Four days of racing have now been completed at the 470 Junior World Championships at Takapuna Boating Club on Auckland’s North Shore, and two more days of full racing remain before Friday’s medal races for the top ten boats in each fleet.
The Italian duo of Simon Sivitz Kosuta and Jas Farneti are dominating the Men’s fleet, winning every race except the first. The pair of twenty year old Aucklanders James Turner and Finn Drummond sit in second place overall after eight races.
'They [the Italians] are going really well, they’re not unbeatable, but very good.' Finn Drummond is keen to steal a race or two from the lead team before the event is over. 'I was quite rusty initially after a year out of the 470 but as this regatta has progressed we’ve got more consistent. James is putting the boat in good positions, we have good speed and it’s going well'.
James and Finn have only been sailing together for about three weeks. When asked how they ended up sailing together for this event, Finn said 'We’re good mates, and James’ other crew Matthew is too old for this event'.
Both young men have come from separate and strong backgrounds, James through the top of the New Zealand P Class Fleet and then on to the 2010 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in the 420 class. Finn also excelled in the 420 class as a silver medallist of the World Championships in 2009 at Lake Garda, and has since progressed to the Mens 470 at ISAF events such as Skandia Sail for Gold, Sail Melbourne and Sail Auckland.
In the 470 Junior Womens fleet, Afrodite Kyranakou and Jeske Kisters are leading by five points, closely followed by last years’ female world champion Annika Bochman with crew Elisabeth Panuschka. Top Kiwis are Erica Dawson and Vicky Francis in sixth overall, closely followed by Wellington sisters Sarah and Emma Berry in seventh.
Eight races have been completed so far over the whole range of wind conditions, and the event is on track to finish all races as scheduled. Wednesday and Thursday will have two races each per day and the final double point medal race will be on Friday February 3rd.
In order to be eligible for this event, sailors must be under the age of 22 for the entire year of the championship, and for many it is just the very beginning of their 470 sailing careers. For example in 1985, New Zealanders Jon Bilger and crew Jarrod Kriletich won this event at ages 16 and 17 respectively. From his early success in the 470 class, Jon went on to represent NZ at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics with Craig Greenwood.
The forecast looking ahead to Friday is for a South Easterly wind, and if this eventuates, the finish line of the medal races will likely be just in front of the Takapuna Boating Club, easily viewed from the beach. 470 Junior World Championships
Provisional Top five- January 31st
1st ITA- Simon Sivitz Kosuta and Jas Farneti – 9, 1,1,1,1,1,1,1 (7pts)
2nd NZL- James Turner and Finn Drummond- 7, 2, 3,3,13,4,3,7 (29pts)
3rd AUS- Matthew Crawford and Robert Crawford- 5, 3,9,4,8,3,4,8 (35pts)
4th FRA- Sacha Pelisson and Nicholas Rossi- 12, 10, 22BFD, 2, 2,5,7,3 (41pts)
5th GRE- Alexandros Kavvas and George Kavvas- 4,15,7,5,4,16,2,5 (42pts)
1st NED- Afrodite Kyranakou and Jeske Kisters- 1, 1,5,2,2,1,2,2, (11pts)
2nd GER- Annika Bochmann and Elisabeth Panuschka- 5, 3,1,1,4,3,3,1 (16pts)
3rd GBR- Anna Burnet and Flora Stewart- 3, 2,3,3,1,2,5,3, (17pts)
4th JPN- Chika Hatae and Eri Hatayama- 8, 4,2,4,7,4,1,4 (26pts)
5th AUS- Sascha Ryan and Jamie Ryan – 7, 5,7,7,3,7,4,6 (39pts)
Full results can be viewed onlineby http://www.470sailing.org.nz/470JW
Official Photographer Will Calver has uploaded a highlights video from day three (January 29th) which can be viewed online by clicking here