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420 Junior European Championship title to Pirouelle and Sipan

by Luissa Smith on 20 Aug 2012
Guillaume Pirouelle and Valentin Sipan FRA - 420 Junior European Championship 2012 Davide Turrini/www.Gardainfoto.It
420 Junior European Championships 2012 final races for each of the gold, silver and bronze fleets were held on Friday 17 August in Riva, Italy.

Affirming the spread of young talent in the 420 fleet, consisting of one hundred and thirteen 420 teams from twenty-nine nations, eight different nations placed in the top 10 in the open division and eight different nations were in the Ladies top 10. Non-European nations competing were Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United States.

In a light and shifty breeze of around 7-9 knots, the Championship leaders going into the day Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) did what they needed to secure the Championship, taking a non-risky approach to post a 2,17 scoreline and take the title ahead of Italy’s Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabrò by three points.

Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) have had an amazing run of from this Summer, including standing on the podium at each of the three major Championships they have contested – gold at the 420 Junior Europeans, silver at the 420 Worlds, and silver at the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Worlds.

A late rush from David Charles/Alex Charles of Spain, enabled them to slash the points deficit which positioned them in fifth going into the final day and leap up to take the bronze medal. Possibly the recently acquired Mohican hairstyle which David was sporting after the layday helped, 'Yes it made us go faster,' grinned David. Similar to the French, the bronze medal marks the Spanish brothers’ third consecutive podium finish – adding to their bronze medal at the 420 Worlds, and gold at the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Worlds.

These top three are well known to each other from the Summer’s racing, with the Italians Ferrari/Calabrò finishing 15th at the 420 Worlds and ninth at the ISAF Youth Worlds.


The best of days for Annabel Vose/Kirstie Urwin who were aiming to see off the competition from the boy’s teams and creep up through to the final top 10 on the overall leaderboard. It seemed like too big an ask, but the pair achieved their goal in impressive style with race finishes of 7,2. Except for the Charles’ brothers results on the final day, Vose and Urwin’s scorecard from races 11 and 12 was the second best points average from the two races and rewarded them with a tenth place finish overall and the 2012 420 Ladies Junior European Championship title.

On saving their best to last, Urwin said, 'We just wanted to sail our own race, but be conservative with the German girls because we knew that they were fairly close behind us and didn’t want them to overtake, so we kept an eye on them and made sure that they weren’t splitting from us too much or could overtake us if they got a good shift.'

Urwin was thrilled with her gold medal, 'It is amazing. I have never raced a 420 Junior Europeans and before the ISAF’s I had never done a Worlds, so it is a completely new experience. I have loved sailing here.'

Vose explained their approach to the Championship, 'The Open fleet was always going to be hard and I think we just had to race as well as we could and then approaching the end of the regatta we weren’t looking at the open results any more. The main thing was to get a medal and we were really focused on the ladies fleet in that sense. We are really happy with a top 10 overall result.'

On racing in an open fleet, Vose said with a smile, 'It is good to race with the boys occasionally to show them we are not as bad as they think we are. Especially in the windy conditions here, it is great to do so well!'

Vose/Urwin won the bronze medal at the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Worlds last month.

Taking the silver were Lena Stückl/Franziska Máege (GER) and Israel's Noya Bar-Am/Rimon Shoshan (ISR) claimed the bronze medal.

Mauro Stanga, President of Fraglia Vela Riva, presented Championship Trophies to the top 10 open teams and top 10 ladies team, and the commemorative trophies to the top three teams in the silver and bronze fleets. The medallists were presented with 420 Class medals and the Gold Medallists received the 420 Championship Cup and 420 Ladies Championship Cup.

The 2012 420 Junior Europeans got underway only a few days after the close of the 2012 420 World Championships in Austria, and it has been interesting to see the variance in performance by teams across the two events. Both Championships were held on lakes, but with very little similarity in the type of conditions. The 2012 420 World Champions, Alex and George Kavas, had jumped to the 470 Class, so opened up a gap for other teams, but it was the Spanish and French who continued to dominate in Italy as they had in Austria.


In the 420 Ladies fleet, the Singapore teams who claimed the Gold and Silver in Austria did not compete at the Junior Europeans and Chile’s silver medallists Nadja Horwitz/Sofia Middleton had moved to race in the 470 fleet, so the door was wide open. The ISAF Youth Worlds gold medallists Ilaria Peternoster/Bernedetta Di Salle (ITA) finished fifth at the 420 Ladies Worlds, the top placed European team, but could not retain the same form in Italy. Despite leading overall after the first day of racing, they struggled in the windier conditions on day two when three races were held, and then were OCS in the final race 6 of the qualification series, which pushed them down into the silver fleet. Lena Stückl/Franziska Máege (GER) and Noya Bar-Am/Rimon Shoshan (ISR), the silver and bronze medallists at the 420 Ladies Junior Europeans, had not competed at the 420 Worlds, and delivered some really consistent sailing in Italy to finish high up in the open fleet.

Supporting the transition between the two classes, Stanislav Kassarov, President of the International 470 Class, announced the winners of the 470 Support Programmes at the prize giving. Free entry fees were awarded to the top three girls and boys teams at the 2012 420 World Championships for them to compete at either the 2013 470 Junior World Championships or the 2013 470 Junior European Championships. The girls’ and boy’s 420 gold medal teams at the 2012 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship will be presented with the André Cornu Grant of EUR1,000 per team, to support them competing at either the 2013 470 Class Junior World Championship or the 2013 470 Class World Championship.


420 Open Final Results – Top 10
1. Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) - 52 pts
2. Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabrò (ITA) - 55 pts
3. David Charles/Alex Charles (ESP) - 68 pts
4. Fratzeskos Mpakatsias/Evaggelos Christopoulos (GRE) - 75 pts
5. Pieter Goedhart/Lars van Stekelenborg (NED) - 81 pts
6. Wade Waddell/Henry Fernberger (USA) - 95 pts
7. Sebastiano Baranzini/Matteo Colombo (SUI) – 95 pts
8. Michail Karagiannis Zenetzidak/Vasileios Kontakis (GRE) - 96 pts
9 .Callum Airlie/Joseph Butterworth (GBR) – 99 pts
10. Annabel Vose/Kirstie Urwin - 107 pts

420 Ladies Final Results - Top 10
1. Annabel Vose/Kirstie Urwin (GBR) – 107 pts (10th overall)
2. Lena Stückl/Franziska Máege (GER) – 136 pts (16th overall)
3. Noya Bar-Am/Rimon Shoshan (ISR) – 156 pts (22nd overall)
4. Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick/Abigail Rohman (USA) – 190 pts (30th overall)
5. Tsuf Zamet/Stav Brokman (ISR) – 197 pts (31st overall)
6. Ilaria Paternoster/Benedetta Di Salle (ITA) – 102 pts (39th overall)
7. Jennifer PORET, Louise CHEVET (FRA) – 123 pts (41st overall)
8. Nora Trüb/Giulia Corbelli (SUI) – 135 pts (45th overall)
9. Adriana Rodes/Lucy Brugman (ESP) – 139 pts (46th overall)
10. Jess Lavery/Georgie Motherselle (GBR) – 149 pts (48th overall)

The 2012 420 Junior European Championships was hosted by Fraglia Vela Riva in partnership with the Federazione Italiana Vela, the Italian 420 National Class Association and the International 420 Class Association.

The 2013 International 420 Class Junior European Championships will take place in Pwhelli, Wales, Great Britain, with provisional dates (to be confirmed) as 14-22 August Full Event website

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