TRICKY BREEZE PROPELS NEW FACES TO FRONT OF LEADERBOARD ON DAY 4
Big breeze this morning as Lake Balaton welcomed the 406 sailors from 23 nations on day 4 of the 2016 GROUPAMA 420/470 Junior European Championships.
The lake weather, known for its light wind in summer months, is confounding the locals and turning the daily forecast on its head. Teams headed out to the race track in a breeze gusting over 20 knots. The breeze eased, transitioning through an unstable and shifty patch, before settling in at around 12 knots for the first race of the day, and then decreasing to around 6-10 knots.
The first races of the day in the 470 Men and Women were abandoned, as the shifts decimated the race track. Ultimately a completed three race card for all fleets propelled new faces to the podium positions across all four Championships.
Same three teams in the top three, just a different order. Israel’s Ido Bilik/Ofek Shalgi stormed the fleet, notching up a 3,1,1 to take control at the front. They said they like the breeze and today once again proved their prowess when the heat is on.
They made their assault on this year’s Championship on the backfoot, scoring a 21st in the opening race of the series. A full reversal since though, notching up three race wins and a scoreline of top ten finishes. They rank as one of the more experienced partnerships, counting a bronze at the 2014 420 Worlds and gold at the 2015 420 U17 Junior Europeans in their bag of podium finishes. Their mission here is simple.
“We want to win,” grinned Bilik. “Now we will sail safely,” he added on their game plan for the next two days.
Shalgi took over, “Last year was a really important win for us at the U17 Junior Europeans. We want to do it again this year. We have spent a lot of hours on the water training since last year and I think we are a better team now, with better strategy and tactics.”
The tricky conditions today put Argentina’s 420 National Champions, Fausto Cruz Peralta/Martin Arroyo Verdi down one spot on the leaderboard, dropping to 7th. Racing back to back Championships in Europe, 420 Worlds and 420 Junior Euros, preceded by training in Italy has taken its toll.
"We are very tired, but really enjoying it. The change of course is really different here compared to Sanremo,” said Arroyo in reference to the racing at the 420 Worlds last month. “Here on the lake there are short waves and a lot of wind shifts making it a very hard regatta area. It is difficult.”
No stranger to elite competition, Cruz has competed in multiple Optimist North and South American Championships, and finished 29th place at the 2013 Optimist World Championship. They have competed together for two years, and sitting right alongside their goal to secure a podium finish at the Junior Europeans, is securing a spot at the 2016 Youth Sailing World Championship in New Zealand.
“In Argentina we train every weekend at our club. We have learned from other teams that have competed at previous 420 Worlds,” explained Arroyo. “Our main goal this year is the Youth Worlds. We are training for that, we are living for that. Last year we didn’t qualify by 2 points, so this year is a revenge to get what we want. It will be windy in Auckland which is great for us, so we are hoping to be selected.”
The battle for the 420 Ladies Junior European Championships edges closer, as Italy’s Veronica Ferraro/Giulia Ierardi challenged Poland’s Julia Szmit/Hanna Dzik, with the two finishing neck and neck in races 8 and 9. The Italians now sit in 10th place, right on the Polish team’s heels who hold onto 9th place.
“We made some silly mistakes today,” said Szmit. “Tomorrow we will just sail how we know best.”
420 Open - Top 5 after 9 races
1. Ido Bilik/Ofek Shalgi (ISR 54148) - 23 pts
2. Telis Athanasopoulos Yogo/Dimitris Tassios (GRE 56071) - 32 pts
3. Maxime Bachelin/Arno De Planta (SUI 55179) - 42 pts
4. Carlos Balaguer/Ignacio Balaguer (ESP 55947) - 45 pts
5. Vasilios Gourgiotis/Orestis Batsis (GRE 54484) - 47 pts
420 UNDER 17
An outstanding performance yet again from Tommaso Cilli/Bruno Mantero of Italy keeps them at the top. This standout partnership knows what it takes to win, scoring two more race victories off the back of a 2nd place in the day’s opening race.
Daniel Göttlich/Linus Klasen (GER) hold in second, with Lucas Pares/Teo Pares (ESP) jumping up to third. Great Britain’s Vita Heathcote/Milly Boyle sit tight as the top placed girls team in 7th place.
The U17 fleet is the future of sailing, packed with promising talent aged 13 to 16 years old from fifteen countries around the world.
420 U17 - Top 5 after 9 races
1. Tommaso Cilli/Bruno Mantero (ITA 56076) - 16 pts
2. Daniel Göttlich/Linus Klasen (GER 55163) - 22 pts
3. Lucas Pares/Teo Pares (ESP 53559) - 52 pts
4. Hugo Le Clech/Zachary Le Bris (FRA 55985) - 64 pts
5. Kacper Paszek/Bartosz Reiter (POL-55326) - 67 pts
Three final series races for the gold and silver fleets, and this time Malte Winkel/Matti Cipra (GER) break their tiebreak over Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro (ITA). Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoine Dantes (FRA) move up to third.
Performance of the day went to Machetti/Dantes, who secured the best combined results of any team, a 4,1,2 to gear up and step closer to title contention, just 5 points off the leaders.
“Today it was a very long day, and we tried to be very concentrated all day. The first race was really difficult as the wind was unstable and then improved,” commented Dantes.
“The boat speed was fairly equal in the fleet today, so there was a lot of emphasis on pumping, which was really physical.”
“We want to win,” said Machetti on their goal which is now in touching distance. Still relatively fresh to the 470 campaign trail, transitioning after their silver medal at the 2014 420 Worlds and gold at the 2014 470 Junior Europeans, they have just 18 months’ experience.
The leading three teams have a helpful points advantage going into tomorrow’s penultimate day, where the top 10 teams advancing to Friday’s medal race will be decided.
470 Men - Top 5 after 8 races
1. Malte Winkel/Matti Cipra (GER 13) - 16 pts
2. Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro (ITA 757) - 18 pts
3. Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoine Dantes (FRA 79) - 21 pts
4. David Charles/Alex Charles (ESP 1) - 29 pts
5. Enric Noguera/Pedro Terrones Gari (ESP 13) - 36 pt
Italy’s Benedetta Di Salle/Alessandra Dubbini, the 2015 470 Junior World Champions, continue their relentless push for victory, opening up their lead to 15 points over second placed Frederike Loewe/Anna Markfort (GER).
“It is difficult conditions, also today especially the first race. We are pleased with our performance,” said Di Salle, before adding, “It is not finished though.”
“We are enjoying it and fortunately we did good races,” continued Dubbini. “But we preferred races 7 and 8 when the wind was lighter.”
2016 470 Junior World Champions, Silvia Mas/Paula Barcelo move up to third helped by a win in race 6, as they seek to match or improve on their silver medal from last year.
From the front of the fleet to the back, where racing is proving a baptism of fire for Italy’s Luisa Penso/Ginevra Gregorio. Learning fast and hard, just two months ago Penso was competing at the Optimist World Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal, where she finished 67th overall and 8th girl. The learning curve here is steep, but balanced by the huge opportunity to gain knowledge fast when competing at this level.
Similarly Great Britain’s Jenny Cropley/Emma Baker are making their debut appearance at a 470 Championship.
“It is quite challenging and a big step up,” said Cropley. “Everyone is really fast and some of the teams have been sailing a 470 for 5 years, so they are all really experienced. And as the pumping flag goes up at 8 knots is it a lot more physical, very different and very hard."
The pair has competed together in the 420 for three years, enjoying multiple successes, including most recently finishing 13th at the 420 Worlds, second at the RYA Youth Nationals, winning the RYA Inland Championship, and at the tail end of 2015 represented Great Britain at the Youth Worlds in Malaysia.
“Having speed makes a difference. We are starting at the back and just can’t move forwards. I think once we have learned a bit more, we will be able to use the skills we have learnt in the 420s,” Cropley concluded.
Two more races are scheduled on Thursday to decide the top ten teams advancing to Friday’s podium deciding medal race.
470 Women - Top 5 after 8 races
1. Benedetta di Salle/Alessandra Dubbini (ITA 74) - 14 pts
2. Frederike Loewe/Anna Markfort (GER 26) - 29 pts
3. Silvia Mas/Paulo Barcelo (ESP 18) - 38 pts
4. Fabienne Oster/Anastasiya Krasko (GER 95) - 47 pts
5. Antonina Marciniak/Weronika Janc (POL 80) - 50 pts
Race Schedule for Thursday 4 August
Two races scheduled for the 420 fleets on Thursday 4 August, with an 09.55 first warning signal. 420 Open Gold fleet will start first, then 420 Open Silver, followed by U17.
The 470 Class also have 2 races on their schedule, with the 470 Women starting first starting first on a 09:55 warning signal, then 470 Men Gold fleet and 470 Silver.
We will be bringing you updates from the racing action via our Live Race platform available on the homepage and Live Race page.
You can also get updates from the 420 Class on the go with the 420 Junior Europeans Championship APP.
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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