Wednesday 29 June 2011
Ninety three Laser Radial sailors will make their way to Zadar, Croatia from 7-16 July for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. With 51 boys and 42 girls the competition to be crowned ISAF Youth Worlds champion will be fierce.
The Laser Radial Boys boasts the most entries at the 2011 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship with 51 sailors making the journey.
Throughout the 40 years of the ISAF Youth Worlds previous Laser Boys winners have become multiple Olympic Gold medallists and America’s Cup winners. Dean Barker (NZL) won Laser gold at the 1990 ISAF Youth Worlds in Muiden, the Netherlands. Twenty years later he won the America’s Cup with Team New Zealand skippered by 1980 ISAF Youth Worlds Laser champion Russell Coutts (NZL).
Of the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds top ten finishers, bronze medallist Giovanni Coccoluto (ITA), Hermann Tomasgaard (NOR) and Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy (MAS) are all returning to sail in their second championship. Tomasgaard and Mohd Afendy recorded some impressive results in 2010 but were unable to pull together a string of consistent finishes as the Norwegian finished fifth on 74 points and the Malaysian came eighth on 89 points.
The field also includes Youth Olympic Games Byte CII bronze medallist Just Van Aanholt (AHO), who is also on the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme. And for the first time at an ISAF Youth Worlds, Montenegro will be represented with Dusan Bogdanovic taking his place among the Laser Radial Boys fleet.
Of the ISAF APP athletes Chris Sands (BAH), Antonio Rojas (COL), Hyeungik Kim (KOR), Anthony Keleous (LCA), Manuel Dussault Gomez (MEX), Federico Cabello (PAR), Jean Paul de Trazegnies (PER) and Ramon Gonzalez (PUR) will all sail in the fleet whilst benefitting from the coaching of the World Youth Sailing Trust Coach Hugh Styles (GBR)
Sands finished 28th at the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds and has been working hard in preparation for this years version, “Every time I go training I try to get the best out of each and every practice. I’m on the water 4-5 days per week and working out at least three days per work.
“I’m just going over to Zadar to try my hardest and have fun.”
In the Laser Radial girls there are several newcomers in the 42-boat fleet with Erika Reineke (USA), Manami Doi (JPN), Lucía Falasca (ARG) and Germaine Teo (SIN) the only top 20 finishers to return.
Reineke will be the favourite heading into the regatta after she picked up the bronze medal in Istanbul and she will return for her second year of ISAF Youth Worlds Competition. “I plan to bring home the gold medal for the United States,” Reineke said. “Last year I brought home the bronze and this time I want to go all the way.”
At the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds Doi came down in tenth, Falasca finished 12th and Teo came 19th. With their experience behind them they will be looking to improve and feature on the podium at the end of the week.
Macarena Robert Mina (CHI), Elisa Echavarria (COL), Erica Hok Yan Leung (HKG), Stephanie Devaus-Lovell (LCA) and Natalia Montemayor (MEX) will also receive APP funding and support throughout the week.
Sailing begins on Saturday 9 July with 12 races scheduled until Friday 15 July.