Gold, silver, bronze or emerald fleet? The last qualification day of the Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds made clear who will fight for the podium – and who will not. Federica Cattarozzi (Italy) und Dimitrios Papadimitriou (Greece) are still on top, but the competition is hot on their heels.
“That was a tough day”, said Stephan Giesen, the Principal Race Officer, after the end of the qualification series. Giesen and his team counted 51 Black Flag disqualifications on race Area Echo, and Race Officer Mandus Freese reported about 40 BFDs on Area Juliett.
The wind was not as predictable as during the previous days. A huge, abrupt wind shift of 40 degrees forced some changes on Area Echo: The race of the first starting group was abandoned, while the position of one mark was changed during the race of the second group and the course was laid out completely new before the start of the third group. Thus, some competitors spent almost seven hours on the water before getting back to shore.
It was not only the long sailing day but also the mental pressure that exhausted the sailors. Today, the fleet of 389 was split into gold, silver, bronze and emerald divisions for the final two days of the regatta. Especially the lighter sailors tried to take their chance today, but some took a too big risk – like Julian Hoffmann, current German Vice Champion. “The wind suited Julian”, said his mother, Marion; “he is lighter and smaller than the majority of the fleet”. But the talented sailor from Southern Germany, only 13 years old, was disqualified under Black Flag in the second race and had to bury his hopes for the gold fleet.
The fleet of the girls is still led by Federica Cattarozzi, who finished first and 22. today and is one point ahead of Emma Savelon from the Netherlands. Dimitrios Papadimitriou defended the lead in the boys` division, separated by one point from Guido Gallinaro (Italy). Papadimitriou, the current European Champion, has shown an outstanding performance so far with only Top Three results, except for one race. Asked for his secret, the sailor from Athens smiled and said: “Training, training, training.”
For Saturday, the weather forecast sees south-westerly wind with an average of 13 to 17 knots and gusts up to 25 knots. The girls will sail in gold and silver fleet, while the boys are divided into gold, silver, bronze and emerald fleet. The girl´s fleet and the emerald fleet of the boys will sail on Area Juliett, the gold, silver and bronze fleet of the boys on Area Echo. The gold fleet races of the girls can be watched by Live Tracking and Live Stream.
Protests were still being heard at the time of writing, and results are provisional.
1. Federica Cattarozzi (Italy, 14 points), 2. Emma Savelon (Netherlands, 15), 3. Elisa Navoni (Italy, 29), 4. Mariia Kislukhina (Russia, 31.6), 5. Annabelle Westerhof (Netherlands, 34), 6. Juli Baruch (Israel, 43)
1. Dimitrios Papadimitriou (Greece, 11 points), 2. Guido Gallinaro (Italy, 12), 3. Pere Ponseti (Spain, 21), 4. Hayden Coote (Australa, 22), 5. Uffe Tomasgaard (Norway, 32), 6. Elia Vitali (Italy, 38)