International 470 Junior Europeans Championships are being held in Nieuwpoort Belgium. Just one race was sailed, rather than the scheduled three, due to light conditions.
The light winds on day six of racing proved a test not just for the teams, as the Race Committee had the challenge of laying the race course with an eight to ten knot breeze and two knot current both from the same direction.
After race 10 was completed, the fleets then waited for around one hour hopeful for a race 11, but the strength of the current with light winds was just too much, so they were sent ashore.
The pecking order in race 10 had no impact on the teams in the top 10 leaderboard for either the men/mixed or women's divisions who have now qualified through to Monday's deciding medal race. The outcome was just a reshuffle in the order, which of course will prove critical to the teams' medal race strategies.
Kévin Peponnet/Julien Lebrun (FRA) have done enough to guarantee themselves a medal at the 2011 470 Junior European Championships, with an impressive points margin over the fleet, but they still need to put in another top performance for it to be gold and walk away with what will be a career best achievement. They finished just outside the medals in fourth at last year's Junior Europeans, and took the silver medal at the 2011 470 Junior Worlds.
A disastrous day for Matthew Crawford/Robert Crawford (AUS) who were biding their time in fourth overall and within two points of the top three, as race 10 delivered them their worst result of the series and gives them a huge wall to climb tomorrow with a 10 point deficit to the leaders. There is a slim chance of nudging into bronze medal position, but that will require a race win from them and some back of the fleet sailing from the teams currently ahead of them.
The Swedes who knocked the competition for six at the 2011 470 Junior Worlds to stake an impressive claim on the title have not proved so successful here and are out of medal contention. Training time here may have let them down, as their first taste of the conditions was race one, and their scoreline tells the story of the light wind days and strong current giving their worst race scores.
With the top 10 of the 51 boat men/mixed fleet now separated out for the Medal Race, the remaining competitors in the Gold and Silver Fleets will race one final race tomorrow. 470 Men – Top 10 after 10 races
1. Kévin PEPONNET/Julien LEBRUN (FRA) - 21 pts
2. Gabriel SKOCZEK/Achille NEBOUT (FRA) - 33 pts
3. Philip SPARKS/Ben GRATTON (GBR) - 35 pts
4. Simon SIVITZ KOSUTA/Jas FARNETI (ITA) - 43 pts
5. Magnus MASILGE/Moritz KLINGENBERG (GER) - 43 pts
6. Matthew CRAWFORD/Robert CRAWFORD (AUS) - 45 pts
7. Nicklas DACKHAMMAR/Fredrik BERGSTRÖM (SWE) - 58 pts
9. Louis MOYSAN/Baptiste BERTHIER (FRA) – 61 pts
10. Julian AUTENRIETH/Philipp AUTENRIETH (GER) – 62 pts
The points margins are much closer in the women's division going into the final day of racing, with everything up for grabs on the podium.
The first attempt to start race 10 was a general recall, but then clean. Defending 470 Junior European Champions Annika Bochmann/Anika Lorenz had a great start and with a second place finish have now cut the points to the series leaders ready for the final day. Bochmann commented, 'We had a good start and speed and at the top mark we were second and that was the same for the whole race.' And on their plan for the final day, Bochmann added, 'Ah tomorrow. We have nine points to third place and three points to first place. I think we will only start and we will see what happens. In the medal race at the Junior Worlds there was no chance to lose the medal, whereas here we could do. We will only sail and hope we will get a medal and which colour we will see.'
Bochmann/Lorenz are in defending Champion mode as the winners of the 2010 470 Junior Europeans, and their impressive 470 pedigree also includes silver at the 2010 470 Worlds and most recently being crowned 2011 470 Junior World Champions.
Today's race win went to Victoria Jurczok/Josepehine Bach (GER), which has narrowed their points margin to the leading pack, but not changed their position on the leaderboard which remains at sixth overall.
Series leaders Nina Keijzer/Anneloes van Veen (NED) have sailed a superb event, dominating since the outset, but this Championship is a long way from being theirs with Bochman/Lorenz (GER) as their primary threat.
Monday is going to be a thrilling final day as the points are very close and the medals are still all open in what is set to be a light wind medal race. There will be a final fleet race for the 20 teams outside the top 10. 470 Women – Top 10 after 10 races
1. Nina KEIJZER/Anneloes VAN VEEN (NED) - 29 pts
2. Annika BOCHMANN/Anika LORENZ (GER) - 32 pts
3. Tina LUTZ/Susann BEUCKE (GER) - 41 pts
4. Anna BURNET/Flora STEWART (GBR) - 44 pts
5. Amy SEABRIGHT/Eilidh MCINTYRE (GBR) - 45 pts
6. Sasha RYAN/Chelsea HALL (AUS) - 46 pts
7. Victoria JURCZOK/Josephine BACH (GER) - 55 pts
8. Joanna FREEMAN/Katie TOMSETT (GBR) - 62 pts
9. Anna KYSELOVA/Anastasiya KRASKO (UKR) - 84.5 pts
10. Cassandre BLANDIN/Charlotte MERY (FRA) - 86 pts
The 2011 470 Junior European Championships are taking place together with the 2011 420 Junior European Championships in Nieuwpoort, Belgium from 7-15 August 2011. Results Event Website