With a light breeze beckoning, the fleets headed out onto the lake for race day 2 at the 2012 420 World and Ladies World Championship on Lake Neusiedl, Austria.
David and Alex Charles (ESP) - 420 Worlds 2012
But by the time the fleets were in the race course areas, the lake looked as though it had been ironed flat. A postponement afloat was followed by a 180 degree wind shift, after which the breeze gently filled in to offer up a shifty five-seven knot breeze.
Steady nerves and superb tactical sailing were the order of the day for the two light wind races, in very shifty conditions. The series discard kicked in after five races, shuffling the leaderboard a bit as teams now exclude their worst result.
So far, after 5 races the dominant nation here in Austria is Singapore, with three of their four Ladies teams in the top seven overall.
Two sets of brothers, two days of racing and two days of tiebreaks. There is no change in their overall order after today’s racing for the top three finishers from yesterday.
Yesterday, Greece’s Alex and George Kavas and Spain’s David and Alex Charles ended the day on equal points at the front of the fleet. Today it is exactly the same on 4 points apiece, with the Greeks carrying the tiebreak advantage and remaining in first overall. Racing in separate fleets, they each took a race win, to hold scorecards including four race wins each.
The Kavas brothers finished 18th at last year’s 420 Worlds, and in due recognition of their talent were awarded the William Sanchez Trophy as the best placed team with both sailors under 16 years old and the Huck Scott Memorial Trophy as the youngest overall team. Eighteen months later and the pair compete at the front of the fleet as though it belongs to them.
David and Alex Charles are fresh from a win at the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships.
No change in the next four places on the leaderboard, as Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) deliver a 3,3 and Ricardo Paranhos/Patrick Essle (BRA) a variable 1,26, to stay in third and fourth, with Joao Pestana/Thomas Marques (POR) and Josh Franklin/Alexander Gough (AUS) chasing in fifth and sixth.
From front to back of the fleet wasn’t quite what Essle had in mind, 'It was hard and in the second race we had a French boat really close to us so had a bad start and in the whole upwind we were caught in bad wind.'
Hungarian 420 teams enjoyed an impressive 1,2 in the final race of the day over in the red fleet, with a win for Márk Neszmélyi/ Belián Baticz (HUN), and a second for the pursuing Gergely Bihary/Daniel Bihary.
Hungary's Márk Neszmélyi/ Belián Baticzand and Gergely Bihary/Daniel Bihary - 420 Worlds 2012
Both teams are seeking gold fleet qualification, but Neszmélyi was a bit astounded with their win as they have only been sailing in the 420 for one year. 'Yes we are a little surprised as in the first race we didn’t do so well, but in the second race we ate them! It was a really close race with Gergely and Daniel and we only overtook them on the last downwind. We like the light wind and at Lake Balaton where we sail it is always this low wind.'
First race win of the Championship to Great Britain, who are the defending holders of the Francis Mouvet Trophy which is awarded to the top nation. Toby Morsley/Matt Wallis (GBR) took victory in race 5, despite not being their optimum weather conditions. In the second race they got buried at the start and finished 14th, but still climb up the leaderboard to end the day in 12th overall, well on target to achieve their goal of finishing in the top 15 by the end of the Championship.
'The wind was coming from the north-west to start with and then completely dropped off and we were just waiting around for an hour, until this nice southerly kicked in,' said Morsley. 'We managed to escape from the line out to the right and then tacked over and it all looked pretty nice from there. Essentially it was still quite a tricky race course though. Lots of chances for boats to overtake and we had to keep our eyes peeled. But we seemed to have really good boat speed which definitely helped.'
At the end of day 2, there are teams from nine different nations in the 420 Open top 10 overall.
Provisional Top 10 Overall after 5 Races
1. GRE 51581 - KAVAS Alex/KAVAS Georges – 4 pts
1. ESP 54228 - CHARLES David/CHARLES Alex - 4 pts
3. FRA 54608 - PIROUELLE Guillaume/SIPAN Valentin - 12 pts
4. BRA 52848 - PARANHOS Ricardo/ESSLE Patrick - 14 pts
5. POR 53849 - PESTANA Joao/MARQUES Tomas - 16 pts
6. AUS 54203 - FRANKLIN Josh /GOUGH Alexander - 16 pts
7. GBR 54082 – DERBYSHIRE Harry/LOVESEY Tom - 17 pts
8. ITA 54367 - REBAUDI Francesco/CANEPA Pietro - 18 pts
9. USA 54066 - WADDELL Wade/FERNBERGER Henry - 23 pts
10. ITA 54088 - FERRARI Giacomo/CALABRÒ Giulio - 23 pts
After two more races the same three teams are at the top of the 420 Ladies Championship, just a different order.
Chile’s Nadja Howitz/Sofia Middleton take over the top of the leaderboard, with a 4 point margin over Rachel Lee/Cecilia Low (SIN), who move up to second. 2011 420 European silver medallists, Jennifer Poret/Louise Chevet of France drop down from first to third.
No race wins for these top three today, but consistent sailing.
Facing off against the Chilean pair in the blue fleet, Kimberley Lim/Savannah Siew (SIN) were delighted to have the edge in race four, despite only racing the 420 class for one year.
Kimberley Lim/Savannah Siew - 420 Worlds 2012
'It was a really tight fight with the Chilean girls,' said Siew. 'They overtook us for one of the legs, so we were very nervous, but we tried to be confident and help and encourage each other. We know that they are better than us, so we just try our best.'
'We got a good start, so off the start we were already controlling the fleet and that was pretty easy. It was just a fight with the top few people.'
Lim/Siew end the day in seventh overall, and commenting on the Singaporean success in the 420 Ladies fleet so far, Siew added, 'I am really proud. It is much better when the whole team is doing well, compared to when you are just doing well yourself.'
A well known Austrian sailor, Tanja Frank, is making her final appearance in the 420 at this year’s World Championship. Frank crewed Austria to gold at the 2011 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, and is back helming a 420 at the Worlds which is being hosted by her sailing club. Frank is competing with new crew Anna-Katharina Scharnagl, and currently 36th overall after five races.
'I didn’t want to be a crew anymore. I had helmed for 12 years and swapped to crew just for the ISAF Youth Worlds,' explained Frank about the shift in position. 'It has been a bit different swapping back after a year as a crew, and I have started with a new crew, so it is difficult.'
Frank is not too worried about her position on the leaderboard, saying, 'This is my last event in the 420 due to my age, and I am going to sail the Nacra. I wanted to be top 10 here, but now after today with a BFD and 15 it will be very difficult and there are such good sailors here.'
Frank explained what for her was a very rational decision to move across to the new Olympic multihull event, 'I just thought that if I go to the 470, I don’t have much of a chance to go the Olympics. The Nacra is a new boat and a new chance.'
Not a surprising decision, as Lara Vadlau, with whom Frank won gold at the ISAF Youth Worlds, is making her first Olympic appearance this year and is set to campaign for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Frank recognizes her Olympic dreams will be more achievable by campaigning in a different class, saying. 'I was in the Optimist against Lara, the 420 against Lara and then we were together for one year in the 420. And if I go to 470 I will also sail against Lara.'
Provisional Top 10 Overall after 5 Races
1. CHI 54622 - HORWITZ Nadja/MIDDLETON Sofia - 7 pts
2. SIN 53659 - LEE Rachel/LOW Cecilia - 11 pts
3. FRA 54609 - PORET Jennifer/CHEVET Louise – 11 pts
4. SIN 54140 - Griselda Khng/Xian Lee Shu (SIN) – 13 pts
5. GBR 54194 - LAVERY Jessica/MOTHERSELE Georgina - 14 pts
6. ESP 54542 - MIQUEL Aura/CANO Marina - 15 pts
7. SIN 53933 - LIM Kimberly/SIEW Savannah - 17 pts
8. ITA 54401 - OMARI Carlotta/CIRILLO Francesca Russo - 21 pts
9. ITA 54550 - PETERNOSTER Ilaria/DI SALLE Bernedetta - 25 pts
10. FRA 53980 - GENITEAU Agathe/GENITEAU Marine - 26 pts
General Fleet - 420 Worlds 2012
The final day of qualification races will be held on Wednesday 1 August, after which cut will be made for the final series of a further six races. One race will be held for all fleets tomorrow, after which the 420 Open will be split into gold, silver and bronze and the 420 Ladies into gold and silver.
Racing is scheduled to get underway at 1100 hours.
420 Worlds website