At the Byte CII World Championship, Cannes continued under the influence of a large area of high pressure and no races were sailed for the second day in a row. Positions are from day one. As with yesterday, the Yacht Club reporter continued speaking with the coaches and one of those interviews is printed below with the Polish coach Andrzej Piasecki.
Interview with Andrzej Piasecki
Hello Andrzej. Even more than a World Championship, this event is a Youth Olympic Qualifier. So let’s get right to the point - what was your reaction when you heard the choice of the CII for the Singapore Youth Olympic Games?
I thought it was a very good choice. This boat is excellent - especially as it allows for lighter weight people to compete. It has a great potential for kids right after Optimist, because they are at an age when it’s still not sure if they will be tall or short, light or heavy, and sailing a CII they have a chance to achieve good results whatever their final body shape.
Also, it’s a technically challenging boat with many possibilities to reconfigure the rig and change the shape of the sail. It is not easy to get it right every time and in every weather condition, especially when the wind changes and that is the challenge. However, although very technical, physical preparation is also very important, especially for sailing in waves.
The hull is light, it’s comfortable when balanced and has a more ergonomic shape which makes it more comfortable to sit on. I like also the proportion between the sail and the hull platform which looks very attractive, even to people who know nothing about sailing.
Do you think the Sailing Federations will eventually confirm the CII?
I think our International support is very important to build up a strong class. The CII has a target group of sailors that no other boat addresses - it’s the step in between Optimist and the more difficult/sophisticated/adult classes. And I see at CII regattas there is always this very friendly atmosphere, because the kids are all of the same age group and already know each other from Optimist regattas. There is great cooperation between teams, they train together, they exchange information and their experience. It’s not like in Laser where there are kids and adults who are very different people of different ages all together at regattas and all just minding their own business. In my opinion, the CII is already a very nice Class – it has a great potential to become a very important Class.
What do you think about the ISAF Qualification system?
It is only my opinion, but the highest level of athletes at 'Olympic' Games should be more important than having the broadest possible representation, which ISAF has tried to do with this system. An open qualification system, like that used in other sports would be better, so that the level of the games would always be higher and more challenging. Also, in this qualifying system, the CII and Windsurfer are two completely different mentalities and we are forced to pick between them.
What are your personal experiences with the CII?
My daughter Sara, who is very light (168cm/48kg) won the European Championship and the first race in Imperia with over 25 knots wind and big waves, beating far heavier sailors which would have not been possible on other boats. We are of course very pleased with that type of experience and the results it makes possible.
The IOC has announced the next YOG in four years. Byte CII ??
I believe that the CII should be chosen again for those Youth Olympic Games, which will be hosted by China, considering that the characteristics of this boat are ideally suited to the Asian athletes typified by the Malaysian team and the great Singapore team competing here. We also need to maintain the very high technical sailing standards we see at this event.
A wish and a recommendation - I hope that a Calendar of 8 - 10 International Regattas per year will now start being organized by the Class to support all the young athletes who are interested in making a future career in the CII.