470 Junior Europeans Championships are being held in Nieuwpoort Belgium. The 81 strong 470 junior fleet completed race six of the qualification series.
What a difference a day makes. The fleet woke up to a grey day and rain this morning, with little wind. But after a few hours the sun was out and a light breeze filled in to test a different set of skills and showcase new faces at the front of the fleets as they completed race six of the qualification series.
Whilst the women's division will continue to sail as one fleet throughout the Championships, for the men today was about making the cut through to the gold or silver fleets. Only the top 26 boats qualify to the gold and have a chance of going through to the top 10 medal race and even a podium finish, with the remaining 25 through to silver.
Gabriel Skoczek/Achille Nebout (FRA) gave yet another example of race domination. It was a bit close for total confidence, but they looked impressively assured as they crossed the line for a third race win.
The lighter winds opened an opportunity for Poland's Piotr Ogrodnik/Pawel Choroba, who snapped at the stern of the French all the way round the course and could have had a race win had the French made any errors. Choroba was delighted, 'We are quite a light crew and these conditions were pretty good for us. We sailed good tactics and there was a little bit of luck. This weather was better for us than yesterday and yes we would like the same tomorrow.' This outcome put them through to the gold fleet, and Ogrodnik is now hopeful that light winds forecast will return during the rest of the event andenable them to build on today's result and qualify through to the Medal Race – which if it happens will be a first time experience for them.
Speaking on their win today and the next stage of the Championships, Skoczek said, 'We wanted to win the race today and it was light winds and I prefer that. It was very close, we were four boats together and it was very concentrated. Downwind we had no speed and the guys would come back on us. It is our last year in the 470 junior events and we want to win.' At last year's Junior Europeans they were on target for a podium place, but two penalty scores left them languishing in fourteenth overall.
In the other men's fleet, the Italian team of Simon Sivitz Kosuta/Jas Farnetti also delivered their third race win of the series, but in an altogether different style to the French. As they crossed the line, their margin over the result of the fleet was almost the entire last leg, and Sivitz Kosuta/Farnetti were delighted with this outcome which boosts them back up the leaderboard to fifth overall and just eight points behind the series leader. Sivitz Kosuta outlined explained today's success, 'we could see the right side was better on the first upwind and we were first to the mark, and in the first downwind we lost one position and then on the next upwind we saw that the weather had changed and we supposed that the left hand side was better and we went there. So we went round the next upwind first.' From this point they continued to extend their lead and then as they went into the reach there was more breeze, so they just screamed away, while the rest of the fleet were still beating upwind.
Relief for the 2010 420 Junior European Champions, Yoav Liev/Dan Froyliche (ISR) who qualified through to the gold fleet with just one point over Slovenia. They almost didn't make it and had to work their way up a few places in the fleet to finish ninth overall. 470 Men – Top 10 after six races
1. Gabriel SKOCZEK/Achille NEBOUT (FRA) - 8 pts
2. Kévin PEPONNET/Julien LEBRUN (FRA) - 11 pts
3. Nicklas DACKHAMMAR/Fredrik BERGSTRÖM (SWE) - 14 pts
4. Philip SPARKS/Ben GRATTON (GBR) - 14 pts
5. Simon SIVITZ KOSUTA/Jas FARNETI (ITA) - 16 pts
6. Matthew CRAWFORD/Robert CRAWFORD (AUS) - 17 pts
7. Sacha PELISSON/Nicolas ROSSI (FRA) - 26 pts
8. Louis MOYSAN/Baptiste BERTHIER (FRA) - 26 pts
9. Magnus MASILGE/Moritz KLINGENBERG (GER) - 28 pts
10. Pablo VÖLKER/Agustín CUNILL MARTINEZ (ARG) - 29 pts 470 Men Results
No qualification pressure for the women's division who will continue to sail as one fleet through to the Medal Race split, but it is equally important to consolidate positions as the Championship entered its halfway stage today. Today was the day for the light wind experts and that shone through with Victoria Jurczok/Josephine Bach's (GER) performance as they stormed the fleet to lead with a significant margin, matching the winning margin of the Italians in the men's division. For this pair it was very simple as Jurczok said, 'it was our conditions today and we took the shifts well. We are not slow we are fast,' before smiling, 'it is good after the last few days to have at least one first place!'
It is neck and neck in the women's fleet at the front with reigning Junior World Women's Champions Annika Bochmann/Anika Lorenz staying at the front of the pack, as they have done throughout the competition, to finish second and eradicate any points margin between themselves and Nina Keijzer/Anneloes van Veen (NED) who had their worst race yet scoring an eighth. These two teams are now on equal points, with the Dutch ahead on the tie-break countback.
Russia showed a strong performance at the front of the pack with a fourth place finish for Victoriya Shuvalova/Lilia Zakhryamina. Not that far behind were the 2010 420 Junior World Champions, Roberta Caputto/Benedetta Barbiero who clearly preferred the lighter breeze as they become more accustomed to 470 sailing and crossed the line in eleventh to move a couple of places up the leaderboard and end the day in 13th. 470 Women – Top 10 after six races
1. Nina KEIJZER/Anneloes VAN VEEN (NED) - 12 pts
2. Annika BOCHMANN/Anika LORENZ (GER) - 12 pts
3. Tina LUTZ/Susann BEUCKE (GER) - 18 pts
4. Sasha RYAN/Chelsea HALL (AUS) - 19 pts
5. Anna BURNET/Flora STEWART (GBR) - 25 pts
6. Amy SEABRIGHT/Eilidh MCINTYRE (GBR) - 29 pts
7. Anna KYSELOVA/Anastasiya KRASKO (UKR) - 31 pts
8. Victoria JURCZOK/Josephine BACH (GER) - 35 pts
9. Joanna FREEMAN/Katie TOMSETT (GBR) - 42 pts
10. Cassandre BLANDIN/Charlotte MERY (FRA) - 48 pts 470 Women Results
Racing continues tomorrow with three races planned and racing scheduled to get underway at 1230.
The 2011 470 Junior European Championships are taking together with the 2011 420 Junior European Championships in Nieuwpoort, Belgium from 7-15 August 2011. Event Website