
Spanish brothers, Lucas Pares/Teo Pares maintained third overall they had at the start of the day to pick up the bronze medals.
Best placed girls’ team in the U17 fleet were Vita Heathcote/Milly Boyle in fifth overall.
420 U17- Top 5 after 11 races
1. Tommaso Cilli/Bruno Mantero (ITA 56076) - 22 pts
2. Daniel Göttlich/Linus Klasen (GER 55163) - 24 pts
3. Lucas Pares/Teo Pares (ESP 53559) - 75 pts
4. Hugo Le Clech/Zachary Le Bris (FRA 55985) - 69 pts
5. Vita Heathcote/Milly Boyle (GBR 54483) - 95 pts
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About the 2016 420 Junior European Championship, U17 Junior European Championship, 470 Men Junior European Championship, and 470 Women Junior European Championship
The 2016 GROUPAMA 420 and 470 Junior European Championships, 29 July-5 August 20106 is organized by Balatonfüredi Yacht Club in co-operation with the Hungarian 420 & 470 National Class Association, the International 420 Class Association, the International 470 Class Association and under the auspices of the Hungarian Yachting Association. 406 sailors from 23 nations are competing, with 83 boats in the 420 Open fleet, 38 teams in the U17 420 fleet, 33 teams in the 470 Women and 49 teams in the 470 Men. Competing nations are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, USA.
Championship website: 2016junioreuropeans.420sailing.org