08/18/2012 16:45


Category: International

Not quite the best day of racing on the penultimate race day 5 at the 2012 420 Junior European Championships, with only one race completed for the 420 Gold Fleet. Racing got underway in a strong and stable 14 knots from 180 degrees, but about three-quarters of the way through the gold fleet race on the outer loop the wind started to drop, with the Race Committee shortening the course in order to have a finish in the time limit.

The wind then dropped to virtually nothing, before swinging round and heading in from the north, forcing the Race Committee to abandon race 10 for the silver and bronze fleets. The fleets were sent ashore with the hope that racing would resume, but it was not to be.

The one-hundred and thirteen boat 420 fleet go into Friday’s final day with lots of opportunity to improve their scores or tumble further down the leader board.

Championship leaders Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) posted a fourth place today and will go into the final day with just a 5 point margin over Italy’s Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabrò. There is then 14 points until the third placed Fratzeskos Mpakatsias/Evaggelos Christopoulos (GRE). But with two races scheduled, anything can still happen.

Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) © fotofiore.com

Pirouelle/Sipan have put themselves through a gruelling summer of events, literally going from one to the next. “Yes it has been a really good summer, we have sailed well,” said Sipan. “We are very happy, although it is not finished here yet, it has been a very good beginning of this Championship.” On the plan for tomorrow he said, “We will aim for a good start not too far away from the Italians and Greeks. We finished second in the Open Junior Europeans last year and top European team, so this year we really want to win first overall.”

The Greek pair are 14 points behind the French and on equal points with the fourth placed Dutch team of Pieter Goedhart/Lars van Stekelenborg. Christopoulos is very pleased with their performance, saying, “We hoped we would sail this well, but it has been a very hard Championship so far. Everyone has done good races and bad races. We could do better in some races, but the wind has been shifty and we are not very good at heavy winds, we are better at lighter winds. We are really happy that we are third in these conditions. Tomorrow we will try to defend our position with the Dutch.”

Fratzeskos Mpakatsias/Evaggelos Christopoulos (GRE) © fotofiore.com

An OCS has pushed America’s Wade Waddell/Henry Fernberger from third overall before race 10, to 6th after it, as they were one of four teams falling foul of the start line.

Still leading the ladies in the Gold fleet are Annabel Vose/Kirstie Urwin. “It is a really nice place to be going into tomorrow,” said Vose who is holding steady at 15th overall on the leader board. On their plan for tomorrow, Vose explained, “It is basically a one track race course, so we will race our own race for the first beat and then assess what we need to do at the end of that.”

But for the British teams, there has been far more than sailing on their minds over the past few days, as they awaited their pre-University exam results today. Vose explained, “Last night was horrible. I am in a room with the other girls and we would keep on waking up thinking about the results. But today we are all really happy. All of the team taking their A levels have got a place at university.”

A dual focus on education and sailing has not been too hard, as Vose continued, “We have been kind of brought up doing it, so it is natural to work hard during the week and train hard at the weekend. We have been quite organized and planned our time carefully. I have definitely focused on the education part of my life and to go to university and study is key and then hopefully I will also do an Olympic campaign.”

Noya Bar-Am/Rimon Shoshan (ISR) are thid placed ladies team heading into final day © fotofiore.com

Racing for the 420 fleets is scheduled to get underway on Friday 17 August at 1200 hours.

420 Gold Fleet – Top 10 Overall after 10 Races
1. Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan (FRA) - 33 pts
2. Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabrò (ITA) - 38 pts
3. Fratzeskos Mpakatsias/Evaggelos Christopoulos (GRE) - 52 pts
4. Pieter Goedhart/Lars van Stekelenborg (NED) - 52 pts
5. David Charles/Alex Charles (ESP) - 61 pts
6. Wade Waddell/Henry Fernberger (USA) - 64 pts
7. Koren Bar-Shats/Yehonatan Goldstein (ISR) - 74 pts
8. Michail Karagiannis Zenetzidak/Vasileios Kontakis (GRE) - 75 pts
9 .Callum Airlie/Joseph Butterworth (GBR) - 77 pts
10. Deniz Bagci/Kaan Tuna (TUR) - 78 pts

The 2012 420 Junior European Championships is being hosted by Fraglia Vela Riva in partnership with the Federazione Italiana Vela, the Italian 420 National Class Association and the International 420 Class Association.


Championship Website - www.420sailing.org/junior europeans