Annabelle Westerhof from the Netherlands and Pere Ponseti from Spain are on top of the leaderboard after the first day of racing at the Laser 4.7 Youth World Championships off Kiel-Schilksee. Federica Cattarozzi, current European Vice Champion, is in hot pursuit of the Dutch, while Germany´s Julia Büsselberg successfully recovered from a mishap in the first race.
“I had a lot of fun today”, said Federica Cattarozzi with a big smile, while derigging her Laser in the Northern German drizzle. “Rain doesn´t matter, if there is good wind on the course”. Today, the competitors of the Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds sailed three races and faced 13 knots of winds, with peaks up to 17 knots. Federica Cattarozzi, current European Vice Champion, claims a place on the podium at the Worlds. Currently, she is one point adrift of Annabelle Westerhof, Bronze medallist at the Laser 4.7 Europeans, who leads the girls` board.
Federica Cattarozzi hoped for a bit more wind on Thursday. Laila van der Meer, on the contrary, was very happy with Wednesday´s conditions: “I am rather lightweight”, said the 16 years old Dutch, “so conditions were perfect for me today”. After a series of 1, 12 and 2, van der Meer is currently on the third rank.
Julia Büsselberg from Berlin/Germany had an unlucky start into the first racing day. “Julia was entangled in the sheet of another competitor during the starting procedure and had to do a 360 turn”, said her father, Joerg Buesselberg. At the first mark, Julia was at the end of the fleet, but a hard fight brought her to 16th position. The current U16 Youth World Champion kept her cool, finished the following races first, and is on currently on sixth place.
The Boys` leaderboard is led by Pere Ponseti from Spain. In a consistent showing, the sailor from Ciutadella counted three first places on his scoresheet. Ponseti is followed by the Italian Guido Gallinari and the Greece Dimitrios Papadimitriou. From a German point of view, Justin Barth from the capital, Berlin, had the best start into the day. “After a very good start, I could keep the pace and ended eleventh”, said the 15 year old who has just begun his Laser 4.7 career in 2016. A huge shift to the right, accompanied by choppy waves and some wind peaks, made things tricky on the course, as Barth reported.
Not only the sailors, but also the Race Management had to cope with the wind shift of almost 50 degrees. Stephan Giesen, the Principal Race Officer, changed the position of one mark in the second race and laid out a new course before the third – so the Race Management team, back on shore, were also soaked from head to toe. “Our head meteorologist, Meeno Schrader, had predicted the scenario very precisely, so we were prepared”, said Stephan Giesen, who was very content about Wednesday´s racing action. “All starts in all six groups were clear, there was no general recall at all”, he reported regarding his course, and gave a big compliment to the young sailors. On the other course area, governed by Race Officer Mandus Freese, there were two general recalls, but when the black flag was raised, most sailors got the message, with only a few receiving a BFD in a following restarts.
On Thursday, 14 to 18 knots of wind are forecast, with peaks up to 30 knots. Two races are scheduled with a first warning at 11 am.
1. Annabelle Westerhof (Netherlands, 6, 2, 1), 2. Federica Cattarozzi (Italy, 1, 2, 7), 3. Laila Van Der Meer (Netherlands, 1, 12, 2), 4. Mariia Kislukhina (Russia, 3, 7, 7), 5. Emma Savelon (Netherlands, 12, 1, 5), 6. Julia Buesselberg (Germany, 19, 1, 1)
1. Pere Ponseti (Spain, 1, 1, 1), 2. Guido Gallinaro (Italy, 1, 1, 4), 3. Dimitrios Papadimitriou (Greece, 3, 2, 1), 4. Leon Kljus (Netherlands, 1, 1, 5), 5. Semen Krivobokov (Russia, 2, 9, 1), 6. Emilios Or Aimilianos Monos (Greece, 5, 1, 6)