49er World Youth Championship for Travemuende

121th Travemuende Week 2010
Andreas Kling

49er World Youth Championship 2011.

World Championships are always a highlight at the world’s most beautiful sailing regatta. But a World Championship premiere is very special for Travemuende Week. The 122nd edition of Travemuende Week (22 to 31 July 2011) will be the venue of the first World Youth Championship of the 49er. The aim of this new idea in the sailing scene is to create a stronger bond of the juniors with the Olympic class.

Race Director Walter Mielke is pleased to find that, 'carrying out this premiere event gets more wind in the sails of the modern Travemuende Week'. Next to the traditional boat classes, fast planing dinghies and catamarans have been the main focus of Travemuende Week for some years. Together with the Gold Cup of the Folkboats, the Championships of the Laser 2s and the International Canoes, the World Youth Championship of the 49ers is the fourth World Championship of Travemuende Week 2011.

With the under-23 age title matches, the President of the German 49er Class Association Heiko Thoelmann wants to gently lead the young sailors to the top. 'Highly professional crews dictate the class on the top level. Some of them came from other Olympic classes before joining the 49er fleet. Young teams are struggling to successfully compete against these cracks. But it is essential to keep them in the fleet.'

The German initiative for the World Youth Championships found the International Sailing Association’s approval. The ISAF gave its okay to the project. Therefore the young sailors on the big skiff can compete against other sailors of their age. 'There will be also some crews already sailing on the top level. But these are not too many, so that quite a few sailors, who normally stand in the second row, have chances for a good ranking', says Thoelmann. He is convinced that the format will continue after 2011.

Thoelmann doesn’t see a problem in having the World Youth Championship scheduled only three days after the finish of the Europeans in Helsinki – on the contrary. 'With the direct ferryline from Helsinki to Travemuende, the World Championship is a perfect stopover on the way back.' Also some crews from the USA are expected to show up in Travemuende before packing their boats into the container to overseas. Also numerous entries from Scandinavia are expected.

In total more than 40 duos should be there, among them many Germans. According to the class president, quite a few crews from the national ranking are listed for the start in Travemuende. Also some sailors, who have changed into the class, have marked the date in their calendar, among them Justus Schmidt and Max Boehme from Kiel and Schoenwalde. The best German active 29er sailors from 2010, who have sailed into the top ten at the Worlds and Europeans, have moved up from the Youth skiff to the Olympic class in autumn. Due to their upcoming school examination, they will have to cut down a bit on their sailing in spring, but announced to be concentrating on the sailing after that. 'The World Youth Championship of the under-23 age group is the absolute highlight of the season.'

Up to 16 races on four days are scheduled for the Championships. Furthermore the class will be participating in the Trave Races close to the audience, which had been a major attraction of this year’s racing event. The international title matches are supposed to start on 26 July with the measurement before the opening ceremony will include a party on board the historic four-masted bark 'Passat', which will be celebrating its 100th birthday next year. Following the practice race on the next day, the qualification races for the gold and silver fleets are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, 28 and 29 July. On Saturday and Sunday, 30 and 31 July, there are the premiere title matches in the World Youth Championship of the 49er skiff for the under-23 age group.

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