by Rory Ramsden
On the RS:X Youth European Championships 2012 fourth day there was only one question on people's minds... Where is the wind? The forecast 20 knots that everyone was looking forward to was sadly absent without leave. And what's worse never made an effort to redress the situation as the morning wore one.
Day 4 - RS:X Youth European Championships 2012
Racing did start on time though. There was a light north-easterly. Maybe 5-6 knots established right across the course area so no postponement this morning. But still disappointment that we were in for another two light wind races today
Anyway as we move towards the business end of the regatta, it seems that Neomi Cohen [ISR] will have to pull something special out of the bag to reel Veronica Fanciulli [ITA] in. Neomi scored a pair of seconds today. Veronica went one better with a pair of bullets.
The battle for third place seems won however. Basia Dmuchowska [POL] is nine points off second and fourteen points clear of fifteen year old Saskia Sills [GBR] in fourth. Basia has sailed consistently so far never finishing outside the top 5 so she will have to have a really bad day if Saskia is going to step on to the bottom step of the podium.
There is always the medal race where points are doubled but it is a long shot...
Over in the men's fleet Pawel Tarnowski [POL] looks pretty dominant too. Despite the light airs he eased another point into the gap to Kieran Martin [GBR] That makes a five point cushion now with just one more day to go before the medal race. It is Pawel's to lose now. He has set a very high standard which the British sailor is having a tough time trying to match. No one else is close enough to give him cause for concern.
Mattia Camboni [ITA] is nine points off the leading pair but 11 clear of Amir Galili [ISR] who is having his own private battle for supremacy with his fellow countryman Imry Katz just point adrift in fifth.
Mattia may not be able to mix it with Pawel at this regatta or even at the upcoming ISAF Youth Worlds but he will be there or thereabouts when the final results are posted. He is the next generation of RS:X youth champions. He is only 16 and still eligible to race in the Techno Worlds coming up in Medemblik, Holland but being over 55kgs the wind has to be full on if he is to have a chance of standing on that podium.
The point is that the Techno youth pathway is delivering a new group of talented young athletes to the RS:X Youth fleet which itself is pushing quality racers into the Olympic fleets. Knowing this makes the decision made by ISAF at their Mid Year Meeting to eject the RS:X for Rio 2016 in favor of kite even more incomprehensible.
There are no countries with junior kite racing programs in existence and it maybe hard for some countries to even start one due to the difficulty that trainers and coaches will have getting insurance to work with athletes younger than 16.
But back to the action here in Pirita, Tallin Estonia... There's one more day of fleet racing tomorrow, Friday and then the shoot out is set for Saturday, Medal Day.
RS:X Youth Men
1. Pawel Tarnowski [POL] 12.0
2. Kieran Martin [GBR] 17.0
3. Mattia Camboni [ITA] 28.0
4. Amir Galili [ISR] 39.0
5. Imry Katz [ISR] 40.0
RS:X Youth Women
1. Veronica Fanciulli [ITA] 12.0
2. Neomi Cohen [ISR] 18.0
3. Basia Dmuchowska [POL] 27.0
4. Saskia Sills [GBR] 41.0
5. Anastasiya Valkevich [BLR] 49.0