Laser Radial Youth Worlds - Roller coaster day on the water
by Daphne Morgan Barnicoat on 3 Jan 2014
At the Laser Radial Youth World Championships, the melee outside the protest room on Thursday night told the story of a roller coaster day on the water with both reputations and trophies at stake for the leading contenders.
Day 5, start of races © Lloyd Images
Italy’s Gianmarco Planchestainer, who has topped the Boys leaderboard for most of the week found himself the subject of a protest for making an incomplete penalty turn after hitting the pin end mark while third-placed Sebastien Schneiter of Switzerland was preparing to protest a black flag penalty he received at the start of Race 9, a race he went onto win.
He subsequently withdrew the protest and remained confident he could recover on the final day to win the 2013 championships which will be his last Laser Radial regatta.
'I will now have to take more risks tomorrow but I still have a chance of winning,' said Schneiter.
'I was very upset when I found out I’d been black flagged so I went out in Race 10 and decided to do the same race but without going over the line. I did quite well and came third so proved to myself I could do it.'
Planchestainer was still waiting to discover his fate from the Jury but was less than happy with his day’s achievements despite a decent stable breeze that wavered mostly around 8-9 knots. He posted 4-9-10 from the three races completed to lead Hungarian Benjamin Vadnai by a provisional four points.
'I wasn’t happy with my performance today because I was hoping to do better. There were a lot of little things that went wrong but the starts were my biggest problem. The course was short and the wind was shifting a lot which made things difficult.
'Tomorrow I have to go faster but will see what the wind is like before I make a plan. I really want to win these championships so will have to do better.'
Vadnai, the elder of two brothers who in the past two days have railroaded the fleet with a string of top ten positions, moved up one place into second with 39 points, leapfrogging Schneiter after a close fought runners up place in the final race.
He now has his eyes firmly fixed on the 2013 Laser Radial Youth title and with one day remaining, it is unlikely he has to worry about any threat from his younger brother Jonatan who is lying in fourth place with 50 points.
'It is very close – especially among the top three who are separated by just seven points. I have been training all year for this regatta and really want to go home with the trophy. Tomorrow my plan is stay in the top 10 and see what happens.'
Untroubled by all the commotion was Monika Mikkola from Finland who came off the water having just scored an emphatic win in the last of the three races completed to extend her lead at the top of the Girls leaderboard from four to eight points over Norway’s Celine Therese Herud.
It was the first outright win for the Finn who has achieved a commendable consistency all week with six podium places in ten races without crossing the line first but her excitement was tempered by a concern for her Scandinavian teammate Herud who was yellow flagged twice for pumping and forced to retire from Race 9.
'It was the first race in the whole regatta where I was able to follow my plan so it is nice to finally win a race,' she said.
'But there is still one more day to go and two more races so anything could happen and the girls are really good. I feel really bad for Celine because we are in the same team and I was hoping that both us would do well here. But she still has a chance of winning.'
Herud won the first race of the day while Singaporean Jillian Lee made her charge in the next race to take her second win of the week beating Line Flem Host of Norway and Maxime Jonker from Nederlands.
Racing in the 2013 Laser Radial Youth World Championships finishes on Friday with two final races to decide the championships.
For full results, click here