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Youth Sailing Worlds Day 3: Podiums shape up in Corpus Christi

by World Sailing 18 Jul 2018 17:56 PDT 19 July 2018

Of the nine classes racing at the 48th Youth Sailing World Championships, few are as closely contested as the Girls' RS:X, the Boys' Laser Radial and the Girls' 29er. While the podium is starting to take shape in a few classes, these three still are wide open and up for grabs.

In the Girls' RS:X Class Veerle ten Have of New Zealand ascended into the lead today from second place after overtaking Italy's Giorgia Speciale, last year's silver medalist. Islay Watson of Great Britain is placed third.

Speciale led ten Have by one point and Watson by two points entering today. But after finishing 3-1 in the first two races, Speciale was over the start line at the signal and scored UFD. Although she can discard the score, Speciale now trails ten Have by one point. Watson still holds third, three points behind the New Zealand leader.

"I love the conditions here. I really enjoy that it's windy every day," said ten Have, whose family emigrated to New Zealand from the Netherlands when she was a young child. "I think my speed's just a bit faster, so that's my biggest advantage. But Giorgia and Islay are really close. We're always trading the top three places. We all have similar capabilities."

Speciale noted that the conditions this year compared to last year in China are much windier.

"This championship is difficult because it is windy every day," said Speciale. "I prefer different conditions, light, medium and strong. In China last year we only had 8 to 12 knots, max. So, it's difficult here, but I prefer difficult. It's more fun."

In the Boys' Laser Radial Class, New Zealander Josh Armit continues to lead but gave up a bit of the cushion he held entering today. Armit leads Argentina's Juan Cardozo by one point with Australia's Zac Littlewood in third, nine points off the lead. At the beginning of today Armit led Littlewood by two points and Cardozo by five points.

Armit said that he hasn't been looking at the results and is just trying to focus on getting better every day.

"I've been learning a lot during the week and really just enjoying the warm conditions," said Armit, who placed fifth at last year's Youth Worlds. "It's great racing against my mates. There's quite a few boys up there to contend with, some from last year's Youth Worlds and some new ones. The fleet size is quite different from back home, so I'm just trying to do my best and have some fun."

Although he didn't admit it, Armit has to enjoy seeing Littlewood's bow behind him instead of staring at his transom. Littlewood has had Armit's number this year, defeating him at the Australian Nationals and the Men's Laser Radial World Championship in Germany last month, where Littlewood won overall. Littlewood fell a bit off the pace today by posting an eighth and his discard, an 11th.

"I'm my biggest obstacle to winning," said Littlewood. "At our qualifications in Queensland it was windy, hot and choppy, just like here. I managed to beat Josh at that event. He's a good competitor, so it'll be exciting to see who comes out at the end of the week."

In the Girls' 29er Class, good friends Pia Andersen and Nora Edland are carrying Norway's hopes on the heels of their sisters. Emilie Andersen and Maren Edland placed ninth in the Girls' 29er Class at last year's Youth Worlds.

Pia Andersen and Nora Edland have been in a tight battle with Russians Zoya Novikova and Diana Sabirova. After today's first race, which the Norwegians won while the Russians sailed their discard, Andersen and Edland held a six-point lead. But then they posted a 6-6 in the ensuing races to the Russians 2-1. This evening the Norwegians hold second with 21 points, three points behind the Russians.

"We had good speed upwind but not so good downwind," said Pia Andersen.

Nora Edland pointed to yesterday's first race as being the real problem, when they turned a sure fourth-place finish into their discard.

"Yesterday, in the first race, we were in fourth and then capsized in front of the finish line, so that was really frustrating," said Edland. "But we're not giving up. We'll be back tomorrow. Our sisters told us to do our best, go fast and don't give up."

"We can beat the Russians," said Pia Andersen. "We're ready to fight."

The Boys' 29er Class continues to be hotly contested as well. Norwegians Mathias Berthet and Alexander Franks-Penty lead New Zealanders Seb Lardies and Scott Mckenzie by one point and Australia's Henry Larkings and Miles Davey by seven points.

Other classes saw more separation develop. Americans JC Hermus and Walter Henry won both races in the Boys' 420 Class and now hold a 12-point lead over Australia's Otto Henry and Rome Featherstone.

In the Girls' 420 Class, Americans Carmen and Emma Cowles also won both races and hold a nine-point lead over Vita Heathcote and Emilia Boyle of Great Britain and Spain's Julia Minana Delhom and Silvia Sebastia Borso di Carminati.

In the Girls' Laser Radial, American Charlotte Rose holds a 5-point lead over Emma Savelon of the Netherlands and an eight-point lead over Wiktoria Golebiowska of Poland.

In the Nacra 15 Class, Argentina's Teresa Romairone and Dante Cittadini hold a 20-point lead over New Zealand's Greta Stewart and Tom Fyfe. Germany's Silas Mühle and Romy Mackenbrock are 30 points behind in third place.

In the Boys' RS:X Class, American Geronimo Nores has stretched out a 5-point lead over Italy's Nicolo Renna and a 15-point lead over France's Fabien Pianazza.

Racing resumes on Thursday 19 July at 12:00 local time.

Full results are available here - worldsailingywc.org/results

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